Honestly Blunt Review: Ignik Fire Can

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Johnny O

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The Ignik FireCan is the nearly perfect overlanding (I loath that term. Overlanding is just expensive car camping) solution to portable campfires. Burn Bans (which are not just for wood- liquid fuel based portable campfires and "giant candles in a can" portable fires are banned during those too) have become extremely common during the non-winter months and firewood is an ecological disaster waiting to happen due to pine borers, emerald ash borers and the like make wood fires a non-option in this day and age. Oh, yeah, and there is no firewood in the desert...

I tested about a dozen other designs of burn ban friendly "portable" campfire solutions. They are all over-priced, dangerous fire hazards, and useless gomi.

I like to have the option of listening to the coyotes sing while I sit silently and stare into the flames. Plus, the unit can be used for grilling and cooking. Sure, propane isn't any more ecologically sound that wood fires, but tradition and readily available fuel is fine by me. Then again, I haul around a 20lb propane tank as part of my field gear anyway. Well, that and I don't have to worry about burning down the world because I wanted to play my harmonica and pretend I am some 19th century-style adventurer.

The design is nearly perfect: It is a modeled on a .50 caliber NATO ammunition can. It has built in folding legs with ant-slide silicone pads when they are folded. You just hook up propane from a large format propane tank with the included regulator/hose combo and BAM! you have a campfire that won't burn the backcountry down. No smoke. No sparks. virtually wind proof. No need for constantly feeding the flames and wasting valuable water to ensure the fire is completely dead. Comfortable, controllable flames that are perfect for cooking with small 1-2 person cast iron cookware. I have made wicked-good 2 quart cast iron Dutch oven chili and Chicken N Dumplings so good the coyotes and ravens showed up to see if they could scam some! ;)

That isn't to say the design is without issue. The quick disconnect is mounted on the broadside center and sticks out an inch or so, making the ammo can form factor a bit more difficult to stow and making the possibility of gas line sealing surface damage a very real, and potentially dangerous issue. The include protective cap is garbage, literally. It lasted exactly one use out in the field. I had to MacGyver a solution using silicone gasket sheeting and electrical tape that I am actually still using 18 months later. To get maximum heat and better flames, one has to add lava rock, or Ignik's overpriced fire and "moon" rocks which doubles the weight of the unit. There is no internal grille to keep said rocks above the burner bar, so half the rocks are wasted as space filler.

The included regulator hose looks and feels like cheap Chinese crapola, which it is. I threw it away after a single use and replaced it with a proper regulator and hose, plus an adaptor for "Coleman" size single use 1 liter propane. You get about an hour off the camping stove tank, so is kind of pointless unless you are in danger of frost bite...which is silly as this is strictly a car camping / overlanding solution and you can just hop in the Jeep and warm up.

In cold conditions, it puts out just enough heat to warm up cold toes and dry wet socks, but not much more. Great for sausages and 'smores.

This item is just for us stubborn outdoors type that want a burn-ban friendly campfire solution, nothing more...and it only works with large format portable propane tanks


Ignik has two other shockingly overpriced models that do not offer much in the way of improvements over the base model, just geegaws and such to cater to the man-bun and "influencer" crowd. They go as far to claim those two models have "modes" that switch between cooking and campfire. Good for you, Ignik! Sponge as much money as you can off those garbage-humans.

On the other hand, claiming different modes for fire is about the dumbest thing I have ever seen. "...yeh canna change the laws of physics, Cap'n!"

I am not going to the the usual pros and cons lists for this unit. It is likely a waste of money and space for most folks.
For desert rats locked in a silly traditional need to have fire, it is the best solution.

 

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