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Family Activity: Making Campfire Roasting Sticks

Nothing is more rustic and relaxing than primitive camping. It gives you a chance to remove yourself from the noise of modern society with the technology that seems to capture our attention at every waking hour to enjoy the peace and serenity of the natural world—a world far more conducive to prayer and meditation. However, even in trying to get away from society and the comforts of our modern life, we all too often turn to purchasing camping supplies rather than using what we find in nature and simple tools.

One of these usually store-bought items is a campfire roasting stick, a camping staple (along with a cast iron skillet!) and perfect for roasting hotdogs or marshmallows. You can buy all sorts of designs in-store and online made of metal, bamboo, and wood. But did you know that you can easily make your own with just a knife? Here’s how:

It starts with a cherry tree.
  1. Find a tree with long, straight branches. A wild cherry tree is perfect for this if you can find one because it 1) has straight branches and 2) grows rapidly (a cherry tree is also useful for celebrating the feast of St. Barbara).

  2. Cut a branch that is about 3-feet long and roughly a quarter to a half inch in diameter.

  3. Remove any twigs or leaves that are still attached, leaving just the main stem.

  4. Use your knife to whittle the narrowest end into a sharp point. I usually start my point about 2-3 inches from the end of the stick, since that provides adequate space to skewer a hotdog or two marshmallows for s’mores.

  5. You are ready to start roasting! I recommend holding the pointed end of the roasting stick over the campfire for a couple seconds to kill any bacteria, before adding a marshmallow or hotdog.

I’ve found that not only are these roasting sticks cheap and easy to make, but they actually grip your hot dog or marshmallow much better than the store-bought roasting sticks, so you won’t have to worry as much about losing your food into the fire.

The finished product.

Wasn't that easy? Now you have one less store-bought item to add to your primitive camping supplies, and a great activity for your children to boot (obviously, young children should not be using knives, but I guarantee they will have a blast choosing their own branch to use). If you believe as we do that camping is the most optimal family vacation (move aside, Disney World!), you should check out 11 Camping Hacks to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze. Happy trails to you!