Campfires… I have spent many a night watching the flames dance and mingle among the stars on a moonless night. I have heard many tall tails and ghost-stories become accentuated by the glowing embers and nocturnal sounds emanating from under a blanket of darkness. I could not imagine not having my son enjoy a campfire. But times are different.
Today we are more sensitive to soil erosion and ground damage caused by campfires. When I first started camping it was an activity that only a few people did. And it was easy to leave the camp the following day looking like we were never there. Unfortunately, the outdoors are being hit by the weekend camper who is more interested in parting than melding into the darkness. I have come across many designated campsites covered with signs of people. There are piles of ash, burnt logs, and partially burned garbage.
I do not want to add to the damage of campfires built by careless people. So I do my cooking over a camp-stove. And when it is time to recapture the memories of the past I use a Fire Pan.
A fire pan can be as simple as an old cookie sheet or a complex as a collapsible concave disk. I prefer the old cookie sheet method. I can fold it in half. And when it wears out, it is easily recycled and cheaply replaced by another used one from a garage sale.
For our expedition I will be using an MSR DragonFly stove, a Backpackers Oven, and I will have an old cookie sheet.