making charcoal

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make charcoal and use it to cook dinner at camp.


large oil drum with air tight lid, wood,


1. take large oil drum and punch/drill holes in the bottom. the more holes the better airflow and better combustion.

2. Dig a shallow hole slightly smaller in diameter than the oil drum with small trenches to allow air to flow into the bottom of the drum.

3. light a fire in the drum and slowly add more fuel untill you have a good fire with plenty of fuel (charcoal) sitting on top.

4. place lid loosely on top of drum half on half off. you will get lots of heavy white smoke, leave to slowly burn untill smoke turns clear/blue in colour (2 to 3 hours depending on type of fuel amount and heat), place lid on fully and fill the trenches at the bottom of the drum. the idea is to remove all the oxygen and snuff out the fire. WARNING!! dont be tempted to remove the lid while the drum is hot, as the charcoal may reignite.

5. once the drum is cold carefully remove the lid, if there is any red embers replace the lid immediatly. if not the charcoal is ready to use.


  • Bushcraft
  • camp activity
  • camp cooking
  • camp skills

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