Purcell Trench company

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"Purcell Trench makes the best grills on the planet."  Cliff Jacobson (wilderness guide, author of Wilderness Canoeing and over a dozen other popular books, and the video The Forgotten Skills)

Purcell Trench campfire cooking grills are Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) welded from American made, 1/4 inch diameter, thin wall stainless steel tubing, ultralight titanium tubing (the Titanium Packers Grill is our only grill made of titanium alloy tubing - see comments below in red under the materials heading) and thin sheet expanded stainless steel for strength without weight - ideal for backpacking and other go-light travelers.  They have rounded, smooth edges and rapid cooling tube frames for quick and easy packing.  Purcell Trench camp grills are narrow for better fire control and legless for more stability, lighter weight and longer life.


TIG welded thin wall tubing yields a light grill.

Grills are strong, as this 20 lb brick illustrates.


For maximum stability, Purcell Trench grills sit directly on the structure that holds your fire.  Grills are narrow, allowing for a coal producing fire adjacent to the grill and easy control of temperature by pushing hot coals underneath the grill or pulling hot coals out from under the grill.

Grills come in three types:  Stainless steel tube grills and a titanium tube grill for cooking in pots and pans or direct grilling firm or bone in meats and larger vegetables.  Or grills with stainless steel tubular frames and expanded stainless steel surfaces for grilling fish, burger, vegetables or other smaller food items directly over the coals.  We call them Streamside grills, illustrated by the Streamside Voyageur Grill at right.  Each grill model is available in Streamside configuration or all tube.


All grills come with a durable coated nylon bag to keep the rest of your gear clean.

Packers Grills

               Packer Frame             Packer Grill            Streamside Packer Grill

The light, easy to stow Packers Grill is ideal for backpackers or bikers going solo or with one or two companions.  Packers Frame is for the minimalist using pots and pans wide enough to fit the grill.  The standard Packer (or Titanium Packer) is a rigid unit, suitable for cooking firm meats and larger vegetables (or toasting a biscuit) in addition to providing support for small to medium sized pots and pans.  The Streamside Packer provides a full cover of mesh to the packer frame and works well for direct, over the coals grilling.  It is a favorite of backpacking anglers.  The Titanium Packer is for those wishing to travel ultralight.


Travelers Grills

      Travelers Grill                   Streamside Travelers Grill

The Travelers Grill graphic is rectangular.  In actuality the grill has 1/2 inch of taper, as shown in the photograph of the Streamside Travelers Grill.  The photograph provides a realistic view of the mesh size (we use the same mesh for all grills) and the product as you receive it from the shop, complete with medium weight carry bag and product hang tag.

Our original and still most popular grill, the Traveler provides all around service for one to a group of four or five. The grills are popular with backpack, bike, motorcycle, canoe and kayak, equestrian and ATV travelers.  The standard Traveler is suitable for medium sized pots and skillets or broiling firm meats such as steaks or chops directly over coals.  The Streamside Traveler is also suitable for burger, fish, vegetables and small items.

The Streamside Traveler is the same frame as the Traveler.  The lengthwise stays are eliminated and two short stays are welded across the frame, near the ends.  The central area is covered with expanded mesh and the ends are open, as in the photograph.  Why the design?  The open ends make it easier to hang from a limb, easier to handle, easier to rest firmly on the support of a rock ring, slightly lighter than if we covered the frame with mesh.


Voyageurs Grills

              Voyageurs Grill             Streamside Voyageurs Grill

The Voyageurs Grill was designed to meet the needs of backcountry canoe travelers.  However, like the Travelers Grill, it has been embraced by campers of all persuasions.  The standard Voyageur has four internal stays.  They are closer together than the Travelers Grill, so the Voyageur is a good all purpose grill.  Still, the Streamside Voyageur is superior for burger, fish and small vegetables.  It is common for groups or large families to buy both a Voyageur and Streamside Voyageur and use them over the same fire for maximum cooking flexibility.  The Streamside Voyageur has two stays and a full covering of mesh TIG welded to the frame and tacked to the two stays to help stabilize the mesh and minimize warp. 



Two pieces of stainless steel tubing 17.5 inches in length, 2.4 ounces for the set.  Or you may request 16.5 inch or 14.5 inch STIX, or we can cut longer or shorter pieces of tube.  Experienced campers have carried a couple of pieces of steel tubing for cooking over the fire for ages.  STIX can augment grill capabilities, you can put them to the side of a grill to expand the working dimensions of the grill, or under a grill to make the grill work on a larger fire.  No carry bag included (I recommend a plastic bread sack).  $9/pair.


In Japan, customers can buy Purcell Trench grills from outdoorgoods.org, and in Canada from canadianoutdoorequipment.com.


There are numerous types of stainless steel and grades of titanium.  We use made in the USA types 304, 304L and 316 stainless, which are corrosion resistant and high heat tolerant.  Tubing is typically extruded or welded and we have used both with equal success.  Our .250 inch diameter, thin wall tubing has been tested at 1,500 degrees F for 1,000 hours with little loss of mechanical properties.  We require tubing designed to meet industrial standards and uniform dimensions.  The tube is annealed to facilitate bending to shape.  If you bend your grill accidentally it can be bent back into form.  Despite the high expansion ratio of stainless steel the all tube grills are stable and Streamside grills have proven quite durable, with some expected deflection of the expanded material during welding and over a fire.  The large Streamside Voyageurs Grill is more prone to deflection than our other grills until they get used to campfire heat.  We recommend a conditioning fire before using high heat with our grills and that is especially important with the Streamside Voyageurs Grill. 

Expanded stainless steel is sheet material, die cut, expanded and in our case flattened to desired thickness.  We use the same type material as the tubular frame to minimize expansion conflicts.

The expanded metal is welded to the tube frame at each contact point and tacked to internal stays in the case of the Streamside Voyageur grill.  Our welders shield the working area with inert gas to provide a stronger bond and protect steel near the weld.

We order tube and expanded stainless directly from American mills to save money and maintain uniform material excellence.  Grill weights are listed as approximate because, despite prescribing specifications to the factory, dimensions vary slightly from order lot to order lot.  Expanded stainless weight varies more than tube weight.

Titanium, unlike steel, is an element and commercially pure titanium is a useful product.  Increasingly, small amounts of other elements are added to enhance properties for specific applications.  Our Titanium Packers Grills are of Grade 9 material, a high heat tolerant titanium alloy.  The tubing has a slightly thinner wall thickness than our stainless steel tube.  The primary use is aircraft hydraulic tubing.  It is roughly twice as strong as commercially pure titanium tube and about 58% the weight of stainless tube of the same dimensions.  The tube is stress relieved rather than annealed, so the grills are quite stiff.  Customers should avoid bending them.

Titanium has an excellent strength to weight ratio and outstanding corrosion resistance.  The melting point is high but the material degrades in atmospheric gases at elevated temperatures.  For instance, welding requires a neutral environment.  The inside of the tube has to be purged of air and the outside of the tube has to be free of contact with air during welding.

We experimented with titanium as a grill material several years ago and were not satisfied with the results.  Materials and welding techniques have improved.  During our tests the titanium Packers Grill has generally held up well.  However, metallurgists warn titanium can warp and oxidize when subjected to temperatures much over 800 degrees F. (hotter than your range burner or broiler at home). We have not had oxidation problems with test grills but have had some warping of grills over hot fires with significant weight on the grill.  Titanium can loose working strength fairly rapidly at high temperatures.  Customers wishing to put their grill over a roaring fire to get the kettle boiling right away should buy a stainless steel grill.  Titanium grills will not tolerate as much heat as stainless steel grills.

Our supply of titanium is limited and intermittent.  Product specifications may change.  If you want a titanium grill you are encouraged to buy when they are available.  If they are not currently available a notice will be placed on this web page and the order form. 

Corrosion resistant metals typically protect themselves by developing a coating of oxides on exposed surfaces.  Aluminum and titanium are good examples.  It isn't advisable to scour away the oxides every time you use the grill.  Direct food contact is safe with stainless steel and titanium grills. 

Making one's own equipment has become popular again and we welcome that trend.  However, we discourage the use of aluminum as a campfire grill material.  Aluminum has a low melting point and oxidizes readily at campfire heat levels.  Campfire rings are, sadly, frequently full of junk, including melted glass and partially burned aluminum cans and foil.  Unless you maintain very low heat with your campfire that is how your aluminum grill will look.  If you want to make a titanium grill we suggest you make a prototype out of carbon steel first.

More Than Campfire Grills

When it is too dry for a campfire, or campfire is ecologically or socially unsuitable, several of our customers carry a small alcohol burner to use with their grill.  The commercial Trangia burner at right is popular.

One of the favorite uses of our Streamside grills is to put them on the surface of a home gas or charcoal grill when we want to do small items, fish, burger, polenta or anything that might fall apart and through the normal grill surface.


Our Commitment and Miscellaneous Information

If a Purcell Trench product fails, or fails to provide the service you expect, return it with a note explaining your complaint and we will fix the problem, replace the product or give you your money back.  We have never had a defective, worn out, burned out, cracked or crushed grill returned to us.  Titanium grills are not guaranteed against warping over hot fires.  We have had one grill bag returned with a defective seam and a couple of grills bent by shippers.  Our products are hand made and there are variations in welding styles, working temperatures and so on, so the products do not look exactly alike.  They are tough, working products.  We also value craftsmanship (there are comments on the Internet about them looking like works of art, but durability and serviceability are the dominant criteria).

If you order products and they are not what you expected or not what you want, just send the item back in like new condition within a reasonable time period and we will exchange products or return your money.

I understand the difficulty of buying sight unseen.  I suggest you fold or cut a piece of paper or cardboard the size of the grill you are interested in and place your cooking pots and pans on the model. 

We charge a standard $8 shipping fee for all locations in North America, no matter how much or how little the order.  Standard shipping is US Postal Service Priority Mail inside the USA and territories, and US Postal Service International First Class for the rest of North America.  If special service such as expedited delivery is requested, that rate will be the shipping cost.  Outside North America your shipping cost is our shipping cost.  The current standard method is US Postal Service International First Class, usually much cheaper than US Postal Service Priority International, which includes some insurance and tracking.  First Class International does not include insurance and sometimes not tracking.  Other options are available.  I am happy to provide you quotes for shipping options, insurance, signature required, etc.  We do not charge extra fees for shipping.  The rate charged by the shipper is your cost.  If you prefer UPS for Federal Express to the US Postal Service we can do that.  You will be charged whatever the shipper charges us.  Note:  First Class International can be irregular.  The package can arrive in a week or five weeks.  If the package does not arrive that is a risk the purchaser takes.  It has been a reliable service for us for years and the price is right for our price range of products, but you should request Priority or other expedited shipping if you want insurance, tracking and prompt service.

For other answers to your questions, try the TESTIMONIAL, FAQ, GRILL TIPS, HOME, SHIPPING and other links on the site.  Give me a call or send a text message, or email to sales@purcelltrench.com.

Thank you for your interest in Purcell Trench grills.  Tell your friends if you like our products.  We do not advertise, preferring to invest in materials and skilled labor. 

Don Tryon,


Purcell Trench mfg.,  P.O. Box 7,  Addy, WA 99101 - 509-675-1413, sales@purcelltrench.com