The Early Days

To Build a (Propane) Fire #1: Welcome to the Campfire

To Build a (Propane) Fire #1: Welcome to the Campfire

This is the first email we ever sent out. It was June of 2022. We'd just invented a new technology, and now we wanted to tell anyone who was willing to listen. This is the story, step by step, of how we took the HOWL from idea to market...


Howdy folks!

This is Randall, Kelly, Nicholas, and Alex – the founders of HOWL. We believe spending time around a campfire in the forest is good for people.

But there’s a problem: Campfires are being snuffed out.

Forests are getting dryer, making wildfires bigger and more intense. Land managers are trying to protect ecosystems, homes, and towns by starting burn bans earlier each season and extending them later.

And that means time spent by a roaring wood fire is harder and harder to come by. 

The thing is, fire changes people. Sit by one for a while, and you’ll be more connected to your past, your people, and your place in the world. You’ll be more yourself.

If we lose touch with the campfire, we’ll lose something central to thousands of years of the human experience. And if we don’t pass it down to future generations, it could be lost forever. 

So we’ve decided to do all we can to keep the forest AND the campfire alive.

We’ve come up with an invention that gives you a real campfire experience, legally, in the middle of a burn ban. It’s a portable propane campfire that’s not a compromise to a wood fire. Right now it’s just a prototype, but we are hard at work trying to turn it into a product, then learn how to manufacture it, and then build a sustainable business around it.

[One of many early design ideas for the HOWL Campfire.]

If we’re successful, we’ll use this business to further the mission of keeping the forest and the fire alive. We’ll use a portion of proceeds to support those who fight wildfires, those who prevent new fires, and those who restore lands that have burned.

The goal is to build the fire that rebuilds the forest.

This feels like a wild and uncertain dream. But for two years, we’ve been working nonstop on this invention. The technology we’ve developed is:

  • hot enough to replicate the real campfire experience
  • as packable as wood, even with the tank
  • safe enough to prevent human-caused wildfire starts
  • certifiable to international ANSI standards

We don’t know where this road will lead yet. But you’re here, so at least we’re not alone. Thank you for joining us here while we try, fail, and figure things out. We’re really glad you’re here!

Welcome to the Campfire,

– Randall, Kelly, Nicholas, and Alex

Reading next

How To Build a (Propane) Fire #2: Why Flames Can't Keep You Warm

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.