Could You Make Your Own Charcoal For Your Next Camping Trip?

If you are a keen camper then this summer's fine weather may have been a gift. Perhaps you have already had some time camping and perhaps you are still planning on heading off for more camping adventures. Camping can be a great way to enjoy time away when you are on a budget, and you can save even more money by bringing your own food with you and by cooking for yourself and your family while you are away. If you are looking for new ways to save money on your camping adventures, then how about making your own charcoal? Could you make your own charcoal for your next camping trip?

Charcoal can be used for barbecues – one of the great ways to feed yourself and your family while you are camping. But keeping yourself stocked with charcoal can quickly allow the costs to mount up. To save money on this camp-cooking essential, you could consider making your own for free, at home, before you set off on your camping adventures.

Making your own charcoal is easier than you might imagine, and you may even be able to do so using waste wood/ branches from your own garden. Often, you can make charcoal without having to spend any money at all! All you need to do is create a scenario which allows wood to burn in the absence of oxygen (or at least with limited oxygen supply). The simplest and easiest way to create the necessary environment to make charcoal is to create a wood 'oven' from mud/clay.

First, make a pyramid or tipi type stack of wood/ branches. Next, cover this structure with mud/clay, leaving a hole at the top. Scoop air holes around the bottom of the structure to allow the fire to spread initially through the inside of your oven. Light a fire on top of the stack inside and wait for the wood to begin to burn. Once you can see fire through the holes at the bottom of the structure, seal up the top and all the holes with more mud/clay to exclude oxygen and leave it overnight. The following day, cut a door into the side of your clay 'oven' and you will be able to rake out what is inside. You will likely have some unburned or partially combusted wood, but will also have charcoal.

Simply bag up this charcoal and you could take it on your next camping expedition. While this may seem like a lot of effort to go to, it could be a good summer project to fill the time between camping trips, as well as saving you money while you are away and giving you the satisfaction of doing something yourself. If you enjoy survival skills and primitive camping, making your own charcoal could be another feather in your cap – and could be just the sort of thing that you enjoy.