There isn't much that beats delicious black & crusty marshmallows, roasted with friends and family on warm summer evenings and sandwiched between chocolate and graham crackers. Store-bought fire pits are awesome for city dwellers, but if your yard is large enough, building a real campfire on your own is relatively easy and far less expensive.
Before even considering building a campfire, be sure to check your city ordinances to make sure it is legal to have a fire in your backyard. Use common sense when it comes to safety: choose a spot that isn't too close to any structures, flammable materials or overhanging branches and where the smoke won't be a nuisance to your neighbors. Don't forget to keep a close eye on small children near the fire. Your campfire pit can be as simple as a circle of dirt lined with stones — check out some basic instructions at eHow.com — or an elaborate stone structure like this tutorial on instructables. If you are worried about the emissions that campfires give off which are especially of concern in densely populated areas, check out Java-Logs, made from recycled coffee grounds and promising 80% fewer emissions than burning wood.
Images: Sarah Rainwater