You might be disappointed to learn there’s still a fire ban in place in many municipalities across Ontario and other parts of Canada. This is due to still-burning wildfires and means if you’re going camping in any of these areas you are not allowed to have a traditional campfire.
Camping without a campfire? No way!
We had to a find a workaround in order to have a fire at the off-grid campground we have up north. We were going to be there for almost a week with children in tow and it gets really dark and a bit chilly there at night (even during the summer months).
After some research we ordered a 24″ propane fire pit insert off Amazon. To our delight, it’s pretty awesome!
The propane fire pit insert doesn’t cause smoke or sparks. Like a BBQ, it’s considered safe and is allowed to be used during a fire ban. It’s also very easy to set up. Place it in a proper location (like an existing fire pit) and connect the hose to a BBQ propane tank. That’s it!
The ups and downs of burning propane
The obvious downside to converting your fire pit to a propane insert is that it burns a lot of propane. Our 20lb tank had to be refilled after one night of cooking dinner and running the fire pit insert for about three hours. It also doesn’t put off as much heat as a wood-burning fire (it might have helped if we had more lava rocks around it to disperse the heat better).
Putting the expense to run it aside, burning propane is surprisingly more environmentally-friendly than burning wood. Plus you won’t have to deal with smoke in your eyes or on your clothes for days after sitting around the campfire (although that is part of what makes campfires so great).
Another upside to the propane fire pit insert is that you get an instant fire. Turn on the propane and light it up. You can also adjust the flame, which makes it great for marshmallows.
With the expense to run it, there is no way we could use the propane fire pit insert regularly as a campfire for long stretches of time. But it is a great alternative, and it solved the problem for us to have a campfire during a fire ban.
Would you consider converting your fire pit to propane? Share your thoughts in the comments below.