Most of us love our campfires – it’s probably near the top of the list of favourite camping activities. As a person who particularly likes bush camping, especially in outback areas, I’ve noticed how difficult it is to find wood near good camping spots.
Firewood collection is not allowed in most national parks and we are encouraged not to pick up firewood elsewhere because of the risk of habitat destruction.
The challenge is to find ways of keeping the ambience of the campfire and even do some campfire cooking. Carrying large amounts of firewood raises the issues of weight and space but, don’t despair, there is a solution. I recently faced the challenge. Enter Google!
This is the unit I bought and modified from eBay.
Finding a solution
Doing a search for “fire pit” will produce a number of results, with some very sophisticated but often bulky and expensive options. The answer for me came from eBay. A simple, Australian-made fire pit that folds flat, only has 4 parts and weighs about 15kg. Made of 3mm flat steel it cost about $75 and once set up measures 60 x 30cm.
Modifying the fire pit
I decided it could use a couple of modifications/additions to make it even better. A number of holes drilled in the sides allowed for better breathing. A couple of bent rods together with a hole drilled each end allowed the whole thing to be moved, even with a fire going. Lastly, a BBQ grill from a hardware store made cooking a breeze and cost less than $20.
The bent rods make it really easy and safe to move the firepit.
Especially if cooking, I use a pile of heat beads to obtain a hot but manageable fire. Once these are going you only need to add small pieces of wood to give a good flame. Some red gum split into small pieces works really well.
There you have it, a compact firepit for under a $100!
So, for less than $100 I have a compact, easy to carry fire-giver without any guilt over destroying the homes of our native critters. A couple of bags of heat beads, and a bag of wood will last a number of days, so I don’t have to overload the vehicle.
Alternatively, check out the Ozpig cooker/heater.
Do you have any firewood conversing tricks up your sleeve?
About the writer...
After experiencing camping, and being a boy scout as a child, I developed a love of the outdoors and the outback. I’ve taken every opportunity to travel across the outback through South Australia, the Northern Territory, and down the Western Australian Coast. In more recent times, after becoming an empty nester, I have organised and led many outback trips for family members, friends and acquaintances, to explore some of the more remote places across the country.