A campfire is a central feature of most outdoor overnight adventures. Some scientists have even speculated that sitting around and staring at a campfire helped primitive humans evolve their minds and social structures. So it goes without saying that any time The Gear Whores are out in the woods, we are building a fire of some type. In some areas open burning could be considered irresponsible, or downright dangerous, so some type of container is needed. There are always traditional fire pits, cans, or grills, but what if you had a campfire that was also an efficient clean burning stove? The good folks at Solo Stove have taken their proven double wall woodgas stove design along with a “bigger is better” attitude and introduced the newest member of their team the Solo Stove Campfire.
The Solo Stove Campfire is quite an impressive piece of camping kit. It is quite obviously not designed to meet the needs of the ultralight backpacker crowd out there, due to its size and weight, but that certainly isn’t the point. The overall dimensions of this beast allows it to play host to all of your fire needs around camp. Just as with the original and Titan the Campfire is a double wall constructed, stainless steel, woodgas stove. The rugged design is well executed, and the quality of construction is easily apparent. The matching two pot set makes this whole kit easily capable of providing meals for a larger group of people, from a family to a small Boy Scout patrol.
–Performance and Testing–
As is the case with many things bigger is better and the Solo Stove Campfire is no exception. With the Campfire being the largest of the series it definitely allows you to more easily construct a fire due to the bigger open area, as well as the use of larger pieces of biomass for fuels. The good folks at Solo suggest building a top down fire is the easiest and the most efficient way to get the entire thing started. In some of our testing we also opted to use your charcoal. This option was also quite easy to light and though charcoal doesn’t produce much flame, it does produce long lasting heat that was very good cook on. Granted not necessarily giving that true “campfire” experience, but it was certainly better than a Webber.
The stove campfires size certainly allows for larger variety of cooking options. We immediately realized that the overall size the stove easily allowed it to host larger and heavier cooking implements such as a Lodge cast iron 12 inch skillet, which played host to a large and delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs on our latest camping adventure. The matching pot set for the Campfire is also much more accommodating in size. The smaller pot is about two inches deep and according to the embossed liquid volume indicators, easily holds 40 ounces of fluid. The larger pot is of a size that makes it perfect for cooking a larger meal. Offering the ability to cook 100 ounces of water makes it large enough for generous portions of stew, chili, pasta of any other delicious camping meal your crew can desire.
We weren’t in the mood for any of the aforementioned foods, we wanted steak. With dreams of meat dancing through our heads we thought the best way to approach things was to use a 48oz on the bone ribeye, dubbed a tomahawk steak from our local butcher. This three pound cow marshmallow was no match for the Solo Stove Campfire. Slowly hand turning our meat feast over the ample cooking space and heat of the Campfire produced a fantastic culinary experience.
As with previous reviews we are impressed with this new addition to the Solo Stove lineup. This seriously large woodgas stove is a full on replacement for a fire pit and cooking stove for the family or scout troop. Using traditional found biomass, such as wood or even pouring in a whole load of charcoal, produces a long lasting efficient fire that entertains as well as feeds everyone. The matching pot set nests quite well around the Solo Stove Campfire, but the associated lids seem a bit awkward to stow. When we repacked the entire kit, the two lids went into the bottom of the bag with everything else stacked inside. This seemed the easiest and best solution. Also as you can imagine this bulky beast is reserved for car camping, unless your feeling froggy and just don’t care about bulk or weight. So whether in the backyard, or at a state park, the Solo Stove Campfire brings an efficient, bomb proof solution to fire production and cooking needs.