Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Camping Genius - The Tin Can Billy

Cook over small fires with this rig.
All right guys, we talked about the bugout bag a week or so ago. If you get stuck somewhere and need a hot nourishing meal here's a quick recharge.  All you need is a can of beans, a pocket knife and bit of wire.

It's the hobo's friend - the tin can billy. A billy is nothing but a tin can with a wire loop to hang it from. I like to carry a small roll of lightweight wire for just such a purpose.  All you have to do is take the top off the can with your pocket knife can opener (I'm assuming you DO have a Swiss Army knife or similar clone). Next you poke a hole in the sides, string a loop in the top of the can and hang it from the end of a stick over the fire. (I'm assuming you can find and notch a stick and build a fire. If you've got a good Swiss Army knife, you should even have a spoon attachment on the knife to eat the beans with.

As to beans I recommend Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans or a can of Ranch Style Beans. Both are kosher for Adventists and are also quite tasty. Check out this webpage for complete pictures and details for cooking with a tin can billy.

If you're taking out a youth group, have everyone bring different things in cans to cook and combine them to make meals cooked entirely with tin can billies.  Here's a sample menu for four to five campers.

Large can of beans
Large can of corn
Regular can of vege-links
Large can of peas (for something green)
Can of fruit pie filling
Package of shortcakes
Package hot dog buns

Heat all the canned stuff and eat it. You can roast the links over the fire on sticks or just heat them up in the can.  Warm the pie filling carefully and pour over the shortcakes for a pleasant fruity desert. If your guys have mess kits, they can simply line up the cans, take their share out and eat. It's an easy and educational camping supper.

People do not appreciate how useful cans are on a campout. Wash them out, fill them with water and set them in the sun.  At the end of the day you'll have warm water for hand and face-washing which, by the way, feels wonderfully good, I'm telling you.

Have a fun campout.

Tom

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