Free Range Network:
The 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate
Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit?
The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.
The 'Feral' what?
We have to cut our fossil fuel consumption, especially the really inefficient forms of fossil fuels use… such as camping stoves.
So, realistically, how do you do that?
The idea for the Free Range Do-It-Yourself 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate arose from members of the Free Range Network who regularly camp, and who wanted to use as "primitive" an approach as is practically possible when walking or backpacking long distances.
Thing is, if we develop this for ourselves, why not write-up the idea so everyone can share!
While for many it might be a 'big ask' to jump from cooking on compressed gas to using stick-fires, we hope that engaging with this project will allow you to appreciate the values of "primitivism", and the issue of 'land rights' in the 'developed' world, and their contribution to changing our all-too-unsustainably-modern world (that specific issue is considered in an article by Paul Mobbs).
The example shown here uses 'bought' materials because, for those who have never/seldomly done 'DIY' activities, the uniform nature of 'bought' components makes it easier to construct. However, once you've mastered the concept, we hope that you'd try making one from scrap too.
That's because the deeper motivations of this project are not only about non-fossil-fuelled camping stoves. It's about undertaking activities which develop an attitude of resilience and adaptation.
Dealing with future ecological challenges is not a matter of changing consumption, but rather adapting out needs to fit tighter ecological constraints on our lifestyle.
Thus the aim of the project isn't just to allow you to master cooking on sticks instead of compressed gas. It's about direct involvement in reshaping the 'technology' required to support more simpler patterns of living.
This PDF version provides everything you need to build the grate.
In addition it outlines the law on lighting fires outdoors in Britain, and suggests ways to use the grate with as little ecological impact as possible.
Finally, as part of his 'ramblinactivist' YouTube channel, Paul Mobbs has also created a short visual guide of how to build and use the 'Feral' grate. You can view this directly in the embedded video below:
We'd really appreciate any feedback that you have on this Free Range project.
(replacing the '☮' symbol with '@')
In particular, we'd appreciate details of any interesting or novel modifications you make to our basic design – or examples of how this project has helped your own resilience/adapatation and 'permaneering' ventures.
Remember, this project is released under an open license. You are free to re-publish your modifications within the terms of the licence.
If you publish on-line, plese send us a link we can add to this page.