Campfire cooking is an art form. Sure, you can always just skewer a sausage or a s'more and roast it directly over the heat, but with a little camping cooking gear, you can elevate your camp cooking to new heights. With the cooler nights of fall just around the corner, camp cooking becomes even more important, as you'll need the extra calories to stay warm overnight. There are plenty of styles of campfire cooking to explore and a suspended pot over your fire is one of the most versatile.
By hanging a pot or a kettle over your fire, you can keep your dish away from direct heat, but retain a rolling boil, or a gentle simmer. This means you can always have hot water ready and waiting for a cup of coffee, heat yourself a cowboy casserole of beans and ground beef to pour over a biscuit, or simmer a stew for a substantial meal under the stars. There are several different ways to hang a pot over the fire, from a tripod above the fire to a spitroast-style pole. But when you want to have a fully adjustable pole system, there really is only one style of pot hanger for you. Grab your survival knife, get some sticks, and start whittling your own campfire pot hanger.
Step 1: Collect your sticks using your folding saw. You will need one long stick for suspending your pot hanger, one shorter stick, ideally with a hook at the base for hanging your pot from, and two Y-shaped sticks to act as the rest and the pegs. For cooking, you would ideally use green sticks as they will be less susceptible to burning, but for practicing this you can use drier sticks, rather than cutting live trees.
Step 2: To create the notches in your hanging stick to adjust the height, first carve three V-shapes into the stick, facing down towards your pot hanging arm. These should be on the same side of the stick as your hanging arm, otherwise, your pot hanger will unbalance and fall.
Step 3: Carve out the bottom, and either side of the Vs that you have carved. You should be left with an upwards, diagonal groove in the stick and an overhang — often referred to as a beak.
Step 4: Repeat this three times to give you three heights — or heat settings — on your hanger. If your chosen stick does not have a branch that you can use as a pot hanger, carve another of these up the other way at the base of the stick to hang your pot from.
Step 5: Carve the end of your long stick until it is flat. This should slot into the grooves you have just carved in your hanging stick and fit neatly under the beak. This will form your hanging system.
Step 6: Sharpen the base of your Y-shaped stick so it can be pushed into the ground. This stick will form a rest for your suspension pole
Step 7: Next, carve the ends of a smaller Y-shaped stick to a point. This still will act as a peg system, holding the end of your long stick into the ground when the weight is suspended from the other end.
Step 8: Assemble your pot hanger. Stick the rest into the ground next to your fire pit and position your long stick on it so that the end is just above and just beside the heat. Pin the other end of your long stick into the ground. Once this is secure, hang your pot from the end of your pot hanger and use the notches to move it closer or further from the heat.
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