I take my daughter camping twice a year with a large group of other fathers as part of a program at our YMCA called the Indian Princesses. For those two weekends a local camp ground is filled with the smells of camp fires and the laughter of hundreds of young girls. My daughter is almost 6 and we have been going since she was 4, I think this past weekend was our 5th camp out. She loves it, and looks forward to going. She gets to spend time with her friends and do some fishing and loves searching for frogs and trying to catch minnows on the edge of the lake. She gets to shoot a gun, run an obstacle course through the woods, make crafts, and sleep outside. I enjoy it as well, mostly because it seems like I rarely get time with my daughter where I am not competing with some other distraction.
Because the weekend has an Indian theme we each belong to a specific tribe. My daughter and I are part of the Crow tribe. Each tribe has a specific campsite and a camp fire that is used for warmth, roasting marshmallows, and for just sitting around talking. This year, we decided to use it to cook some of our Saturday night dinner as well.
After reading a post at The Sharpened Axe about cooking beans in a fire pit, I thought it would be fun to give it a try at our camp out. We decided on baked potatoes though. I didn't take pictures of our preparations, but I can tell you that it was as described in the post linked above. The main difference was that we dug our hole on the peripheral of our existing camp fire, and then filled it with hot coals from the fire and counted on residual heat from the actively burning fire to handle most of the cooking. In a sense we created an oven with the main fire acting as the heat source.
The potatoes were coated in left over bacon grease from that morning's breakfast, and wrapped in aluminum foil. We dug a hole about 18 inches deep and lined it with rocks and filled it with hot coals from the fire. We then added our potatoes and then covered everything with an 8 inch layer of dirt.
We waited about 6 hours before digging them up, here are the results.
They were cooked to perfection! It was a very rewarding experience. I am already looking forward to the fall camp out with my daughter. Next weekend, I will be camping with my son in the Father/Son version of the same weekend.
I also spent some time last week, carving a coffee scoop, I haven't been out in the shop much at all lately, I'm spending some time out there this week for sure. We are buying a new set of cookware, and I need some spoons to keep the non-stick finish safe. No more metal spoons for us!
Here is my finished coffee scoop. I'm sending it to a friend this week. It isn't too fancy, but I know that it will be used to make many many pots of wonderful coffee.