While no camping experience would feel complete without a campfire, the reality of sitting around open flames isn’t quite as romantic as we like to imagine. How often have you sat down beside the fire only to jump back every time the wind shifts to keep the smoke from getting in your eyes? BioLite, the company behind the mini gadget-charging wood-fired CampStove, has come up with a solution to this problem. The BioLite FirePit keeps the flames contained and off the ground, making it easier to reach from a seated position and allowing you to place it in just about any well-ventilated outdoor location. But the best part is its air injection system, which makes most of the smoke disappear altogether.
Currently wrapping up an enormously popular Kickstarter campaign, the BioLite FirePit lets you get right up next to it to warm your hands and roast your marshmallows without any fear of inhaling smoke. Its narrow oblong design makes it highly portable, and the “x-ray mesh” along its sides keeps air circulating for a strong fire while providing charming ambiance. You can use either charcoal or wood for fuel, depending on whether your goal is simply to enjoy the flames or to do some serious cooking.
“We know that playing with fire is a touchy subject: why would you want to go and mess with something as classic and lovable as a campfire?” says BioLite. “Well, we’re not messing with it; we’re making it burn the same stuff, just better. This isn’t a weird chemical fuel or a gas flame — it’s wood, being the best it can be. All it needs is some air in the right places.”
The company explains that the smoke that comes off a typical campfire or fire pit is unburnt fuel, full of particulate matter that would’ve combusted inside the fire if it were burning efficiently enough. “Smoky fires are badly tuned fires,” they say. So their solution is a system of 51 air jets and a fan that push oxygen into the fire at strategic points, resulting in a more uniform temperature and mixture of gases inside the flames. Four fan speeds control the intensity of the fire, so you can tune it to low for a chill, low-key campfire or crank it up for extra heat.
The FirePit features folding legs to make transportation a cinch and measures about 27 inches long by 13 inches wide and 15.8 inches tall. With the fan on low, you can get 24 hours of burn time out of a single charge, and it’ll still last you five hours on high. It also comes with a USB-A to micro-USB cord, so you can easily charge it at home before heading out. The fire pit’s Kickstarter backers will receive a free solar carry cover, a handy extra topped with a solar panel so you can charge your FirePit with sunlight when it’s not in use.
The BioLite FirePit’s Kickstarter campaign netted well over $2.2 million dollars on a goal of $100,000, and other backer perks include fun stuff like blankets, beer cozies, lanterns, bike lights, and other BioLite products, including the company’s CoffeePress, KettlePot, and CampStove. Pre-orders for the FirePit are expected to ship in July 2018. Check out all of BioLite’s gear on their website.