A Short History of The Legendary Dakota Fire Pit

The Seven Council Fires
A map of the ancestral lands of the great Sioux Nations.

The Dakota Fire Pit takes its name from a group of Native American tribes collectively known as the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ. Or in English, “Seven Council Fires”. Today we know them as the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Sioux Nations.

We believe the people populating the American plains developed this technology. They probably did so to combat the incessant wind and prevent prairie fires while following the Bison herds. These nomadic people spent much of their time on the move. They followed the ever-restless herds of American Bison across the rolling plains. Most assuredly, they required a reliable method of maintaining fire without creating disaster or alerting their prey. Little did they know, they designed one of the most versatile survival stoves and fire pit ever imagined.

The Dakota Fire Pit is an extremely hot burning, nearly smokeless fire pit. The fire remains hidden below ground. And it needs very little fuel to produce superb results. Perfect for stealth camping, survival, and outdoor cooking.

The Dakota Fire Pit Is An Ingenious Design

The Dakota Fire Pit can do all of this because of its unique, common-sense, and ingenious design. It’s nothing more than two shallow pits dug into the dirt, and then connected via a small tunnel between the two. When you build a fire inside of one pit, the heat rises, creating a draw on the tunnel. This draw pulls in cold, fresh air from the other pit and into the base of the fire. 

With a constant supply of fresh air and a well-insulated combustion chamber, the heat from the fire has nowhere to go but up. This self-perpetuating flow of air provides enough oxygen to burn nearly 100% of the organic material you feed it. That translates to a nearly 100% smoke-free fire when burning dry fuel.

A Modern Adaption of the Dakota Fire Pit

The Dakota Fire Pit
An image excerpt from the U.S. Military Field Manual FM 21-76

This survival stove type of fire pit has proven so useful that the American Military has been teaching it to our soldiers since the beginning of the Vietnam war. The many benefits that come with this unique fire proved to be the perfect thing for our brave young soldiers caught behind enemy lines.

The Dakota Fire Pit requires very little fuel to produce useful heat. It produces little to no smoke. And the bright, attention-getting flame can remain hidden below ground, where it gives off less light for onlookers to detect. This is why the Dakota Fire Pit became the go-to method of cooking and drying out clothing for the unfortunate souls trying to remain hidden in the jungles from the Viet-Cong.

To this day, it remains a favorite of survivalists and wild campers the world over. This is mostly because it closely resembles a rocket stove in form and function, but can be built using the environment, virtually anywhere you have proper soil conditions.

Only on the Plains…

Rainbow on the plains
Picture of a rainbow after a storm over the Yellowstone River, south of Fairview, MT.

In spite of the overwhelming benefits that come from using such a unique and efficient fire lay, it has a rather significant disadvantage…  Soil conditions. The Sioux Nation lived in a blessed land of rolling hills and grassy plains. One could dig for several feet in any given area and find rich, firm soil. It was the ideal location for such a magnificent primitive technology to evolve. Such innovation wouldn’t have happened along the rivers that flow through the mountain valleys or under the dense canopy of the world’s jungles.

It can be nearly impossible to construct a Dakota Fire Pit in rocky, sandy, frozen, boggy, or heavily forested soil conditions. Because that technically makes up a very large portion of the planet, this has become known as its one glaring drawback to being declared the best fire lay you can build.

It’s No Longer Impossible.

Modular Fire Pit
A compilation of several Dakota Fire Pits made with StealthFyre.

The Dakota fire pit does have many benefits, but it can also be challenging to build in certain soil conditions. However, StealthFyre provides an innovative solution to overcome these difficulties. Unlike the traditional method, StealthFyre can be used in any soil condition, regardless of the presence of rocks, roots, or wet and boggy soil. StealthFyre can also be equipped with a grill that can be placed in several locations, which raises the level of the fire above the soil. This not only protects the fire from wet ground but also ensures an efficient burn.

Not only that, but StealthFyre contains immense value thanks to its versatility and adaptability. StealthFyre has the ability to be configured in an almost endless number of ways. This stove can serve as a survival stove, a grill, a smoker, a potbelly stove, a windbreak, and more. It can use several types of fuel, including wood and charcoal briquets. StealthFyre can also use alcohol and gas burners, large propane burners, and solid fuel tablets. You can even use StealthFyre panels for making bricks to build primitive shelter. They can also construct containers for storing or moving material and resources. The value of this product is immeasurable to any avid camper, hiker, survivalist, or anyone who enjoys cooking outdoors. 

Fyre. Re-invented.

Modular Camp Stove
A compilation of several Potbelly Stoves mounted to Dakota Fire Holes.

So, we may not have re-invented fire, but we did re-invent the brick! Our solution to the challenge of stabilizing a Dakota Fire Pit turned into a modular system that will transform the way you view camping stoves. Now you have the ability to create your own unique stove for your own unique situation, and have a blast while doing so.

With StealthFyre you have access to several DIFFERENT stoves in one compact package that’s easy to store nearly anywhere. And no matter which StealthFyre kit you choose or how many you have, they all work together to make larger and better stoves. Your imagination is the only limit to what you can achieve with StealthFyre Modular Stove Systems.

Imagine The Fun!

Imagine the fun you’ll have with a stove you can deploy in a hole or above ground, that can conceal your fire and eliminate your smoke signature. It can even be used in a hot tent by simply constructing the chimney and enclosure you need. What kind of excitement will you enjoy with your StealthFyre? Will you finally camp in those crazy out-of-the-way places you never thought you could? Or will you build your own heaven on earth in that secret meadow? When you become a StealthFyre owner, you’ll find yourself having better adventures than ever before.

Once you start playing with StealthFyre there’s no limit to the fun you’ll have.

Are You Ready To Play With Fyre?