Men’s Journal – The Gear and Tips You Need to Turn Yourself and Your Friends Into Campfire Kings

By Erin McGrady and Caroline Whatley From Men’s Journal

One of the keys to a long and healthy life is being able to relax. Ironically, with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 from health to economic worries, extra downtime spent adhering to social distancing best practices doesn’t necessarily equate to more relaxation. Once you tire of watching Netflix, we recommend something more primitive and unplugged to find some rejuvenation and restoration: a bonfire. For now, it’ll have to be with your closed circle of family members and roommates only. Which is fine, you can still reap the benefits of open flame and take the opportunity to perfect what some would say is a dying art: the ability to truly hang out, sans technology, and make conversation. Allow us to introduce you to the idea of takibi time—with some guidance and a few gear goodies to hone your campfire etiquette.

First off, “takibi” means “bonfire” in Japanese. Takibi time is quite simply the act of gathering together around a good fire. Like most of life’s greater indulgences, there’s a bit of a ritual involved (think: ground and brewed coffee, or a hand-crafted Manhattan). And as you know, the finer things in life all start with quality ingredients. A quality bonfire is no different. That said, there’s more to just making a fire and hanging out by one. There’s also a good bit of responsibility that goes into building a campfire. Here are our top tips on campfire etiquette.

Campfire Etiquette

Obey a Burn Ban

For starters, if there’s a burn ban in effect, do not start a fire. Period. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have nor how much water you have on hand. When a burn ban is in effect, it is meant to be obeyed for everyone’s safety. Don’t be responsible for a forest fire. We can’t stress this one enough.

Stay With Your Fire

Of almost equal importance to obeying a burn ban is making sure that you never leave your campfire unattended. Don’t expect your campsite neighbor to keep an eye out on your campfire while you run to the shower. Don’t expect your 8-year-old child to manage your fire. If you build it, take responsibility for it, monitor it and make sure it’s completely out by the time you go to bed or leave your site.

Keep Your Fire Clean

One of the most common newbie camper mistakes is thinking of a campfire like a trash can. It’s not. Refrain from throwing food waste, beer bottles or cans, plastic, etc., into your fire. Not only will throwing things into your fire potentially attract wildlife, but the ensuing smell and smoke may ruin the experience of other nearby campers.

Keep Wood Local

Almost every campsite that allows campfires will have wood for sale. Buy it on-site rather than bringing your own. Doing so reduces the risk of introducing new insects and disease and helps keep forests healthy.

Campfire Gear

Now that you’ve got some of the basics of campfire etiquette in mind, let’s move on to gear. This is where it gets fun. While a lot of public campsites have their own fire pits, some don’t. And if you’re like us, sometimes you may want the ability to build a campfire at home, in your backyard, in a friend’s field, or at a remote spot on public lands. It’s always best to check whether or not a fire is permissible before building one, but if you get the green light, we recommend some of the following Snow Peak gear, all lifetime guaranteed to help you relax into takibi time. After all, takibi time is both an art and a science—a skill worth honing.

Takibi Fire and Grill

For starters, you’re going to need the Takibi Fire and Grill. It’s portable, comes with its own canvas carrying bag, packs down flat for easy storage and can be set up in a couple of minutes. It’s made with 1.5 mm–thick chrome coated steel which makes it durable and long-lasting. Plus the Fireplace Grill Bridge can easily be raised and lowered to meet your culinary needs. Sure it’ll cook up a hot dog, but set your sights a little higher and bring something from the local butcher. We have firsthand knowledge that you can grill an incredible pork chop on this setup.

$319

Folding Torch

This little device by Snow Peak is a great accessory to the Takibi Fire and Grill because it packs down small, is super powerful (it’ll dry a piece of wet firewood in less than 10 seconds) and is fun to use. Plus it’s functional. Once you light a fire with this, you won’t want to go back to any other method.

$57

Fire Tool Set

This set includes a shovel (you’ll need this to help you properly extinguish a fire), poker and fire tongs. The carrying case is sturdy and keeps everything organized rather than rattling around in the back of your truck. The tools themselves are of the highest quality and are a good match for the robust fire pit you’ll be using them on.

$99

Jikaro Firering Table

This table is for the Takibi time enthusiast who wants to increase their communal space around the campfire. The table is light enough and portable enough that it makes sense to bring it to any car camping adventure. It’s also good-looking enough to be kept on display at home on your back porch or patio. We think it makes a handsome addition to any campfire experience. The only thing missing is a hand-crafted cocktail to set upon it and a few of your closest friends.

$325

How To Takibi Time

Written by: Savanna Frimoth

At Snow Peak, we’re true believers in the restorative nature of Takibi Time. We feel that the most meaningful connections can be discovered through the simple act of gathering together around a good fire, even if you’ve only ventured out to your backyard or patio. Here, we show you just how easy it is to create your own Takibi scene and restore a little humanity in the process with our iconic Takibi Fire & Grill.

Before you get started, watch our video for the step-by-step process of setting up your Takibi Fire and Grill.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Step 1: Crumple several sheets of recycled newspaper into a ball and set at the bottom of your fireplace.

Step 2: Gather up kindling. It will help ignite the fuel logs later in the process. 

Step 3: Arrange your kindling three or four layers high in alternating sets of three directly on top of the newspaper.

Step 4: Carefully ignite the newspaper and add a few more layers of kindling to the fire. 

Step 5: Stack two new layers of wood logs, two by two, and allow them to burn in a controlled manner.

Step 6: Continue building on the fire by adding in additional wood logs as needed.

Step 7: Leave enough space for airflow and allow the wood logs to slowly burn.

Step 8: Monitor, and safely stoke fire, adding some additional wood logs as desired.

Step 9: Enjoy your Takibi time! Bonus points if you invite your friends to join you. 

Step 10: Allow the fire to completely burn before attempting to extinguish. When you’re finished, completely drown out the fire with water.

Step 11: Make certain that all wood logs and embers have been extinguished. Never leave a smoldering fire unattended.

FOLDING TORCH METHOD

As an alternative method for starting your Takibi time, we recommend using the Snow Peak Folding Torch. This powerful tool provides small concentrated flames which easily lights kindling at the bottom of your fireplace. Point the nozzle and burn wood evening until you hear it crackle at which point you know the fire will take off on it’s own. Slowly add larger logs in alternating directions to help fire grow. 

Snow Peak – Tips for Bikepacking Beginners w/ Swift Industries’ Martina Brimmer

Written by: Savanna Frimoth

This week, Martina Brimmer, co-founder of Swift Industries, shared her tips and tricks for new bike campers. If you’re dreaming of remote trails, epic views, and backcountry adventures, read on for everything needed to get you started.

PICK YOUR GEAR

As with any outdoor excursion, the proper gear is key! Martina recommends packing a shelter (a tent, tarp, or hammock), a ground pad, and a sleeping bag.

Equally as important to your shelter and sleep setup is your kitchen kit. We’ve added a few of our own recommendations to her list!

  • Cutting board out of food-grade plastic
  • Knife – try the Field Knife with its included sheath.
  • Spork – as Snow Peakers know, nothing beats the Titanium Spork!
  • Spice kit (small containers of salt, pepper, cumin, chili, honey, etc.)
  • Small plastic bottle of cooking oil
  • Pot and pan – the Trek 900 is the perfect solution!
  • Backpacking stove and fuel – try the GigaPower Stove Auto and GigaPower isobutane.
  • Coffee kit – add the Collapsible Coffee Drip and some filters to your pack, and you’re all set!
  • Mug for both eating and drinking – use the Ti-Single 450 Cup for any beverage or mug meal.

PACK UP

Lightweight adventurers know the importance of creative packing. Waste no space! Martina says pre-packing strategizing is key.

“Think of your empty spaces first. Use the soft stuff like socks, leggings, and your puffy jacket to fill in the area around hard goods, like mortar between bricks. Put your fuel canister in an empty cook pot, then utilize the rest of that dead space with something soft, like socks or your kitchen rag. A tent can be attached to the top of the rear rack to leave space inside your touring bags for weather-sensitive provisions. A little mindfulness goes a long way: put sensitive gear like down sleeping bags and electronics in seam-sealed bags.”

She recommends packing your gear in the order of use. Group your items needed for the evening together, and leave your gear for the day in an easy-to-reach section. Lastly, shrink items as much as you can! Consider each piece of gear and whittle down non-essentials.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE AND BE PREPARED

Avoid getting lost with proper pre-trip planning! Martina suggests starting with an old-fashioned paper map, then cross-referencing with Google Maps for cycling to your destination.

“Start by plugging in your destination and toggling to bicycle mode in Google Maps, then fine-tune the suggested route. Quiet roads are sure to impress, so when you’re planning, maximize those digital maps to reveal the backroads that every traveler longs for. Try roads with old in the title. “Old Woodinville-Duvall Road” has likely been replaced by a larger, more heavily trafficked thoroughfare, leaving the grandparent highway underused and laid back (though sometimes also a little more rolling).”

Local knowledge is top-notch but be wary of tips from folks who have only driven the stretch of road. Another important factor to consider is your daily mileage. Martina recommends 45-50 miles per day, but less is fine too! Weather, road conditions, and other factors will have an impact.

“Keep in mind that 50 miles of flat roads with a heavenly tailwind are very different than 50 dirt miles over mountain passes. Sometimes a day’s distance is predetermined by the distance between your chosen campgrounds, and you may have to pull a long day in the saddle to make it into camp.”

PLAY IN NATURE

Last but certainly not least, embrace all that the backroads have to offer. Take a swim in a river or lake, pause to listen to the birds or watch the wildlife, wake up early to watch the sunrise. These are the magical moments that get us out there. Reconnect with the rhythms of nature, wherever the road takes you.

Martina says, “It’s all about tuning in and dropping out. Start paying attention to where you are in the moment and walk away from the daily grind to get perspective and reorient yourself. The magic of bike-camping is that it’s equal parts going there and getting there.”

For more helpful bike camping tips, check out Swift’s blog or RSVP for one of the activations taking place during the Swift Residency at Snow Peak Portland.

HiHeyHello X Snow Peak

Bikepacking 101: Learn what to bring and how to load your bike.

We are excited to kick off July by spending the afternoon with Rie Sawada (@charries_cafe) and @hiheyhellomagazine, learning more about the essentials of bike-packing and how to load up for your next adventure on two wheels.

Rie Sawada toured Europe, setting up pour-over coffee stations, sharing the joy of coffee, and cyling with new friends. Rie spends a lot of time exploring and camping on her bike and will be sharing her bikepacking essentials, a packing list, and tips on how to load your bike to adventure on two wheels. The event will be informal, attendees will be able to ask questions.

Copies of HiHeyHello Magazine will be available for purchase. Beverages and light snacks provided. Limited to 30 attendees due to COVID-19 protocols.


Details:⠀
RSVP HERE
Thursday July 1st, 2021 from 5-7p.⠀
@snowpeakportland Flagship Store on 404 NW 23rd. Ave.⠀

Subscribe or check back here for more great info on Snow Peak and bike packing basics.

Gear Patrol – 15 Awesome New Outdoor Products to Kick off Summer With – Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

From Gearpatrol.com By Tanner Bowden

This pandemic year has highlighted how important the outdoors are. As one of the only spaces to gather responsibly, they’ve been critical for recreation, fitness, dining and general escape from our own homes.

On a related note, kudos to the government for recently unveiling a plan to conserve 30 percent of the country’s land and water by 2030, much of which will become parks as well as new grounds for hunting and fishing.

That kind of news is easy to get excited about, especially with summer on the horizon — but also when there’s all kinds of new outdoor gear with which to enjoy all those wide-open spaces.

Snow Peak Alpha Breeze

The Japanese outdoor brand looked to Adirondack and A-frame cabins to inform the design of its newest tent. The Alpha Breeze’s somewhat-domed form is familiar; what’s novel is the inclusion of various entry points and a fly that converts to an awning for a covered front porch hangout.

Price: $500

For the other 14 items on the list check out Gearpatrol.com

Snow Peak Opens Takibi ‘Bonfire’ Restaurant in Portland

From GearJunkie by Adam Ruggiero

The outdoor brand’s first U.S. restaurant will serve locally sourced, Japanese-inspired fare, cooked on a wood-burning hearth.

Today, the luxury-meets-utility-meets-style outdoor brand, Snow Peak, will push the envelope a little further for American consumers and launch a restaurant. Takibi (Japanese for “bonfire”) opens today right next to its U.S. headquarters in northwest Portland.

Under the watch of chef Alex Kim, Takibi will offer customers a seasonally rotating menu that shifts with the produce locally available at that time. The cuisine and aesthetic will draw inspiration from izakayas, Japanese bars with light shareable plates.

“We believe Snow Peak is the foodiest brand in the outdoor industry, and by opening Takibi, we’re on our way to becoming the outdoorsiest brand in the hospitality space,” Matt Liddle, chief operating officer of Snow Peak USA, said in a press announcement. “The quintessential Snow Peak experience is sharing a thoughtfully prepared meal with friends around the fire.”

Takibi is not Snow Peak’s first restaurant; the brand already dabbles in Japan’s food scene. But it is Snow Peak’s first U.S. dining option, and Takibi’s opening has already been delayed by a year in the wake of the pandemic.

While trendy dining sits at the forefront of Snow Peak’s new restaurant, it is, after all, an outdoor brand. As such, customers can expect the brand’s gear to accompany their East-meets-West dining experience.

Some of Snow Peak’s iconic products — think sporks and drinkware — are baked into Takibi.

“Meals at Takibi find Snow Peak product thoughtfully woven throughout the dining experience,” Snow Peak COO Matt Liddle said. “From inspired cocktails served in our legendary titanium mugs to the mini-flames that flicker on the bamboo table tops, we’ve found plenty of moments to surprise and delight diners with Snow Peak product.”

Takibi will also sport a wide array of classic cocktails with “Japanese accents.” For food, Snow Peak won’t reveal all the good ahead of its launch, but it did offer a few choice selections to tease customers.

The lunch menu will offer a wild mushroom ochazuke — charcoal-grilled wild mushroom rice, grilled trumpet mushrooms, turnip top furikake, nori, radish, and cabbage sprouts. The dinner selection includes beef sukiyaki.

For the launch, Takibi will be limited to 50 patrons, served on its patio. But when open at full capacity, the restaurant will host another 75 patrons indoors.

And don’t worry if you’re not in Portland for the opening. Liddle confirmed that Snow Peak plans to open more restaurants in select locations as it grows in the U.S.

For more info and to make a reservation visit – takibipdx.com

Takibi Fire and Grill by Snow Peak

We believe gathering in nature is one of the best ways to restore the human spirit. Takibi, or bonfire in Japanese, is at the center of every outdoor gathering.

Takibi Fire and Grill

The Takibi Fire and Grill is made of durable stainless steel and designed in Japan for a lifetime of use. Packable, portable and modular, use the Takibi Fire and Grill to create a gathering anywhere. The five piece set includes Grill Net, Grill Bridge, Pack & Carry Fireplace L, Baseplate and Carrying Case. 

CONTENTS

  • Fireplace Grill (L)
  • Fireplace Grill Bridge (L)
  • Pack & Carry Fireplace (L)
  • Fireplace Base Plate (L)
  • Fireplace Canvas Bag (L)

MATERIALS

  • Stainless Steel
  • No. 6 Canvas
  • Acrylic Tape
  • Nylon Mesh

SPECIFICATIONS

  • 32 lbs (14.5 kg)
  • L 17.7″ W 17.9″ H 12″
  • $319.95

Snow Peak – This Fancy Camp Gear Is Nearly Idiot-Proof (According to an Idiot)

By Nick Caruso Dec 19, 2020 From Gear Patrol

Seeking solace from the pandemic, I arranged to test a truly glorious collection of Snow Peak products. Despite my worst efforts, the stuff rocked.

The gist of what you’re about to read is that Snow Peak camping gear is gorgeous, highly functional, fun to use and impressive to look at even in the hands of a complete idiot. I should know: I am that idiot.

As you probably do, I constantly yearn for an escape from the omnipresent perils and stress of COVID. Earlier in the fall, my friend pod decided to go camping. For weeks beforehand the anticipation was tough to ignore, particularly because I had arranged to test out a wonderful collection of Snow Peak camping gear.

n theory, this was going to be a perfectly epic off-grid adventure — we’d be set up with more square footage of shelter and furniture options than many Brooklyn apartments, a rustic yet gourmet cooking situation and enough ambience to astonish Wes Anderson. In practice… nothing went as planned. For all my excitement, I had failed to pursue preparations such as “knowing how to set up the tent” and “remembering my sleeping bag.”

(Before continuing, I want to point out that I have been camping many times and have used, tested or owned a boatload of this sort of gear over the years. While this instance of me being wildly stupid was by no means an isolated incident, it’s not for lack of knowledge or experience that everything went wrong. That makes all of this worse.)

The gear list was indeed extensive: a Land Lock Tent and Takibi Tarp Octa, several Red Folding Chairs, a Single Action Table, a Home & Camp Burner, 10 Hozuki Lanterns, and the phenomenal Takibi Fire & Grill. There was enough to literally fill the back of my Cherokee.

When the day came, I set out with the smug nonchalance of a law student slacker confidently wandering into the bar exam after only having watched My Cousin Vinny a couple times

The two- and-a-half-hour road trip was a breeze, and I was happily humming along to yacht rock (probably) until almost exactly 10 minutes out from the campsite, when for no reason whatsoever I realized that I’d left a very crucial crate behind.

In it, my sleeping bag and pad, pillow, camp towel, hammock, flashlight and tools, all the insulated clothing I’d packed and even a Helinox camp bench I was reviewing. In other words, the things I needed most.

Faced with adding a roughly five hours of driving to my day, I made a series of very embarrassing calls. The only chance I had was a friend who might not have left yet, the Marisa Tomei to my Joe Pesci, if you will. She graciously nabbed my gear, completely saving the weekend. Soon, however, I realized that this godsend had merely cleared the way for me to be a complete dumbass in myriad other respects.

Snow Peak Landlock Tent – $1599.95

I turned my attention to the task of erecting the resplendent and absolutely gargantuan Land Lock. Another friend lent a hand, thankfully, but as I had neglected to procure any diagrams or instructions and because we had zero cell service, setup overwhelmed us. In retrospect, the solution was not only starkly obvious, but also extremely simple: Snow Peak’s tent poles are discreetly color-coded to their respective straps.

Once we made this discovery at roughly the two-hour mark, the entire thing was done in 20 minutes. Then, when the last stake was hammered down, it became obvious that we hadn’t left enough room to put up the awning, which remained in its bag the entire weekend right next to the tent floor, still neatly folded in the Jeep. Inexplicably, I never once even tried to look for the latter, and only when I was packing up everything did I see it.

Anyhow, the result was that the weatherproof canopied luxury I’d promised everyone never materialized, and at night I was the sole inhabitant of a 260-plus square-foot palace, sleeping on a dirt floor.

Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill – $319.95

A fun science fact is that, as time goes by there is less and less natural light. This is due to astrophysics. To combat that issue, humans have a) mastered the creation of fire and b) invented battery-powered, portable light bulbs. There was, curiously, no actual fire pit to be found at our site, but with the Takibi Fire & Grill there was no need and I quickly demonstrated that I was as capable as a refined neanderthal.

Indeed, the F&G is even more intuitive and elegant than the tent, even for absolute morons: I unpacked, unfolded and set up in no time, and it worked beyond flawlessly throughout the weekend. We warmed ourselves by a constant fire and cooked all of our meals using its mesh grill surface. (I actively chose to not even unpack the Home & Camp burner, as it felt unwise for someone on this kind of roll to even touch a canister of explosive gas.)

Snow Peak Mini Hozuki – $42.95

The large box full of ultimately effective and very pretty hanging lanterns, however, threw me for a loop. I learned that it’s impossible to turn them on if you accidentally leave one battery out of each — an epiphany that came well after dark.

It turns out that light is really helpful at a campsite, especially if you want to see tent cords instead of tripping (stone sober) over one and face-planting directly into another. This, perhaps obviously, happened to me. The upshot: a three-inch rope burn under my right eye which has ever so lightly scarred. A nice, permanent reminder of how wonderful 2020 has been.

Snow Peak Renewed Single Action Table – $399.95 & Snow Peak Red Folding Chairs – $109.95

Two items that worked wonderfully start-to-finish, despite my blundering buffoonery, were the four exquisitely comfortable and featherweight folding chairs and Single Action folding table. I think every one of us exclaimed at least once, unprompted, that the chairs were perfect. The table unfolds in the most mesmerizing origami ballet and is the perfect height and size for group dining and/or outdoor cooking prep and serving.

In fact, everything was perfect. I can’t emphasize that enough. If I’d been just two percent more prepared, the entire glamping (almost avoided the term) setup would have been ready to go in under an hour and functioning above and beyond its call to COVID-escape duty. The irony of my whole misadventure is undeniable, and I can’t help but think that perhaps my dirt floor was karmic retribution for rushing to relax.

All the same, know that in our stressful, weird times and beyond, whenever we want a fresh-air home away from home without sacrificing creature comforts, Snow Peak will be ready with sublime solutions. Just read the instructions first.