Monday, October 25, 2010

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - The Dakota Fire Pit

Dakota Fire Pit

Making efficient use of your resources is a good practice when building a fire. The Dakota Fire Pit is one of the most efficient styles around and will help you in making the best use of your available resources. They are less visible and more fuel efficient than other types of fire and can be easily made from the camp tools used by most people.

The major trick in making a Dakota Fire Pit is the chimney. Through the use of a chimney hole fresh air is drawn into the fire pit as the heated air in the main fire pit rises. This makes a very fuel efficient fire. The hard part is digging the chimney hole for the main fire pit. The easiest way I’ve found to dig the chimney hole is to use tent stakes that are normally 8 to 10 inches long to dig out the hole for the chimney and round it out with the handle on your camp shovel to get a pretty uniform shape. I also use the tent stakes to set the depth for my main fire pit at about 8 to 10 inches.

I also like to use a couple of cotton balls coated with Vaseline as tinder to start my fire. Simply pull the cotton balls slightly apart and light your tinder. The kindling catches fire quite easily and in no time you’ve got a decent fire going.

A few pieces of green sapling can then be used to make a grill for your Dakota Fire Pit. Be careful though because the green saplings will eventually catch fire since the Dakota Fire Pit is very efficient and puts out quite a bit of heat. Its design also makes it very easy to put out your fire and leave little or no traces behind when you are finished.

Put on a coffee pot and you’re ready to go!

Got Dakota Fire Pit?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

You could maybe use one of those SKS 'toadsticker' bayonets for the chimney digging. Finally find a use for them. :^)

I've read about these setups, but never tried it myself. Our land is very flat here, and I wasn't convinced that having two holes at same grade level would be that effective - maybe I'm wrong. Thanks for the write-up.

Selous Scout said...

A small plastic garden trowel weighs next to nothing and works very well for digging the chimney of the fire pit. It is a little light weight for digging the whole fire pit, but will work with some effort. The small shovel is a much better choice.

riverwalker said...

To; anonymous 7:54

They are less visible and more fuel efficient which is a good combination. I prefer to use simple tools when digging a fire hole that most everyone has in camp.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: Selous Scout

Great tip for something lightweight to use in digging.

I try to keep a small shovel handy for digging purposes.

Thanks Scout!


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