As a hiker and fan of bush/wilderness/nature, I like to make fire and thus "have perfect TV“ during camp evenings.
Also, my experience with fire on ground gave me an idea to make fire a little above ground, so as to get better combustion. Old Roman fire cast-iron grate was an initial starter to test V-shaped log holder. So let's go do it!
I took 20x3mm steel bar, cut it, drilled it, assembled it with wing nut and screws. On the very next trip to the Outdoors I have tested this idea.
Step 1: KP V Form Grate Test
All those pictures show that the idea was worthy. So, let me put some pros and cons, based on this test.
- Combustion is improved with sufficient air flow and therefore all wood is turned to ash.
- Central fire is well controlled and on one spot.
- Left and right loaded small logs press down on the lower logs to center of the fire and while awaiting their turn these are heated and thus loose moisture. So these logs gain very hot surface and fire up an once.
-There is almost no need to monitor, add wood, or correct anything for proper combustion. It is all self-fed. 10 logs burn for 3-4 hours.
- Central firespot is hot and if you put a plate/grate above it you have a perfect small oven or grill...
- Eco-friendly, because all fuel is burnt without little impact upon the ground.
- All logs should be equal in length ... ca. 2 cm over each side and with diameter about 4-7 cm.
- If there is wind, fire has tendency to burn toward one side of V form
- Weight to carry it may be significant ... cca 400 grams
- Problem with rocky ground: hard to find a proper place to install.
Well, this is what the experience tells me so far. Now we shall go and investigate it some more.
Step 2: KP Skewer/grill
I took aluminum 20 x 3 mm rods, cut it in 6 pieces of 60 cm length, and drilled holes. Assembling is done with wing nuts and screws (4mm) and 15 pcs stainless steel rods of 60 cm x 4mm. Total weight was 700gr.
It was made to be used over normal camp fire when flames cease and only red coals remain. But this time we use a V-holder for grilling/skew. Heat comes from both open flame and coals.
The first test victim was a chicken – goes without mention that it was a complete success - though you must be skilled to prepare and grill a chicken over an open fire. Aluminum reflector is mandatory. It takes almost 2 hours time, but tastes perfectly.
So this time our grill was not tested. Because we got this idea to make/combine two separate gadgets in one, to save weight and simplify the usage.
And next week: from idea to final look.
Step 3: KP Final Form Grill +"V" Grate or Vice Versa
Steel "V“ form remained because fire temperature midst the holder is over 700C. We only needed to add several 4,5 mm holes.
From aluminum grill we take few bars, cut them and prepare to be attached with wing nuts, same as on "V" holder.
So now there is an arrangement for grilling birds if this is your taste, and there is also the classic over-coal grill, which serves as a base for pots and pans; to boil water, cook a meal. Or bake a cake. Or brew coffee.
Last three pictures are for true preppers / hikers / bushmen, which prefer available items from suroundings, to turn into an excellent dinner in the wilderness.
Hoping this may inspire someone to copycat...