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While reading this answer I ended up watching a couple of youtube videos and heard this guy mentioning a "Dakota fire pit".

I hadn't heard about it before, but could easily find a few images by searching the web: Dakota fire pit

Seems pretty straighforward, but the question remains:

  • Why would I build a fire pit like this?
  • What are the advantages?
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    Getting that tunnel to hold looks easy in the picture. Not a chance in sandy soil. Even in clay when the fire dries out the the soil it may collapse.
    – paparazzo
    Aug 23 '16 at 15:50
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Efficiency, mostly

  • The fire should be able to burn very hot.
  • Less fuel is needed (faster cooking).
  • Produces less smoke.
  • Less susceptible to wind.
  • Light is shielded.
  • Easy to cover up to extinguish.
  • Covering it to remove evidence is easier.
  • Support for cookware is easily added (something like green sticks across the top is possible).
  • Should produce less sparks and floating cinders (than a surface fire), which would make it safer in dry conditions

There's always a downside

  • The biggest downside is that you still have to dig in the ground and most likely damage it (not a leave no trace fire).
  • Should be pretty useful if you've got a permanent camp. But it could be a lot of effort for a one-nighter.

Sources: Modern Survival Blog, Survival Topics, @DCShannon, @Liam

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    Probably p;retty useful if you've got a permenant camp. A lot of effort for a one nighter. Nice technnique though
    – user2766
    Aug 23 '16 at 15:12
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    Essentially the same concept as a kiln, but underground. And yes, such a fire would kill the earth around it, it's not a leave no trace fire.
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 23 '16 at 19:41
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    I would expect that fire to produce less sparks and floating cinders than a surface fire as well, which would make it safer in dry conditions.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 23 '16 at 20:19
  • No, of course not, please do. That's the point of leaving a comment.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 23 '16 at 21:52

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