0131 651 6444/ 07386656710 step@ed.ac.uk

J is for jockey stick

The Traveller Alphabet Book


Water is precious when you camp. Sometimes it needs to be carried from a burn, river or coo’s (cow’s) trough if the camp is not near running water.

Where does water come from? What needs to be done to water to make it safe to drink?

What other things do we need water for? Make a list. You can write or draw all the things we need water for in our lives. Send your list to STEP


Make a jockey stick

Look at the shape of the jockey stick and how it has been designed to hold the boiling water safely. Can you build your own jockey stick and hang a model kettle from it? You will need:

  • Things to make a kettle like yoghurt pots, toilet roll tubes, tins, lids
  • Glue
  • Pipe cleaners

If it doesn’t work to hold up your model kettle, think about any changes you can make.


A jockey stick—also known as a jockey or stottim (Scottish Cant)—is an iron rod with a loop, used to hang a kettle or pot over the campfire.

A jockey could be turned depending on how you wanted your food and water prepared.  If it was over the low flames you could cook things slowly, as you do when you keep tea warm. When it was placed over larger, hotter flames it would be able to cook a slurich (pot of stew).