If you're wondering how to make a camping oven without a variety of tools and materials, your best bet will be digging a hole two feet wide and two feet deep in the ground and lit a fire in it.
The materials and tools needed to build a basic outdoor oven are:
- A shovel. Depending on the ground characteristics, it could be replaced with a piece of timber, metal or other flat object.
- Some flat rocks. These will be the heat buffers of your oven.
- Some sand or gravel. You will use this to even the ground in your oven.
- A bucket. This will help you transport rocks and sand to your project.
The steps for building a camping oven are:
- Dig a hole in the ground. It has to be two feet deep by two feet wide. Choose a dry section of terrain, away from trees or grass.
- Light a fire in the hole, and keep it burning for at least three hours. You will start to see the walls of the hole hardening.
- Once the fire is off, remove ashes carefully and check for cracks in the walls. If there´s none, your oven is ready for use. Otherwise, cracks can be filled with paste made with wet gravel or sand.
To cook using this oven, you have to:
- Lit a fire in the hole, and keep it burning for about an hour.
- Remove big pieces of wood, and keep some embers on the bottom.
- Place a layer of flat rocks covering the embers.
- Put the food you are cooking over the rock. Remember, it will be hot.
- Cover the food with yet another layer of flat rocks.
- Put some more embers over the last layer of rocks.
- Mark the oven´s placement with a stick or a piece of wire, as it will be hazardous since it´s hot.
- Depending on the type of food you are preparing, cooking times will vary. Make sure you remove ash and rocks carefully. Again, it will be hot.
A good idea to retrieve the food container from the hot oven, is to tie it with a heat resistant wire or cord, leaving a few inches outside the hole. This way, after removing some of the cover material, you can lift your food and reuse the oven several times. The more you use the oven, the harder it will get. It is important to choose a good placement for the oven, since water will turn it useless instantly. So, river beds or lakesides are out of the question. Seaside can be a good place, every time you find a high spot with good sand or rocks available.
There are several more sophisticated ways to build an oven, but most of them will include a self supporting structure, something usually close to impossible in a camping environment. Digging a hole will provide you with a somewhat stable structure, at almost no cost. Remember to mark the area where the oven is dug, as to prevent accidents an loss of health (or food).
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