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Safety first: Ignik debuts portable campfire

Did you know... today, on the public lands of the American West, our summer campfires are under threat. The aggressor: wildfires.

If the path of widespread fires and restrictions continues in the years ahead, the idea of bringing along a gas-powered fireplace may be the best way to keep the flames of this camping pastime stoked. Ignik, a Washington-based outdoor company designing what they call sustainable wilderness heating products, has conjured a solution in the FireCan.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen some of the most destructive wildfires in US history. In 2021 California recorded its second-worst year of wildfires on record, burning more than 2.5 million acres. And the worst year in California history, 2020, saw nearly twice as much acreage burned at 4.3 million.

As fires grow in the dry tinderboxes we call our national forests, officials are forced to take stages of action restricting recreational fire. And by stage two, all campfires and cooking fires made of wood, charcoal or any other combustible solid matter you can conjure become prohibited altogether within the designated region.

There is an exception to fire restrictions though: the use of devices powered by propane. Propane stoves provide immediate shut off and don’t leave unattended embers laying around to catch a floor of pine needles. Yet, the gas fireplaces we know from backyards and restaurant patios are cumbersome devices we wouldn’t exactly pack in the back of the Subaru for a weekend getaway. This is where the outdoor-savvy design of the FireCan steps in.

In short:

The Ignik FireCan is a portable gas-fire pit. It’s a rectangular box, 15 inches long by seven inches wide. Its body is constructed of steel with a high-temperature coating and weighs 11 pounds. The FireCan has a removable lid and propane hookup on the back. The shape and lid style are inspired by the surplus military ammo can. If you’ve spent time on river trips, off-road or in the military, you know the ammo can as a beloved metal box used to carry many things beyond ammunition — the shape of the can works well for storing and stacking in the jigsaw puzzle that is packing for an extended outing.

All for about $200.

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