Here is a modern version of the Dakota Fire Hole that you can use while out in the field; it’s easy to assemble, uses twigs for a fuel source, creates a low light signature and produces very little smoke.
Traditional Dakota Fire Holes are created by digging two holes into the earth; as seen in the picture to the left. The horizontal chamber acts as a draft for the fire; creating a more efficient burn and less smoke. The USMC uses the principle as a tactical fire in the field because of these benefits. It kind of looks like a rocket stove; doesn’t it?
Depending on the soil conditions where you are setting up your campsite; digging a fire pit can be difficult. If the soil has too high of a sand content; the hole can collapse, and if it’s too rocky; you can be digging for hours.
Using the method described in the video below; you build your fire hole beforehand, and have the ability of reusing it many times. Versus having to dig a new one every time you move camp.
Make sure you check out some of Michael’s other videos that he uploaded to youtube; the winter shelter one is pretty good.
Stay safe in the woods!