Over on the right, check out a take-apart campfire cooking tripod in action. (The cast iron pot contains homemade venison chili. Click here for my recipe.) The tripod legs are made of ½ inch electrical conduit. They are 4 feet long and cut in 2 feet long sections connected together with conduit connections screwed in place on one end and glued in place on the other end. |
The light blue object in the right foreground is the carrier. It's made of 3 inch PVC sewer/drain pipe with a cap on one end and a screw–on/screw–off plug on the other end.
Notice the three eye bolts at the top and holding everything together. I opened the eye of one bolt with heavy pliers, put the chain end, the spoon "S" hook and the other two eye bolts inside it, then closed it with blows from a hammer.
To erect the tripod, simply insert the treaded ends of the eye bolts into the ends of the connected-together legs. It takes about 45 seconds from the time you unscrew the end of the PVC carrier until you're ready to cook.
If you build your own, make sure you completely close the ends of the "S" hooks where they connect to the chain and to an eye bolt. Also completely close the opened eye bolt.
If you decide to move a tripod leg with a pot in place, grasp the tripod leg at the bottom.
It cost me about $30 to build a tripod and its carrier in July, 2007. Your cost to build one may be more or less, depending on local costs and whether or not your brother-in-law is an electrician or a plumber.
A note about campfires: In honor of the spirits of the hundreds of Native Americans who probably built campfires near or on the site of mine, I purify each new campfire by burning a small cedar branch. I then purify new cooking utensils in that rising smoke. My tripod and Dutch oven were thus sanctified. |
Tripod cooking requires very little firewood. When the fire you see in the above photos burned down, I placed 4 sticks of firewood in it with the butts touching like an X with the fire in its middle. Move the tripod legs until the pot is centered over the X, the fire. Then raise or lower the pot for the desired level of simmer or boil. Cook with the pot low and over a small fire. When the fire burns down, use the toe of your boot and gently shove the butts closer together.
Look up and find Polaris, the North Star, or use your compass and find north. Then orientate the ends of the sticks of firewood comprising the X so that they point exactly north, south, east and west, the 4 sacred Native American directions.
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