For those of you who enjoy the quiet serenity of the woods and some hearty trail food after a day’s worth of pinecones and moss beneath your hiking shoes, this post’s for you!
But if you’re one of those “I’d rather nuke my pre-packaged processed junk food in the comfort of my air-conditioned palace while I’m playin X-Box” kind of people, then this post won’t interest you. Or probably any of your friends. Yeah, the ones you’ve never met, but talk smack to all night long on your little headset while pretending to destroy their imaginary world and kill off their little make-believe characters. But maybe I shouldn’t be so tough on those of you who live your lives vicariously through pixelated war-lords; hey, at least your thumbs are getting some exercise, right?!?
Back to the topic at hand – food prep while out in the woods. As I’ve discovered for myself, cooking on the ground can be a pain. God provides lots of rocks for whatever we choose to use them for, but I’ve yet to find one that’s as flat as my kitchen countertop. Thus, your stove and pots will tip and teeter until finally dumping themselves in the dirt. (If I had included the out-takes from this video, my point would be well proven.) The other option is just to set all your stuff on the ground, resulting in dirt and leaves sticking to anything that’s moist, and ensuring an almost instant path for the ants to ravenge more than their fair share of your dinner.
These used to be the only two options. Until now.
Introducing the “Tree Shelf.”
I’ve seen a few versions of this idea posted in various forums and on YouTube, but I wasn’t satisfied with the design or functionality of them. So I set out to see if I could come up with something better. The ideal tree shelf should be lightweight, compact to carry, quick & easy to set up, and sturdy once it’s in place. Here’s the result of a little time in the shop and some scrap metal . . .
There obviously needs to be further field testing to ensure the design will work reliably time after time. Such extensive field testing can consume hours and hours of time. Oh, the predicament I’ve put myself in . . . guess I’d better get busy!