The Camping Fire Accessories Every Camper Needs
Do you remember the good old days when camping was simpler? You just had to take a tent, few logs, charcoals and a grill plate to have the awesome night in an improvised camp in the middle of the woods. Right now you are to ask a bunch of permissions to start a fire on the ground. You probably don’t want your camping trip with family and friends to be ruined because of all of this bureaucracy.
Also, imagine that you have packed all that heavy gear and trifles that are forbidden for the use on most camping spots. That would be a real disappointment. Agree, it sucks to go back to your home when after a checkout by the forest ranger you understand that camping would be problematic. Prevent such a boring scenario by taking only necessary and legal camping fire accessories in your backpack or car’s trunk.
To help you we have gathered in the following guide top 10 must-have camping fire accessories that are really worth the place in your backpack. Our choice is based on the Amazon reviews, user feedback, and personal preferences. Pay attention to the strong and weak points of each product.
Light your fire!
There are 5 categories of camping fire accessories that will literally save any camper’s life when he or she needs to light the camping fire in the most convenient way:
Camping firepits (wood and charcoal);
Portable propane stoves;
Fire starters and lighters;
Ultralight portable camp burners;
The things to pay attention to when choosing the camping fire accessories:
- Brand – BioLite, Landmann, Coleman, Camco are the most respected brands among U.S. campers;
- Service life and warranty – make sure the Amazon seller or an official company distributor provide a long-term warranty for their products;
- Price – there are the ovens which cost under $30 and the firepits the price of which can raise up to $500;
- Amazon reviews – we tried to collect all the important facts, pros and cons of each product based on the unbiased user reviews so you won’t have to read the reviews one by one;
- The number of campers – when it comes to the choice of a camping firepit or stove, you are to consider the product’s weight and functions. If you travel alone with a backpack, it rather makes sense to use an ultralight portable burner that can be easily folded anywhere (some work even under the rain and wind). But if you travel with family and friends, it is better to choose a full-fledged propane stove along with enough fuel for the whole trip.
- The camping location – choose wisely propane or firewood as the major fuel for your camping fire spot. Some camping locations won’t allow using firewood on the ground, so make sure to check the policy before taking one stove or another.
A warm and ambient fire for many people is the main component of the awesome camping experience. Unfortunately, due to the restriction policy of many parks and campsites sometimes it is impossible to fire the good old campfire with charcoals and wood. But, as a compromise, they sometimes allow using the portable firepit where the fire can be controlled.
A portable firepit is the best replacement for the open fire on the ground. You still will be able to roast marshmallows and toast, see the beautiful fire sparks at night but in a much safer way. Other benefits are frames of stainless steel, attachable grills, minimalistic design, etc. The only drawback of such portable firepits is their high price.
1. AmazonBasics 26-Inch Portable Folding Fire Pit
Pros: very portable and lightweight a for a full-fledged firepit, the mesh fire screen for an additional protection, four sturdy legs with a great folding design, can be applied as a Dutch oven when all grates are removed, the distance from the bottom to the ground is 12 inches.
Cons: the steel is very thin and definitely cheap; the unit can be used on any deck but it is better to keep it away from grass because it can make the grass scorched; keep only in a storage bag or it will rust.
- Parameters are 28 x 27.6 x 7.6 inches (71.12 cm x 70.104 cm x 19.3 cm);
- Weight is 16.4 pounds (7.4 kg);
- There is a steel bowl and fire screen painted and heat-resistant;
- The carrying bag, cooking grate, fire tool and log grate are included;
- A shallow fire pit that is only 20” wide (50.8 cm) so it can’t hold big logs, works well with chopped logs;
- Rust can form very quickly, even from the morning dew if you are leaving it overnight in the yard.
2. Landmann USA 28925 Ball of Fire Outdoor Fireplace
Pros: a 360-degree view of the fire; very solid; originally made with U.S. parts in China; a 30” (76.2 cm) diameter ball; the deep pan inside the firepit can hold a lot of wood and warmth; comes with a cover; a smooth opening lid, the bottom tray is removable for dumping the ashes.
Cons: it takes a lot of time to assemble the unit; the handles are not covered with the heat-resistant paint so you can burn yourself.
- Dimensions are 30.2 x 32.8 x 34.8 inches (76.7 cm x 83.3 cm x 88.3 cm);
- Weight is 47 pounds (21.3 kg);
- The spherical spark screen;
- Huge pivoting gate with a large handle for quicker and simpler refueling;
- Never burn paper in this Landman unit, only wood, because burning paper or cardboard can cause small hot embers going through the mesh straight to the skin, clothes or grass causing the fire hazard;
- If you use it in the patio with the wooden floor, then at first cover the place underneath the firepit with sand, bricks or kitty liter (don’t use the rug because it may heat too much);
- The lid opens only 90 degrees, not fully 180 degrees;
- The screen can’t be removed unless you unscrew the bolts but it’s not recommended;
- You will have to additionally cover the handle and mesh with heat-resistant spray paint;
Video: it can be tricky to assemble, so check this video guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=291RuDU9dxw
3. BioLite BaseCamp Wood Burning Stove System
This Kickstarter phenomenon uses the patented thermoelectric technology for converting the heat from the natural fuel (wood, twigs, sticks, logs, etc.) into electricity. The received electric power is kept in the so-called PowerBank – it can be used for charging the internal battery supplying the built-in fan for keeping the fire strong. This battery can be also applied for charging USB-supporting devices like smartphones. Cook meals and charge your phone from one device working outdoors purely on the eco-friendly biomass!
Price: $199.95 (additional carry pack is $49.95) BUY NOW
Pros: a battery recharges automatically when you start a fire; the stove and pizza dome can be heat up to 600 degrees F (315.5 degrees C); you can charge the unit by USB, but there is a heavy backup battery; use any type of pan as long as it's below 15 pounds (6.8 kg), including Dutch ovens; burn wood and charge your cell phone or anything else with a standard USB-port;
Cons: a carrying case is not included, you are to buy it separately; you have to buy batteries for charging; the high heat is hard to control so it can burn up the electronics.
- Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 23 inches (53.5 cm x 33.5 cm x 58.4 cm);
- Weight is 17.99 pounds (8.1 kg);
- 1 lithium ion battery is required;
- Excessive heat is easily converted into electricity and keeps it in the integrated 2200mAh Lithium-ion battery. Stored energy can be applied even without a fire. Powerbank provides 5 watts (5 volts) USB output – it is enough to charge your devices including smartphones. There is a LED dashboard for monitoring the power generation and battery level;
- 138 square inch (0.089 square meters) grill will fit 8 burgers;
- Works of solid biomass (twigs, firewood, wood chunks, etc.);
- Flexible arm light with a USB pass-through charger;
- The level for switching between grilling and boiling;
- The set has the BioLite BaseCamp unit; fire starters; a Gooseneck USB light; an ashtray and a fuel rack;
- The cast iron lining can be easily rusted so keep it free of water;
- It can be cleaned only with steel brushes;
- Needs a lot of wood, sticks, twigs to keep the fire burning – more than standard firepits;
- There are problems with charging possible – it should take more than 1-2 hours, if it takes longer, then send a request to the company;
- The LED lamp has a dimming ability with a bit unreliable taping switch;
Portable propane stoves
Portable stoves can be very handy due to multiple reasons. In South Korea, for instance, they're widely applied anywhere where no stationery ovens for cooking work – in hotels, dorms, rented apartments and on camping spots. You may pick up among various designs, types, features, and prices.
Portable stoves can work from electricity or kerosene but the most popular, convenient and budget types are the ones working on propane. As a major fuel, propane stoves are greater for cool climates than butane.
The propane containers can be easily refilled. You are to be very safe when using such propane stoves, especially when disposing of the containers. It is preferable to choose the stoves with an ignition switch and a long hose to the propane tank.
Also, when using the semi-automatic propane stoves for campers you won’t have to worry about hot embers which may burn the skin easily. Also, forget about the ash covering your food or clothes.
4. Camco 58035 “Big Red Campfire”
Pros: compact; lightweight; a hard cover; additional stand; the pizza dome in the set; realistic logs; the highest flame (BTU) output compared to other ovens; two options to choose from 13.25” (33.6 cm) and 11.25” (28.5 cm) units; it is approved for RV campground; it can be safely used on a wooden deck.
Cons: it is comparatively smaller than other propane ovens; the unit is not CSA or UL approved; propane must be refueled; you can’t put the real logs or wood chips for smoke, it can be dangerous.
- Dimensions are 15.5 x 15.5 x 11.5 inches (39.3 cm x 39.3 cm x 29.2 cm);
- Weight is 5 pounds (2.26 kg);
- Self-storing lid;
- 10 ft. (3 meters) long hose with regulator up to 65,000 BTU/hour;
- 13.25" (33.6 cm) fire tray diameter;
- The set includes the propane oven, self-storing carrying case, naturally looking logs, large burner ring, heat-resistant base and tray, a hose and adjustable regulator;
- A 20-gallon (75.7 L) propane tank will be enough for 7-9 hours;
- The loud hissing noise on the high setting;
- The rubber propane hose can be easily caught on fire;
- It can be dangerous because of the fire shooting out the bottom;
- Eats the propane fuel pretty fast;
5. Outland Firebowl 823 Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit
Pros: one of the best budget propane ovens; the long lasting durability; larger size compared to most ovens; lightweight; flames resemble a real fire; it radiates warmth; can be changed to natural gas; no assembly is required; a clean and smokeless flame.
Cons: you ought to buy a cover and carrying bag separately; the least equipped model in Outland's range of 19" (48.2 cm) portable propane firepits; a manual flame ignition.
- Dimensions are 19 x 19 x 11 inches (48.2 cm x 48.2 cm x 27.9 cm);
- Weight is 22 pounds (9.9 kg);
- The propane fire bowl approved by CSA;
- Pre-attached 10 ft. (3 meters) hose with a regulator, propane tank stabilizer ring and decorative rock set;
- Stainless steel burner and fasteners;
- Chrome knob with a rubber grip;
- Steel construction with the high-temperature powder coating and protective enamel finish;
- In RVs the oven may need an adapter for a quick disconnect;
- The regulator can be easily broken;
- A 5-gallon (18.9 L) propane cylinder will be eaten quickly – in about 6 hours;
To get your campfire going you’ll have to use a fire starter or lighter, especially for the open firepits with charcoals and wooden logs. The most effective fire starters do not have necessarily cost a lot and one of them should definitely be in your backpack.
6. BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter and Fire Lighter
Pros: the piece will start the fire in less than 10 minutes; cordless; not noisy like most fire starters; great materials are very strong; accelerates the burning of partially lit charcoals; simple to use; the clamp is powerful and holds the device secured; can be used with a chimney, charcoals, smokers, ceramic cookers, wood stoves indoors and outdoors.
Cons: no USB cable included; it won’t light the grill because it’s a fan blowing air on the fire.
- Dimensions are 8 x 3 x 15 inches (20.3 cm x 7.6 cm x 38.1 cm);
- Weight is 2.5 pounds (1.1. kg);
- Stainless steel construction;
- The long, adjustable neck;
- A variable speed motor;
- Powered with 4 AA batteries (not included);
- Can be charged with a micro-USB cable (not included);
- Never use close to the coals;
- The twist knob is not a heat-proof;
- Can be easily melted because of cheap plastic, so use carefully and turn off immediately after use;
The comparison video of the BBQ Dragon fire starter with other methods: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6WqNlyiz3A
7. Ralix Survival Spark Magnesium Survival Fire Starter with Compass and Whistle
Pros: very small and can be fit into any survival kit; windproof resistant; compact; can be applied for lighting charcoals with a lighter fluid; very affordable; a whistle can be very loud – up to 150 dB; the multi-use scraper.
Cons: no instruction is included; a compass can be unreliable in some cases; you have to blow very hard to achieve the full volume for the whistle; not entirely waterproof.
- Dimensions are 5.6 x 3 x 1 inches (14.2 cm x 7.6 cm x 2.5 cm);
- Weight is 2.4 ounces (68 g);
- It can strike up to 15,000 times;
- The fire starter rod is 5.5 inch (14 cm);
- All-in-one emergency unit – a magnesium fire-starting stick, compass, whistle, large scraper, and lanyard;
- Can be hard to use in a wet or emergency situation when you don’t have 20 minutes necessary for scraping off the fillings and starting the fire;
Ultralight camp burners
Solo camping, anyone? If you are going to be a single camper out there in the cold woods, a small ultralight portable oven working from any fuel or logs can be a real life savior. The very compact size is awesome for any backpack but the best advantage is the very affordable price – up to $30. Such portable “baby” will fit any cooking needs of a lonesome camper – from roasting marshmallows to heating a pot or kettle.
8. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove with Piezo Ignition
Pros: very affordable; made of durable materials; can stand very high temperature and weight; approved by US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service; it burns very clean, with no debris left; great flame control; leaves no traces.
Cons: unlike most reviews claim, it can be used only with butane, never propane; not every fuel is good enough, though the manufacturer claims all butane mixtures are good; a bit flimsy on uneven surfaces; common problems with a built-in ignition button.
- Dimensions are 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.3 inches (8.9 cm x 4.5 cm x 5.8 cm);
- Weight is 4.8 ounces (136 g);
- Made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel;
- Comes with a carrying case;
- The Piezo ignition system;
- 4 arms for balanced support;
- Compatible with any 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mixed fuel canisters (EN 417);
- Adjustable control valve;
- It will fit only the standard isobutane cartridges;
- Sometimes the fuel canister may leak;
- May blow up if heated for a long time;
- Arms are at different angles;
9. Solo Stove Titan
Pros: the winner of multiple awards and reviews including the Discovery channel and Backpacker Magazine; less smoke due to the patented design; nature-friendly unlike others ovens working of propane that pollute the air; uses natural fuel like twigs, leaves, pinecones and any biomass; very compact design that saves a lot of space; a quick boil time; very sustainable and sturdy stove.
Cons: the product is not budget compared to other ultralight stoves; too small for a bunch of campers.
- Dimensions are 5.1 x 5.1 x 5.6 inches (12.9 cm x 12.9 cm x 14.2 cm);
- Weight is 1.03 pounds (467 g);
- Boils water in 4-6 minutes (34 fl oz (1L) water);
- Made of premium grade 304 stainless steel and nichrome wire;
- The nylon stuff sack is included;
- The fuel is any biomass;
- Boil time is a little longer than conventional gas stoves offer;
- Optional alcohol burner sold separately while the Solo Lite version has it included;
- A bit bulky to carry in the backpack compared to other Solo burners and stoves;
Camping fire tripods
If you want your campfire to remind the old west then you should cook with an iron or steel tripod. Unlike the Dutch oven grill, it won’t swing on the wind when you stir the food in the attached cooking pot. You will be able to adjust the length of the chain to increase or decrease the heat for cooking purposes. It is the best camping fire accessory for cooking out over an open campfire in the wilds. Pick up the steel tripods with long legs (up to 59” or 150 cm). Make sure the tripod has different cooks and a lengthy chain.
10. Stansport 15997 Cast Iron Camp Fire Tripod
Pros: affordable; it can handle a 40-pound (18.1 kg) Dutch oven thanks to very sturdy legs; solid construction; the tripod works well to hang lanterns, water jugs, clothing, coffee/tea pots and Dutch ovens over a cooking fire.
Cons: the coating is easily bubbling and will definitely peel off and rust with time; tricky assembly; a bit heavy to carry around.
- Dimensions are 2.5 x 2.5 x 45 inches (6.3 cm x 6.3 cm x 114.3 cm);
- Weight is 6.6 pounds;
- 3 legs - each leg is around 1,12 m long (3.6 ft);
- Nickel-plated chain and "S" hook;
- It won’t stay still on a sturdy surface;
- Some users don’t like the length of the legs – not tall enough;
- The advertisement claims it is made of cast iron but the label says it is a steel construction;
What else may you need for making the most of your campfire?
- Stick snappers like BioLite Stick Snapper ($9.95)
- Carrying bag (if not included);
- Cooking cookware and utensils – pans for cooking on the open fire, long tongs, fire sticks, cook sets, portable kettles, etc.;
- Enough fuel and propane, fuel pumps, fuel fillers and other things that can be useful for charging your portable oven;
- Coalbeds for keeping charcoals organized and safe like Snow Peak Coal Bed ($25.95);
- Fire pokers and forks for moving the logs in the fire like Genuine Stainless Fire Poker ($42.99);
- Lava rocks can be a great camping fire accessory for propane fire pits to disperse the flames and radiate heat like American Fireglass Medium Black Lava Rock ($16.68);
These camping fire accessories are so awesome that you really will wonder how you ever cooked on campfires without it. Leave your feedback on the reviewed items and share your camper’s experience.