Join the solar future | Invest now on StartEngine ➞

local_shipping Free Shipping on Orders $49+

There are no items in your bag.

Continue Shopping

    • Subtotal $0

    Int'l: Incoterms are DAP (Delivery at Place)
    Customer is responsible for all duties and taxes.

    What's Wrong With Campfire Cooking?

    October 02, 2018 3 min read

    Cooking over an open fire feels like a staple of outdoor adventures, whether you’re backpacking in the mountains or doing some casual camping on the lake side. But the reality is that campfire cooking comes with its own set of problems--problems that have potentially long-reaching and negative implications on the environment.

    Problem #1: Wildfire Potential

    “Only you can prevent forest fires.” So says Smokey the Bear, and it’s true. Wildfires rip across the United States and Canada every year, and though the recent droughts in California have ended, many area still have to put fire bans in place ever summer in an attempt to limit the potential for these deadly blazes. And according tothis article from US News, the cost of fighting these wildfires is increasing every year. All it takes is a single spark from an illicit fire, or a moment of carelessness or lack of attention, and something once comforting can turn into a natural disaster of massive proportions. And, if you’re responsible for one of these blazes, you may be charged with footing the bill for its defeat, likethis guy--for him, it was to the tune of over nine figures. If that sounds like it would put a damper on a weekend of fun, it may be time to reconsider that campfire.

    Problem #2: Gear (And Personal) Damage

    Believe it or not, campfire smoke can be bad for your gear--stray sparks can burn holes in your clothing, soot and charcoal can permanently stain fabrics, and smoke can reduce the breathability, performance, and water resistance of your gear. Then, of course, there remains the risk of personal injury. While there are ways to mitigate the risk of injury, and while most campfires burn without an issue, there’s still a hazard. In fact, it’s not the flames themselves that pose the biggest threat-- 70% of campfire injuries are caused by embers, after the fire has supposedly been extinguished.

    Problem #3: Pollution

    Wood smoke might smell wonderful, but unfortunately it can also be harmful. When a particle of wood reaches 2.5 microns, not only is it fine enough to be carried in smoke and inhaled, it’s also fine enough to be toxic. And of course, it isn’t just wood you’re inhaling with that wood smoke--it can also contain chemicals like benzene, acetaldehyde,  formaldehyde, acrolein, and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). This chemical cocktail can even taint water sources thanks to ash carried by rainwater, or leaching into the ground. Smoke from campfires can also create a visible haze in places like national parks or other common camping areas-especially during peak season. And, if you’re burning trash in your campfire (which you shouldn’t), you’re releasing all those chemicals into the air, too.

    Problem #4: Litter

    The very act of making a campfire leaves behind litter, which definitely breaks the principles of Leave No Trace. Fires leave piles of ash, charred wood, and blackened rocks. In many cases, people also use their campfires to burn trash, which isn’t usually fully destroyed and thus leaves behind fragments of bottles, foil, cans, and plastic.  In high-use areas, these seemingly small leftovers can pile up, leaving messes that can negatively impact the natural landscape and make maintenance workers’ jobs more difficult.

    Problem #5: Ecological Damage

    When it comes to gathering firewood, we all know to only collect fallen deadwood. Even if you follow that practice, though, the collection of this wood in large quantities can be harmful to the ecology of the area. In many cases, these dead logs and fallen branches may serve as vital habitats for insects and other creatures. Dead wood also increases the water-holding ability of soil, and removing it can lead to soil erosion. Even firewood that you bring with you (say, from your backyard), might be home to invasive species like the Asian long-horned beetle. If infected wood is moved to a new location, you risk doing major and irreversible damage to the environment.  

    Is There A Solution?

    Actually, yes. While no one is saying to never, ever, ever have a campfire, when it comes to consistent outdoor cooking, there are far better and more elegant solutions. In the case of long backpacking trips, a fuel stove might be your best option. But for less intense outdoor excursions, solar cookers work wonderfully, too!  We designed oursolar cookers to be portable, efficient, and easy to use for almost all your outdoor cooking needs. They eliminate the need for a campfire, so you can avoid the problems while still getting the benefits of campfire cooking.

    Leave a comment

    Comments will be approved before showing up.

    Also in News

    diy solar cooker
    Finally - An Easy DIY Solar Cooker Kit

    October 18, 2019 1 min read

    Use these materials to build your own GoSun oven quickly and easily.
    Read More →
    Best Solar Oven of 2019
    Best Solar Oven of 2019

    October 14, 2019 2 min read

    The GoSun Fusion is the best solar cooker of 2019 for its portability, power, and functionality.
    Read More →
    utility shuts off power
    Keeping the Lights On When Your Utility Company Cuts the Power

    October 09, 2019 2 min read

    How to keep from plunging into darkness when your utility company cuts the power to your city.
    Read More →

    Become an insider for special deals.