Common wisdom says that we either need a skillet or a pot in order to cook an egg over a flame, but in all actuality, there are quite a few ways to improvise in the field.  While these alternatives may not be as fast or as efficient as the standard methods, knowing about of a few of them can give you more options in the field.  Let’s take a look at a few examples that you can take advantage of, even if you don’t have many resources at your disposal at the time.

Use a Potato

Turn a medium-sized potato on its side, and cut off the top third.  Set the piece aside and gut the potato to about ¼ – ½ inch from the skins.  Smooth out the bowl you just made with a spoon, and carefully crack the egg into the space.  Put the top piece back on, secure it with some wire or toothpicks, and place the potato onto the fire.  When it’s done, not only will you have a nice poached egg, you can also enjoy it with some edible potato as well.

Aluminum Bowl

Take a generous piece of foil and form it into the shape of a small bowl that is deep enough to submerge the egg.  Make sure that the walls and bottom are thick and hole-free.  Next, straighten out a metal hangar and snip off a piece that is at least around 1- 1 ½ feet long.  Bend one of the ends into a coil that will be big enough to wrap around and hold the aluminum bowl.  Place the bowl atop the coil, fill it with water, insert the egg, and place it over your fire.  All you need to do is cook the egg long enough to make it either soft or hard boiled, depending on your preferences.

Aluminum Pan

You can follow a similar approach in order to create an improvised frying pan.  Take the foil and fashion it into a flat pan with walls around the side that are at least ½ inch tall.  Bend the hangar wire into a rectangular shape instead of a circle, and stick the pan on top.  Crack the egg over the pan and dangle it over your fire until it has finished cooking.

Mud Caked Egg

You can use this trick almost anywhere, and it’s ideal if you don’t have material on hand to make the alternatives above.  Take a little bit of water, pour it over some good dirt, and use a stick to turn it into a thick paste.  Grab a handful and start packing it around a fresh, uncooked egg.  Make sure that you pack enough so that the mud shell won’t fall apart before placing it directly into your fire.  Let it cook until the mud has completely-dried before removing it from the fire and letting it cool.  Break away the mud, peel the shell, and you should have a perfectly-cooked hard or soft-boiled egg.

Remember that thriving in challenging circumstances often depends on our ability to adapt and improvise on the fly.  While these methods may not be ideal, they can come in handy when other alternative aren’t available.