How to Make a Stealthy Smokeless Fire

campfire wikimediaMost preppers spend a lot of time learning new skills to help them survive the perils of the wild. Many of us probably know a dozen different ways to purify water, or how to build rudimentary shelters out of forest debris, and set traps for small game etc. That’s all fine and good, but in terms of life threatening scenarios, there’s only one thing that’s more dangerous than the wilderness, and that’s other people.

So while you’re learning your wilderness survival techniques, you should think about how well they might work when the wilderness is the least of your problems. If for whatever reason, you’re hiding in the woods while someone is pursuing you, then you’ll have to rethink all of those aforementioned skills with that threat in mind.

Unfortunately, one of the most pressing needs you’ll have is building a fire, which is also a dead giveaway for anyone who is looking for you. The light and smoke from a fire can reveal your position over long distances, even during the day. And in many environments on Earth, you simply can’t survive without fire. Forget about purifying water or cooking food, in many climates you won’t survive a single night without a fire. So you’ll have to figure out how to stay warm without letting anyone know where you are.

And that’s where the smokeless fire comes in. While it sounds absurd to some, in reality it’s very simple. Making a fire that doesn’t produce smoke is just a matter of making the combustion more efficient.

It’s pretty easy to build, but the trade-off is that it only conceals the smoke. When dusk arrives, you’ll need something that can eliminate both the light and the smoke, and for that you’ll need a Dakota fire pit.  Making this pit involves digging a hole that is deep enough to conceal the fire, while also digging a separate shaft that will provide the ventilation to keep it going. It’s a very efficient system that burns hotter than an ordinary fire while also keeping your would-be pursuers in the dark.

As you can see, surviving in the wild is one thing, but once you consider the possibility of dealing with people that want to hurt you, you’ll have to think differently about how to attain the basic necessities. You’ll have to work a little extra hard for your warmth, but the added effort could save your life.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published September 18th, 2015
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  • Richard Spencer

    You can hide the light from the fire, but you can’t hide the smell of campfire smoke. The smell of smoke is a dead giveaway to anyone down wind from you. And it’s better if you can build the fire on land that is higher than the surrounding terrain and still conceal the fires glow from unfriendly eyes. Smoke from the fire will rise under most atmospheric conditions, and being up higher than the surrounding terrain the odor of smoke will pass high enough over anyone who might be looking for signs of you in the low lying land to go undetected. Choose only the driest of wood for the fire if you can, and stay away from using damp firewood that gives off smoke, as well as soft wood branches that still have the needles on them. If noise is a concern then use only hard woods, soft woods such as pine, fir, cedar, and spruce will advertise your hiding place with all the snapping and crackling while they are burning. Hard wood will burn much more quietly and produce less smoke.. I have lived in the woods all my life, so believe me.

  • Richard Spencer

    I would also like to clear up a misconception that it is safe to drink from ALL fast moving streams without first boiling the water. I watched an episode of “Naked & Afraid” and the contestant who was supposed to be a survival expert told his partner it was safe to drink from a moving stream. This is false, unless you know the source of the headwaters of the stream, don’t drink before boiling. { EVEN IN A PRISTINE WILDERNESS } That stream might have had beaver or muskrat swimming in it above you. Beaver relieve themselves in the water, and you could be drinking water containing parasites that can cause Giardiasis, commonly known as beaver fever. Many animals can cause giardiasis, cows, sheep, and many others as well. Even men who indulge in sex with other men are at risk. Be very careful what you drink.

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