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Why Use a Fire Pan?
The best way to build a minimal impact campfire is to use a self-contained unit known as a fire pan. A fire pan is a metal tray or pan, like a metal oil drain pan (new of course) at least three inches high.
It seems that everywhere you look these days at all the outdoor recreation areas there is an old rusted , metal fire ring of some sort, old blackened rocks with mounds of ashes and half-burnt wood, YUK! And the ground has been sterilized. The use of a fire pan can reduce the impact of fire on the ground, rocks and vegetation and it’s relatively compact size encourages the burning of less wood. A fire pan user can easily dispose of the ashes without leaving behind the eyesore of old coals and blackened rocks. In Leave No Trace style nobody will know a fire was ever there.
How to use a Fire Pan
• Elevate your fire pan on bricks or rocks so the heat does not sterilize the ground or damage vegetation.
• Burn all your wood or charcoals down into a fine, white ash.
• Dispose of ashes by burying them in small hole or by scattering in a manner that won’t leave them visible to others.
A Commercial Fire Pan is available and very convenient for camping also a Metal Cook table is excellent for Dutch Oven Cooking. The use of these save the ground your on and keeps you from a lot of bending over.
For backpacking a lightweight stove is the lowest impact way to cook your meals as opposed to building a fire.
Please, Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly
Dan “Camp Master”