Hiding a Cook Fire

There may well come a time when you’ll want to build a small fire for cooking and want it to be as invisible as possible. Here is how some of the Plains Indians used to do it.

Start by digging a hole about a foot across and a foot deep. Next, dig a smaller hole a foot to a foot and a half away from it, angling it down to tunnel into the bottom of the first hole. Ideally, place this second hole toward the prevailing wind currents. The hole/tunnel should be four or five inches across.

Build your fire at the bottom of the main hole. It shouldn’t be all that large, maybe six inches high or so. The secondary hole will funnel air right to the bottom of the fire, making it very hot.

The hotter a fire is, the less smoke it will generate. If you build your fire under a tree, the branches will help disburse any remaining smoke.

You can adjust the heat somewhat by partially covering the vent hole with a large branch or a couple rocks. A cooking surface can be improvised by laying green sticks across the top of the fire hole, allowing you to place a pot or pan on them.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for SurvivalWeekly.com. He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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