Portable camp fire grates...?

basing110

Observer
Been doing a decent amount of glamping (trailer) with the family recently and not as much with the roof top tent. Last time at camp site the fire rings were really tall and the holes in the side where about half way up instead of near the ground... that combined with lots of ash at the bottom made for some Smokey fires and me having to frequently keep turning the logs to get any sort of heat and attempt to keep smoke level down.

this got me thinking since I try and make my purchases multi use and efficient to where I can use them for both glamping or overlanding where weight and space is always a concern for me.

So that got me thinking we use a fire log grate all the time inside of the house so that oxygen can get underneath with little resistance and ash falls down and away which means less turning of the logs and the fires tend to be hotter and burn more clean(less smoke.)

so with all that said does anyone use anything like that when glamping or overlanding? Ideal would be somthing collapsing or easily taken apart and put back together with no tools and would last... maybe some bent rod iron pieces that feed through a tube to support itself? Or some type of stamped steel that is slotted and when taken apart is flat and pack able that still lets ash fall below?
 

4000lbsOfGoat

Well-known member
While I can't say that it's "collapsing or easily taken apart" (or light) I carry a cutoff section of a 55 gallon drum (about the bottom quarter) with holes drilled here and there. I often camp where there are no fire rings at all and when there is a fire ring, I don't use it. They are generally super inefficient (as you've noted) and waste a lot of heat. A small amount of wood in the barrel will generate more heat and last much longer than an equivalent amount in a random fire ring. The barrel also contains the fire better than any rock fire ring will (i.e. it's safer).

Using a barrel I can also kill the fire easily without ruining my coals by dumping water on the outside of the barrel.

Yes, it is bulky but it works so much better than any alternative. To conserve packed space I fill the barrel with wood. The wood would need the space anyway and the barrel keeps it all contained.
 

fwop

zzzzzz
I have a Snow Peak Takibi fire pit -- it works wonderfully and it flat-packs. It's a luxury item, but works great for glamping and overlanding (a lot of Aussie's swear by this style of portable fire-pit)
It's one of my favorite items and brings me joy each time we use it --- it also is good for gathering around the fire, as it radiates heat better than an in-ground or stone fire-pit. WIth accessories you can use it as a grill and there is even an insert that allows charcoal to be used efficiently.
 

Knickter

Active member
I have a Snow Peak Takibi fire pit -- it works wonderfully and it flat-packs. It's a luxury item, but works great for glamping and overlanding (a lot of Aussie's swear by this style of portable fire-pit)
It's one of my favorite items and brings me joy each time we use it --- it also is good for gathering around the fire, as it radiates heat better than an in-ground or stone fire-pit. WIth accessories you can use it as a grill and there is even an insert that allows charcoal to be used efficiently.
I am also thinking of buying one, glad I got to read your comment on this
 
Not exactly what you’re looking for but I use one of these - https://firesideoutdoor.com

I’ve used it extensively where there is no existing fire pit or simply a stone ring. It elevates the fire on a mesh that allows for air to get under the fire to promote a cleaner and better fire, allows a grid for cooking and all folds to the size of a pack able chair.

The mesh is tight enough to keep ash and coals from falling through.

I also have the “mat” to catch ash and embers to allows to leave a clean site.

It’s a little tricky to use where a fire pit is provided (national parks for instance) where they specifically prohibit fires anywhere outside of the provided fire pit, but I have used it in those instances after a quick chat with the host or ranger.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

PlacidWaters

Adventurer
I have one of these (don’t know if it meets your falling ashes requirement):

Fold-a-Flame link
Marret, I use a similar but cheaper and clearly inferior fire pit, the UCCO Flat Pack. I like it, but I find one difficulty with the long narrow shape: If you cut the wood to a uniform length (to fit in the fire pit lengthwise), the pieces tend to fall to the bottom with no air space even if they start out criss-crossed. For a while I cut half of the pieces to fit crosswise, which improved airflow, but found that tedious. However, once you get a good bed of coals, you can burn larger pieces, up to 4" in diameter, and you get a longer fire for a lot less wood than a conventional fireplace. I see yours is 15" wide, whereas mine is only 10" wide. I really like you Fold-a-Flame!
 

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marret

Active member
Marret, I use a similar but cheaper and clearly inferior fire pit, the UCCO Flat Pack. I like it, but I find one difficulty with the long narrow shape: If you cut the wood to a uniform length (to fit in the fire pit lengthwise), the pieces tend to fall to the bottom with no air space even if they start out criss-crossed. For a while I cut half of the pieces to fit crosswise, which improved airflow, but found that tedious. However, once you get a good bed of coals, you can burn larger pieces, up to 4" in diameter, and you get a longer fire for a lot less wood than a conventional fireplace. I see yours is 15" wide, whereas mine is only 10" wide. I really like you Fold-a-Flame!
There are compromises with all of these. The Fold-a-Flame is well made, but heavy.
Could you cut a piece of extruded steel to fit in the valley?
 

frans

Adventurer
Try burning redwood. Burns hot and bright with not much smoke. Only downside is it burns quickly
 

PlacidWaters

Adventurer
Marrot said:
There are compromises with all of these. The Fold-a-Flame is well made, but heavy.
Could you cut a piece of extruded steel to fit in the valley?

I do think the V shape is the problem. A flat bottom would help. Others have suggest tin foil balls placed in the bottom, or a bed of charcoal. What I like most is not having to carry a lot of wood. I do carry dry hard wood from my wood pile rather than gathering sticks on site. I split it to about 1/2" to 2" to 3".
 
Interesting idea, never put any thought into this before, but what comes to mind is a properly sized section of chain link fence. Put some hooks on to suspend it, with weight on it it will sag down hammock style but will be adjustable and as a multi use bonus it could be an emergency traction mat or drag it around camp to clean up leaves, twigs and rocks.
 

Ragman

Member
There are getting to be a ton of portable fire pits out there in all price ranges. One of the benefits of the Snow Peak is that you can set it up inside most provided fire rings in the parks and thereby be "legal". I have never seen an actual log grate that folds down and would pack easily (but as a side note I do use one in my outside patio fire ring)

Here is a YouTube review of three popular pits if you are interested-

 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
This is what prefer, I bought a small and a large Grid from Amazon, The price was good so it was pointless making one my self, And I also bought a Cast Iron Cook Set.




My BBQ Grid.jpg
 
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fwop

zzzzzz
This is what prefer, I bought a small and a large Grid from Amazon, The price was good so it was pointless making one my self, And I also bought a Cast Iron Cook Set.




View attachment 658193
Do you build the fire on top of this?
The pictures on Amazon show this just being used as a grill - not a fire grate, as the original poster is looking for.
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Do you build the fire on top of this?
The pictures on Amazon show this just being used as a grill - not a fire grate, as the original poster is looking for.
Yeah you build the fire under it and for cooking I also have Cast Iron BBQ plates so I can cook on top of it as well as Cast Iron Cookware / Pots and Pans.
 
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