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A while ago I posted something about cooking without a cooker but if you’re really wanting to push things, could you go further? Maybe there’s a way you could dispense with the pot / mug altogether and replace it with something much lighter, infinitely cheaper and available pretty much everywhere … the humble plastic bottle, that’s right I did say plastic.

I’ve chosen the thinnest, poorest quality one I could find. It’s not special, it once contained spring water from somewhere or other like countless bottles on the shelves or in the bin … something a little more substantial will obviously last longer, maybe even a couple of days use. Have a rummage through the bins and see what you can find.

The first thing you’ll need to do is light yourself a little fire. It doesn’t have to be worthy of Guy Fawkes, just enough room for your bottle to be placed in the middle. It should be noted that I don’t generally ‘go in’ for open fires but in this case (a) I’m the land owner (b) the fire is set on a shingle river bed and (c) you could just as easily use a wood stove or even a meths burner.

You’ll be needing one of these.


When you’ve got a reasonable amount of hot embers, scrape a hollow in them and place your bottle in it. Remember to remove the lid first and only fill it 3/4 full to allow a little expansion (water) and contraction (bottle) room.

Oi – take the lid off first.

Add a bit more fuel to your fire concentrating around the outside of the bottle. Don’t go mad, you do need some flames but you’re not trying to re-make the Towering Inferno.

Pop the bottle on and put a put a bit more wood ont’ fire.

Sit back and relax. You’ll obviously need to keep feeding your fire but within a few minutes you’ll have lovely boiling water.

Hard to see but the water is boiling here.


If you’re going for the full dirt-bag approach just empty your favoured powered beverage straight into the bottle and give it a little shake.

Not pretty but enough life left for the mornings brew.


Although not exactly unscathed by the ordeal, your bottle will still hold water and should be capable of a couple more ‘burns’.

3 Comments

  1. I questioned if it was a good idea to heat plastic on a fire then drink the water as I recalled a scare about cancer and plastic water bottles a few years back.

    Advice seems to be look for plastics numbered #2, #4, or #5, and maybe #1 only for one time use. #1 is the most popular for disposable water.

    Note that we've all been drinking boiling hot tea from styrofoam cups for years without thinking about it. It's plastic is #6 and on the no-no list.

    More info here http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/plastic

  2. Thanks for sharing that CC, very useful.

Comments are closed.

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