Bug Out Camp Cooking Over Charcoal
Dr. John Woods 09.12.17
Once you make it to your bug out campsite, you may be looking for alternative ways to do some cooking. Propane would be nice, as would a wood stove or even trying to cook over a regular burning campfire. All these are perfectly plausible. Just the possibility of trading up from time to time can also extend supplies like propane in a tank that could be hard to replenish.
One other way to cook is over simple bagged charcoal. If you don’t have a charcoal cooker, then add one to your bug out camp, soon. The one I have was given to us as a wedding present in 1975 by my dad. I retired it several years ago for a new Weber at home to use the older one at camp. The bottom is about burned out, so it will need a replacement soon. I’d say 40 years is pretty good service. I also keep at least 10, 20-pound bags of charcoal briquettes on hand.
Aside from having a commercial charcoal cooker, it can be done on the ground or in a circle of rocks. In this case you will likely use more charcoal plus the heat concentration will be nearly impossible to control. That is why a good charcoal cooker is a best bet situation. An alternative here would be to cook via a cast iron Dutch oven with lid on the charcoal coals.
Lighting a charcoal fire is simple with the use of a fire chimney. This is a column formed of aluminum with a holding grate inside and a handle on the outside. You load the charcoal in the top, put crumpled newspaper in the bottom and light it up. In ten minutes the charcoal will be glowing. Pour it onto the charcoal grill and you are ready to go.
Heat in a charcoal cooker can be controlled in several ways. Burning charcoal can be put on just one side of the grill to reduce direct heat to the food above the fire. The intensity of grill heat is controlled by opening and closing the lid top vents and or the bottom vents.
You can grill meats quickly without the lid, or slow cook a big piece with the top in place. Veggies can be cooked on the grill proper or inside a suitable skillet or pan. The use of a charcoal cooker is a simple, convenient and efficient way to cook bug out foods.