Today’s Tip: Survival Skills – The Many Uses for Pine Resin
Tree resin from pine trees can help with several survival situations. You can find resin oozing from branches which have been broken or sawed off (often times hunters will saw off branches when putting up a tree stand). If you find a fallen pine tree you can cut into it with a knife or a saw to find resin. Of course you can do this too with a standing tree, but look for a fallen one first as you will permanently damage a tree by cutting into it, but don’t worry about that if it is a life-and-death situation. Resin will also flow out of a natural injury to the tree, or a crack in its bark.
One of the most common uses for resin in a survival situation is starting a fire, as the resin is extremely flammable, even when it is wet. Put some resin at the base of your tinder bundle and light it with a match or a lighter. If you have a non-flammable container, pack as much resin into it as you can, then ignite it at dark for light, and the smoke will help keep insects away.
You can also use tree resin to close a cut. Be sure to use clean resin with no dirt particals, and smear the resin over the cut, and leave it there. The resin has a chemical which deters microorganisms from infecting a tree, and it will have the same effect on a wound. Over time the resin will peal off, leaving a sealed cut.
Pine resin is also an excellent sealant for waterproofing things like gloves, boots, or tent seams. Heat the resin in a container over a fire until it becomes as close to a liquid state as possible. Then using a stick, you can smear the resin on a leaking tent seam, or put some on your boots or gloves and work it into the leather with your fingers. Adding in some ashes from your fire will help strengthen the liquid resin.
The next time you are hiking in the woods, look for pine resin so you learn to recognize where it can be found. Better yet, take along a container and collect some to keep in your survival gear.