By Tahlia Mannix on July 12 2018 03:12:42
The Dakota fire pit is an efficient, simple fire design that produces little to no smoke. As depicted in the illustration, two small holes are dug in the ground: one for the firewood and the other to provide a draft of air. Small twigs are packed into the fire hole and readily combustible material is set on top and lit. The fire burns from the top downward, drawing a steady, laminar stream of fresh air from the air hole as it burns. Because the air passes freely around the fuel, near complete combustion is achieved, the result being a fire that burns strongly and brightly and with little or no seen smoke. The Dakota fire pit is a tactical fire used by the United States military as the flame produces a low light signature, reduced smoke, and is easier to ignite under strong wind conditions.
An in-ground fire pit can be cost-effective, however above-ground pits are more common. One trend is to create a “sunken living room” design for an above-ground fire pit. This offers the added benefit of built-in seating. In addition, the surrounding wall can act either as a wind barrier or a heat reflector, creating a warm and cozy room.
Although fire pits are a common appearance in more traditionally influenced landscapes, with the right detailing they can fit perfectly in modern-leaning yards. That’s why the choice of material is particularly important if you’re adding a fire pit after the backyard gathering area has already been assembled. Here, an atypical fire pit design -- a sloped-in base -- as well as the neutral color and wide top shelf help give this portable fire pit a clean-line aesthetic.
Although fire pits are often a central part of backyards, portable versions are good options for encouraging more secluded seating nooks. Here, a change in material underfoot -- from gravel to pavers -- marks the quiet square. It is just big enough for a cozy sofa and chair as well as the central fire pit.
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