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I recently went camping with my eldest daughter when she asked "Daddy, how do you make bread?". I then had the daunting task of trying to explain the finer arts of baking bread to a four year old child, which to be fair, is like saying to a blind man, "did you see that cat?".

As we started talking about the fun of camping, l found myself teaching her a few of the basic camping skills. Suddenly I had a brainwave and remembered that there were a few bits and pieces left over in my camping kit from a recent bushcraft trip. This gave me an opportunity to impress my daughter and demonstrate my very own Billy Bushcraft Oven. So, out came the flour and milk powder which I eagerly mixed with water and salt, and made the perfect dough, as my little girl looked on in simple amazement.

Then she asked in her natural child like curiosity, "what is a Billy Bushcraft Oven daddy, and what does it do"?. Well, to put it in perspective I explained to her, it’s the most simple and easiest way to make an oven whilst out camping or on a daily trek.


This is how to make a Billy Bushcraft Oven:

I first, set out three various sized billy tins. (1 Large tin, 1 large tin lid, 1 medium tin lid). I then put the largest tin to one side, using the large lid as the base of the oven.

I then remove the middle sized lid and place it with the biggest tin. The mid sized tin is not used.


I then gather myself three stones, roughly the same size, and place them inside the largest lid which at this point should be topside down. (Oven base) The stones should not protrude above the lip of the large tin lid.

I then carefully place the middle sized lid on top of the stones which are in the bottom larger tin lid. (Food container). Making sure the lid sits evenly on the three stones, I then carefully fill the middle sized lid with the dough that we’ve just mixed.

I carefully take the largest billy tin and place it over the top of the two lids to sit snugly in the bottom lid.


Then remove a fair amount of coal from the outer edge of your camp fire and place your oven (Billy Tins) on the clear spot you have made, now be careful and rake the embers back around the oven and a quarter of the way up, job done.

We cooked the bread in around 1-2hrs, and boy, did my little girl enjoy it. You can also cook meat using this oven, indeed, I have also made an all day breakfast for one.

The knowledge we all posses inside is inherited from our distant ancestors, and it’s just a matter of finding the right key and unlocking the door to our inbuilt hunting and survival skills. With the simplest of tools, and the very basic of equipment, a primitive oven will impress the most inquisitive amongst us. I certainly impressed my little girl and she enjoyed her first lesson in survival skills, not to mention the delicious freshly made bread which she devoured to the very last crumb.

Can we bake some more for Christmas she asked.
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