Last Updated on July 9, 2023
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Aldi sold these again in May of 2023 for $12.99, which is $2 less than what they sold for in 2022. Even with the price reduction, we don’t recommend these.
I’ve built many campfires in my lifetime, both at home and while out camping. Despite years of experience — and plenty of reading on the subject — in many ways I still feel like I’m learning. Several factors go into a good fire, including the quality of the firewood, what is used to light the fire, and the weather.
So there is something satisfying about crafting a roaring fire that the family can sit around as darkness falls. Fires are fun to build on our campsite by our tent, and they’re fun to build in our backyard fire ring.
One of the more unusual trends in recent years has been the rise of “portable” campfires. To call these true campfires is generous: they’re tiny disposable flames in a small tin, designed to make a little fire in a place where you can’t otherwise have a fire. You certainly won’t keep warm with one of these, but you could cook a marshmallow.
Aldi recently sold one of these things, so we decided to test it out.
The Adventuridge Portable Campfire 2-Pack (Product Code: 706324) is an Aldi Find, which means it’s only in stores for a limited time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and it won’t be back again until Aldi brings it back, whenever that might be. Aldi does not offer online ordering for products that aren’t in stock at your local store.
At the time of this post, the 2-pack costs $14.99. That’s a lot less than most of the ones I see online.
Each of the tins is 14.8 ounces, or a little over a pound, and measures 4 inches in diameter and 2.4 inches tall. They’re made with soy wax and have four wicks.
The tin comes with instructions and warnings, which it advises reading before use. Using the campfire is easy enough: you simply place the tin on a heat-resistant, non-burning, stable surface. Then you use a match or lighter to light the wicks. Putting out the fire involves putting the lid on the tin to snuff out the flame. It should not be moved until the wax cools and hardens.
Lighting and Putting Out the Fire:
In theory, lighting this should be easy. In practice … it was a bear. It took several minutes of trying — and three different methods — before we finally got a flame going. Our first attempt, with three small outdoor matches, went nowhere. Our second attempt, with a butane lighter, also failed. We finally succeeded with a long match. Needless to say, we were more than a little frustrated by the process.
Putting it out, at least, was more straightforward, although it’s a little unnerving trying to put the lid over a large flame. It did snuff out, though. Just be careful, because not only is the fire hot, but the lid will be, too, once you put the fire out.
Use and Longevity:
After we got it going, our tin stayed lit and put out a respectable flame. This is no real campfire: it’s more like a candle with an oversized flame. It doesn’t put out a lot of heat — certainly not enough to stay warm by — but it does put out a fair amount of light, and enough flame to roast a marshmallow here or there.
We had a couple of mishaps when using it. One, when we set it aside for a while to cool down, we came back only to discover that it was swarming with ants. Our best guess is that the wax, or something in the wax, attracted them. It was a little gruesome to have to re-light the campfire and kill off hordes of ants for our trouble, but it was the only way I knew of to get the fire going again.
We then re-lit the fire — it took three long matches — to see how it lasted over time. After a half hour, the wax bubbled over and spilled down the sides of the tin onto our patio.
After an hour, the fire was still burning fine, but there was wax on the patio. It looks like this is good for four hours of burn time. Whether or not you want to get there is the question.
We had hopes for this little campfire, even as just a big candle to put on the patio during a summer evening. Unfortunately, the problems outweighed the promise: it was difficult to light, attracted ants when we cooled it off between uses, and it bubbled over after a half hour of burning. It might still be useful for some people, but it’s enough of a hassle that we won’t be buying one of these again.