Fire Pans for a Low Impact Campfire


A simple way to create a minimum impact campfire is by using a portable device like a fire pan. Fire pans typically are metal trays or pans such as an oil drain pan or pie pan with rigid sides about 3" high.

minimum impact fire in a fire pan

Why are Fire Pans Useful?

It seems that everywhere you turn in popular outdoor areas there is an old fire ring of blackened rocks, old coals and half-burnt wood that takes away from the natural setting. Using a fire pan can reduce the impact of fire on the ground, rocks and vegetation. A fire pan user can be low impact and can dispose of the ashes without leaving behind any coals or blackened rocks. In a Leave No Trace manner future visitors wont know a fire was ever created. In the winter a fire pan placed on top of some sticks will prevent your fire from falling thru the snow.

How to Utilize a Fire Pan

1) Raise the fire pan on rocks, sticks or coat the pan with mineral soil so heat doesn't sterilize the earth or kill grass, etc.

2) Use wrist size or smaller dead wood that you can snap with your hands found on the forest floor and not part of any tree.

3) Don't build close to objects to avoid blackening them.

4) Burn wood down to ash.

5) Bury ashes in a cathole or scatter them in a discreet way.

6) Homemade fire pans can be made from an aluminum pie pan and weigh about 0.60 oz.

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fire in a fire pan white ashes in fire pan