Portable Campfire

Sometimes, especially in urban settings, there is no provision for a campfire. Let me make a distinction between bonfires and campfires… a bonfire is very large and too hot to get close to, and a campfire is the right size to cook over. This reminds me of an old Indian saying: “the White Man builds a fire and backs away from it while the Indian builds a fire and hovers over it”. A campfire can be both aesthetic and practical.

The method that I use most often when I am an exhibitor is using a dedicated garbage can lid placed rim-side up on 3 rocks or bricks. This allows air-flow underneath it and protects the grass beneath it. The rim helps to contain the firewood. The lid alone will become scorched but to minimize that effect you can buffer the heat by lining it with small stones, dirt or sand before building the fire on top of it. Another convenient temporary fire tray is a metal wheelbarrow. It’s best to line it first with the materials just mentioned so as to protect the metal and wood under-structure. Terra cotta flower pot trays or chimnias should also be lined first because they are more fragile do to heat extremes.

In any case, these temporary fireplaces when elevated protect the ground or surface beneath while minimizing damage and can often virtually leave no trace once removed.

Bookmark and Share

4 thoughts on “Portable Campfire

  1. We use the temporary fire method all the time around the house and when camping. I have used old plow discs, snow shovels, old charcoal grills, pieces of 55 gallon drums,and metal wheel barrows.
    Thanks Ken


  2. You have a delightful and informative web site! I would like to get my little girl (age 8) interested in survival skills. She is starting to show the “heart of a rifleman,” and is about ready to go out on weekend jaunts with Daddy. She, her little brother, and Mom are already avid campers, but we can do better!



  3. thanks for the post, inspired me to make a low impact fire pit. i used a large steel mixing bowl, some rocks in the bottom to absorb heat, and the frame to an end table for elevation. works great and light for traveling.


  4. My grandmother had a snappier version of that saying:

    “Indian build little fire – cook food. White man build big fire – cook self.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *