One of the most memorable times for campers is sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows and telling stories. But during times of the drier summer months when fire danger is more extreme, fire bans can be imposed by the forestry or parks division. A fire ban means that lighting of wood, briquettes or other materials such as manufactured logs is prohibited. And depending on the severity of the conditions, the ban can include specific fire facilities such as those in campgrounds and day use areas. What is camping without a campfire? When boiled sausages just won’t cut it, use propane fire pits to beat the ban.
Beating the fire ban doesn’t mean being reckless or doing anything illegal by having an open fire. It means that certain types of cooking and heating appliances may still be used despite the burning restrictions. But you must adhere to the guidelines set forth by the forestry or parks division for your area. Camping equipment such as gas grills and portable propane fire pits are considered cooking appliances so you can still prepare your meals over an outdoor fire.
Types of Gas Fire Pits
There are a variety of gas fire pits that can be used in place of a wood-burning campfire when a burn ban is in place. As long as the forestry or parks division categorizes them as used for cooking, then chances are you can use one of the many available. Here are are a few that usually qualify:
- Portable Propane Fire Pits – this type of fire pit is composed of a fire ring with a closed bottom and folding legs. It has a gas burner with a regulator to control propane flow from a LPG tank, like the one used with a gas grill or BBQ. Lava rock or ceramic logs are used to provide an authentic looking campfire. A great example of this type of gas fire pit is the Camp Chef Propane Outdoor Portable Campfire Pit.
- Another variation of the gas fire pit is Convert-A-Ball Fire Dancer gas campfire and patio fireplace. This fire pit is smaller than the Camp Chef but is big on heat and personality. It uses fire glass instead of ceramic logs or lava rocks for a sparkling marshmallow-roasting experience.
- A third option is to use the Gas Can by Campfire In A Can, a very portable propane fire pit similar to the others mentioned. The differences are in the way the fire pit sits up on the can that contains it while not in use, providing a safe, elevated fire and convenient storage.
Things You Should Know
So now you know how to beat the ban but here are some tips on how to use an lp gas fire pit safely when a burning bans are in place.
- When choosing a location for your fire pit, be sure there is at least a 10 foot circle around the fire pit that is free from anything flammable, such as dry grass, leaves or even camping furniture. Although a gas fire pit doesn’t create any embers, there is still the possibility of knocking the pit over accidentally causing a fire.
- If your campsite has an in-ground fire pit surrounded by rocks, you can set your portable fire pit down in the pit when in use for a real authentic looking campfire. This arrangement also helps prevent tip-overs too.
- Locate your propane supply tank at least 10 feet away from the fire pit. You may have to buy a longer propane supply hose but it is worth it just for a little added safety.
Some Final Thoughts
While the fire pits discussed are all CSA or UL certified for campground use, you should always call your state’s fire hotline to determine if there is a ban in effect. If there is one, make sure you ask about using a gas fire pit and where you are allowed to use one in the campground. Always take care to take precautions: not following regulations can result in very hefty fines. Then you can be sure you can roast marshmallows, cook food outdoors and have a great evening fire pit gathering, all while using a propane fire pit to beat the ban.
The following video explains why burn bans are put in place.