Backpackers.com — Sitting under the stars with a warm campfire is, for many, the epitome of being out in nature. But campfire often includes at least one negative — smoke. There’s nothing like the Milky Way galaxy spread out majestically overhead, and there’s also nothing like a nose, throat, and hair full of smoke.
Enter the smokeless fire, which is really more of a controlled fire to keep the smoke out of your eyes. This video, posted by IntenseAngler, is a great and simple way to control the smoke coming from your campfire.
Sort of Smokeless
The title is a little misleading, because it’s more about how to make a campfire that doesn’t smoke you out (colloquial meaning aside). There is, of course, still smoke in the fire made above. But there are two key differences.
The first is that because there is an opening in the rock circle ring, there is a chance for more oxygen to come in. Fire needs oxygen to burn, and it needs a lot of oxygen to burn hot, and burning hot will decrease the amount of smoke. So the hole in the wind break increases overall oxygen flow, decreasing the smoke to a degree.
But the real factor in this setup is the large flat rock that acts as a permanent shield for the smoke. The smoke will always butt up against that stone, instead of finding your body and harassing it.
For a more in-depth exploration of smoke, fires, and a smokeless fire, check out this article by Off Grid Survival. It covers many of these concepts in-depth, and then shows how to make a “true” smokeless fire, the Dakota Fire Hole. The Dakota is a bit complicated for an overnight backpack, but if you’re setting up camp for a while and need to do serious cooking, it’s a tried-and-true method of smokeless fire. It’s also high on the list of survival fire methods, and will work in many situations.
Stay warm, and keep that smoke out of your eyes.
Featured image: Campfire in NB by Martin Cathrae via Flickr
Screenshots courtesy IntenseAngler