3 ways to make a Dakota hearth in the forest: instructions

A lot of interpretations exist for this kind of hearth. – deep, hidden, fossa, polynesian. But colloquially nevertheless familiar – Dakota hearth. This recess in the ground is connected to another recess, the walls of which are lined with logs or stones, and a fire is set inside.

  • A bit of history
  • Modern device of a fire
  • Where and when is appropriate
  • The best place for the hearth
  • Making Dakota hearth
  • How to use and what can be cooked
  • Advantages and disadvantages

A bit of history

In the early 19th century, the once great friendly tribe of American Indians Dakota «friendly» broke up into seven communities «sweep off» — seven fires, more than half of which, began to lead a nomadic way of life to breed horses and hunt bison. Experiencing constant persecution and harassment from the Americans, seizing more and more territories and pushing the once united Dakots into the steppe. Scattered communities had to survive in difficult conditions and hide from the constant attacks of soldiers. And then a new type of hearth appeared, which was placed underground and retained the name of the tribe – Dakota hearth.

Such a fire did not require a lot of firewood, burned well, did not smoke and, if necessary, was easily hidden from prying eyes.

Dakota hearth Dakota hearth during a hike
The location was chosen under an impending rock or a large tree crown, helping to hide a fire place from above.

So did the Indians, leading their herds of horses into the distant steppes.

Used centers for cooking and overnight stays in the steppe.

Modern device of a fire

Since ancient times, the Dakota hearth has not changed much, but has become very popular among tourists.

Having taken a fancy to such a device, the fire began to be produced much simpler, perhaps not always a clear technology is preserved, but the principle remains constant.

These are two pits interconnected by a small passage, in one of which the hearth is divorced. The second fossa serves as a blower, from where oxygen enters the fire, causing the flame to burn.

It is quite easy to cook food on such a fire, without fear you can leave a burning fire at night, and without additional warming it will be arranged around it at night. The flame will slowly burn, warming the earth around.

In such a firebox without fear, you can leave the embers for some time, and then, adding fresh firewood, make a fire. Such a device is convenient for hunters who leave their stove bench, going for prey. After the time expires, returning, there is no need to make a fire, just throw a few branches and the flame will flare up with a new force. Where no problem, you can start cooking.

Given that such a structure requires some physical effort, not all and not always resort to such a device of the hearth, although not deservedly.

But first things first.

Where and when is appropriate

Like any construction, the device is the main attribute of the tourist – fire takes some time. For this reason, not everyone loads himself with such work. Yes, and without skill, such a device is not for everyone. But if you decide, then it’s worth it.

  1. By virtue of its safety, such a fire device is good to arrange in a small tent camp, where there are few people, and there is no one to watch the fire. But it will be necessary to provide such fire for the firewood, the benefit is that they will need much less than for the open fire.
  2. If there is a need for a long time not to indicate its location, such a fire will not only give out, but it will also be a good companion for cooking and heating. If necessary, it is easy to hide the ground.
  3. You can breed it in the shelter and even in the tent, without worrying about security.
  4. A small amount of firewood can also be compensated by a hearth device.
  5. A strong wind will not allow to make a fire, it will be a dangerous undertaking, just not a Dakota hearth, the wind is not afraid of it, it will burn in any weather.

Such a bonfire is good during the period of long fishing or hunting, because food can be cooked not only on the surface, but also successfully baked inside. So did the Indians.

Dakota hearth
The location was chosen under an impending rock or a large tree crown, helping to hide a fire place from above.

So did the Indians, leading their herds of horses into the distant steppes.

Used centers for cooking and overnight stays in the steppe.

Modern device of a fire

Since ancient times, the Dakota hearth has not changed much, but has become very popular among tourists.

Having taken a fancy to such a device, the fire began to be produced much simpler, perhaps not always a clear technology is preserved, but the principle remains constant.

These are two pits interconnected by a small passage, in one of which the hearth is divorced. The second fossa serves as a blower, from where oxygen enters the fire, causing the flame to burn.

It is quite easy to cook food on such a fire, without fear you can leave a burning fire at night, and without additional warming it will be arranged around it at night. The flame will slowly burn, warming the earth around.

In such a firebox without fear, you can leave the embers for some time, and then, adding fresh firewood, make a fire. Such a device is convenient for hunters who leave their stove bench, going for prey. After the time expires, returning, there is no need to make a fire, just throw a few branches and the flame will flare up with a new force. Where no problem, you can start cooking.

Given that such a structure requires some physical effort, not all and not always resort to such a device of the hearth, although not deservedly.

But first things first.

Where and when is appropriate

Like any construction, the device is the main attribute of the tourist – fire takes some time. For this reason, not everyone loads himself with such work. Yes, and without skill, such a device is not for everyone. But if you decide, then it’s worth it.

  1. By virtue of its safety, such a fire device is good to arrange in a small tent camp, where there are few people, and there is no one to watch the fire. But it will be necessary to provide such fire for the firewood, the benefit is that they will need much less than for the open fire.
  2. If there is a need for a long time not to indicate its location, such a fire will not only give out, but it will also be a good companion for cooking and heating. If necessary, it is easy to hide the ground.
  3. You can breed it in the shelter and even in the tent, without worrying about security.
  4. A small amount of firewood can also be compensated by a hearth device.
  5. A strong wind will not allow to make a fire, it will be a dangerous undertaking, just not a Dakota hearth, the wind is not afraid of it, it will burn in any weather.

Such a bonfire is good during the period of long fishing or hunting, because food can be cooked not only on the surface, but also successfully baked inside. So did the Indians.

Dakota hearth

How to use and what can be cooked

When the hearth is ready, it’s time to start the long-awaited cooking. There are many ways to do this.

  1. Using an open fire while the firewood ignites is the most effective for making rich soup or porridge. It is enough to hang the pot on the stick and start cooking. With the accumulation of coal, you can proceed to cooking meat or fish on skewers, but foolishly stuck foil will allow you to bake not only vegetables, but also meat on coals.
  2. The use of grids or sheet metal, will increase the heating area, then you can use several containers and at the same time prepare a single dish, warm the kettle. But it is necessary to maintain the possibility of free air movement through the channels. Full overlap of one outlet stops burning due to the lack of oxygen.
  3. If you are not too lazy and prepared a hole of the hearth deep enough, then a good piece of meat or chicken can be placed inside with a good amount of coals, this can be done with a hook or skewers arranged in a vertical position and suspended from a horizontal crossbar. This arrangement does not allow the product to burn. Thanks to the good heating of the walls and the heat inside, the meat is perfectly cooked and it turns out to be an amazing dish that everyone should cook and at least once in their life dig up the Dakota hearth.

It is possible to use such a structure not only for cooking, but also for good heating, especially if the hike is scheduled for a cool autumn.

Having built a hearth inside the shelter, it is better to use a tent, of course, and not a tent. You can warm up around it by arranging a stove in the immediate vicinity, without worrying that the flame spreads to clothes. Slow and long burning will provide long warming up of the soil.

Advantages and disadvantages

All the advantages of the hearth are described, but summing up we can say that this is the best device for privacy, culinary delights and creating mystery. Such a device is also applicable in the forest and in the steppe, where the raising of open fire is extremely dangerous. Another positive aspect of the use of the hearth is the rapid elimination, which is extremely effective in nature. It is possible to burn all the waste and bury it; moreover, such a place will recover much faster than scorched earth after a huge fireplace.

Like all good things, the hearth has flaws:

  • a lot of time is spent on manufacturing, in the absence of skill, it becomes difficult to solve a problem;
  • not everywhere can be arranged, not all soil grounds are suitable;
  • calibrated fuel, small branches and small firewood to be chopped;
  • the small area of ​​heating, does not provide a big thermolysis;
  • eliminates the possibility to dry clothes and keep warm by the company.

Everyone has the choice of which type of fire is applicable, but in this case: — knowledge is power! Therefore, once in conditions close to extreme with skills and knowledge, you will never be lost.

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