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Campfire Chat–26NOV2022

November 27, 2022

When you build a warming/cooking fire, the thermal signature and visible fire is easier to hide than the smell of smoke. Any tops or thoughts on how to mask that?

There’s a couple of options that will help.

(1) The hotter your fire is burning, the less smoke there will be. A Dakota Hole is the typical example of a solution to this. The problem with the Dakota Hole is that (a) it’s a pain in the ass to build if all you need is a quick cooking fire, and (b) while it’s okay for simple cooking, like boiling water, it burns too hot for slower cooking, like boiling rice (where it needs to simmer for a lengthy period of time) or broiling meat over coals.

The even more traditional answer to getting your fire hot enough to not smoke is making sure you’re using really dry/dead fuel. Your cooking coals should be hot enough and burned enough that they won’t put out much smoke anyway.

(2) The biggest issue is using good judgment though. While smoke may be an indicator, if there’s a lot of smoke in the air anyway—from burning/smouldering buildings, other cooking fires, wildfires or newly extinguished wildfires—your smoke isn’t going to stand out.

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