By Janna Schiavo of Sterilite Corporation
The leaves are changing and the brisk fall air has crept in, but that doesn’t mean you need to abandon your outdoor spaces. A back yard camp fire is the perfect way to combat the crisp weather. The warmth from the fire will ward off the chill on autumn evenings.
If you do not currently have a fire pit in your back yard there are many commercially available options, or you can create your own. To create your own fire pit: dig a shallow hole (about 3 to 6 inches) to clear out the grass and roots and line the edge with rocks or bricks.
To start the fire, you’ll need to have some paper to ignite the kindling. In order to make sure you have some on hand try getting a spare wastebasket to save your newspaper and other scrap paper instead of throwing it out. Now that the paper is not mixed in with the trash you’ll have a bin of paper ready when it’s time for your campfire.
No campfire is complete without snacks made over the fire. S’mores are a classic that should be at every campfire. Create a s’more kit by keeping your marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate in a container in the cupboard so you can grab it any time. Using a Sterilite Ultra•Seal™ 16.0 Cup Rectangle Container will keep your graham crackers crispy and your marshmallows fresh and fluffy. You can even use this s’more kit when grilling. If you’re looking to branch out below are some other snacks to try.
Campfire Cinnamon Rolls http://www.whimsy-love.com/2009/08/campfire-roasted-cinnamon-rolls.html
Hot Dog Animals – perfect for the kids http://www.sterilite.com/SelectProduct.html?id=499&ProductCategory=212§ion=4
Some sophisticated snacks– great for a girls night http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/happy-campers-snacks-on-a-stick.html
Be sure to have a bucket of water handy during your campfire just to be safe. You likely won’t need it until the end of the night when it’s time to put out the fire. However, it is good to have one just in case your marshmallow goes up in flames or your fire spreads accidentally.
This same bucket can be used to round up the cool and dry ashes. You’ll want to remove the ashes from the fire pit periodically. Ashes can be repurposed in many ways so store them in a weather-tight container (like Sterilite Gasket Boxes). Sprinkle ashes around your garden to deter pests like snails and slugs. Ashes are also a great way to add calcium to soil for plants like tomatoes, potatoes and apple trees that thrive in more alkaline soil. It can also be used to clean up grease spills because it is a desiccant. It also absorbs odor so you can save it for later to place a small bowl in the fridge or a stinky room, or rub it on your dog if he or she has been sprayed by a skunk. In the winter ash can be used as an environmentally friendly substitute to rock salt to melt snow and ice and add traction to walkways or a car stuck on ice.