As the title suggests the Fire Box is a compact, fold-away grill, whilst still being light enough for long expeditions in wilderness areas. Growing up, any movie featuring a bunch of people in the outdoors had them sat around a campfire enjoying a freshly cooked meal, not huddled under a tarp eating from a foil pouch. The the idea of a hot and smokey piece of food whilst out in the wilderness is always a welcome one, so we were eager to see how the Fire Box faired on our adventures.
It’s obvious this isn’t a choice for high mountain activities with limited fuel sources, so we mostly used the Fire Box on lower level multi-day treks or bike packing adventures. Weighing in at just 164 grams and folding neatly away into a nylon carry case it fits almost unnoticeably in your pack. Added to this, you can use fuel sources found on route and it could be argued that this is one of the most lightweight approaches to boiling water and heating food.
It takes no time at all to master the unfolding and assembly of the Fire Box. It quickly slots together to form a solid structure. Unfortunately, with all the slots and holes it means that cleaning can be a bit of a pain and usually on returning home a deep scrub is required.
‘Leave no trace,’ is an important factor whilst wild-camping, especially in woodland environments. With the Fire Box providing a platform away from the ground you are free from scorching the ground and it is easy to regulate the amount of fuel needed to cook a meal, limiting the amount of wood taken from a single area. This ticks a couple of important boxes for us, and although we do like to collect a few sticks to use as kindling we often included 6 pieces of coal amongst our kit which provided ample heat to cook and boil water for 2 nights. The Fire Box also works as a great windshield and pan holder for a meths/alcohol stove, so you have plenty of options, especially if travelling to an area you are unfamiliar with.
The Fire Box has a grate size of 205 mm x 205mm so it is best suited for solo adventures. The height of 80mm gave us a bit of concern that food would be quite close to the heat and we found it best to let wood or coal bed in before cooking, with the initial heat being great for boiling up a pot of water. With 3 pieces of coal we easily managed to cook a variety of meat and vegetables. The Fire Box also creates a warming light source to eat around.
It is best to bring along a cloth to clean and dry the grill before folding away into its pouch. Being made of titanium the heat transfer is quick but equally so is the cooling process so, once you are finished you don’t need to sit around for ages waiting for the stove to cool. Remember to give the ground a good soaking just in case any embers have managed to sneak through. Alternatively, a piece of foil can be placed underneath the stove before lighting to better protect the ground.
As with many of their products Vargo have taken a simple idea, lightened the load with the use of titanium, added just a slight bit of extra attention to the design, and created a grill which we would find excuses to cook with a regular basis. It packs away almost unnoticeably and provides a heat source for cooking an evening meal with minimal fuel required. Whether it’s a forest walk or coastal path we found the Fire Box to be a great companion, and with a solid build we expect it to last for many years of adventures.
Trek Scotland is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...