Summer Gear Hit: The Firebox

No more Cro-Magnon fires.
No more Cro-Magnon fires.

It doesn’t often happen on a paddling trip that a piece of gear we’re testing becomes one of the highlights. Literally the highlight of our recent trip along the La Cloche Mountains coastline near Killarney, Georgian Bay, was the Folding Firebox Stove – a diminutive but powerful piece of hardware that will impress even the most seasoned gearheads and camp chefs.

Roughly the size of a thin paperback, it packs away into the bottom or side pocket of your pack. Unfolded, it is still small but can safely support the biggest pot in our GSI camp cookware set.

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It generates a surprising degree of heat with easily collected twigs, bark, leaves, pine needles and the like; the key here is to keep a goodly stash of fuel close by, especially when you want to boil water. If you’re frying, you won’t need as much fuel, since coals will provide the lower, even heat you’re aiming for. And if you’re aiming for the crackling campfire vibe, you can place longer sticks into the box for a blazing fire to gather around.

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You can upgrade The Firebox with various accessories.

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of The Firebox is its zero-trace ethic; it even comes with a removable bottom tray so you can dispose of ash. The Firebox has helped us to stop acting like thoughtless Cro-Magnon firemakers – no more blackening and cracking our Canadian Shield or Niagara Escarpment rocks.