June 05, 2006

The Liard Firebox

It's funny how things go. A year and a half ago, when I was living in Fort Liard, I got an e-mail from Bertrand and Roger, two Swiss gentlemen who were planning a trip down the Liard and Mackenzie Rivers. I offered to join them as far as Fort Simpson and they agreed. I paddled with Gerd, a friend from Fort Simpson.

It was a great trip, with great weather, great scenery, great wildlife and great company. If you would like to read more about it, visit the July 21, 2005 blog entry entitled "Paddle Power!" at the old Michael's Meanderings site.

Anyways, I had my firebox with me on the trip; a warped and rusty collapsable steel contraption that I liked to use to cook on the river. The firebox takes almost no wood for a good hot fire fire, and the box leaves no fire scarring. No trace camping is something I'm a really big fan of.

Bertrand, an engineer, kept looking at the firebox and thinking of ways to improve on it. We've kept in touch regularly since our trip, while he worked on the improvements.

With a lot of time, effort, and expertise, Bertrand managed to patent a design that doesn't warp and doesn't rust. It's made with special stainless steel and special cuts that prevent warping. It folds down into a handy carrying case so it's easy to pack into a canoe, boat, camper, etc. It's a piece of beauty.

He sent me a prototype just after New Year, which I tested rigorously. I built up hot fires, boiled water and submersed the heated box in snow and ice water. It took it all.

In honour of our trip, we named it the Liard Firebox.

Bertrand now manufactures the fireboxes in Switzerland, and we're looking at distribution. If you, or someone you know might be interested, check out for pictures and information! And if you want to order one, e-mail me!

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