I have often used readily available, generally cheap, and sometimes light weight common items found in local stores for camping, kayaking, and sailing gear. The cookie or baking cooling grill is an example. Here is a picture of the grill with an MSR Titan Kettle for scale:
This one came from Target, 10" x 10", cost about $1.75 U.S. and weighs 5 oz.
I have cut them in many shapes, sizes and configurations before. For my purposes I wanted a longer and narrower grill to carry in my pack in winter and spring. I cut this one in half, producing one strong and stable 5" x 10" 2.5 oz. grill.
That will go in my pack for use with wood fires and fire pits, at 2.5 ounces it is my only stove if I chose. I can cut it in half and have a 1.25 oz. grill if I want to lighten up even further. But 2.5 oz. for my stove is great. If I feel like it and weather dictates, I also carry the BPL Firelite Esbit Wing Stove and a couple of fuel tabs for the security that I can heat water, even if the wood is wet or none available -- that later of which is unthinkable, the former very possible:
See the specs in the BPL Gear Shop at:
A small stone lined pit works well with this size and kind of grill. I have done it 100s of times. Only a couple of times have the welds in the manufactured grill popped loose from the fire's heat.
I have also made a makeshift hibachi out of an old can or pot, using charcoal briquettes (self starting work great) and this kind of grill for use on my sail boat and when kayaking (after landing). (The can and briquettes will go now that I have a Bushbuddy, whenever dry wood will be available -- although I would not use the wood fire on a sail boat.)
Also, I have often used a larger fire pit to create a bigger fire than is necessary for cooking to warm myself and others. A larger fire is much better for that. Then I use the grill by setting up a smaller cooking "pit" inside the larger fire ring, so that I can slip the grill in over hot coals and small bits of wood for cooking heats. The small cooking "pit" or stones to hold the grill are set up before starting the larger fire (it is a real pain to try to put stones in the right place to hold the grill after starting the larger fire and creating hot coals).
My real purpose in creating this grill was to also experiment using it with the Bushbuddy woodburning stove. My theory was that it could serve as a heat shield or deflector if the wood was burning too hot to simmer a pot for a few minutes. My initial idea was to use a piece of grill by itself or surrounded by foil as a cooling device under the pot
Here is a picture of the Bushbuddy burning wood with an MSR Titan Kettle, once it boiled it boiled furiously:
Here are pictures of the Bushbuddy with the grill and top piece in place and the grill with aluminum foil (double wrapped) and an MSR Titan Kettle:
This looks like it will work, if I put the aluminum foil covered grill under the pot after it has boiled. That will at least buy me a few minutes of simmer even if it begins to overboil again I will have accomplished my goal.
I have also used the grill with the Bushbuddy and a BPL Firelite Ti Esbit Wing Stove. I take the top off the Bushbuddy, slip the BPL Firelite inside the Bushbuddy, and place the grill in between the Bushbuddy and the pot:
I had a lotta fun, got a good 5" x 10" 2.5 oz. grill, and a small grill piece to use with my BPL Firelite Ti Esbit Wing Stove and Bushbuddy, plus extra metal spokes and grill pieces for future projects for $1.75 and some time. Now all I gotta do is get the weather and time to actually go use the stuff out there.