Howl Campfire

rehammer81

Active member
This seems like the right location for this topic but if not let me know.

I thought people might be interested in a really cool propane campfire option I decided to pull the trigger on. First, yes, it is very expensive at first glance. I am not affiliated with Howl in anyway. I just simply made the decision to give it a chance and buy once and hopefully only cry once.

I was looking for a propane campfire solution to replace carrying around my Solo Stove and wood or scavenging for wood. I live and camp primarily in the SW and we are very often under burn bans and non-propane fueled fires are often not allowed in many areas. Also, carrying or scavenging wood and then getting a fire started just isn't as convenient as sparking a propane fire. Many people hate the smoke that comes with a wood fire. In my experience, one of the biggest issues with all the propane campfire solutions I was aware of is they do a poor job of providing heat in a manner that warms you like a wood fire with glowing coals that provide radiant heat. All the heat is just going straight up. You have to stand right on top of them or use a heat deflector hood. Even the Solo Stove really needs a heat deflector to kick that heat from the flame out to you sitting around it.

Enter the Howl Campfire. I just randomly stumbled upon these guys. They are a startup company out of CO. This thing provides a nice flickering ambient flame (A-Flame) to enjoy but also radiant heat tubes (Barcoals) that glow red hot and radiate heat out the sides of the unit to truly warm you as you sit comfortably around it. This thing is UL rated. They have gone above and beyond to get it certified for use during burn bans. It uses a venturi design to avoid a need for a powered fan and function properly in a very broad range of altitudes. I'm not going to try to describe all of it's features or how it works. Do a Google search and read up on it yourself.

This thing is a UNIT! Yes, it's not small but it isn't any bigger than my Solo Stove was, especially if you add in carrying bundles of wood. We already mentioned burn bans. Another thing to keep in mind is that in some areas it is illegal to bring in non-local wood or even scavenge for wood. I believe people say the Hot Wood and similar are ok because it's treated to eliminate insects and diseases. The Howl solves all of this and it gives you legit heat for warmth while you sit comfortably around it in your chair. I used this at a 24 hour mountain bike race in mid February. We ran the Howl on a freshly filled 20lb propane tank, not a Blue Rhino trade-in tank, for about 13 hours with the Barcoals cranking 100% and the A-Flame running at about 25-50%. The Barcoals are full on/off only but the A-Flame is variable. On my last camping trip this past weekend, it wasn't all that cold in the evening so I didn't even run the Barcoals. We just enjoyed the flickering A-Flame at about 50%, which is plenty. A tank will last even longer running that way. The other thing we enjoyed was the ease of lighting it up for a morning fire and coffee. We almost never do a morning wood fire because the process typically isn't worth the effort in our opinion for a short morning fire.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. Feel free to check it out and ask questions. Swallow anything in your mouth before looking at the price.
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nwoods

Expedition Leader
Great write up and thanks for highlighting a nice piece of kit that I was previously unaware of. While I can think of about 1,300 reasons not to buy one, I like the idea a lot. I think I'd wait for the folding legs version personally.
 

rehammer81

Active member
They have specifically said they chose not to do folding legs for durability but the market may convince them to change their mind. I will say the fixed leg design is a rock solid unit. I'm not worried about bumping it around or bouncing it down the trail. They have videos of them baja jumping their Raptor with the Howl in the back.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
Cool.

I like that the legs do NOT fold. No fiddling around like there is with my Black & Decker Workmate mini work benches.

To travel, just place it in back of the truck and put a few smaller items underneath to make use of the empty space.
 

rehammer81

Active member
If you have the vertical room where you are packing it, it is designed to nest with a 20lb propane tank and strap together. It acts as a kickstand and more stable support for the tank. Then it has additional strap loop built in the strap it down.

I throw the Howl in my trailer and strap the propane tank down in a milk crate in the back of my truck.
 

Roger M.

Adventurer
Very well thought out engineering ... BUT ... it's US$1300.00, translating to CDN$1800.00.
I'm not sure how to comprehend that price, especially in the world of the very similar $250.00 Firecan type of product.
I've been known to be frequently guilty of purchasing expensive "Overland" branded products to be sure ... but at CDN$1800.00, this really seems just a bit overpriced for the mechanics and engineering involved.
 

rehammer81

Active member
Very well thought out engineering ... BUT ... it's US$1300.00, translating to CDN$1800.00.
I'm not sure how to comprehend that price, especially in the world of the very similar $250.00 Firecan type of product.
I've been known to be frequently guilty of purchasing expensive "Overland" branded products to be sure ... but at CDN$1800.00, this really seems just a bit overpriced for the mechanics and engineering involved.
I 100% understand what you are saying. I felt the same way initially and moved on looking at all the other options and trying to figure out a good way to solve their main shortcoming, getting heat out to you without having to stand over it. I thought about fabricating various heat deflectors but that meant pieces to unpack/pack putting it together. I just kept circling back to the Howl as really being the solution I was looking for. Definitely not going to be the solution for everyone. I chose to just buy once and cry once and luckily I have been very satisfied with the purchase so far.
 

Ragman

Active member
I was really intrigued when I first heard about them but recall at the time expected price was $899 ( pls don’t quote me ) so I signed up for first run. This was going to sway me to carry propane but with the final release price and fuel burn rate I reckoned it would not be practical for my type of trip.

I imagine it is an awesome unit, handmade in a small shop with a ton of creativity behind it.
 

rehammer81

Active member
I have not had any of the other higher output (60,000 BTU) propane fires to compare burn rate. I was pretty happy with getting 13+ hours out of a 20lb tank running both the A-Flame on a visible but low setting and the Barcoals. That will cover several of my normal trips when it is cold out. It will last even longer for a lot of my SW camping where I am likely to mostly run the A-Flame.
 

Ragman

Active member
I have not had any of the other higher output (60,000 BTU) propane fires to compare burn rate. I was pretty happy with getting 13+ hours out of a 20lb tank running both the A-Flame on a visible but low setting and the Barcoals. That will cover several of my normal trips when it is cold out. It will last even longer for a lot of my SW camping where I am likely to mostly run the A-Flame.
I don't carry a large amount of propane when out and about and agree, I have not compared it with other pits. My thought was that, if I carried a 20# tank, that would also be used for all cooking so not solely to fuel the Howl. Not carrying the large tanks I am not an expert at how much propane a person goes through normally but it seemed to me that basecamping in remote areas you would burn though it pretty quickly.

I am more than happy to be put straight on this issue though from more experienced propane users.
 

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