The Pocket Bellows is a new piece for our fire kit that NMBL picked up this spring. Some outdoorsy people on the hammock chat forums were raving about it so she decided we should give it a try. Our Tofino trip gave us a good opportunity to put it to the test. We had rain, wet wood, nice weather, and a controlled fire pit to work with. We basically had the perfect test environment for this little gadget. So let’s get started.
What is it?
The Pocket Bellows is a simple little device. It’s a telescoping tube that compacts right down to 8.9 cm but extends out to about 53 cm. It allows you to blow onto your coals to help you get your campfire going and keep it going where necessary. For those who have weight/space concerns it’s a very light 21 grams and fits nicely into a pen pocket.
How well does it work?
VERY well. This little gadget gives you the focused blast of air you need for getting your fire going without hyperventilating. We’ve all had that moment when starting a fire where we’re blowing ourselves into dizziness on our embers to get them going. With the Pocket Bellows you can exhale at a more natural pace while directing the air exactly where you want it. It made keeping a wet wood fire going in the rain a lot easier than it would otherwise be.
Any Tips or Tricks?
Yes! Breathe naturally. I spent the first bit trying to blow hard on the fire. You don’t need to. Simply breathe through the tube like you’d naturally exhale. That’s it.
Also, don’t inhale! Those embers and coals can be hot.
Aim at the embers or the coals. Just like with putting out a fire you stoke it by aiming at the base rather than the flames.
With the Pocket Bellows you can have great cooking coals in a shorter period of time than you otherwise would. All it takes is a few well placed breaths on a well built fire.
I actually couldn’t find any. The build is good with quality stainless steel, it’s simple to use, and I expect it’s going to last us for years. I tried to over-extend it on a couple of pull-outs and it never passed its stops. It doesn’t under-extend either. It’s a simple design and well built.
If you’re to add one thing to your fire kit this year it should be the pocket bellows. You won’t be sorry.