Okay after last week’s simple pot hanger setup, as promised, here is another setup which is good if you’re bedding in for a few days somewhere – a great horizontal bar arrangement from which to hang your billy or even from which to hang meat for smoking, cooking, etc., depending on the height. (Stay tuned later this week for a ‘how to’ on brining and smoking fish, by the way!)
So, what you need is two long, straight poles with a branch (just like in the last pot stand, you’re looking for essentially straight pieces with the branch making an ‘L’ shape, rather than a splitting branch making a ‘Y’ shape – this is so that you can whack them into the ground without splitting the pole. I used hazel (my favourite wood) from our coppice, but anything will do really.
You’ll also need a plain, straight pole that is at least as long as the width of your fire area. Place your two branched poles either side of your fire and hammer them into the ground with a mallet (or a thick branch) so that the branches are the same height – these will be what you’ll balance your crossbar on. You can notch the crossbar where it lies on your supports to stop it slipping about (and also in the centre where your billy will hang) but this isn’t essential. *If you do, this is done easily by running your knife around the pole and removing a small amount of bark and wood between the two circles you create.
Next, you’ll need to make a hanger, which will basically be two L-shaped branches placed back to back and carved so that they notch together (take a look above and you’ll see what I mean) so that one branch points forward and one backward. Securely tied (another post coming up shortly on how to make natural string and cordage from nettles) this will hook over your crossbar, with your billy hanging from the other branch. *Make sure you get the length right so that your billy will hang right over the coals at the correct height. (I can show you in a future post how to make this setup more adjustable with height, etc.)
Your billy will now hang beautifully over your coals. I really love this setup and it doesn’t take much more time than last week’s. The supports are also great for hanging other stuff from (like I did with my kelly kettle in the pic above!)