Hiking Tip: Pine Resin Uses

pine-resin-300x300Pine resin has multiple uses for survival. This sap is produced by the pine tree to seal up cuts or damages to the tree. If you ever find yourself lost in a wilderness environment, having a pine tree in the area is one of the best case scenarios you can hope for.Native Americans used pine sap for medicinal purposes.

Look for the damaged part of the pine tree because that will be where the resin secretions are. The resin will be dry and hardened but can be softened with heat. Look for damaged or fallen limbs first before you purposely cut into the pine tree’s bark for the sap. If you have to damage the tree, do it in a small area on one side only. Also, take only as much resin as you will need and leave some on the tree to protect the cut from boring insects.

First aid.

When you’re outdoors camping or in a survival situation, cutting accidents will almost always happen. Pine resin can be applied directly over the wound to stem blood flow almost at once. The resin will also inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria because of its sticky nature which denies the bacteria the moisture it needs to survive. Just leave the resin in place until it dries out and then peel it out. The resin will close the wound up the same way stitching it up would. You may reapply resin as needed. There are many instances where wounds have been stemmed using pine resin.

You can also use the sap to treat blisters, burns and abscesses.

Use the resin to make shoes and other items waterproof.

Heat the resin to liquid form and then apply it to the material you want to make impervious to water like the lower half of your hiking boots. You can also use resin to seal seams, repair holes in shoes, boats or structures to prevent leaks. When heating the resin, use a deep container to keep the sap away from open flame. Pine resin can ignite easily.

Start a fire with pine resin.

Start a fire with pine resin.

You can use a pine resin to start a fire in damp conditions. Look for some hardened pine resin and some pine sticks. You will see streaks of resin when you split the pine sticks. Lay some dried pine needles near the resin. When you ignite the resin, it will burn long enough to dry the  pine needles and you can add small pieces of the pine sticks which will burn even if somewhat damp because of the resin. Once you’ve got a sizable flame going, you can start drying out other wood.

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