On a recent outing, my friends and I camped in a river gorge on a sandy beach, near a natural hot springs. The next morning, I ended up pulling the short straw and settled down to cleaning a pot blackened by the wood fire. I tried some soap and a paper towel, which worked pretty well, up to a point. But then I remembered the cleaning properties of salt. I didn’t have salt, but I figured sand might share some of the same properties. Since the pot couldn’t get any dirtier, I grabbed some sand and started scouring.
If it had been later in the day, I would have been amazed, but my mind registered a pleasant, drowsy euphoria. In retrospect, the whole episode seems obvious, but at the time, I felt like I had reinvented the wheel. In any case, if you find yourself at the beach with a dirty pot, consider using sand. But remember to boil the pot before you eat out of it again!