The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

The Dakota Fire Hole/Pit

The Dakota Fire hole/pit offers a highly efficient way to create an outdoor camp fire.

Advantages: Burns very hot, the fire is well-contained, uses much less firewood than a conventional above ground fire, is less smoky, is easier to conceal (if that’s a concern) as and after you’ve used it than conventional camp fires. It is also easier to fully extinguish (back fill the hole) and integrates a stable cooking surface into its design.

Disadvantages: Will be harder to dig the two pits necessary for this kind of camp fire if the ground is very rocky, sandy, wet or a tangle of tree roots. It may take more time and physical effort to prepare, since you need to dig dual holes than a conventional fire pit.

The design is actually similar to that of a Rocket stove only instead of constructing out of clay or brick or whatever, here you are digging your heating and cooking chambers.

Some good views of the fire in action here:

I’ve read that Dakota fire holes are NOT good options for use inside a shelter or dwelling unless you can be sure that your fire is venting properly, as you can run a carbon monoxide poisoning risk.

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