Backpacking Grill from Lawson Outdoor Equipment

Lawson Backpacking Grill

I recently had the opportunity to try out a Backpacker’s Grill, from Lawson Outdoor Equipment. It’s just a 5” x 12” grill, with a frame made from high quality 304 stainless steel, constructed using a .187” round rod. The cross bars are made from .125” rod, welded to the frame. I’ve seen small cheap grills that serve much the same purpose before, but they don’t usually last long. After a couple of uses, they’re ready to throw away. But not this one. This grill is made in America, baby. It’s built to last. ‘Merica!

Built to Last

I tried it out recently on a trip where the temps dropped pretty quickly as a steady rain soaked everything, including me. I found a small dry place back under some canyon walls and was able to get a small fire going. I tried using some duct tape as a fire starter but it was hard to keep it going long enough to ignite the rest of the tinder, so I resorted to using a 14g Esbit tablet. I set the small grill between some rocks to keep it stable, and set a stainless steel cup over the flames to heat up some water. It’s nice having a hot drink to knock the chill off of you, ya know?

Lawson Backpacking Grill

One thing I really liked about this was the 5” width. It made it easy to set a cup on it and not worry about knocking it off. However, it goes without saying that you’d better have it set upon something solid or your cookware and food could end up in the fire. Weighing in at only 7.4 ounces, I can see myself taking this along on a trip if I’m planning on freezing a steak or chicken breast and carrying it for dinner, or even better, if I’m grilling some fish I just pulled out of the river. Also, if you’re carrying some bread or bagels for breakfast, you can set this over some hot coals and toast them.

Cooking Over a Real Fire

There’s something about having fire that is a huge morale boost for me. Being able to cook over an open flame without having to impale my food on a stick or cook it on a dirty, ash covered rock makes it even better, since it’s a bit more sanitary and there’s less chance of knocking my food off in the fire.

Another great thing about cooking over fire is all the free fuel you find in the woods. The bad thing is, of course, that sometimes it’s hard to find dry fuel after a big rain. I was able to get the water in my cup hot, but not exactly to a rolling boil. I think this was due to the small size of the fire. Also, I think if I had built up a better windscreen, it would have helped. But the water was hot enough, so I was happy.

Lawson Backpacking Grill

The grill packs flat (obviously) and takes up very little room in my pack. I packed it inside a small stuff sack, since I didn’t spend a lot of time scrubbing the soot off and didn’t want to dirty up everything else in my pack. Not all the edges are filed off smooth, but I didn’t see anything that would cut holes in my pack. (I wouldn’t suggest wrapping your NeoAir Xlite around it, though.)

Lawson Backpacking Grill

Lawson makes a larger backpacking grill that is sized at 6” x 14”, and a ‘Pot and Pan Grill’ with less crossbars , in case you only want to put a cook pot or small skillet on it, instead of cooking food directly on the grill. And with all these priced at under $20, it’s worth trying out, especially since they offer free shipping for orders over $10. Heck, I bet you spend more on Diet Mountain Dew and Starbucks in a week than most of these cost. So pick one up and throw it in your pack or bug out bag, along with a Bic lighter. It’s a nice little ‘just in case’ item.

Keith Stone | Gear Toons | @GearToons

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  • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

    Question: The Lawson Outdoor Equipment backpacking grill is made using food-grade stainless steel. As a result it’s not the lightest portable grill on the market 5″x12″ 7.4oz (6″x14″ 9.5oz), but the price is right $15-$18.

    Lawson has been considering whether or not there would be a market for a #titanium version of each size? The weights would drop to 5″x12″ 2.8oz (6″x14″ 3.5oz), but the price would go up to $40-$50. If you know Lawson you’d know that his gear is extremely affordable.

    So the questions is – would a titanium version of these grills be something you would pay $40-$50 for?

    • Peter Nielsen

      If he could keep it in the $30 – $40 range i would go with titanium. The Purcell titanium packer grill is $66 with a nylon bag, hollow tubing and bigger dimensions.

      • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

        Hollow titanium tubing?

  • Snctool

    Brian, I will try making one of these out of stainless tubing and see how much it lightens the weight

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Great idea. Will the hollow tubing hold up under heat?

  • Nabhan Islam

    Just FYI, Lawson is offering a 10% discount on his entire catalog (including the grills) until Jan 10 with the code “JAN2014″. I already own his titanium tent stakes and Glowire/Ironwire cord and everything is really top-notch quality.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I couldn’t agree more. He makes a lot of the gear himself or has it custom made to his specifications. He’s very detail oriented. And his prices (and free shipping) are amazing.