Many campers are fond of making for themselves cooking utensils improvised from ordinary telegraph wire. In the old time open fireplaces of our grandsires' kitchen there were trammels consisting of chains hanging down the chimney on which things were hooked by short pot-hooks to hang over the fire; there were also rakens made of bands of iron with holes punched in them for the attachment of short iron pothooks (Fig. 76). With these ancient implements in their minds, some ingenious campers manufacture themselves rakens and short pot-hooks from telegraph wire (Fig. 77). By twisting the wire in a series of short loops, each loop can be made to serve as a place for attaching the pot-hooks as did the holes in the old-fashioned rakens. The advantages they claim for the telegraph wire raken are lightness and its possibility of being readily packed.
On one of these rakens one may hook the pail as high or as low as one chooses (Fig. 78); not only that but one may (Fig. 79) put a small pail inside the larger one, where later it is full of water, for the purpose of cooking cereal without danger of scorching it.
The disadvantage of all these implements is that they must be toted wherever one goes, and parts are sure to be lost sooner or later, whereupon the camper must resort to things "with the bark on 'em," like the gallow-crook, the pot-claw, the hake, the gib, the speygelia, or the saster, or he may go back to the first principles and sharpen the forks of a green wand and impale thereon the bacon, game or fish that it may be thus toasted over the hot embers (Fig. 80). We do not put meat over the fire because it will burn on the outside before it cooks and the fumes of the smoke will spoil its flavor.
According to Mr. Seton, away up in the barren lands they use the saster with a fan made of a shingle-like piece of wood, fastened with a hitch to a piece of wire and a bit of string; the windówhen it is good-naturedówill cause the cord to spin round and round. But the same result is secured with a cord which has been soaked in water to prevent it from burning, and which has also been twisted by spinning the meat with one's hands (Fig. 75). Such a cord will unwind and wind more or less slowly for considerable time, thus causing the meat to expose all sides of its surface to the heat of the roasting fire in front of which it hangs. You will note we say in front; again let us impress upon the reader's mind that he must not hang his meat over the flame. In Fig. 75 the meat is so drawn that one might mistake its position and think it was intended to hang over the fire, whereas the intention is to hang it in front of the fire as in Fig. 74. In the writer's boyhood days it was his great delight to hang an apple by a wet string in front of the open fire, and to watch it spin until the heat sent the juices bubbling through the skin and the apple gradually became thoroughly roasted.