Have you ever noticed that we tend to use the terms bonfire and fire pit to describe the same outdoor features? Even outdoor experts may occasionally use these names interchangeably. This is because the terms fire pit, campfire, and bonfire all describe types of fires or their materials, so they can be easy to confuse. Keep reading to learn the differences between bonfires and fire pits and learn the difference between these features once and for all.
Fire Pit Basics
A fire pit is a vessel where you place materials to start a campfire. You can find both natural and artificial materials for these vessels. For example, many campers will dig up a small hole in the ground and fashion a fire pit out of large stones. On the other hand, you can find manufacturer-crafted backyard fire pits available at your local outdoor or sports store. No matter where they come from, fire pits have one main job—to contain the kindling, logs, and other materials that make up a campfire.
Bonfires are large-scale fires. Not to be confused with wildfires, bonfires are types of controlled fires that are much larger than standard campfires. According to certain city and state laws, you must obtain a permit to light bonfires of a certain size. Additionally, you must be careful and strategically plan where to place a bonfire so that it doesn’t spread to surrounding brush and trees. Bonfires can have practical uses, such as burning waste materials, or celebratory purposes, such as setups for parties, events, and religious rituals.
Differences Between Fire Pits and Bonfires
The biggest difference between a firepit and a bonfire is the size. Fire pits usually hold campfires, which are significantly smaller than bonfires. Bonfires usually take place outside of a fire pit due to their large size—your standard fire pit can’t contain a bonfire’s blaze. Fire pits and campfires are the most common methods for small groups of people to enjoy lighting a fire. Bonfires, on the other hand, are most popular during larger gatherings because they enable dozens of people to gather around the fire at once.
Now that you know the difference between fire pits and bonfires, you can choose the right option when planning your next campfire or bonfire get-together. If you’re looking for the perfect backyard fire pit setup, browse our selection of smokeless campfires at Cast Master Elite. We offer a smokeless fire that makes setting up your backyard campfire easier than ever.