MC Ranch Fire Reflector

Explore Outdoor – Overland Gear has over 1000 products in the store and I have personally used or warehoused hundreds of them.  Of all the products The Original MC Ranch Fire Reflector stands out from the rest as something that just absolutely fascinates me.  I say this not because its better at its function than other products in the store, every product delivers on its promise of utility pretty well, including the MC Rand Fire Reflector.  No, I find it fascinating because of its complete and utter simplicity and promise to create “a better campfire experience.”  

 

As a lover of the outdoors, I must admit, the campfire is one of my favorite parts of the experience.  When I hear, “a better campfire experience,” I think…how? How could this basic hunk of metal possibly make a campfire any better than it is?  For me, this question opens a pandoras box of inner conflict and toil.  Why do we constantly try to improve on what might not need improving? Can’t we just leave one thing on this earth alone.  The campfire, its perfect, can we not mess with it please!

 

So, I find The Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch Overland and my first reaction is an audible LOL (laugh out loud) as I think to myself, wow, Overlanders will buy absolutely anything.  Then I saw the price and thought, well, its not for me, but I’m sure someone will buy it. 

 

Its so simple, its just big panels of aluminum riveted together and put in a travel bag.  Could this thing possibly provide any added value to a campfire? Could it possibly improve on the campfire experience? 

 

Well thats exactly what this blog post sets out to do.  I want to help you decide if The Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch Overland will be worth adding to your kit or not. So let’s get into it. 

 

 

 

 

The Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch Overland is Manufactured in Canada and the USA.  The aluminum is cut and finished in Vancouver and Burnaby British Columbia Canada and the carrying case is manufactured by The Last US Bag Company in Vancouver Washington.  It was invented by Mike Offerhouse, the M in MC Ranch.  He lives in Vancouver Canada with his wife Carol the C in MC Ranch.  Its an endearing story of how they came up with the name. Every house they ever lived in together would be called MC Ranch by their close friends.  

 

Mike has a long history of outdoor exploration in British Columbia while working as a project manager for a large construction company.  Now in retirement Mike has dedicated himself to building community and bringing people together.  The Fire Reflector is his way to help do this.  For thousands of years the fire has been a gathering place for warmth, safety and community.  It’s fitting that Mike’s product is intended to highlight and compliment the communal fire experience.

 

The Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch is literally four –  24”x 24”x2″ inch panels of nicely finished aluminum that are riveted together to fold almost completely flat. The logo is cut out of the two end panels and each of the end panels also have a small tab that extrudes for staking in the case of high wind. It weighs 27 lbs and folds flat to about 2 inches across. 

 

  

Fire Reflector - MC Ranch Overland

How do you use it?

Simply remove the reflector from the carrying case and place it in an arch type shape directly across the campfire from where you are sitting. I find it works best if it is placed about 1 ft away from the fire with a fire that is made low to the ground or on the ground.  The fire can be as big as you want and the fire reflector will help block wind and reflect heat. The lower to the ground the fire is built the greater the heat effect and wind blocking capabilities.  You don’t need gloves to place the reflector or adjust the reflector when in use because aluminum does not absorb heat and always stays relatively cool to the touch.  I enjoy proving this to people by grabbing the reflector with my bare hands after it has been next to the fire for a while. 

 

 

MC Ranch Fire Reflector

So does this thing actually work?  I’ve used it personally dozens of times and in a lot of different situations. I can say with confidence that I absolutely love it for certain situations but not all. I’ll start with where it works best. 

 

I absolutely love using the Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch when I am with my wife, just the two of us.  I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to describe the effect it has, but I’ll do my best. The reflector radiates extra warmth from the fire and a glow that really does create this sort of warmth bubble. It genuinely is warmer and there is this very soothing glow that radiates from it.  Yes, the fire already does this by itself, but its not the same effect and its very hard to describe the subtle difference it makes.  My wife loves it and she loves that I’m trying to make the experience of camping and overlanding more comfortable for her.  I have to admit, one of my favorite things to do in this world is to sit beside my wife in nature with a fire and the fire reflector setup. Sip on a glass of scotch whale she enjoys a glass of wine and just share that time with her.  

 

Thats my favorite use but it also works great in small groups around a camp fire. 4-8 people will still really feel the effect. Once groups get larger than 8, I find we typically need to circle the fire and in these situations the fire reflector just kind of gets in the way by taking up just a bit too much campfire space that we need for sitting. 


Fire Reflector

I find it works great to block the wind and create a more consistent fire. Personally, I find it really helpful to get the fire started. I insist on using minimal fire starting tools simply for the fun of it.  Just matches and a little crumpled up paper.  

 

I would say in every situation I’ve ever used it, it does help create a warmer camp fire. The only time it doesn’t is when groups get too large.  

So…is it worth it? 

 

My opinion is yes. I like that it makes my wife happy.  I like that it does make a campfire warmer and more controlled. Can I take trips without it? Yes, but I’d prefer to have it along. 

 

I hope this helps you better understand The Original Fire Reflector by MC Ranch. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below.

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