Is possibly a corruption of gibbet, but it is a much more humane implement. It requires a little more time and a little more skill to make a gib (Fig. 69) than it does to fashion the preceding pot-hook. It is a useful hook for stationary camps where one has time to develop more or less intricate cooking equipment. Fig. 69A shows how the two forked sticks are cut to fit together in a splice, and it also shows how this splice is nailed together with a couple of wire nails, and Fig. 70 shows how the wire nails are clinched.

In a book of this kind the details of all these designs are given not because any one camper is expected to use them all, but because there are times when any one of them may be just the thing required. It is well, however, to say that the most practicable camp pot-hooks are the pot-claw and the hake.

In making a pot-claw care should be taken to cut the notch on the opposite side of the forked branch, and at the other end of the claw, deep enough to hold the handle of the cooking utensils securely.

The Pot Claw

While the author was on an extended trip in the blustering North land his party had a pot-claw as crooked as a yeggman, and as knotty as a problem in higher mathematics. While there can be no doubt that one of the party made this hoodoo affair it has never yet been decided to whom the credit belongs—because of the innate modesty of the men no one claims the honor. This misshapen pot-claw was responsible for spilling the stew on several occasions, not to speak of losing the boiled rice. Luckily one of the party was a stolid Indian, one a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, one a Scout and one a member of the Society of Friends, consequently the air was not blue and the only remarks made were, "Oh my!" "Bless my soul!" and "Gee willikens!"

The cook in despair put the wicked thing in the fire with muttered hints that the fire might suggest the region where such pot-hooks belong. While it burned and its evil spirit dissolved in smoke, the Indian made a new pot-claw, a respectable pot-claw with a straight character, and a more secure notch. This one by its benign presence brought peace and good will to the camp and showed the necessity of taking pains and using care in the manufacture of even so lowly a thing as a pot-claw.

The camp pot-hooks should be of various lengths; long ones to bring the vessels near the fire where the heat is more intense; short ones to keep the vessels further from the fire so that their contents will not cook but only keep warm; and medium ones for simmering or slow cooking.