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Dakota Fire Pit

Dakota Fire Pit

The Dakota fire pit is a fire management system designed to use minimal fuel and with minimal signature. It requires a little elbow grease to produce the pit but once completed would last in a static camp fire a fair few days.

The idea of cooking below ground is to minimise the fires visibility and cut down on the smoke but I would advise the use of a crane to lift and lower the pot if you intended on cooking something more complicated than just boiling water as the heat generated is quite intense and there might be a risk of burning your food until you become familiar with controlling the burn.

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This is the "classic" diagram for the pits layout.

The basic routine for making a fire pit is to firstly select a site, obviously peaty or sandy soil is no good, avoid rooty ground too. Then we dig out two pits, one (the fire pit) is slightly larger than the draw pit. Make the draw pit big enough for you to get your hands into as the second task is to tunnel between both holes. Make the tunnel big enough that you can use it as a feed for extra fuel if needed.

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Next prepare your fuel - basic fire lighting principles apply but bear in mind (depending on you source of ignition) you may need to light it via the tunnel as I did.

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Once the fires established which is quite quick with the air being drawn into it via the tunnel and depending on your hole/chimney size you might want to as a couple of cross bars (green wood would be ideal).

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And now we're ready to rock and roll, place our cooking vessel over the pit.

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The cooking time, i.e. the heat generated is quite impressive and brought this frying pan of water to a boil in less time than it took me to dig the holes.

All in all a very effective set up from start to boiling water in just over 10 minutes but obviously the pot size etc. would dictate otherwise.

Overall an excellent set up well worth investing a little time in to construct as its much more fuel efficient than an open fire and once your finished you just back fill the holes and there's no trace of your ever being there.
Author
Leif
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