Dakota Fire Hole

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Introduction: Dakota Fire Hole

About: Go outside and do something awesome!

A Dakota Fire Hole is an underground fire that is ideal for heat, stealth camping, and high winds. Because the fire is underground, the flame doesn't have contact with the cold air so the ground acts as insulation for the fire making it hotter than a normal one. The fire is in the ground so the flames are not as visible from ground level which reduces the visibility of the fire. Because the fire is hard to be seen from a distance, it is a good option if you don't want others to see the flame. With a normal fire on the surface, it is exposed to the wind; strong winds can make keeping a fire difficult. Since the Dakota Hole Fire is underground, it is shielded from the wind. Because the fire is underground, there is not as much oxygen for the combustion process; a second hole that connects to the hole with the fire in it is used as an oxygen supplier to the flame.

Step 1: Finding a Location

You need to find a good location to build your Dakota Fire Hole. Any flat surface will work great for the making of the Dakota Fire Hole. Once you have decided on your location, you need to clear the area of any vegetation and debris such as weeds, dead leaves, and rocks.

Step 2: Digging the Fire Hole

The size and depth of the hole depends on how big you want your fire to be. A deeper hole will let less light be visible from the surface and the flame will be more contained. A wider hole means you can make a bigger fire. Once you have made your decision, start digging!

Step 3: Oxygen Supply Hole

When you have finished making the hole that the fire will be in, it is time to dig a second hole to supply the fire with oxygen. The second hole should be approximately a foot away from the fire hole; it doesn't have to be as big as the fire containing hole. If you dig the hole at an angle, it will be easier to connect the holes later because you will have a better position for digging the connection tunnel.

Step 4: The Connection Tunnel

Once you have dug both holes, it is time to connect the two. You will need to kneel on the ground for this step to have a better digging position. The connection hole should be about as big as your fist; This will be where the oxygen reaches the flame so make sure it is the proper size or else your fire will not be properly fueled.

Step 5: Starting the Fire

Starting a Dakota Hole Fire follows the same principles of fire building as a regular fire would. Gather small dry materials to start the fire and gather kindling to build the fire. Soon you will be able to progress to larger sticks which burn slower.

Step 6: Woohoo! You Have Built a Dakota Hole Fire!

It's time to sit by the fire and relax; You don't have to worry about the wind distinguishing the fire. Enjoy the heat and tell some campfire songs!

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    6 Comments

    0
    jndw0010
    jndw0010

    Question 12 days ago

    I’m looking for any ideas or leads of any kind to a project that I am kinda just allowing itself to take shape with….. I’ll explain….
    So I have an area that we’ve used to burn small brush and make s’mores over the years…. It’s in a convenient spot but some might argue the trees overhead are becoming a hazard and the overall proximity to the house is not suitable for any fires with larger or large amounts of “fuel.”
    I understand this and am responsible enough to tend the burning for the duration… now- I’d like to make something cool with this area. I’ve not really got any sort of plan so any suggestions are appreciated.

    I’ve dug out my “fire pit” and I’ve got a hole about 4’ from one end to the other and about the same 4’ deep. I’d like to have the hole be an actual fire pit with perhaps a grate on top?? But my problems are- how will I add the “fuel” for the fire to burn without moving the overhead grate…… and what would/should/or could I do with the soot and ashes the leftover burning leaves behind? Bc I prefer to not have to dig out an insane amount of black sooty dirt/char….. Could I flush this somehow ?

    Could my “fuel” (apple brush bc we’re actually apple farmers) sit on top of Permanent large rocks that filter the spot and char from the embers and flames?

    I’m just tossing around some thoughts and reaching out bc I’m kinda stuck and right now have a 4ft hole in the ground that I’m scared my dog or husband or even me might waltz right into….. 🤪…. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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    0
    Mac82gyver
    Mac82gyver

    23 days ago on Step 2

    Dakota fire holes are NOT meant to be big fires. They are meant to minimize the fire and the light from the fire and maximize the heat for cooking or boiling water

    0
    Ajay1976
    Ajay1976

    Question 2 years ago

    Will this also as a foundry as well?

    0
    Drewjitsu
    Drewjitsu

    Answer 2 years ago

    I used this method to normalize a high carbon steel file to make a knife. I did this with a piece of metal pipe and attached a blow dryer to the end of it to increase oxygen flow, which got the fire plenty hot.

    0
    WilliamC181
    WilliamC181

    5 years ago

    I suggest haveing some stones to cover the holes when not in use.

    0
    nochoi
    nochoi

    5 years ago

    Great instructable! The technique is basically the same as in modern rocket stoves - and as effective! You just don't need advanced technology, just a simple tool to dig your holes.

    If I am not mistaken this kind of subterrean fire with a tunnel for additional oxygen supply was used in native American cultures as well as in other regions worldwide.

    Be sure to have solid soil to build your "oven" - it will collapse immediately in sandy grounds...