The Insight That Launched 10,000 FirePits

November 15, 2017

"Could we make a better campfire? I think we can make a better campfire. Let’s make a better campfire."

It happened around a smoky open campfire on an island in Lake George, NY, reachable only by a 25 minute motorboat ride (a four-hour journey if you decide to chance it in a small sailboat). This tiny island is where the BioLite Team builds a home for four days every September, living completely off-grid using our BioLite gear. We call it our annual Honesty Mission; putting ourselves – and our products – to the test, and seeing where we can make things better.

BioLite FirePit at Lake George

We’ve been doing this since 2013 and it’s where constraint-inspired solutions give way to new products; where a makeshift lampshade thrown over a tree branch becomes the SiteLight XL; where a challenge to feed a team of 25 becomes BaseCamp; where solving for a smoky campfire became our next big idea.

Everyone loves a big campfire after a long day outside, and the BioLite team is no different. After spending four summers playing musical chairs around billowing smoke from our group flames, we decided to do something about it; we set out to develop our largest combustion project yet, designing a unit that could provide the warmth and attraction of a classic outdoor fire but with a major upgrade to the physics inside to get rid of the smoke. We didn’t replace the campfire – we just made it better.

By 2017 our prototype was ready to share with the world – and with the overwhelming support of the Kickstarter community, our honesty mission proved to be onto something, raising over $2.5M in four weeks. With over 10,500 FirePits shipping in 2018, we hope everyone’s summer gets a little less smoky.