Have you ever thought to yourself: “What this river trip really needs are some Heavy Metal level pyrotechnics.”?
Well let us introduce you to the Volcanno from Lavabox. This little ammo can packs an impressive amount of fire, campfire that is.
First let’s roll back time four months or so to the summer of 2020. It’s another year of devastating forest fires all across the west and with them came fire bans. If you were lucky enough to get on some overnight river tips to escape the COVID lockdowns and new reality of masks and social distancing 2020 had one more gut punch for you. No samores or stick burning for you.
Not satisfied with this new reality some river runners and ex-raft guides put their twisted genius minds together and came up with the Volcanno.
Volcanno Portable Fire Pit Requirements:
- It needed to be small enough to take on river trips
- Needed to be durable – river trips are rough on gear
- Needed to be self contained and not burn wood to get around fire bans
- Needed to replicate the campfire experience.
Their solution – ammo cans with a propane fuel supply. It’s quite genius when you think about it. Every rafter is familiar with 50 cal ammo cans. They are military hardware, tough as nails, waterproof, and easy enough to rig. We already trust them to carry everything from our tools and repair kits to the groover. So why not one for the campfire as well.
That was their genius. They created a fire delivery system that was portable, durable, and recognizable to the river running community. But did they create an aesthetically pleasing campfire that would encourage sipping wine on a patio?
Hell no. They created a fire breathing monster that shoots out four foot flames and it’s awesome.
The grease bomb has some competition and it’s name is the Volcanno.
The joy of burning sticks in a campfire is back thanks to the Volcanno. We here at Paddling Life have gotten to play with the 50 cal version of the Volcanno and it’s been a blast. There is just something innately satisfying about a mini tower of flames. If you adjust the supplied regulator just right, and by that we mean it’s maximum intensity, there is this glorious sounds of fuel and air simultaneously mixing and igniting. It reminds us of an F-16’s afterburners. Que “Danger Zone” and huge grins.
Paddling Life caught up with Josh at Lavabox, the creators of the Volcanno and asked a few questions about the company and their portable campfire:
Q: How long has Lavabox been in business?
A: We have only been in business for four months! We invented the fire, did a ton of testing, ran to patent, got the website up, and the rest is history.
Q: What is the significance in spelling Volcanno vs. Volcano?
A: Originally, we thought is was a fun play on the letters…VolCANno, because it was in an ammo CAN.
Q: An alternative to open fires and fire bans, awesome. Has anyone gotten a hard time from a ranger due to the 4 foot inferno the Volcanno is capable of?
A: We have about 70 Volcannos out there and no has had any trouble. In fact, our testers were recently on the Grand Canyon and even the rangers, who are famous for being sticklers, love the Volcanno. We also had the Golden FD review it and they loved it too.
Q: Krakatoa Fire Breather – I’m scared, in an excited way. If the 50 cal can is capable of 120,000 BTU’s what in god’s name is the rocket box version capable of?
A: Haha, the Krakatoa is running at about 200,000BTUs. It’s a big fire for a 40MM Rocket box. It’s cool.
Q: It looks like some items are sold out. So demand has been good?
A: YES! We are very happy to have sold almost 70 fires in just a couple of months. Kinda crazy, really. Spring is freaking me out a little.
Q: Did you run into production issues due to COVID?
A: Unfortunately, yes. Supply for the boxes has been tough. I hope that changes soon. We are trying to produce everything in the US but reasonably-priced metal fabrication is tough to source especially at our size and with COVID. We’ll keep working on it.
Q: How is 2021 looking for you? Really good. We are hoping we can take a bite out of wildfires this year. With the low snowpack where it is this year, there may be an opportunity for more wildfires. I hope we can help combat that.
Q: Will we see a Volcanno sold through DRE or REI any time soon?
A: We are going to remain “direct to consumer” for awhile. We can keep the prices down and I can ensure the quality. You probably won’t see it on Amazon anytime soon either.
Thanks for talking with us Josh. Keep up your “Relaxed pyromania vibe”
Paddling Life’s Review of the Volcanno Campfire
The Volcanno is a super cool piece of gear.
What we like most about it, outside of the giant flames of course, is that it’s small and portable. It’s mid-winter here in Steamboat Springs right now so we haven’t had the opportunity to take the Volcanno on the river yet. Our testing has been done in snowy backyards and outdoor ice rinks. With only a 1 gallon propane tank and the relatively small 50 cal ammo can that is the Volcanno we can see always having warmth wherever we go. We’re looking forward to that next early spring kayak session and having a Volcanno at take out.
Next highlight of course is the Volcanno’s durability.
It’s got a military grade look and feel to it and the craftsmanship from the guys at Volcanno seems almost industrial. If it can handle an inferno, we’re sure it can handle some river trip abuse.
Related Fire Pit Stories
- Smokeless Fire Made Possible with BioLite’s FirePit+
- Ode to the Grease Bomb
- Best Camping, Outdoor and Paddling Gear for Post-Covid Adventures