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There are a lot of fire bans throughout the year in AZ. Many people feel that having a campfire is an important part of camping. You can still safely have a campfire during many types of fire bans! You can also still have your morning cup of coffee and a hot meal each night. Here’s how we do it.

Keep in mind that there are some fire restrictions that these options would not be allowed. Often in AZ they’ll shut down areas for recreational use during this time but it’s always important to check before you go! Different states have different rules. In AZ you can check the Department of Forestry and Fire Management & they’ll link to State Park info as well.

How to Cook While Camping During a Fire Ban

We’ve never done a ton of cooking directly on a campfire so our cooking methods don’t change too much. Propane stoves are almost always still safe to use through each of the levels of fire restrictions. We used to use a camp stove but once we got a Tembo Tusk Skottle we haven’t taken our stove out!

We love the big cooking surface, the speed of cooking, and how we can cook the entire meal at one time (you can move food out to the edges to stay warm while using the center to cook).

For MRE (the meals in a bag) or our morning coffee we use a pocket stove to boil water. The last couple of years we’ve used the Stanley Boil & Brewer for coffee.

How to Have a Campfire During a Fire Ban

First of all, again, always check the fire ban and any other restrictions before you go camping. You’ll need to know what type of land you’re camping on (BLM, State Trust, National Forest etc.) and check their websites before heading out.

If you’re staying at an established campground with a camp host or pass through a manned booth you can ask anyone working what the current restrictions are and ask if what you have is good to go. There have been very few times that we have been camping that we haven’t been able to use a propane firepit like the Little Red Campfire. Here’s another option that gets great reviews & seems to be in stock more often.

We have been at an established campsite a couple of times where the camp host sees that we have a fire (from far away), drives over and then realizes that our is propane, and comments on how handy our Little Red Campfire is!

You can use any of these options even when there are zero fire restrictions! It’s so much quicker, easier, and safer to put out than a traditional fire.


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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