how to make a dakota fire pit
Clear an area of any grass or debris.
Find yourself a suitable area and clear all debris, plants and grass.
Select your ground.
The area where you choose to dig your pit should be free of stones or big tree roots.
Use a stick, small shovel or entrenching tool.
Dig a hole 300-400mm deep and diameter where you want the fire hole to be positioned.
Dig the air intake hole.
300-400mm DOWN WIND dig the air hole, same depth as the fire hole.
Leave a bridge of earth between each hole.
Do not disturb the earth between the holes this will act as the roof of the air tunnel.
Carefully dig through between the two holes.
Form the air tunnel by boring out and digging between to fire pit and air intake holes.
An essential Bushcraft Skill all Preppers should learn and practice
There are many Bushcraft and Survival Skills that are essential to learn, without doubt, the Dakota Fire Pit is one of them.
It can be a lot of work, initially, but the benefits if this type of fire are different to a conventional camp fire.
The Dakota Fire Pit is a fire making method originally started by the Dakota Indians and is a very good method of building an 'underground' cooking fire.
It is relatively straightforward process to construct and is very efficient method when it comes to conserving and burning fuel. The fire will actually burn hotter with a reduced demand on fuel (wood) than a conventional fire method.
In a survival/SHTF situation can be very stealthy and even mean the difference between life and death.
The basis of this fire pit is to dig two holes, a fire chamber and an air intake tunnel, which will allow oxygen to reach the base of the fire directly.
This is an extremely efficient fire making method.
Advantages of the dakota fire pit
- Because the air feed goes direct to the base of the fire it will burn very hot.
- For the same output as a conventional fire, you use less firewood.
- Far easier to manage if it is very windy compared to conventional fire.
- Food cooks faster and water will boil faster.
- You can use natural pot stand across the hole: green sticks.
- With the base of the fire being air fed, the efficiency of the burn will create less smoke.
- As the fire is below ground level, flames are shielded from being seen, especially at night.
- This is very covert, no fire scar as you fill the hole in and cover over, leaving no trace.
In the video below I go out for a wild camping with some fellow bushcrafters for a very wild and windy two nights. The perfect conditions for an underground fire.
So as you can see in my video the Dakota Fire Pit worked well just like it should.
The windy conditions were a challenge, but the fire coped with it.
So the next time you are out in the wilds , why not give it a go.
Steve Hart - UK Preppers Guide