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Old 11-13-2009, 06:08 PM
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Default Smokeless fire??



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I have read a few references to making a "smokeless" fire. I have the US Army FM for survival and it's not mentioned (the 1986 version). I have also looked in John Wiseman's SAS book and see no mention.

What's the secret of making a fire with little or no smoke?
Old 11-13-2009, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter martin View Post
I have read a few references to making a "smokeless" fire. I have the US Army FM for survival and it's not mentioned (the 1986 version). I have also looked in John Wiseman's SAS book and see no mention.

What's the secret of making a fire with little or no smoke?
All fire make smoke. Now what you burn can influence how visible the smoke is. Also how you create the fire (size, location, diffusion, etc) will impact the amount of smoke seen.

One thing I have tried is building a smaller fire with seasoned wood. Shaved the bark off also (dont know if that made a difference or not) But I also used some boughs to make a "hood" over the fire. Make sure it is high enough where it doesnt catch fire. The smoke was diffused as it rose through the bough and was a lot less visible.
Old 11-13-2009, 10:34 PM
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A Dakota firehole, if you are in terrain where you can dig one, is one good way to help minimize both your smoke and light signatures.

Some information and photos describing how to use one:

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=66440
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:49 AM
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make a fire underneath a tree so the smoke dissipates
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:41 AM
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Thanks for the info I can use this. Howard
Old 11-14-2009, 09:20 AM
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Use dry wood no thicker than thumb , better without bark , have thin dry twigs on hand for throw in fire if smoke starts . don`t let flame go dawn . After you get some experience , try to close tipi flaps and make fire inside to check if you can keep fire going without running out of tipi .
Old 11-14-2009, 10:08 AM
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A hot fire breaks the carbon down to a very fine state. The hotter the fire, the less smoke. The problem is duing the heat up and cool down phase. When you first light a fire you will get smoke, if you have a hot buring wood as your kidling you will have less smoke. Putting out a fire causes smoke as well. So a smokeless fire is a hot fire. If you've never had a smokeless fire you've never had a good hot fire going.
Old 11-14-2009, 10:23 AM
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You must not put out fire ,let it die slowly, feed it with twigs move smoking ends towards center and add few twigs on top
Old 11-14-2009, 02:38 PM
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If you don't want any smoke, make it burn fast and uniformly. Don't leave any pieces of fuel sticking halway out of the fire.

Burning charcoal of any variety will burn with very little smoke.
Old 11-14-2009, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomoftheHills View Post
A Dakota firehole, if you are in terrain where you can dig one, is one good way to help minimize both your smoke and light signatures.
Some information and photos describing how to use one:

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=66440
Thanks FreedomoftheHills, I missed that the first time around. An excellent well written informative post
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:52 PM
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Your never going to be able to have a smoke free fire, but you can reduce the amount of smoke in several ways. First and formost keep the fire very hot. When I say hot that doesnt mean big. Meaning dont let it subside long enough to start smoldering. It will also ensure that the entire fuel source is consumed so a minumum of smoke rises. If done correctly when you start and snuff the fire are the two times your going to have the most smoke. Second the dryer the fuel soure the hotter and quicker it burns. Make sure that a you dont use excelerants to start it and never use a potrolium based fuel. gas,lighter fuel ect..that makes black smoke. During the winter a dark smoke is easy to spot form the air. Start your fire with a small amount of tinder and small sticks that will light fast and burn fast (hot). As the fire size and heat increases use slightly larger sticks. A good idea is to try and find rocks to place next to the fire as these will heat up and add to the warmth. These also work well in a sleeping bag waped in a towel to keep your body warm. There are many dif. things to consider with fires. Are you hiding, trying not to leave traces of your presence? These factors all contribute to the size, duration and location of the fire. I'm making an assumption that because you'r worry is smoke that this is a clandestine situation and not being located is important. I would recomend that you keep your fire to a minumum duration, heating food, beverage, heating rocks for warmth ect... then snuff it. Of course it goes without saying, never after dark. There is on exception to the fuels rule, that in the case of rain and a lack of dry tender. If you need to make a fire under these conditions, your going to have smoke, period. But you can reduce the amout of smoke at the starting by useing a white petroleum gel. Thats right vasoline. It burns cleaner and hoter and will raise the temp. faster with damp fuel sorces. When not being located is a must and you have to have a fire allways make a small fire pit to start your fire in. It reduces the amout of light given off in any direction but up, and the dirt you pulled out of the hole can be used to snuff a fire quickly to both cut off the smoke and hide the evidence of your pasage. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:21 PM
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Seasoned cut wood from a fruit tree makes less smoke. I have had cherry wood burn all night, and start the fire up in the morning simply by adding more wood. An alcohol stove, used by the ultralight backpackers, is virtually smokeless and odorless. I use Heet "yellow label".

Everything else, on this thread, is also true.
Old 11-24-2009, 10:18 PM
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Freedom of the Hills post on Dakota fire pits is great. You can, if careful, also add another tunnel to the Dakota pit to carry away smoke from your location, a kind of chimney.
As mentioned, the smoke is worst when lighting and extinguishing the fire. Best thing is to build fire under thick trees so smoke disapates in tree foliage, it's less visable, but smell is still a problem. Putting the fire in a pit allows you to quickly cover it with a large rock or shovel full of dirt, minimizing smoke.
Old 11-25-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrp2thuzoo View Post
Your never going to be able to have a smoke free fire, but you can reduce the amount of smoke in several ways. First and formost keep the fire very hot. When I say hot that doesnt mean big. Meaning dont let it subside long enough to start smoldering. It will also ensure that the entire fuel source is consumed so a minumum of smoke rises. If done correctly when you start and snuff the fire are the two times your going to have the most smoke. Second the dryer the fuel soure the hotter and quicker it burns. Make sure that a you dont use excelerants to start it and never use a potrolium based fuel. gas,lighter fuel ect..that makes black smoke. During the winter a dark smoke is easy to spot form the air. Start your fire with a small amount of tinder and small sticks that will light fast and burn fast (hot). As the fire size and heat increases use slightly larger sticks. A good idea is to try and find rocks to place next to the fire as these will heat up and add to the warmth. These also work well in a sleeping bag waped in a towel to keep your body warm. There are many dif. things to consider with fires. Are you hiding, trying not to leave traces of your presence? These factors all contribute to the size, duration and location of the fire. I'm making an assumption that because you'r worry is smoke that this is a clandestine situation and not being located is important. I would recomend that you keep your fire to a minumum duration, heating food, beverage, heating rocks for warmth ect... then snuff it. Of course it goes without saying, never after dark. There is on exception to the fuels rule, that in the case of rain and a lack of dry tender. If you need to make a fire under these conditions, your going to have smoke, period. But you can reduce the amout of smoke at the starting by useing a white petroleum gel. Thats right vasoline. It burns cleaner and hoter and will raise the temp. faster with damp fuel sorces. When not being located is a must and you have to have a fire allways make a small fire pit to start your fire in. It reduces the amout of light given off in any direction but up, and the dirt you pulled out of the hole can be used to snuff a fire quickly to both cut off the smoke and hide the evidence of your pasage. Hope this helps.
propane tank......or alchohol stove
Old 11-25-2009, 09:11 PM
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any fire burned properly (hot, dry wood (dry wood at least at first until u have a good bed of coals)) will produce virtually no smoke. ie, if a fire is burned properly whether outside or in a woodstove, all you should see is "hot hair" coming up (as if you are looking over pavement on a hot day)
Old 03-11-2010, 10:22 PM
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Dakota fire hole
Old 03-11-2010, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capelthwait View Post
A hot fire breaks the carbon down to a very fine state. The hotter the fire, the less smoke. The problem is duing the heat up and cool down phase. When you first light a fire you will get smoke, if you have a hot buring wood as your kidling you will have less smoke. Putting out a fire causes smoke as well. So a smokeless fire is a hot fire. If you've never had a smokeless fire you've never had a good hot fire going.
exactly. basically, smoke is like waste that isnt being burned and it is so hot it is lifted into the air. Having a more efficient fire will produce less "waste" and therefore more smoke.
Just a 1st grade level interpretation
Old 03-12-2010, 03:31 PM
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Having smaller pieces of wood helps, bigger pieces will usually smolder and smoke.

Wood that is too old and has started to rot will smoke much more. Crumbly bark is the worst.

Anything with a visible flame will smoke more. Hot coals don't smoke much.

Dirty wood will smoke, such as wood that's been laying on the dirt for a long time.

Flammable junk like acorns, other seeds, bark, leaves, etc. that can be raked or scooped off the ground is real bad.

Sappy wood will smoke, even if it's pretty seasoned.

Wood that's not seasoned all the way will obviously smoke.
Old 03-12-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreedomoftheHills View Post
A Dakota firehole, if you are in terrain where you can dig one, is one good way to help minimize both your smoke and light signatures.

Some information and photos describing how to use one:

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=66440
I checked out your post for the Dakota firehole. Great post and photos. I'm planning a camping trip at the end of this month where we'll need to keep a low profile. I'll defintely give this a try.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benman View Post
make a fire underneath a tree so the smoke dissipates
still can be smelled. Man made things can be burned and not scented.
I build fires against things, like stone walls in low areas or the like to cut down on the visual signature, such as the dakota hole would do. Never used one of that but will play with it someday.
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