Portable fire pits

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uncompromise

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We’ve been investigating portable fire pits (as distinct to dedicated bbqs) given that:
  1. We like fire
  2. ground fires are prohibited in many places; and
  3. we would prefer to keep our fire contained for safety
  4. being able to use deadfall or charcoal is appealing
  5. a good pit has a range of accessories for open flame cooking
From what we’re seeing, however, none of them come cheap (most seem to be north of $150 ... and keep climbing depending on what additional accessories you may want). Curious to know if any folks have a portable fire pit they use and would recommend. We’re looking for light, compact, rugged, and flat packable. While we will use it for cooking, it will not be our primary stove. Some examples we’ve seen are listed below.




 

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bgenlvtex

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I don't have but really like the idea of Solo Stove.

Not so much the price or form factor, but the idea
 

Cypress

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I have a Volcano Stove/Grill that I have been very happy with. It's not super small but it does a very good job at cooking and putting out heat.


 
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Old Tanker

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We have the Southern Expeditions Fire pit. It is compact, rugged, and flat. It is not light or cheap.

 

SorrTrek

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I'm not a big fan of the Solo Stove. Was skeptical from the start and had seen them at a few events. Recently a couple neighbors of mine got them. Various sizes, so I have them a hard look. They are efficient, but unless you are standing somewhat over them, you don't get much heat. There was some buyers remorse there from what I could tell.

I have the BioLite Firepit. I saw it at a RTT Rally and wanted one (saw Solo Stove there too) since I got to really test it out. I've used it multiple times and like it's versatility. When I go to a park that has no wood burning allowed, I can use it as a grill with charcoal. It's easy to clean and pack up, and I like the air injection. You can really flare up the fire if you want and it has minimal smoke.


This past weekend at a meetup one of my club members treated out her Fireside Outdoor 24x24 pit. It was great. It essentially just elevates the fire about a foot off the ground. Burned wood in it for two nights and long hours each time. Burned to minimal ash. We didn't have to go as crazy on trimming the wood too.

 
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El-Dracho

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I use this one since some years now:


I like it very much because it is made from stainless steel, it is solid and robust, it can be folded flat, it has a good air supply (small disadvantage is that very small glowing pieces could fall out through the openings, if necessary you should put something underneath - but with fire you should be careful anyway!). Due to stainless steel it is not so light, but no problem for me and as mentioned already here in this topic, it is not that cheap - but nice metal work!

Enjoy your campfires, guys!

Cheers, Björn

 
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SorrTrek

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Reread the OP and wanted to note this is under $150
 

bgenlvtex

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I use this one since some years now:


I like it very much because it is made from stainless steel, it is solid and robust, it can be folded flat, it has a good air supply (small disadvantage is that very small glowing pieces could fall out through the openings, if necessary you should put something underneath - but with fire you should be careful anyway!). Due to stainless steel it is not so light, but no problem for me and as mentioned already here in this topic, it is not that cheap - but nice metal work!

Enjoy your campfires, guys!

Cheers, Björn

That is super nice and looks to be substantially constructed, you should have mentioned it's not inexpensive about 215 more times though, because it certainly isn't inexpensive, LOL
 

RatAssassin

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Where I have to use one, which is rarely, I bring a large metal oil drain pan in a plastic trash bag.
$6.50 and it's worked for years.
No need to complicate keeping ashes collected. :grinning:
 
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DRAX

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Following, I've been on the fence about adding a compact fire pit. On the one hand, every place we camp has an existing fire pit, whether it's at an official campground or dispersed camping on federal lands, we tread lightly and don't create new spots. On the other hand, having the fire more contained and not burning directly on/in the ground can help prevent underground fires in dry areas.

If we did any beach camping, or even had beaches nearby, then I can totally see having a fire pit we take along. I'm just having a hard time really justifying the cost, space, and weight of one based on the above.
 
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Road

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I have a few firepits, from the fancy Snow Peak deal (too big/awkward even flat for my packing scheme, way expensive, and will be up for sale later this year); a heavy duty flat pack grill from Summit Expedition (1st image below) that is my favorite for flatpack firepits in camp, and a new less-than-forty-bucks folding flatpack grill I just opened today. Images further below.

summit-firepit-7863crop-700.jpg
My fav flatpack grill for meat and fish; an amazing unit and goes with me every trip, though too big and heavy for short trips away from camp.


For bike, canoe, and walkabouts, if I want an off-the-ground fire for both heat and cooking, I need something more portable. I like UCO products and have half a dozen or so of their candle lanterns, so am trying their Flatpack Stainless Steel Portable Grill Firepit. Only $36.97.

I just opened it this afternoon and am pleasantly surprised that it is more well put together than I expected. It's a much heavier gauge than I expected, too. Photos don't do it justice; makes it look thinner gauge than it is. All stainless, a nice grill that slips over the semi-circle ends to stiffen things up, and a quick removable grill handle. All goes in a nicely made pack with heavy duty hook-n-loop closure along the whole width.

Only 3.3lbs (1.5kg)

I can already tell this is going to get a lot of use, both around camp and on day trips with bike and canoe.

Here's a mess of images that explains everything, with measurements:


Uco-flatpack_5163-900.jpeg
All stainless steel and thicker in gauge than it looks, believe me. Looks light in images, though has a good solid feel in person.

Uco-flatpack_5147-900.jpeg
Comes in a heavy duty ziploc with a drain hole, that I may just keep to use if the canvas bag is sooty or soiled, and throw the whole thing in the ziploc to keep my other gear clean.
..

Uco-flatpack_5152-900.jpg
Compact, at 10"x13.5" x 11" tall when open, 9.5" tall when folded.

Deceptive, and sounds small, though I can easily cook steaks on this thing or a couple of salmon fillets or a bunch of chicken with no problem. It will hold up a 12" cast iron skillet, too, no problem.
..

Uco-flatpack_5153-900.jpeg
Couldn't be any easier to put together; nothing to assemble other than slipping the grill on. Legs lock through each other to support.
..

Uco-flatpack_5154-900.jpeg.. Uco-flatpack_5155-900.jpeg
..

Uco-flatpack_5159-900.jpeg
Carrying case. Tight fit.
..

Uco-flatpack_5161-900.jpg
I'm really happy with this thing and can't wait to get a fire going in it to see how it drafts, etc. Should be fine with the end holes it has.

For less than forty bucks, man, I'm tickled to death.


.
 
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Biker Eagle

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Well, I was sold on a Solo Bonfire when we were caught in a driving downpour, high winds, and temp in the mid 30's. Once it started the rain couldn't put it out. We sat under an Easy-Up Awning...dry...and warm. Keep a Solo Bonfire on my RTT trailer, and a Solo Ranger in my Travel Trailer. My favorite new camping gear of the last decade, plus my RTT, plus my ARB fridge. Those 3 items radically changed camping, for me, for the better. Don't leave home without it. Oh, almost forgot my Firepit Rocker...the perfect companion to a Solo firepit.
Solo 1st fire.jpg
 
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Viking1204

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I have been searching for a portable wood burning fireplace that won't break the bank and isn't so small you can hardly feel the fire on a cold night. I think I might have stumbled on a pretty good one for under $50 that is a good size and folds up and stores in a carry bag! I'm going to checkout my local Walmarts and see if I can find one to look at in person.

Portable Fire Pit, 22'' Folding Fire Pits Outdoor Wood Burning Steel BBQ Grill Firepit Bowl with Mesh Log Grate Wood Fire Poker Carry Bag for Camping Picnic Bonfire Patio Backyard Garden Beaches Park - Walmart.com
 

Andrew A.

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I use the bottom part of a Weber Smokey Mountain bullet style smoker. Sometimes we'll take the Weber Jumbo Joe portable charcoal grill, and I'll use that instead.
They're not exactly portable, as in being able to fold flat and be stuffed into a pouch, but they're free since I already have them, and they work well for campfires.

The bullet smoker is not exactly cheap, but I believe the Jumbo Joe can be had for a little over $50, works well as a fire pit, and is an excellent portable charcoal grill if you're into grilling with charcoal.

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89ff5878fa36e1bfb74eb95978caac79.jpg

8F5A2306.jpg
 

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I think the Fireside Outdoors Pop-Up Pits (small and large sizes available) fit the dollar target and are compact and easy to carry. If I recall correctly Overland Journal thought well of the Primus Kamoto pit as well.


 
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Viking1204

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I think the Fireside Outdoors Pop-Up Pits (small and large sizes available) fit the dollar target and are compact and easy to carry. If I recall correctly Overland Journal thought well of the Primus Kamoto pit as well.


Thank you, I think you just changed my mind! The Kamoto looks perfect for what I'm looking for. Big enough to have a decent fire and packs down nice and flat when you put it away. Not sure I want the small or large, decisions, decisions!
 
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bgenlvtex

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Thank you, I think you just changed my mind! The Kamoto looks perfect for what I'm looking for. Big enough to have a decent fire and packs down nice and flat when you put it away. Not sure I want the small or large, decisions, decisions!
I'm in that same place, and am already mentally engineering a 3 sided reflector for it.
 
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Road

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I'm in that same place, and am already mentally engineering a 3 sided reflector for it.
.
I've been thinking about that, too, for firepits and general cooking. I have a couple small ones to use as windscreens for small stoves, but having a larger three-or-four panel reflector would be handy. Slip it into packing just about anywhere.

Something along the lines of these images I've saved:

fire-Screen2020-02-20 at 12.32.37-900.png
..

firescreen-2020-02-20 at 14.45.47-900.png
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