campfire-kettlesIt struck me when we were steering ‘Eileen’ back to her home mooring on Saturday afternoon that our vague plan for a more extended Summer trip on the boat needed a lot more planning if it was to be (relatively) stress-free and as child-friendly as possible.

In my Journal I noted the following ‘Lessons Learned’:

  • Take more practical things for the kids to do
  • Don’t go over two hours cruising at a time, then arrange an off-boat distraction
  • Boys are puppies that need regular vigorous exercise
  • Create headspace for the adults at times in the day
  • Divide and conquer!
  • Work on the boat’s controls and make them easier to use
  • Walk the towpath with one or more kids, and make sure you’ve lots of things to keep their heads filled and active
  • Lots of sticks
  • Late starts and early finishes
  • A fire pit, tin kettle, marshmallows etc.

It’s the last bullet-point that prompted this post.

I like it when my boat-related thinking coincides with work-related thinking too. During the Summer months we’re planning to upgrade the external learning spaces of the inner-London primary school where I’m head teacher; and one of the things that’s being created is a fire pit.

I love a fire!

Nothing better for soothing the savage beast than prodding a stick into a fire; the woody smoke, a meal cooked on an open fire – my idea of simple bliss!

I’m actively looking at the available kit to go with a fire pit – the camp fire tripod, the fire tray, cooking pots and the like, and essentially a kettle.

It looks like the Hart ‘Kirtley’ Kettle is favourite – for use both at school and home I reckon!

I can smell the wood-smoke in this image… and want to get the brew under way…


A smart set-up, and look at the use of an old gerry can resting on a couple of bricks for the fire basket… an excellent idea…


This photo gets close to the essence of what I’m after. A focal point for our evening moorings, where we can spend the chillier part of a Summer’s evenings toasting marshmallows and telling stories… it’s the stuff my dreams are made of…


And, of course, I couldn’t rest this shot of a well used Kelly Kettle heating water for an early morning water-side cuppa…

ps. before anyone writes in to castigate me for potentially scorching the towpath with an open fire; let me reassure you that the kind of kit we’re looking at for the boat includes a raised fire bowl, the flames are well-contained and well clear of the ground.

Something like this beast!
Or this…

Further Reading:

Kettle 1.

Kettle 2. 

Kettle 3. 

Tripods, trivets & fire pits

Lloyds Blacksmiths

A greenwood tripod

Another tripod…



2 thoughts on “Campfire Kettle

  1. Hi Nick.

    I’m really glad to find my image of a campfire kettle on your blog. Just to let you know that the image was made in Ald garden, campsite in Sweffling, Suffolk. There is also a huge swing grill to cook your fish on after you return from the coast! A great set up.

    I have set up a new website:

    Check it out and spread the word!

    All the best,


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