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In this tutorial I am going to tell you how to open or split a young coconut (green) with your own hands, without a machete and without a hammer: one of the most important techniques to survive on tropical coasts or simply to enjoy a good snack on the beach.

It has been very useful to me on trips to Costa Rica, Thailand, etc.

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Here is what you will find:

Find young COCONUTS (the green ones)

The first thing you are going to need in order to open coconuts are coconuts (sure…). You will find them on the ground, you have to make sure that they are not open or have cracks because otherwise the nut will be in poor condition.

The best method is to shake the coconut until you hear the water moving inside, and if it doesn’t, find another. You can also try to catch them from a palm tree. This last option is a little more complicated since, if you cannot find a short palm tree, you only have two options left:

1) The first is to pluck the lower leaf from the bunch of coconuts, and then the upper one, and in theory the branch should be released.

2) The second would be to find a long enough stick (like the bamboo cane in the photo) and stick it into the coconut until it falls, I promise it costs less than it seems.

cómo abrir cocos como un náufrago manos martillo

Material TO OPEN A young COCONUT

  • coconut, to the rich coconut
  • a piece of pointed wood (from a fallen tree)
  • [[[a large rock on the ground in the case of not having a fallen tree]]]
  • your hands

And now the ancient methodology:

HOW TO OPEN A young COCONUT without a machete

1) In an ideal world, to open a coconut you only have to remove the part that joins it to the palm tree, it is green and has the shape of a little flower. Normally it is quite stuck and you need to hit it a few times to get it out.

At this point the coconut should open (and probably splash your face), and all you have to do is make the hole a little bigger, applying pressure with your own finger or giving it another tap (this time with a lot of love).

cómo abrir cocos como un náufrago manos martillo

2) If the above doesn’t work, you only have the long way left:

a) peel the coconut as if it were a banana: you make vertical blows from the top of the coconut (where it is attached to the palm tree) to the bottom of the whole. Do not be afraid to split the coconut or damage it and lose the water, since the green part protects very well.

You have to soften the green skin that covers the nut (it is the difficult one to remove), since on the inside there are only filaments that come out quickly. With your hand you pull from top to bottom and peel the coconut. If you only want to drink the water, all you have to do is clear a little surface to be able to pierce it.

If you also want to eat the meat of the coconut, it is better to leave it half uncovered (as in the photo). When hitting, you must be careful, because if the nut is too soft, you can break it and waste part of the water.

cómo abrir cocos como un náufrago manos martillo

b) Then make a small hole (if the coconut is very young, pressing with your finger will suffice), if, on the contrary, the shell is already hard, you should hit it with little force and, if possible, with a pointed piece of wood and of small diameter, to make a smaller hole.

Now all you have to do is drink it and enjoy it under the shade of a palm tree!

And if you want to eat it too… bellow I tell you how!

tutorial para abrir un coco con las manos martillo naufrago

c) To eat it, open the nut with the same piece of wood and build a spoon like the one in the photo. Use the spoon to separate the coconut meat from the nut, and then you can use it to cut and eat it.

tutorial para abrir un coco con las manos martillo naufrago

That’s it, it’s that easy: you already know how to open a coconut. With a little practice you will learn to peel them super fast and with little effort. I hope it helps you on your adventures in the tropics!

If you like to travel, in this link you will find travel tips that will be very useful.

Enjoy the coconut!

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