Outfitted: Gather around the Kamoto
A leave-no-trace fire pit for transport
Happy Daylight Savings Time, everyone.
With the sacrifice of only one hour of sleep (although my teacher friends will argue that those 60 minutes of loss are much greater than the sum of their parts) we get longer evenings that hearken back to that coveted mountain summer on the horizon. With recent dumps of snow, it may not feel like spring is in the air, but longer days give us the opportunity to come out of our caves and begin to ramp up our social soirees.
And for this, I tend to turn to nature’s most ancient gathering tool: fire.
I’ve been a fan of Primus stoves for a while now. Their Tupike camp stove has been in my constant rotation for years. Primus has a knack for efficiency combined with great design and aesthetics that bring an element of sophistication to the outdoors. I never fail to get compliments on their products. I recently had the opportunity to try out the Kamoto Open Fire Pit and must say, it falls right in line with my previous Primus opinions.
With growing fire restrictions and an increased attempt at a leave-no-trace outdoor policy, I’ve been interested in trying the portable-pit style of fire building. Although there is an extra element of prep and set-up, the convenience and environmental responsibility they provide are sometimes worth the extra grunt work. The Kamoto has versatility in that it can use wood or charcoal, can be set up anywhere and quickly folds flat for easy transport.
With powder-coated and stainless steel materials, the Kamoto is burly enough to stand up to years of abuse but isn’t the behemoth that some portable pits can be. There are six components: the main ashtray/base, two windshields, a removable cooking/grilling grate and a ventilated inlet tray where your fuel is placed. Once folded down, a cinch strap conveniently secures the entire apparatus.
There’s no learning curve for set-up on this one. First time out of the box, without reading any instructions, I had it set up in about 1 minute. I like how easy the top grate is to place/remove, and it can easily transition to a traditional campfire if you need a cooking surface.
There are two sizes available depending on how big of a crowd you have. The small is 13.9 lbs. and is catered to 1-4 people. The large is 21.2 lbs., catered to up to 10 people. I have the large size and carrying it feels like quite a hefty load, but to be honest, I feel that something lighter could sacrifice some of the integrity of its build. I’m not going to be walking long distances with this. Therefore, the jaunt from car to campsite, park or parking lot is conducive to the heavier weight.
Keep in mind that this is a portable fire pit which means mess and soot. Primus makes a carrying case for the small size which I highly recommend, but the large doesn’t have that option. You’ll definitely want to transport this in a bag of some kind if you don’t want your car/gear/hands to get black with soot.
Whether extending après by cooking some dogs in the park or dashing off to the desert to wax poetic to your friends around the fire in the moonlight, the Kamoto provides my new favorite fire to gather around.
As of press time, the large Kamoto ($180) is currently available at Bristlecone Mountain Sports in Willits. The small size ($150) and accessories are available online at primus.us.
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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