Gear Guide: 5 Portable Fire Pits That Pack Up Small
Stay Warm With a Portable Fire Pit
Building a fire is one of the best parts of camping. Whether there’s a chill in the air or not, there’s something so inviting about the warm glow of a campfire. Fires also serve as a communal event, gathering together campers at the end of the night and eliciting conversation and laughter. And let’s not forget the iconic s’more: camping’s favorite dessert and friend to the bonfire.
There’s something mesmerizing about the flicker of the flames, the breathing coals, and the crackling and popping of firewood.
But basic fire safety tells us that uncontained fires are dangerous, which is why fire pits are essential. Particularly at a campground with others nearby, or on public land, fires should not be started without a fire safety plan in place.
In fact, before starting any fire, be sure to check with local state and park regulations to see whether an open flame is permitted. In times of drought, some counties or states may ban fires and it’s important to abide by these mandates to avoid devastating wildfires. What’s more, for wood-burning fire pits, always use local approved firewood. Don’t bring in wood from other regions as it may introduce foreign pests.
Why Get a Portable Fire Pit?
Fire pits offer a handy way to keep your fire controlled. They corral the coal, embers, and flame in a container and prevent runaway burn. Propane based fire pits are even safer, with no hot coals or embers and the ability to control the size of the flame.
Backyard fire pits tend to be heavy, made of cast iron or thick steel. These clunky items aren’t meant to travel. But portable fire pits can go anywhere These nifty contraptions pack up small, making them ideal for space-saving travel in an RV. Some are so compact you could tuck them in a backpack.
Portable Fire Pits That Pack Up Small
- Dimensions-opened: 13.5 inches long x 10 inches wide x 11 inches tall
- Grilling Area: 13 inches x 10 inches
- Weight: 3.3 pounds
- Doubles as a Grill and Firepit
- Stainless steel construction
- Comes in 2 sizes
- Price Range: ($)
Sometimes simpler is better. This is the case with the UCO flatpack. A simple folding pyramid design makes this easy to set up and pack up. Doubling as a grill and firepit, the Flatpack is a handy tool if you’re looking to combine your gear.
The stainless-steel construction makes the Flatpack feel sturdy and strong. Position the air holes in the direction of the wind to feed the flame or fan the coals. In windy conditions, use the Flatpack’s sidewalls to block wind and keep embers from flying.
The Flatpack is simple, yet effective. It may not be big enough to keep the whole campsite warm, but it gets the job done for a small fire for two. Packing up to the size of an iPad, there’s no reason not to bring the Flatpack along.
Snow Peak Takibi Fire PIt
- Size: 17.75 inches long x 17.75 inches wide x 13 inches high
- Weight: 31.5 inches
- Doubles as grill and firepit
- Stainless steel construction
- Large enough for a crowd
- Price range: ($$$)
Snow Peak, a Japanese outdoor brand, specializes in minimalistic products built to last a lifetime. Their Takibi Fire Pit is no exception. In true Japanese fashion, the fire pit is artfully designed and meticulously crafted using quality materials.
The Takibi is designed to be modular, making it a one-stop product for your firepit and grilling needs. Cook low and slow with coals using the coal bed or remove the grill plate and ramp up the flames. A ground plate captures falling ash and allows you to set up the fire on almost any surface.
Crafted from stainless steel and chrome-plated steel, the Takibi is built for lifetime use, hence the hefty price tag. “Takibi”—Japanese for open-air fire, delivers on durability and design. Gather round for “takibi time,” as Snow Peak says.
Camco Portable Fire Ring
- Dimensions Opened: 27 inches wide x 8-5/8 inches high
- Comes with storage bag
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- Aesthetically appealing Evergreen tree design
- Price range: ($)
Seasoned campers are familiar with the rusty rings found at many campsites. These large and heavy contraptions do a good job of keeping a fire contained, but not all campsites have them. Take the fire ring with you wherever you go with the Camco Portable Fire Ring.
Packing up flat, the portable fire ring couldn’t be simpler. The steel construction provides a barrier for the flames while letting in vital airflow through the charming tree cutouts.
The Camco Portable Fire Ring comes with a handy storage sack, so coal and soot don’t get all over your storage compartment in transit. The most important consideration with this portable fire pit is to check the local regulations regarding on-the-ground fires. Always know how to clean up the remains of a fire and practice leave no trace principles. Try to only build a fire where one has already been built. This practice helps preserve the appearance of our shared natural areas.
- Dimensions: 13.5 inches high x 13.5 inches diameter
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Made in the USA
- No smoke or spark
- Steel construction
- Price range: ($$)
Personally, I love the smell of campfire smoke in my clothes. But for some, this is the exact reason to avoid campfires. For those that love everything about the fire except the smoke, this pellet fire pit is a natural choice.
Using wood pellets as fuel, the Flame Genie produces no smoke or spark. It requires no fan or battery, making it silent to operate. The mesmerizing dance of the flames from this cylindrical fire pit is enchanting. A custom carrying case with handles makes packing up this fire pit in your RV’s exterior storage easy.
The Flame Genie is ideal for campgrounds that don’t allow wood fires, which are quite common. With a tall, strong flame, this fire pit is ideal for entertaining a larger group.
- Dimensions Opened: 12 inches long x 12 inches wide x 11 inches high
- Dimensions Packed: 4 inches long x 4 inches wide x 14 inches high
- Cooking Area: 11 inches long x 11 inches wide or 121 square inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Stainless steel alloy and aircraft aluminum construction
- Price Point: ($$)
Frequent RVers know that the key to saving space in an RV’s limited storage space are products that serve more than one purpose. Combine your camp grill and fire pit into one compact contraption with the Trailblazer 2-in-1.
Designed much like a camp chair, the Trailblazer’s accordion-style feet provide a sturdy foundation for grilling or building a blaze.
Ember guards prevent dangerous situations in windy conditions. An under-mounted hammock captures falling hot ash and makes this fire pit a friend to leave-no-trace principles. The grill grate is large enough to accommodate a full-size cast-iron pan or a handful of hot dogs. When all the s’mores have been made, let this fire pit cool down, then pack it up in its carrying case.