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The Dakota Fire Pit

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  • The Dakota Fire Pit

    The Dakota Fire Pit once used by the plains indians is my favorite method of building a fire. It allows for a hotter fire and with very little if no smoke when burning good hardwood. You will actually use less wood also.

    I like to dig a hole about 12" deep x 12" wide at the top. As you dig the whole it should be wider at the bottom then at the top. At ground level start digging two holes about 5" in diameter and about 12" away from the main hole. Dig them down at an angle to the bottom of the main hole. This allows the fire to fed with air from the bottom. Your wind direction should be blowing towards the air holes. I stagger my two air holes at about a 45 degree angle to catch as much wind changes as possible. It will still burn if the wind totaly changes, but more smoke will be created like a regular fire. These get VERY HOT and you can just here it work while still remaining very quiet!

    It takes a little time to make and soil conditions will dictate whether it is worth the effort. I would not build this in a heavy rain either. When possible however, it is well worth the effort especially if you will be there for a while or want to hide your presence as much as possible. Another advantage is being able to fill in the hole quickly and totaly cover up the evidence you were there. Just be sure you don't cover it up at the bottom with dry material. Pour water on it and/or place mud on it in the bottom of the hole then fill in and cover with natural material.

    I usually use very green branches to place over the hole, but a better method is to carry tinfoil in your kit which I always do to wrap around the green branches to make them last alot longer!

    The three picture below show me cooking over the pit, the bottom of the pit and the pit 5 MINUTES AFTER I WAS DONE COOKING!

  • #2
    Great thread.

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    • #3
      I'm going to try this today, thanks!!!
      Mountain Man J :cool:

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stitch View Post
        Great thread.
        As are yours Stitch! I like how you use pictures along with your posts also. For me pictures help explain things alot.

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        • #5
          Have you seen how Ray Mears heats up rocks for pit cooking? I suppose one could do the same thing if you plugged up the draft hole/s after the rocks were heated.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47cEam7Mz30

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Stitch View Post
            Have you seen how Ray Mears heats up rocks for pit cooking? I suppose one could do the same thing if you plugged up the draft hole/s after the rocks were heated.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47cEam7Mz30
            No I haven't, but it does make sense. I will check out that video. Just be careful of which rocks you use or how you heat them...I have seen them explode if they have too much moisture content.

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            • #7
              Awesome video! I definately think it would work. That bread baking idea is very cool by the way.

              I think Ray Mears is my favorite survival guy, I really like his outlook on things. Working with nature is far better then fighting her!

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              • #8
                Great little fire pit. I'll try to build one the next time I go camping.

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                • #9
                  Nice share,and pics. Thanks!
                  If the zombies chase us, Im tripping you!!!

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                  • #10
                    I have tried one of these in the past with great results. I used a slightly different method in mine; i dug two holes and joined them under ground about a foot apart. I think yours would provide superior results becasue of the increased air. Think I'll try it this weekend.

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                    • #11
                      Great post thanks.

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                      • #12
                        So, I forgot the "name" of the firepit, and Mr kept telling me" it sounds like a Dakota".. and Im like, are you listening to me? lol.. So, I confirmed, again he is correct... Damn Mr "know-it-all"... At least Im learnin for myself, :)
                        If the zombies chase us, Im tripping you!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by maric View Post
                          So, I forgot the "name" of the firepit, and Mr kept telling me" it sounds like a Dakota".. and Im like, are you listening to me? lol.. So, I confirmed, again he is correct... Damn Mr "know-it-all"... At least Im learnin for myself, :)
                          LOL, you sound like the Mrs. and I.

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