East Coast Streamers

Adventures in the Guest House

Evolution of the Campfire – The Solo Stove Bonfire After a Year of Use

Who doesn’t love a roaring campfire? The ambiance of the campfire creates camping memories that last long beyond our last camping trip. If we were to do a non-scientific poll, I’m certain that the campfire would rank at or near the top of the most memorable parts of camping.

Campfire methods are a matter of preference and circumstance. You will find every range of camp fire setup from making do with whatever you find to propane powered flames to setting up the ultimate roaring campfire. After a full day of hiking or sightseeing, I like nothing more than to relax at the campsite, watching the sun set and the stars appear. The campfire and the sky now the center of attention.

I have to admit, over the years, we have lit up our fire-pit in the driveway or deck and successfully recreated one of our favorite camping experiences. Even some of our friends who don’t really like camping sit with and enjoy the quiet, the stars, and the mesmerizing flames of the fire.

When we converted from backpackers to tent camping we were generally satisfied with the fire ring most campgrounds provide; you know, the one with a cooking grate built in. You get that smoky, roasted taste you expect from food cooked over a fire. You also get that smoky, roasted smell all over your clothes, hair, sleeping bag, tent – you see where I’m going here.

After a few years of tent camping, our cooking game graduated to the next logical choice – a portable compact propane grill. The Freedom Grill is convenient and works as well as our full size home grill. We still used the campsite fire ring for our morning and evening fire. Since then, we have made several more camping improvements. We bought better quality tents, canopies and gear. And then, we bought an RV, and a Blackstone grill.

Things change, camping equipment evolves, and we expect more.

Our newest addition to our camping gear is the Solo Stove Bonfire (solostove.com). This really is the ultimate evolution of the fire pit. One of the best things is there is very little smoke from the fire. Although this may be a negative to those who love the smoky smell that gets into your clothes with a regular campfire.

Setup is quick – there’s really nothing to it. If you’ve built a campfire in a campground fire ring, you’ll see that a fire in the Solo lights with very little effort, burns brighter, and burns wood completely to ash. It produces a really nice fire. Clean up is super easy. When it’s cool, just turn it over, empty the ash, and put it back in the bag.

Pros of the Solo Stove –  

  • You don’t needs as much wood
  • You don’t have to move around to avoid the smoke
  • The stand keeps the ground surface cool and away from the heat so you can safely put the Solo on a deck or grass.
  • If you keep the wood height within the stove, there is very little smoke. Good news – you don’t have to cocky around looking for a smoke free sport around the fire.
  • All of the wood burns completely to ash. We have burned over a dozen logs at a sitting and the next morning there has been no more than a couple coups of ash.
  • Clean up is super easy – dump it out – done. Sometimes we use an electric blower to clean all of the excess ah out of the crevices.
  • Solo sells some handy accessories. The log tongs and poker work great

Cons of the Solo Stove – 

  • You do have to cut logs smaller than you would if you are used to using a wider fire pit.
  • Standard wood cuts may be a bit large for even the Bonfire size fire pit
  • The “sticks” tool intended to lift and move the shield lid are awkward. We use the tongs instead.
  • No so much of a con but – You really need to keep the wood below the top ring to reduce smoke

Our opinion – this is a really nice addition to our camping gear. We can see ourselves using this quite a bit.

Check out our review video to see more:

As always, stay with us while we research RVs, and cool (and necessary) equipment we discover along the way. We’ll share with you how we figured out what works for us and our travels in our RV. Of course we will give unbiased reviews of RVs, equipment, places we visit, and the best way to travel comfortably with only the necessities.

Thanks for being our guest. We’ll see you soon.

Sharon, Barry, and Sami