Buying A Camping Fire Pit 101

CAMPING FIRE PIT BUYERS GUIDE

A guide to buying the correct Camping Fire Pit to suit your needs and budget.

camping fire pit

Camping Fire Pit 101 – With the ever increasing popularity in camping and outdoor activities, more and more people are leaving the city behind to explore this wonderful country of ours. Part of enjoying the great outdoors is cooking on the campfire and warming yourself by the flickering flames as the evening starts to cool down. With the scar that a camp fire leaves on the ground, more and more places are requiring that campfires be lit in properly constructed camping fire pits. This has led to a flood of new products to cater to this need, some good, some not so good and some great ones.
 
So what do you look for when it comes to buying a camping fire pit?
 
Here are the top 10 questions you need to ask to enable you to make an informed and educated decision and ultimately buying the camping fire pit that is right for you.
 

 

1. Does it flat pack?

2. How much does it weigh?

3. 4. Is it designed to cope with extreme conditions?

Is it modular and versatile by design?

5. Is it Australian made using quality Australian steel?

6. Is it manufactured using superior laser cutting technology?

7. Is it backed by experienced outdoor cooking enthusiasts?

8. Does it have any fiddly little bits and pieces that can be easily lost?

9. Can you buy spare parts?

10. Does your purchase come with a tax invoice and warranty?

 

 

1. Does It Flat Pack? 

flat pack camping fire pit 

With the ever increasing amount of camping gear we are taking away space is always at a premium. Non collapsible fire pits can take up considerable space in the car or camper which isn’t ideal. Folding camping fire pits are becoming increasingly popular to overcome this with a number of different designs appearing on the market. Ideally you are looking for a fire pit that has a minimal number of components (4 or less) and can be assembled or disassembled in under 15 seconds.

 

2. How Much Does It Weigh?

Camping fire pit can weigh a lot

There is only so much weight that you can legally carry in your car or tow behind it. Given that we are now taking more and more of life’s mod cons away this means that every kilogram matters. When selecting a fire pit weight should be an important factor to consider. For example, a 600mm fire pit made from 3mm steel can weigh approximately 12kg whereas the equivalent unit in 4 mm steel can weigh as much as 18kg. Add to this a 4mm thick hotplate and you can be getting close to 25kg. The reason some manufacturers use 4mm steel in for strength however there are other option to strengthen a fire pit other than increasing the thickness of the steel, which brings me to question 3.

 

3. Is It Designed To Cope With Extreme Conditions?

Camping Fire Pit strengthening folds

Wanting to keep weight down and opting for a fire pit made from 3mm thick steel you really need to look at the construction of the pit. Subjecting 3mm steel plate to the extreme temperatures experienced in a camping fire pit there is a very good chance the panels will warp. In order to avoid this warping some manufacturers fold the top and bottom edge of the side panels to increase strength without adding weight. This does add cost and complexity to the manufacturing process but it’s necessary to ensure your fire pit lasts for years to come.

 

4. Is It Modular And Versatile By Design?

Camping Fire Pit

The more you use your camping fire pit the more you are going to want to use it once you discover the pleasure of cooking over an open fire. Not to mention the incredible taste imparted into your food by the smokiness of the fire. There is a good chance too that you will want to show off your culinary skills to all your friends and family. Doing this you may find that your initial purchase although ideal for camping, just isn’t big enough when it comes to catering for that larger crowd. This is when you need to ask the question, “does the fire pit I’m looking at buying have the ability to change as my needs change?” For example, your initial purchase is great when it comes to cooking for the family however when it comes to catering for the extended family or a larger crowd you find your fire pit just doesn’t have the capacity to cope. Rather than having to buy a complete new “larger” unit it would be great if the manufacturer offed an alternative like an extension kit. By asking the question “Do you offer an extension kit to allow my fire pit to grow with my needs?” you could save yourself a lot of money in the future.

 

5. Is It Australian Mad Using Quality Australian Steel?

Camping Fire Pit Steel Selection

You’re investing a lot of money into your camping fire pit so you want to know it’s going to last. These days steel is no longer steel with inferior quality steel being imported into Australia at an alarming rate. When you buy your fire pit you want to insist on Australian steel and that your camping fire pit be made right here in Australia by Australian workers. Not only will you get quality, you are also keeping Aussies employed.

 

6. Is It Manufactured Using Superior Laser Cutting Technology?

laser Cut Camping Fire Pit

Often companies will employ 1950’s plasma cutting technology to produce components for their fire pits. Although adequate, there is a newer and better technology more suited to the job. Laser cutting offers superior cutting as it is quick, efficient and incredibly accurate resulting in reduced manufacturing costs and ultimately a cheaper product for you the consumer. Not only that, laser cutting is more environmentally friendly as it uses less energy than plasma cutting which can only be good for our environment.

 

7. Is It Backed By Experienced Outdoor Cooking Enthusiasts?

Camping Fire Pit Cooking

Chances are you are buying your camping fire pit for not only warmth but cooking as well. Some manufacturers are just sheet metal shops producing fire pits to keep their plasma or laser cutting machine busy in the quiet times. They have no passion for outdoor cooking at all. Wouldn’t it be nice if the company who sold you your camping fire pit used their products themselves and could offer after sales support and advice on not only using your fire pit but making the cooking experience easy and fun.  Ask the seller the question, “Do you have a passion for outdoor cooking?”  And “Do you use your own products?”

 

8. Does It Have Any Fiddly Little Bits & Pieces That Can Be Easily Lost?

Camping Fire Pit

Many camping fire pits on the market today started life as just that, a fire pit. Over time they have evolved into multi-purpose units for not only heating but also barbecuing, spit roasting and general campfire cooking. The problem with this is that sometimes fiddly bits and pieces are added to the fire pit to adapt it in order to gain the extra functionality. An example of this could be the addition of brackets to support a spit roasting shaft and motor. These pieces can easily be lost. Imagine you are camping in the middle of nowhere and are preparing to spit roast your leg of lamb only to find you lost one of the support brackets when you packed up at the last camp. To avoid this you should look for a unit that combines the most functions with the minimum number of components. Ideally you are looking for no more than 5 components to allow barbecuing, spit roasting and camp cooking.

 

9. Can You Buys Spare Parts?

Camping Fire Pit Outlet

In the event that you do happen to lose a part to your fire pit does the manufacturer offer replacement parts instead of trying to sell you a complete new unit? Not only that, can you order online and will they ship to anywhere in Australia, like the Caravan Parks or Post Office at your next destination? There’s nothing worse than going to the seller’s website to order a part, only to find you can’t order online. Instead, you have to go in-store or travel to one of their agents who may be 100’s of kilometers away from home or where you’re traveling. 

 

10. Does Your Purchase Come With A Tax Invoice And Warranty?

Camping Fire Pit I nstructions

With the ease that an internet based business can be launched these days, it can in some cases be hard to know if you’re dealing with a legitimate business. One way to determine this is to ask a few simple questions like “will I get a tax invoice (containing ABN) with my purchase” and “Does my product come with warranty?” The answers to these questions will give you a good idea about the business you are dealing with. Not only that, the peace of mind knowing that you are dealing with a legitimate company that has to abide by Australian Consumer Law can be reassuring if anything ever goes wrong with your product.

 

I hope you have found this information useful and that it has given you the knowledge to confidently make your purchasing decision. 

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