We camped in the high country for a week (May 2012) , and there was several times when the firepit was really needed… on the first night, we all camped around in a circle (3 families) at Craigs Hut. It was freezing cold, started snowing, and we needed a fire badly.. but where we camped, the existing fireplace was about 15 meters away, behind one of the tents, so we couldn’t really use it. With the snowpeak firepit, we could set up a fire exactly where we wanted, without damaging the grass or ground. This really saves people starting small fireplaces all over the place, which is why fires are often banned.
The second night, we had plenty of room, and the existing firepit was in just the right place, in the middle of the three camps.. but again it was freezing cold, and we wanted a large fire to keep warm. You can’t really cook on a large fire, we wanted a meal quickly, as we got into camp at dusk, but a large fire takes a fair while for the coals to burn down, and you just can’t get near it to cook… so again the snowpeak firepit was great to get a small fire going, and everyone cooked their meals on the snowpeak grill.
The third night, again we had plenty of room, an existing fireplace was in the middle, but we got to camp again after dark, and being lower down, it was warmer, and it wasn’t worth lighting a big fire, firewood was a long carry away, so we all just again used the snowpeak firepit… being small, it would use about a 1/4 the wood from a normal fire, but since it burns so well, and the heat isn’t going into the ground, it is still plenty of fire to keep warm, and easily controlled to cook with… snowpeak also have a set of firetongs, and I found these brilliant, we used them constrantly. When cooking, you can adjust the fire easily, and when sitting around the fire, they are great to just poke the fire and play with it, as you do.
On the fourth night, we ended up camping in Bright, at the caravan park on the river.. they said fires were allowed, as long as you had a firepit! No worries, I got just the thing i said :)… it really is so much better camping when you can have a fire. I think it’s what it’s all about… anyway, also a few pics, in the morning, after cooking breaky, the lower legs of the firepit don’t get hot.. you can see the coals in these pics are still red, but I can pick it up but the legs, and tip the coals into another firepit.. then just leave it on the ground for 10 minutes and it will cool down ready to pack away.. the morning in Bright, it was still a bit warm when I wanted to pack it away, so I dipped it in the river, which also gave it a good clean… this is such a great little product, it’s not super cheap, but it’s top quality, and fair dinkum, you’ll get your moneys worth the first night you sit down around it with a perfect little fire going, and you’ll say “crikey, how can life get better than this !”:)
we were lucky enough to be able to do a trip thru the simpson recently.. took our new trailer I designed, east to west across the simpson, then back up thru finke gorge. Gave the firepit a good workout. We did most of our cooking on it. Definatly in some parts of the desert, firewood is scarce, so we had a bag full of wood we’d collect in places there was plenty. The firepit is so economical on wood, that we could easily carry enough for a few days, so always had enough wood. The other great thing was this firepit leaves no trace.. a fire on the ground leaves a permanent scar. The firepit mostly burns down to fine ash, so either there was nearly nothing left at all, or we’d dig a small hole and bury the small amount of coals that were left over.. so it was really nice in these beautiful desert areas, to pack up camp and leave no trace of us being there… the scar from a fire, and the coals left behind can last for decades..
The other thing I found, is that the firepit is not just a fire, it’s a whole cooking system. You can buy bag loads of firecooking things, cast iron tripods, things that swing out over a fire etc, but they are heavy, take up a lot of room, and still rely on a fire on the ground. The firepit has such a beautiful fire going, but with the way the grill attaches on top, it’s your cooking equipment also.. you can have the grill, or hotplate, put your billy on top, and the heat is easily adjustable. You can raise or lower the grill, and it’s no worries to add some small bits of wood as you need to.. once the cooking is finished, lift the grill off, stock up the fire again with some large bits of wood, and it’s back to a perfect fire to sit around and enjoy.