Skip to Content

About Me

Image of two people sitting on a rock in front of a mountain lake talking about me
Man I wish we had a fire pit here!

Hi, I’m John, the guy behind Backyard Toasty.  I started this site to educate and inform visitors about the joys of fire pit use, along with tips and insights combined with an emphasis on safety.

Any activity that can bring people together to enjoy each other’s company and help them forget their daily worries for a few hours is one I can support and that’s why Backyard Toasty is here.

A little about me:  

I am a former Marine engineer officer, currently working in management consulting, in an actual office…with a cube. Meh.

I cut my outdoor teeth as a kid, camping in the woodlands of southern New Jersey USA, stepping up to the big leagues as an adult in the Sierra Nevadas in California, the mountains of Norway (inside the arctic circle…in February…not fun…well, maybe a little), in dry spots like the Mojave Desert in California, the Ogaden Desert in Ethiopia, and the Nubian Desert/Nile Valley in the Sudan.

Some places fun…some kinda…some not so much. Among the positives I remember most were times spent around a fire.

In my time “in the field,” both while working and while off, I’ve been fortunate and unfortunate to have seen, used, tested, evaluated, broken, and thrown out all kinds of outdoor gear, good and bad, along with witnessing some of the best and worst safety practices.  

I hope to bring some of that knowledge and experience here to you on these pages.  

Any mistakes on the site are mine alone and I welcome any feedback you might have when I make them, at

Welcome and thanks for reading!  – J

Image of a backyard fire pit