Using pine resin in the wilderness sounds like an odd idea. To most of us, a pine tree isn’t to be eaten, and it can’t provide us with water to drink. So, what could possibly be its use? Either when SHTF or you just go on an outdoor adventure, let’s find out. Before doing so, however, why don’t we find out how you can find pine trees.
How Can I Find Pine Trees?
It is common to see various pine trees growing in different environments with different needs, but they are most likely to grow in vast and sunny areas. Still, this preference for the open does not mean, as pine trees grow in hundreds of climates and landscapes across the world.
They grow best in South America, North America & Central America, and to a lesser quality, in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and North Africa.
Pine trees are easily identified based on their environment, which is typically a well-drained, sandy soil. Pine trees can also be recognized through their structure. The trees have cones hanging downward as well as soft needles growing in clusters.
How Can I Collect Pine Resin?
There is no advanced technique required for collecting resin from the pine tree. All it takes is to find a tree. More often than not, pine trees have damaged parts, and that’s where the resin is usually found. So, when you come across a pine tree, first check for damaged parts.
If there isn’t any damaged or fallen part, you can then cut into the tree’s bark for the resin. Note that if you have to cut into the tree, do so in a small area. When done with the sap collection, cover the tree’s cut with its leaves to protect against boring insects.
By the way, resin is usually dry and hard when freshly collected. To soften it, you’d need to heat the sap. Be careful while collecting resin, there’s no assurance that the tree isn’t housing a venomous rattlesnake.
5 Ways Of Using Pine Resin When SHTF
Among the natives, pine resin has long been recognized for its beneficial qualities, especially its medicinal abilities. There are common cases of pine resin helping to cure various diseases, ranging from arthritis to stomach ulcers. Still, all these don’t vividly illustrate pine resin’s usefulness when the poop hits the fan. Let’s see the five notable contributions of pine resin to survival in the wilderness.
Pine resin sure has several benefits, but I reckon this may be its most useful. When you’re in the wilderness, either on a hiking, camping, or hunting trip or because you had to bug out, it is near impossible to escape minor injuries like cuts and scrapes.
Under normal circumstances, the next step after an injury is the clinic, but we usually make do with the first-aid box as we do not have that in the wild. But have you considered what to do in the absence of even this alternative?
That’s where the pine resin comes in. By applying directly to the point of wound, you can curb blood loss immediately and deprive germs and bacteria the moisture to grow within the wound due to the resin’s sticky nature. Also, pine resin will close up an injury much like a stitch will, provided you can apply regularly.
Waterproof Your Gear
Now, this is more like it. You can use a pine train to make things waterproof. With this, you may not have to worry much about walking with shoes in rivers.
To turn the resin into a waterproofing substance, heat until it turns liquid and, afterward, rub it on the material you wish. You can do these on the bottom half of your survival boots. This substance can also be used to prevent leaks in structures, repair holes in boats, seal seams, and so much more.
Note that you have to heat the resin through a thick container because it is a flammable substance and very likely to ignite should it be directly exposed to the flames.
For Lighting & Heating
The wilderness isn’t exactly the place to be without adequate lighting and heating. Lack of the former will cause you troubles during the dark, while the latter’s absence can lead to various diseases, especially hypothermia.
To create lighting with pine resin, you’d need a depressed stone, a clamshell, a container, or just about any material that will hold resin, and afterward twist a light cloth to use as the wick. When this is done, fill the clamshell, stone, or can with resin, position the wick on the container and ignite it.
For heating, punch holes in the sides of a metal container and put ignited resin underneath it. The container will absorb the heat of the ignition and disperse to its immediate environment. As you’d expect, this doesn’t work well for a large area; only an enclosed space.
Make Glue With It
Heat the sap until it becomes liquid and while this is ongoing, grind some charcoal to its very finest powder form or as best as you can. When the resin is melted, mix it with the ground charcoal powder and stir continuously. Note that the resin has to be three times more than the charcoal powder.
After the stirring is completed, store the mixture until you need to use it. Should it have hardened before needing to use, just remember to melt it.
Start A Fire
For the core survivalist, this may be the most important function of the pine resin.
I mentioned that pine resin is flammable; now, it’s time to see how. You can just coat the sticks to be used for the fire with pine resin, but this won’t work if the wood is wet. An alternative is to split pine sticks, for you’ll find pine streaks in them. When this is done, set fire to the resin until the pine needles are ignited as well. You can also add the pine sticks and then throw in other materials that you have.
Takeaways From Using Pine Resin In The Wilderness
As you’ve now seen, using pine resin in the wilderness can be a lifesaver. The substance can help build a fire, provide lighting and heating, be used for glue & waterproofing, and serve as a first-aid kit. So, if you run into a pine tree while out in the woods, best believe you’re in excellent luck.