Not all of us have the survival skills (or life skills, for that matter) to make a fire from a pile of wood. And even when we've turned to a canister of lighter fluid to get our evening bonfire going, there's still that side effect of those crackling logs: all the eye-singeing, hot dog-scented smoke.
It's why BioLite—the company that made the outdoors just a bit more bearable with inventions like a camping-specific pizza stove—spent two years developing a new way to build a campfire. Its new FirePit (which has raised a mind-boggling $2.2 million on Kickstarter, well past its $100,000 goal) claims to solve all the problems associated with starting a fire in the great outdoors.
The secret lies in the rechargeable fan, which sits on one side of the rectangular mesh cage and blows air through 51 jets onto the burning wood. More oxygen means firewood burns hotter—without all the annoying smoke. And because you can adjust the fan's speed, you can switch up your campfire's intensity from background ambiance to roaring inferno capable of scorching the blackest of marshmallows.
An insertable grilling rack means you can cook dinner over a wood-fired hearth, though the FirePit works with charcoal, too. Further, the fan's adjustable speed actually gives you a bit of control when it comes to outdoor cooking.
Admittedly, this portable campfire's small size is probably more suited for smaller groups than a whole wilderness expedition; if you already enjoy camping, chances are you probably know your way around a fire. It's more geared toward suburbanites and city slickers taking a weekend trip—or those just setting up an all-out s'mores party in their Brooklyn backyard.
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