By Amelia Mellor on June 13 2018 15:43:29
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.
There are a number of benefits to a gas fire pit. It’s easy to start, there’s no mess, there’s no smoke, and it can be placed closer to the house. For purists, however, burning wood is one of the primal reasons to even have a fire pit. For the best of both worlds, consider a wood-burning fire pit with a gas starter. One popular trend is to install a gas starter with a switch that can be operated either locally, from inside the house, or with a mobile app.
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.
All permanent fire pits have some sort of fireproof material as a surround; it acts as a barrier to prevent people from getting too close and as a buffer to any loose, hot materials that may escape the structure. If you have the space, a wider than normal decking can be easily integrated into the fire pit’s permanent seating, for a setup that mimics this space. Here, a slightly raised surround elevates the narrow ring of the fire pit and offers casual seating for larger gatherings.
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