Pine resin has many different uses for survival. Pine resin is the sap produced by pine trees which seals up cuts or damage to the trees. If you ever find yourself lost out in the wild, being in an area of pine forests is a god send. Pines come in many different species, and generally prefer open sunny areas. They can be found in areas of Europe, North America, North Africa, Asia, and even Central America and the Caribbean.
Years ago, the native Americans used pine resin as a medicine. It was either chewed, or mixed with water, and drank. It was known to be very effective for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and stomach ulcers.
The best way to find pine resin is by looking for damaged areas of the tree, or fallen limbs before purposely cutting into the pine tree’s bark. If the pine resin has hardened, it can be heated by applying some heat over a fire. Once you find some resin, be sure to only take what you need, and leave some on the tree to help protect the open cut from insects and other creatures.
7 Uses for Pine Resin in a Survival Situation
When enjoying the great outdoors, or when in a survival situation, cuts happen, some deeper than others. Pine resin can be used to stem blood flow almost at once. Apply the pine resin directly over the cut, this will stop bleeding, and also inhibit the growth of bacteria due to the sticky nature of the pine resin. It starves the bacteria of the moisture it needs to grow. Just leave the resin on the wound until it dries up. Once you think the cut has closed over, peel off the resin.
Heat up pine resin in a deep container to prevent the resin coming into contact with flames. Pine resin is flammable, and so caution should be taken. Once heated, and the resin is in liquid form, apply the resin to the surface you want to make impervious to water, such as a hole in your tent, seams on boots and such.
Light and Heat
Pine resin can be used to make a lamp in a survival situation, or even when camping if you happen to forget a battery operated lamp. Find a stone with a depression, or a can, clam shell, or anything that you can pour resin into. Next, get a wick, this can be cloth twisted up. Lay the wick on top of the resin, and ignite it. The wick will ignite the resin, which will burn giving light and heat. Add more resin as needed.
Pine Resin Glue
Heat the pine resin until it is in liquid form. While the pine resin is heating, break up some charcoal from the fire to make a fine powder. When the resin is in liquid form, remove from heat and stir in the powder charcoal – the amount of the charcoal powder should be 1/3 of the total resin’s volume. Dip a stick repeatedly in the mixture to form a ball of pitch on the end. Store the glue until it is needed. Heat the hardened glue until pliable.Tip: You can form fishhooks with the glue, repair holes in water containers, repair the soles of shoes, apply feathers to homemade arrows, or harden the ends of hunting spears to keep them from splintering.
Start a Fire with Pine Resin
Fine yourself a pine tree, dead standing wood is a great place to begin. (A dead tree that is standing, or leaning against another tree). A live tree is fine, but go for dead standing if you can. Next, find a branch, cut it off as close to the tree trunk as possible. The core of the branch should be a dark orange/redish colour. This is what is known as fatwood.
Split the branch you have just cut down the middle with your knife, or axe, then using the back of your knife, scrape off a pile of wood. This wood should be very fine shavings. Hit the pile with a few sparks from your firesteel, and it will ignite. Have some other small tinder at the ready, as this will burn hot and fast.
When out in the woods, you will often encounter unfamiliar substances. These can make your skin come out in a rash, or itch. Pine resin is a natural treatment for this. You just need some ash from a fire, and some oil to mix with it, and you have yourself a moisturising soap to treat rashes.
Soothe a Sore Throat
Pine resin can also be used to treat a sore throat. Gather the resin directly from a pine tree, and eat it. This will help soothe a sore throat, especially if you are feeling a little under the weather.