The Dakota Fire Hole│ Bushcraft & Survival Knowlegde

Stephenson Westernlund
2 min readNov 27, 2019

The Dakota fire hole is an ancient technique in making a fire pit. This technique were often used by American Indians. This fire-building technique is good to when evade a human tracker, try to avoid leaving too many traces, or effective fire techniques when the situation is not less supportive such as uncertain wind intensity. This technique use little wood, release very little smoke, and will burn hot.

Dakota fire pit is not a technique to make a fireplace that is useful to warm a group of people. But this technique is very effective in cooking and making burning activities without any visible fire. Dakota fire holes work by creating two holes that connect at the bottom.

How to make Dakota fire hole:

See the illustration above for more understanding.

1. Look for a supportive environment. Making a Dakota fire pit must be done on supporting soil. Avoid areas that that are rocky, too wet that it will create water to drain inside the hole, dry sand that easily to landslides and not holding the shape, etc.

2. Dig a hole about a foot (or less) in diameter and about a foot deep. This hole should be made in a vertical orientation.

3. dig the airflow tunnel. Dig the airway tunnel beginning about one foot away from the fire chamber hole. This hole should angle down to connect to the first hole’s base in a U-shaped fashion. Ideally this hole should be upwind from the main fire hole. This hole function is to drawn air/ oxygen into the angled hole to feed the fire.

4. Place or arrange the rocks around the surface of the first hole for the supporting function of the cooking utensil, raise the hole in the surface to reduce the visibility of the fire, the aesthetic function and material barrier from the outside enter the hole and influence the combustion activity.

Now its time for you to use and enjoy the fire. You don’t have to worry about the wind distinguishing the fire. Have a good adventure!