During our first shake-out trip this year, we discovered that we had forgotten to bring the fire bellows. It wasn’t the end of the world and we had good fires anyway and we chalked it up to perhaps having pulled them out of the gear and put them by one of our indoor fireplaces at home.
But we got home and checked and no bellows. We could only find the one we usually keep next to the fireplace upstairs, the one that was purchased having been inspired by our camping one that was picked up at a local hardware store along the way on one trip. It is that cool old-fashioned type that is wood and you pump by hand. We couldn’t remember having left it behind, but it’s likely we did.
We went to a local hardware store near home to get a new one. And everything they had was a bit too fancy or big to take along camping. We had come to rely on having a bellows to stoke the fire as it died down or couldn’t quite keep the often too fresh logs burning. So we kept looking and found online the “Firefast Bellows.”
We were skeptical that this little battery powered “hairdryer” could do the job that our hand powered bellows once did. We decided to give it a chance and it arrived just in time for our next trip. It was super small, which is a plus and takes only 2 AA batteries to operate.
We made a fire on that trip and it quickly died down. We added more paper and more firestarters and it came back to life, but only briefly. Then we got out the Firefast. Wow. Just a minute or two of shooting this thing at the dying embers and your fire comes back to life. We highly recommend this as a key piece of equipment for your fire keeping gear.
The one downside of this little guy is that it is easy to hit the button to turn it on while it is packed. So be sure to keep some extra batteries handy.