How to Camping and Cooking Bush Tucker No1

Cooking with a camp oven

Enjoy life out in the open air


We found spending time camping anywhere, whether in the bush, or beside a river to be very relaxing. You wake to the sounds of many different species of birds. The Corellas screeching will wake anyone up, although it is a joy to see and hear the birds and swallows twittering overhead in the treetops.

I love it when you can start your own camp fire. This depends on the time of year, so make sure you check the local information as to the fire regulations. If allowed hang an old Billy-can over the fire and make some tea.

Various prefab Billy cans

Making Billy tea


You can buy a Billycan or make your own.

To make your own, all you need is an old tin. This could be any old fruit tin or large beetroot tin. When empty wash out thoroughly, and make two holes, one each side at the open end then grab a small piece of wire and push one end through one hole and bend it over then do same with other end to form a handle.

Dig a shallow hole if possible or build a small fire with rocks around the outside to keep the ashes from blowing about. Better still you may find a prebuilt one like in the inserted picture, with camp oven hanging on hook.

Now three quarter fill billycan with water and using either tea leaves or tea bags, hang it over the fire to boil. You will need two fork sticks, from an old tree branch. Place one each side, outside of hot coals and place another thicker stick across those to hang the Billy on. For a better original taste use the tea leaves. When boiled swing around beside you in a complete circle from your ankle and back three times to stir and pour into your cups.

You can't beat the old taste of Billy tea. Remember not to drain the bottom of your cup or you will get a mouthful of tea leaves.

Damper cooked in Camp Oven

Sliced Damper now spread with butter

How to make a Damper

If you are really energetic you could make a damper. I cheat; I make mine in a camp oven, using a normal scone mix. As I never use a recipe I will give you an example of what I do.

You will need:

A camp oven is a caste iron pot with handle across the top (see picture). Approx 2 cups SR flour

Mixing bowl

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Pinch of salt and enough water to mix to a scone consistency.


Place flour into mixing bowl add butter and mix into flour with fingers add pinch of salt then start to add enough water to make a stiff dough.

Spread a small amount of oil inside base of pot. If cooking directly on coals spread coals out so it doesn't burn. If hanging, then hang over the coals. Once heated put mixture in and close the lid. I left mine unopened for twenty to thirty minutes depending on amount of dough used.

Take off heat and use egg slice to remove. Now all you have to do is slice, spread with butter and eat hot, enjoy the fresh taste of cooked damper. If you prefer you could divide the dough up the same as when making scones and drop into the heated pot for about ten minutes.

Enjoy any of these with a cold tinnie or a wine while watching the beautiful sunset, as it glides down over the horizon between the trees.

Don't forget to take some spray protection against the Mozzies, and sunscreen so you can slip, slop, slap.

Roast Chicken & Bush Potatoes

You will need:



Small chicken

Oil and seasoning


2 wooden fork sticks from tree branch

Thick piece of wood to place through chook or piece of steel


Light fire and when the embers die down a bit, place one tree fork on either side of ashes. Dab the oil over the chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning. Push steel rod or branch through the chicken and rest on the fork branch. Beware if using a branch as this will burn through.

Now wrap the spuds in wet newspaper and throw them under the hot coals. Turn the chicken from time to time. Cooking time will depend on the size of chicken and spuds and the heat of your fire.

When cooked unwrap the spuds, and yes they may be burnt on the outside but that is part of their special taste. Serve chicken and spuds, and enjoy with a glass of wine or a stubby.

How to Set up before going on a trip

If you are thing of going travelling then this article may help you get organised.

Cooking Rissoles

Cooking in the bush

More by this Author

Comments 18 comments

Lissie profile image

Lissie 8 years ago from New Zealand

I must admit Ididnt try cooking in a fire - too scary for me - but even using a gas stove is fun in the outdoors !

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

We just went away for ten days and did a fair bit of this so took photos. Thought why not . something different. Thanks for stopping by.

storytellersrus 8 years ago

This hub brought back memories of the month I spent canoeing the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota with a group of juvenile delinquent teens. We cooked all our meals- mostly TVP or texturized vegetized protein, I believe- over a campfire, always soaping the outside of the pot with biodegradable dish soap. The pot would be black when the meal was over. One of my very strange joys was scrubbing all the black off the pot. I discovered that, if I took the blackest pot and settled near the lake, I was guaranteed a peaceful hour minimum. None of the kids wanted to come near me, as they were afraid I might ask them to take over the scrubbing!

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Great hub and lovely tips. Thanks for sharing!

cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

The chicken looks lovely, hope you had a great trip. Cheers.

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

Yes it was really great.Except for the price of fuel, and chicken tasted great too.

Karen Ellis profile image

Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

I'm guessing a "cold tinnie" is a beer? Wow, I hope to get to Australia at some point of my life. Anyway, the meal sounds delicious. Thanks.

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

Thanks Karen you are spot on its a cold beer. Thanks for stopping by.

Camping Dan profile image

Camping Dan 7 years ago

That roast chicken looks amazing! Being able to bake and slow cook while you are camping can really expand the menu options.

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

camping dan, lokks like you love camping out too.

fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

I camp every summer but rarely use the fire, always use a camp stove, but I am going to try the chicken over the fire, looks delicious.

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

fishtiger, its great for cooking in. You can do anything you want like in normal oven or stove.

salt profile image

salt 7 years ago from australia

really good, I was working on something similar, but not the same. Nothing like a campfire and billy tea.

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 7 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

salt, go for it there are many ways to write the same thing.

Just put a different spin on it. Yes cannot beat camp oven cooking and billy tea

Aaron Brown 6 years ago

thanks this really helped with my school assignment

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

aaron brown, glad I coould help you with that

freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

I enjoyed your hub.As we travel Australia I love cooking on the open fire while free camping . We are in Kununurra for a while before heading to explore the NT ,Where do you live ?

Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 5 years ago from Northam Western Australia Author

We lived in Rockingham south of perth and then moved to Northam 100 k east of perth. Hope you enjoy your traveling I wish I had started a lot earlier. At the moment we are visiting Shark bay. Great here too, going fishing soon. cheers

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