How to Find Fatwood in the Wild

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Fire is termed as the basic need when it comes to outdoor. It helps to keep an individual warm, cook food, filter water, and a source of the signal while stranded in the wilderness.

Finding the right material to start a fire in the wild can be a nightmare. Fatwood happens to be the best option, and how to find fatwood in the woods can be tricky.

There are a lot of articles over the internet that talks about fatwood, so what makes this one different? In this post, we plan to unveil a few things that you probably didn’t know and what work best when using them.

The post outline no bullshit guide on how to find fatwood in the woods during survival situation in the wilderness. Let’s get started.

What is Fatwood?

Fatwood is also known as pitchwood in the West, and it is one of the most excellent fuel in the Mother Nature that every survivalist would love to have them in plenty. It is a resin impregnated in the pine trees, and it is usually orange to reddish.

The substance tends to burn as if it has been soaked in the gasoline once it is lit. The good thing about this substance is that it can burn regardless of the weather situation in the wilderness, and it is the reason why it receives a lot of love from scavengers hiking in the desert.

Hiking is a shared outdoor activity that many people love, and there are a lot of stories about many hikers getting stranded in the forest.

It is the reason why it is advisable to plan and pack all the necessities before heading for a campsite or hike in the woodlands. Fatwoods can easily be lit with conventional fire starting tools, and it can provide a great source of heat for cooking while in the wild.

Locating these fatwoods in the woods can be tricky, especially if you are a beginner or a novice scavenger in the wilderness. There are plenty of ways on how to find them in the woods. Continue reading to get the insight here.

Where To Find Fatwood?

There are a lot of forums and tutorials teaching on how to find fatwood in the woods, but they majorly focus on dead pine stumps in the forest.

The dead pine stumps offer the best opportunity but locating them in the woodland can be another problem. You will need to pay attention to fine details to make your dream real.

Pines are rare trees in a natural forest but having wandered in the woods for some years; I have also found out other trees that also are capable of producing fatwoods. Ponderosa Pine and Lodgepole Pine trees are among the top leading producers of fatwoods in the woodland.

Identifying these trees is quite easy and straightforward. Ponderosa pine tree is known for producing the wealthiest fatwood, but lodgepole pine produces fatwood that is highly flammable.

Locate the branches or stumps of these trees regardless of whether dead or alive and you can use them for extraction of fatwood. You can also uproot the entire stump and identify the chief taproot end that meets the trunk.

This is the region that is known to have a lot of fatwood concentration. The region is hard as a rock, and this is the reason why it is so easy to identify for fatwood harvesting while in the wilderness.

How To Find Fatwood In The Woods

It is quite fun when looking for fatwood in the woods. It is like a scavenger making a hunt in the wilderness. There are some features you need to consider before considering a tree or a tree remnant for extraction of fatwoods.

Consider trees with a decent amount of resins to be on the safe side. The following is a step by step guide on how to find fatwood in the wilderness without a struggle. Let’s have a detailed overview of successful scavenging in the desert.

Note: It is not advisable to harvest fatwood in the public or parks. Seek permission first from the landowner before harvesting fatwood.

1. Find a Dead Pine Tree

Pine trees are the most reputable trees for the production of fatwood. However, there are so many cedar trees that can also produce fatwood, but they are not yet tested.

You are expected to locate a dead and rotten pine to extract the right amount of fatwood. You can also get the same amount from a pine stump.

2. Locate Branches

Having wandered in the forest for some years, dead branches of the pine can also serve the function of producing fatwoods. However, you need to be very keen by checking the dead branches attached to the tree trunk.

It is recommended to use a saw or a sharp machete to cut them. Identify the heart of the wood that connects the joints and the tree trunk. This is the exact point that highly flammable.

3. Cut Out the Pine Knots

Cut down some knots of the pine trees. Split the wood up to the hardcore which looks shiny and releases some pine odor. The process the offensive materials on the knot and get out the fatwood.

Surviving tactics in the wilderness need someone who is well endowed to standout from another survivor. Fire is the key factor to consider, especially in a cold environment.

4. Removal of the Rotten Wood

Trim out the rotten part of the dead pine tree slowly and gently using the machete then follow it with a sharp survival knife. The process helps to get rid of undesirable materials before landing on the fatwood, which plays an essential role in lighting up the fire for survival.

5. Trim and Keep

This is usually the final part of collecting the fatwood before carrying them. Trimming helps to get rid of unnecessary materials and also make it easier for carrying. Shave off the fair amount, and the fatwood will light quickly with a single spark. You can also scrape off the silver layer, and the fatwood will release a fantastic flame.

Final Thoughts

Fatwood is the best fire tinder you can come along with while heading to a camping site or hiking in the woodlands. It is usually found in large amount in the pine trees.

Research shows that fuel is better than birch bark and other modern tinder since it is found in abundance as well as for free. Fatwood is one of the best fire starters that you can get for free. Go out and get it if you are planning for an adventure in the wilderness.


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