On a canoe cruise of any length cooking apparatus of some kind is of course a necessity, but on short trips it is usually dispensed with, a supply of cold provisions being carried. Some means of making tea, coffee or hot soup is always necessary, however, and should be at hand even if the trip in prospect is to last but a few hours. Delays are always possible on the water, and the prudent canoeist will prepare for them. For light cooking an alcohol stove is the cleanest and most compact, the best being that known as the "flamme forcé," which gives a hot flame in a little while, and may be used afloat. With this stove, a little coffee or tea, some pilot bread and a can of prepared soup, a good meal may be quickly prepared. The only objection is the cost of the fuel. Wood spirits may be used instead of alcohol, and is much cheaper; but the odor is very disagreeable. Kerosene stoves have no place on a canoe, as they are so dirty, besides being quite heavy, and the oil is difficult to carry without spilling over the boat. Alcohol for the spirit stove may be carried in a quart can, with a screw top, and even it a little is spilled it will do no injury, as kerosene will.
Most of the cooking will be done on shore over a wood fire, either on the ground or in a camp stove of some kind. Several very compact stoves are made by the dealers in camp goods, but they are too large for a canoe, unless in a large party, where the load can be divided among several boats. For cooking without a stove a very useful contrivance is the camp gridiron, shown in the cut. The ends are of half round or flat iron 8 in. long. Each has four holes drilled in it for the cross bars of 3/16 in. wire, which are riveted in. The legs are of 1/4 in. round iron, 6 in. long, the upper ends being flattened down and turned over to fit on wire staples. These staples pass through holes in the end pieces of the gridiron, and are riveted fast. When in use the fire is made and allowed to burn down to a mass of hot ashes, then the legs of the gridiron are opened and stuck in the ground over it, making a level framework, on which coffee pot, pails and pans will rest without danger of upsetting. When not in use, the legs are folded down and the gridiron stowed in a canvas bag.
A very compact and convenient camp stove was used by Mr. Smith, of Newburg, at the camp last spring. It was made of sheet iron, the top being about 10x15 in., or larger if desired, in the shape of a flat pan, the edges turning up 1 in. all around. The two sides were pieces of sheet iron 6 in. wide and 17 in. long, 1 in. at each end being turned at a right angle, as shown, making the sides each 15 in. long. The ends were each 6 in. wide and 10 in. long, a strip 6 in. long and 2 in. wide being riveted across each end as shown, on the inside. To put the stove together, the projecting pieces on the sides were pushed in between the strips on the ends, making a square box, and the lid was laid on top, holding all together. In the front end, a circular hole, covered by a door, was made to put in the wood through, and in the other end a hole was cut to communicate with the pipe. This latter is of round or oval section, about 2-1/2 in. across, and 18 in. long. At the bottom it is riveted to a flat piece 5 in. square, which slides in the two extra strips riveted on the after end, as shown in the drawing.
This stove may be easily and cheaply made; it is light and compact for stowage, all folding into a flat package 10x15xl-1/2 in., except the pipe, and it is quickly set up and taken apart. No bottom is needed, the stove being set on the ground.
In another form the body of stove is hinged together, so that when not in use the stove, covers and funnel all go into a canvas bag, two feet long, one foot wide and about three-quarters of an inch thick, which can be stowed under floor of canoe, and is entirely out of the way. It is made of sheet iron; the top is 24x12, with two holes 8 in. diameter, with sheet iron covers, and a small 2x3 in. hole at one end to hold chimney or funnel. The sides are 24xl0, hinged to top, and ends 12x10, hinged to top in same manner; small strips of heavier iron, 1/8 in. thick, are riveted on sides and one end in such manner as to project below bottom of stove, and being pointed, can be pushed into the ground in setting up stove so as to hold all firm The front end does not have these projections, so it can be propped out from stove, thereby acting both as a door for fuel and to create a draft.
The funnel is made of four pieces hinged together, two 23x3 and two 23-1/2x2-1/2, the additional half inch projecting below and fitting into the hole cut on top of stove.
The top is better in some respects without holes, as the cooking utensils are then kept clean, and free from smoke.
Still another stove is sometimes used, consisting of a cylinder of sheet iron, 10 to 12 in. in diameter and the same in length, open at both ends. Across one end are stretched several stiff wires, upon which rest the cooking utensils. At the other end, which is the bottom when used as a stove, an opening about 6x7 from the bottom edge is cut to serve as a door and draft. At the same end, opposite the door, another small opening is cut to give a draft to the other side.
When not used as a stove it is reversed, the wires serving as a bottom enables it to hold all the utensils, plates, etc., as a bucket, and a wire handle being fitted to the bottom for that purpose.
Its advantages are that a fire can be made very quickly, even with poor wood, as the draft is tremendous; it confines the heat and saves fuel, enables one to have a good fire of wood too small to use in an open fire, and renders the hunting and cutting of the usual cross piece for hanging the pots by unnecessary, and it is also very cheap.
To carry the provisions in and keep them dry, a chest of wood or tin is used, generally about 10x15x6 in., in which are packed tin cans with large screw covers, such as are used on vaseline cans, for coffee, tea, sugar, flour, oatmeal, baking powder, rice, and any other articles it is desired to keep dry. If the large box be waterproof, as it should be, such articles are sometimes carried in bags of light drilling, but the cans are usually the best. This box is usually stowed just forward of the feet, under the deck, but where it can be easily reached, the spirit lamp being also near by. In cooking on board, the box is drawn out, the lid, or sometimes a hatch, is laid across the coaming for a table, and the spirit stove set up. For cooking on shore, a kettle for boiling water, say two quarts, a smaller one for oatmeal, etc., to pack inside the large one, a coffee pot and a frying pan are indispensable, other articles being added if there is room. A very handy implement in a camp kitchen is a pair of light blacksmith's tongs, with which plates and pans may be lifted when hot.
A light of some kind is a most important part of a canoe's equipment, as the canoeist may on any trip be overtaken by darkness, in which case his safety may depend largely on his showing a light. A square box lantern of brass is used by many canoeists, one side having a green glass and one a red, the front having a round white lens. The oil used is lard or kerosene. This lamp, which is fitted to slides on the forward deck, makes an excellent signal light, but is not visible from astern. In camp, white slides may be substituted for the colored ones. The use of kerosene is a disadvantage, as it is difficult to carry. The Mohican C.C. carry a small brass lantern in which a candle is used, giving a white light only, and serving for use in the tent or in camp. When under way at night it is hung from the mizzenmast.