Dig a 1-foot diameter hole in the ground, 1 foot deep, to create the main chamber of the pit.
Widen the base of the hole below the surface by scooping out 2 inches more of soil on all sides.
Dig a 6-inch wide hole 1 foot upwind of the large hole to serve as the ventilation for the pit.
Connect the small hole with the larger by digging a channel from the smaller hole to the side of the main pit.
Arrange dry twigs and paper in the bottom of the main pit to serve as kindling. Light the end of one piece of rolled up paper or a twig, and touch the lighted twig to the kindling until it ignites.
Wait for the fire to grow so most of the kindling burns. Add firewood a piece at a time until you have a fire of the desired heat level.
Set a metal grill grate over the top of the main pit for use as a cooking surface.