Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Demonstrating the Green Sapling Tripod Cooking Method

I've posted here before about one of my favorite methods of cooking or boiling water using an open fire - the simple green sapling tripod support.  This was also described and illustrated in my book, Bug Out.  

Since I find the method so useful in that it allows you to carry nothing but one simple metal pot in the bug-out bag, I thought I would give you a better look at it in this video below.  I plan to do more video demonstrations of various techniques and reviews of gear in the future, and will soon have some better equipment for this.  If you can overlook the poor video quality of this footage, perhaps you can still benefit from the method. When I get set up with a better camera, I'll probably shoot this again in more favorable lighting and replace it here. This was done on a creek bank here in south Mississippi.

This method of cooking is well worth trying on your next overnight stay in the woods.  I've been using it for over 20 years myself, since first seeing it done by some native coconut growers in a remote coastal area of the Dominican Republic.  And although I say that one pot is all you need for the bug out bag, it also works as well when you're better equipped with skillets, coffee pot, etc.  I've cooked many hundreds of pancakes this way and it's easy to regulate the heat by adjusting the amount of fuel you feed into the small fire.


  1. Looks like a good technique. One problem is cooking over flames is often too hot and too uneven and of course it blackens the pans making them hard to clean and dirty to carry. I prefer burning a little hardwood and raking a few coals out of the fire to cook over. Three stone set far enough apart to support your pan and the heat is much more predicable and manageable and the pots generally don't get as sooty.

  2. Coals are great to cook over when you have time to generate them. The point of this method is that it's quick, if you need to purify water, make coffee or cook some wild greens or rice or whatever while on the move.

    The heat is actually very manageable with the small twig fire. In the video I have the flames larger than they need to be just to show how fast it brings water to a boil.

    I sometimes use three stones as I mentioned, in rocky areas. Here along the rivers where I live and in many other areas I've traveled, stones larger than small gravel are unavailable.

    Along the rivers, a quick scrubbing with sand will clean off the soot. A quality stainless steel pot works best.

  3. That is a very cool setup - thanks for taking the time to video it. I read about this earlier in your blog, but haven't had a chance to try it - will likely be going out this weekend for a deer hunt, will give it a go!

    Thanks again.

  4. The video was great. Really brings the idea to life. I've often wanted to record things on video myself, because sometimes the written word just doesn't quite get the idea across. Thanks!

  5. Thanks Mayberry,

    Glad you found it helpful. I will be doing more in the near future and with better camera equipment. I still prefer the written word, but there is a lot to be said for video when it comes to demonstrating certain things.


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