Chances are that we will need to make every resource count in the midst of a crisis or survival situation. The ability to improvise items that we have laying around can help us to accomplish tasks and tackle projects with greater efficiency. Clay pots are a great example of common items that can be re-purposed and put to good use in a number of ways. Here are a few ideas that you can try for yourself, and hopefully they will help you to think of some of your own as well.
All you need are two pots that are the same size, along with a grill grate, to improvise an efficient smoker. Place one pot on top of a heat source before adding a small pan of water and some wood chips of your choice. Once everything is heating up, place the grate atop the pot before adding the food. Invert the other pot and place it directly on top of the grate to serve as a lid. You can also partially-cover the hole in the top pot in order to regulate internal temperatures and the amount of smoke that is produced.
If you have two pots, one larger than the other, then you can make a rudimentary refrigerator that can keep items up to 30 degrees cooler than the outside air. Place the large pot on the ground and add in a little bit of sand. Next, place the smaller one inside atop the sand bed, center it, and then fill the space between the two pots with more sand. Pack it down tightly and keep filling until the sand reaches the rim of the center pot. Spray some water into the sand to keep it moist, and consider burying the unit in the ground for some additional insulation.
When ready to use, put your food inside, cover the pots with a damp cheesecloth or similar material, and you’re good to go. The evaporating water inside will create a cooling effect, and the sand and clay will provide insulation that can help to keep temperatures stable for hours, if not days.
Attach a long bolt with two nuts and washers to the hole in the bottom of your largest pot, and make sure the bolt is sticking up. Attach another nut and washer about an inch above the bottom, and slide another pot over the bolt. Add some sand or gravel to serve as insulation between the first and second pot before placing a few candles inside the second one. Finally, flip the third pot over and place it above the second pot and you’re good to go. As long as the candles are burning, the pots will absorb and radiate out heat that can be warm enough to raise the temperature of a small room.
Cut out a section along a portion of the rim of a large ceramic pot that is big enough for you to slide food inside. Dig a pit and fill it with charcoal or wood and light it. Once the fire reduces to hot coals or embers, place a grate on top before covering it with the inverted pot. Slide in the food, and use the piece that you cut earlier as a way to block part of the notch and regulate heat.
These are just a few examples of all kinds of ways that you can put clay pots to work for you during a survival situation. Feel free to tinker with these ideas until you create a system that is as efficient as possible, and always keep your eyes open for other opportunities as well. Always remember that the more you can do with what you have can translate into making life just a little bit easier to manage during difficult times.