How To Light The Bonfire
To light it, you can use kindling or other appropriate fire-starting materials to get it going.
The easiest way to light the Bonfire is to include a firestarter block in the middle of the stack of logs, and light that with a long lighter or match.
It takes a couple of minutes to heat up, and before you know it, youll have a roaring, warming firepit!
The first few minutes result in smoke being created.
This is normal and happens because the Bonfire needs time to heat up and get that important secondary burn airflow going, which reduces the amount of smoke it gives off.
Give it a few minutes and youll notice the amount of smoke reduce significantly.
I wouldnt say its 100% smoke-free however there is very little smoke once the firepit is up and roaring.
Once your firepit has heated up, unsurprisingly but worth pointing out, it also gets VERY hot to the touch especially at the top. So dont try to move a Solo Stove during or after use, as it will burn you.
Also, of course, keep kids, pets, blankets, and clothing away from the firepits flames.
Puffy blankets such as our Rumpl in the picture above are often shown being used around campfires, but you have to be careful to keep them well away as they are flammable.
Youll also notice our energetic adventure dog Kepler is not anywhere near the fire in these photos, intentionally so.
How Does The Solo Stove Bonfire Work
This is the most popular question we get. Some people ask how on Earth does this thing work?. Customers are simply blown away by how easy it is to start a great fire in this stove. Similarly, they are even more impressed with how long and clean a burn they get. Heres how it works.
You start the fire at the base of the stove, just as you would with any fire pit or bonfire. Hot air rises from the vent holes at the base, fueling the fire below and allowing preheated oxygen to make its way to the vent holes at the top of the stove.
The ash pan keeps the vent holes from becoming blocked and also helps protect items below the stove from absorbing any heat.
A very sturdy base plate, which is what your hardwood rests on, allows air to circulate from below while the ash falls safely to the pan below.
Now this is where the smokeless bit comes into play. The vent holes at the top of the Solo Stove Bonfire allow heated oxygen to provide fuel to the flame, resulting in a very hot burn and near smokeless afterburn.
Portability: Best For Backyards And Car Camping
Setting up and putting away the Bonfire takes about a minute. Aside from the fire ring which helps focus the heat, the entire drum is one piece and altogether it only weighs about 20 lbs. The whole thing is easy to move since its fairly lightweight considering its size and burn power. Given its size, the best place for a Solo Stove Bonfire is in a backyard or for an overnight car camping trip. It can easily be used instead of a backyard chiminea .
We used our Bonfire while car camping instead of the pre-existing fire pit in order to avoid building a fire over other people’s leftover garbage. We saved money on fire starters and we were able to “leave no trace” when we left. The Bonfire includes a black nylon carrying bag with a drawstring, handle, and Solo Stove logo.
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Why Use A Fire Pit
Whats the point of a fire pit? Why not just use a ring of rocks?
In the backyard, having a fire pit makes obvious sense. A ring of rocks doesnt look very clean and might not be safe if you have kids around. Semi-permanent fire pits are easier to build and look better when you see them every day.
Designated, paid campsites usually have some sort of fire ring or fire pit as well. They have thousands of campers use them every year and it wouldnt work well or be safe to have people making their fires anywhere they wanted. Sometimes these pits arent the cleanest, full of others garbage or the random junk the previous campers burnt last.
Overlanding or camping in free camping areas often just have a ring of rocks or pile of coals where the fire was last. These too can be full of garbage and in a free camping area are rarely cleaned up to leave no trace.
Bringing your own fire pit can help with all these problems.
The Solo Stoves fire pits look great so you can have them set up in the backyard without looking like a cheap campsite.
In a campsite or free camping area, using your own fire pit keeps your fire clean of others garbage. You know exactly what wood and firestarter went into your fire. You know you arent breathing plastic garbage from less caring campers.
When you leave, you can pack up your fire pit and all traces of the fire to take out with you. No one will know you had a fire there. Leave no trace.
Does Solo Stove Radiate Heat
Solo Stove fire pits will provide radiant heat as long as you properly manage the logs on the fire. The amount of heat depends on a variety of factors, including the maturity of the embers, the type of wood that you are using, and even the weather conditions. Hot embers put off as much heat as anything, so managing a constant fire that develops scorching hot embers is part of the puzzle for creating a hot fire.
Regardless, you should have no problem staying warm as you sit around the fire. Also be considerate of which fire pit you choose, and how many people are gathered around the fire. If you try to circle a Ranger with 10 people, you will obviously have to sit further from the fire, and it will be a smaller flame at that.
The Yukon is the largest product and will work best for keeping a gathering of people nice and warm. The Bonfire is in between but closer in size to the Ranger than the Yukon.
Some worry that the double-wall construction may insulate heat output, but remember that the air between the walls is also heated. You would be mistaken if you thought the outer walls might stay cool. Metal is an efficient conductor of heat, so even with the double-walled construction, you should stay warm deep into the night.
Are Smokeless Fire Pits Safer
A no-smoke fire pit means youll inhale less smoke while enjoying your time outside. Less inhaled smoke is better for everyone, especially people who have lung conditions like asthma or COPD.
However, smokeless fire pits burn hotter than standard fire pits. The flames also typically stretch much higher. Bigger and hotter flames do create a higher risk of being burned. If you follow the same safety precautions you do around any fire, you can enjoy it safely.
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Solo Stove Heat Deflector
The best way to stay warm with your Solo Stove is with the new long-anticipated Solo Stove heat deflector.
It comes in two pieces of 304 stainless steel and allows heat to travel out towards your seating area, dramatically improving your comfort.
The solo stove heat deflector is especially great for those cold nights of winter fires with friends and family.
5. Can you cook on a Solo Stove fire pit?
People always ask can you cook on a solo stove fire pit, and the answer is yes with their new cast iron grill kit for cooking right on top of your solo stove, now you can grill steaks, burgers, vegetables, or whatever you want on the solo stove.
Can you cook on a Solo Stove fire pit?the answer is yes, a very loud YES!
The cast iron grill kit is designed to fit all three firepits and is an amazing addon allowing you to make your firepit into a cooking surface that everyone can get close to.
If you need some cooking inspiration take a look at these 40 BACKYARD FIRE PIT RECIPIES
Why You Should Try The Solo Stove Bonfire Heat Deflector
Ive been waiting for the Solo Stove Bonfire Heat Deflector to be ready and its finally here!
One of the few negatives about Solo Stoves is that their heat is directed upward more than typical open fire pits.
But the benefit of a Solo Stove is the elimination of annoying smoke from the experience.
So during cooler weather when the whole point of a fire pit is to get warm, it makes it difficult to sit by the fire.
Thankfully that problem is now fixed and the solution is genius.
Now it is possible to have your cake and eat it too.
This is perfect for pulling up a chair or stool next to the fire pit heat deflector and feeling the warmth over your entire body.
How The Solo Stove Stand Works And Why You Need One
Ideally you would clear flammables and debris from where youre using your Solo Stove, but thats not always possible. What if youre in your backyard or on wooden flooring? This is where the Solo Stove stand steps in.
This Stand, made out of 304 Stainless Steel, is heat resistant and elevates your fire pit, allowing cool air to travel through the vent holes, keeping the bottom of your fire pit cool. You would especially need one if your fire pit is placed on heat-sensitive or uneven flooring like:
- A Wooden Deck
- Composite or PVC Decking.
- Green Grass
- Sand. Sand on the beach can be pretty uneven and so the stand helps your fire pit to sit up straight.
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Top 5 Reasons To Buy A Solo Stove Smokeless Fire Pit
There are 5 reasons for being a solo stove that makes it stand out from other firepits and make it unique.
1. Advertised as a smokeless fire pit
Solo Stove is built with a unique design that maximizes airflow through its inner walls making the burning process more complete and with little or no smoke.
According to the instructions if you keep the stack of wood inside the fire pit below the upper air vents you should have a very clean burn that is smokeless or low smoke.
Now, remember for you to have a smoke-free burn you need to first burn a hot fire with enough wood, and second, make sure your wood is dry and seasoned for burning.
2. Clean and safe for camping
The first reason is if you like camping you will know that most campsites are well used and the pre-existing firepits are used almost every night, and the problem is that some people throw anything into those firepits, garbage, etc., so they can be a breathing hazard, and really when you think about it it is disgusting.
The second reason is that the solo stove smokeless fire pit leaves no trace behind after a fire when camping, maybe just a few ounces of ashes that you can scatter anywhere without anyone ever knowing you were there.
The solo stove is also very efficient, when burning 20 lbs of firewood you are only left with around 5 ounces of wood ashes, so thats great for the environment and your wallet.
3. Modern design
The solo stove fire pit is made of 304 stainless steel
Is The Solo Stove Bonfire Worth It
Once you have any intentions of using the bonfire, its more than worth it. You get the convenience of a fire pit that you can feely transport to bring the camping experience anywhere you want it. Additionally, if the dimensions never gave this away, you can comfortably seat as many as six people around it. The bonfires efficiency is a significant factor, though, because you cant get as close to it as you would a typical campfire. Its way too hot for you even to try before the fire burns to a lower level.
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Protect Your Solo Stove Fire Pit From Weather
Now lets cover how to avoid having to do all of the things we just talked about.
I personally keep my fire pits in my garage when Im not using them. Once Ive had a fire, Ill let it burn out, wait until the fire pit and any contents cool completely, dump the ash, give it a quick wipe down and put it away.
However, if you use a fire pit regularly enough, there are going to be times when your fire pit is cooling down, or just finished cooling down, and the sky decides to open up.
You cant cover it because its still hot, and you cant move it, so it gets rained on. BTW, this is how I learned how to clean a rained-on Solo Stove.
In reality, there is a solution for this situation as well, beyond just keeping an eye on the weather, and I will talk about it further down.
Cleaning A Solo Stove Left Outside In The Elements
This is the fun part. Just kidding, its going to suckmaybe.
Fortunately for most Solo Stove owners, these fire pits are great at completely burning down most firewood to powder.
If you are doing it right , youll get a very hot and efficient burn which will leave you with much less to clean out each time. Whats left over after the fire pit cools should literally have the consistency of talcum powder.
If you are overloading with firewood, theres a good chance you may have large sections and/or chunks of unburned firewood that need to be removed in addition to the ash.
If you are in the habit of regularly cleaning your Solo Stove out after each fire, good on ya. Keep doing that. This is going to be a lot quicker and less messy for you.
Not to mention, you wont have to build your next fire on top of wet ash and old firewood. This will help you get your Solo Stove started quicker and reduce excess fire pit smoke overall.
If not, get ready to get your hands dirty.
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You Have To Wait For The Fire To Go Out Naturally
Solo Stoves are designed to burn wood until it turns into fine ash, which is great for clean-up. Unfortunately, its not great if you want to end your fire pit session early. The fire pit doesnt have any vents that can cut off the air flow and extinguish the fire before the wood is fully combusted. You cant pour water over the Solo Stove, either, because the water will clog the system when it combines with the fine ash. This means you need to wait for the fire to go out naturally.
Solo Stove does sell a shield that keeps sparks and embers inside, which is handy if you have to temporarily walk away while its burning.
Solo Stove also sells a lid, but recommends waiting to cap it until the fire has burned down and there are no flames present.
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Design: Looks Good Burns Better
The Solo Stove Bonfire is a 19.5 inch-wide wood-burning fire pit made of highly durable, premium-grade stainless steel. The steel drum has a minimal design and polished finish that didnt take away from the old-school campfire aesthetic we were looking forand it looked just as good when it wasnt burning.
The pit itself is designed for the most efficient fire youve ever experienced. Its a double-wall wood-burning firepit. The flames build from two spots. It has a base that allows oxygen to directly fuel the embers from the bottom and vent holes near the top of the canister that allow heated oxygen to fuel existing flames.
There is an ash pan at the bottom that catches loose ash and keeps the pit from burning the ground its on. Even if youre as familiar with outdoor campfires as we are, using this fire pit will totally surprise you. The fire in our Solo Stove was higher and hotter than any fire weve ever built with hardly any effort. It was easy to ignite and we really could not believe how long the fire lasted.
One of the Solo Stoves best features is that it claims to produce less smoke than your average fire. We felt we like we could sit closer to the fire without smoke in our face and also pitch our tents/park our car closer to the fire without having to worry about excess smoke drafting in.
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From The Back Deck To The Backwoods
Spending more time outdoors and in nature has been the bright spot of quarantine. We have packed in more hiking and camping in the past six months than in the last six years. A big plus of the Solo Stove Bonfire pit is that its portable. A perfect camping companion, it doesnt take up too much space to transport.
Not to get too technical into the magic behind Solo Stoves Signature Airflow Design, but the strategically placed holes in the double-wall structure suck the air from the bottom and feed the heated oxygen to the top. This results in a lively flame with intense heat, but with minimal smoke and ash leftover.
Since its designed to keep smoke to a minimum, its great to take on nature adventures, because its not spewing ash and blowing smoke in the wind. When camping, this is especially important, as fire safety in the great outdoors should always be a top priority. Solo Stove is the perfect car camping fire pit as it comes with a black carrying case with a handle for ease of transportation. The snug-fitting case is also great for storage.
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