Survival Uses for Pine Resin

Pine resin or pitch is the secretion from pine trees caused by cuts in the tree trunk or from broken limbs. The trees secrete the resin to seal up any cuts or damage to the tree. If you find yourself lost or stranded in a wilderness environment one of the best-case scenarios is that there are pine trees in the area. Pine resin exposed to the air will harden/crystallize but it can be softened for use by heating. Native Americans used the pine resin for medicinal purposes. Typically, the resin was chewed on, but it can be made into a beverage by mixing with water and is thought to help with stomach ulcers and more particularly with rheumatoid arthritis.

The medicinal benefits of pine resin have not be verified by modern medical experts

Used To Waterproof Shoes and Other Material

Pine resin is essentially impervious to water so it can be used to treat objects to make them resistant to the damages caused by moisture. It can be used to seal seams, repair breaks/holes in boats, shoes and structures to prevent water leaks. In a survival situation, you may have to repair holes in boots, shoes and shelters. You can also use the resin to waterproof the lower half of your hiking shoes or boots.

The resin must be heated to liquid form so it can be applied to the material. Avoid heating the resin in a shallow container over an open flame because the flames from the fire can easily ignite the resin, which is highly flammable. Let the fire burn down to coals before heating the pitch. Find a short green stick and repeatedly strike one end to create bristles in the wood, (paintbrush) or chew on the end to break the fibers apart so they can be used to apply the pitch. Use the resin to repair holes in canvas and heavy nylon. Lay the material flat where the rip or seam is exposed. Once the resin is heated to liquid form, apply using the fibrous end of the stick.

Pine Resin Glue

Warm the resin to liquid form and while the resin is heating, crumble some charcoal from the fire as fine as possible. Once the resin is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered charcoal. The amount of charcoal added should be about one-third as compared to the volume of pitch. Find a solid stick with a blunt end and dip repeatedly in the mixture to form a ball of pitch on the end. You may need two sticks. This is how the glue is stored until needed. The glue will harden and to use heat until pliable.

Use the glue to form fishhooks, repair the soles of shoes and use to repair holes in water containers. Use the glue to apply feathers to homemade arrows or allow hardening on the ends of fishing/hunting spears to prevent splintering. Glue in a survival situation has unlimited uses.

Treat Wounds

Some claim that pine resin has healing/antibacterial properties. This may be so but the fact is that the resin once applied to a cut or scrape will inhibit the growth of bacteria because it denies the bacteria the moisture it needs to survive. Because of its very sticky nature, resin can be applied directly to a bleeding cut to help stem the flow of blood and close the wound up similar to stitching. Some survival experts use pine pitch in place of super glue to seal up cuts. Leave the resin in place, and reapply as needed. There have been reported cases where serious bleeding wounds have been stemmed using pine resin. Use the resin to treat burns, abscesses and blisters.

Fire Starting

Pine resin is flammable and can be used to help start a fire in damp conditions. You may find yourself in a situation where all of the available wood is damp but this does not mean you have to go without a fire.

Find some hardened pine resin and some pine sticks/branches. Split the sticks and look for streaks of resin in the wood. Use magnesium shavings and a flint bar or you can use a Ferro rod to ignite the pitch. Lay some dried pine needles near the pitch and ignite the pitch. It will burn like a candle long enough to dry the needles out and you can begin adding small pieces of the pine which even if somewhat damp in the middle will burn because of the resin. Once you have, a sizable flame established you could then begin drying out other wood.

Illumination and Heat

You can use pine resin to create a lamp. Find a stone with a depression or use a clamshell or any type of shell that can be filled with resin or use a cupped shaped piece of bark. You will also need material for a wick. Use some twisted cloth or even dried moss. Fill the depression with the pitch and lay the wick material on top. You ignite the wick first, which will in turn ignite the resin. The resin will burn like a candle and you can feed it more resin to maintain the flame once ignited.

To use as a heat source place a metal container that has plenty of air holes in it over the ignited pitch. The metal container will absorb the heat and conduct to the surrounding area. This method will not heat a large area but will warm hands and feet in an emergency.

In most cases, you will find damaged pine trees/broken limbs that have secreted resin. It is recommended that you first look for damaged and fallen limbs before you purposely cut into a pine tree to harvest the resin. If you have to damage the tree do it in a small area on one side of the tree only. Only take as much as you need, you must allow some resin to remain on the tree so it can protect the cut to prevent boring insect from destroying the tree.

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The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars seems almost outlandish to many people. People sometimes forget that the smallest and most convenient storage space is in their own heads. If you find yourself in the midst of a disaster and you need to either build or fix something, having the necessary knowledge and skills in your mind instead of in a book will hugely benefit your ability to survive.

There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on.

One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. Once society collapses, bartering will become a business, a black market business if you will, likely run by criminal elements. Individuals will have items they can barter with, but in most cases, a person would not be able to afford to part with the items they do have. Anyone not prepared will have nothing to barter with, so looters will be active as well as desperate.

Looters and other criminals will steal so they can then use the stolen items, or just to barter with for other goods. Real trading will be based On ‘long term’ items. Seeds, not food. Arrows, not ammo. Tools, not filters. See, once the ‘short duration expendables’ are consumed, you won’t be re-supplying, you’ll be making your own or doing without. From turning your own arrow shafts, to cutting arrowheads from old license plates; from building filtration weirs to filter water, to needing copper tubing to make ‘wood-fired-water-heaters’. Knowledge and durable supplies (axes, hammers, spoke shaves, saw blades, etc.) will be the real money.

He who has stocked dozens of saw blades will be king. He who sits on a case of toilet paper will be sad he didn’t learn how to replace it with what they used 200 years ago, instead (FYI, toilet paper is only about a 100-year old concept – ask yourself, what did they use before that, and get a real clue – because THAT is VERY valuable in the long term!)

So, forget stocking for that 2-week event, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is stocking for the total paradigm shift, that few remember how to do much of. You won’t be making your own saw blades anytime soon. Now, ask yourself, what else will you NOT be making, that you need to learn how to make, or replace with older technology, before you need it (or need to trade it).

Here are the invaluable skills that will likely help you sustain yourself in a hand-made local world:

Organic Gardening and Seed Saving:

Skills involving food production will be the most valuable in a post-collapse society. Learning to grow your own food is a must.  Obviously, it is necessary to feed your family, but you will also be able to trade your abundance for other items. Additionally, learning to save seeds will also provide another excellent means of trade.  Understanding permaculture design for your garden can help reduce water consumption and use the lands natural resources. Aquaponics can provide plants, fish, and store water. Watch this video to understand how aquaponic sistems work.

Food Processing and Preservation:

Learning to process and preserve foods will be another huge skill in a post-collapse world. Taking seasonal abundance and preserving it for future consumption or trade will be vital.  Remember, learning to do this with limited electricity is a must. One necessity for every homestead is having someone who knows how to butcher animals and preserve them for future consumption by smoking, salt curing, or dehydrating. This can also include learning to brew beer, mead, vinegar, or other alcoholic beverages from meager ingredients.

Old fashioned techniques of meat preservation as a step by step guide. Find out more below. Click on the book!

Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering:

Learning to fish and hunt is essential to survival. Having the proper gear and training will be priceless after the collapse of modern civilization.  Having reference guides for edible plants in your region, repairing weapons, trapping wild game, and fishing are great tools to have if you haven’t the time to learn them now. You should also take the time to learn or refine your skills on hunting using quiet weapons like bows, slingshots, knives, and spears.

Animal Husbandry:

Knowledge of animal husbandry can provide endless amounts of sustainable meat, eggs, and milk to you and your tribe.  Your farm animals are the most valuable food source you have since they can reproduce. Knowing which animals to breed and when is an important part of farming and should not be learned through mistakes.

Cooking:

Knowing how to cook without using your time-saving, electricity driven appliances may not be as easy as you think.  Practice cooking with your stored food supplies using no or very little electricity.  You will soon realize how much more time and preparation it takes to do what once was a simple task.  Learn to cook using a dutch oven, a sun oven, an outdoor fire pit, and whatever means you have for cooking.

Foraging:  Someone who knows how to forage for wild edibles and can increase your food supplies, becomes an asset to any group. There will be a high demand for this skill.

Water Purification: Since it’s difficult to pump well water without electricity, unless you have a hand pump, and with surface water likely to be contaminated, clean water will be in very limited supply.  Learning to purify water will allow you thrive during this time. You can also purchase water filters for your go-bag and you can have back-up tablets should you need them.  However, the skill and knowledge to purify water should be the goal as that can never run out.

Collecting and Storing Water:  Do you have enough stored water for you to survive through the first 30 days post disaster?  Most do.  How about for 3 months….or 9 months?  Now, do you have enough for your family members?  If you have a family of five and want to store a one year’s supply of water you would need to have over 1800 gallons, and that’s just for drinking.  Now, how about the extended family members who show up on your doorstep?  Your animals?  Your garden?  Your sanitation, hygiene and cleaning?  Whew! Now you understand how it can be very difficult to store all of the water you would need, so knowing how to collect water to replenish your stored supplies is invaluable.

Ham Radio: Do you have your ham radio license or at the very least own and know how to operate a ham radio?  Having a skilled ham radio expert in your group is a necessary key component to keeping up on communications and knowing what is going on in the world around you.  Remember, tv, cell phone, the internet, will all most likely be down.  Understanding how to make and set up an antennae to improve your radio signal and knowing morse code are other valuable skills to include in your arsenal.

Communications: Not all people know how to truly communicate well with others.  During stressful and hazardous times, people with great communication skills will be valued for their abilities.  Knowing how to handle and calm down people and even groups on the verge of fighting can save lives.

Languages: Knowing a second language is a great skill to have.  If you were to know a second or even third language what would you choose?  Hopefully you would choose the language of your most dangerous threat.  Knowing what others are saying over radio communications can be a very valuable piece of intel.

SELF-SUSTAINABILITY

Self-sustainability is one of the most important skills to learn.  You can store food, water, and everything else you may need for survival but when those stored supplies run out, and they will, how will you replenish them?  Knowing how to live off the land, grow a garden, raise animals, store seeds, hunt for food, or make your own clothing can prolong your survivability. A very important skill is knowing how to cure meats and butcher animals. This might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and know-how to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else.

Take away all electricity and go back to the old ways of living.  What did your grandparents or great grandparents do?  How did people survive during the great depression or dust bowl? If we don’t understand our history we are doomed to repeat it.  Some skills that will be useful are: fire making, camp cooking, basket weaving, pottery making, animal tracking, tool making, tanning hides, rock climbing, knot tying, etc.

Other useful skills include teaching, knitting, piloting an aircraft, sailing, music, etc.

The only way to understand how we can live without our electricity driven modern conveniences is to live without them.

Test #1  Turn off your electricity for a few hours.  Take notes on how it affected you.  What did you learn?  What did you need that you didn’t have and what wasn’t necessary at all?

Test #2  Turn off your electricity for a weekend.  Take notes again and see how your answers changed or stayed the same.  How did you cook?  How did you get water?  What would you change?

Test #3  Turn off your electricity for a week.  Sounds hard?  Try doing it for a few months or a few years, because that is what can happen after a large scale disaster.  Be uncomfortable now knowing that you can flick the switch back on whenever you want.  Learn from your mistakes now while you can make them.  Appreciate the fact that these are just tests we’re putting ourselves through and not the real thing.  The more you practice the easier it will become and you may come to realize how little you miss the modern life.

Shelter building can really fall under two categories.  One being outdoor wilderness survival and the other would be construction to your current home and property.  In this section we will focus on the later.

Construction:

Construction skills will be very important in a shattered civilization.  These skills, especially without power tools, are not something you learn overnight.  If you have some basic skills it may be worth learning a few techniques for building small structures with crude hand tools.  There are many books teaching anyone how to build basic cabins, sheds, and composting outhouses.

First Aid and TraumaThis is another skill that can take years to develop and learn, but that will be crucial when supply lines of pharmaceuticals are cut off and hospitals are over-run.  You will need an emergency medic who can perform appendectomies, c-sections, and set broken bones. If having a nurse or doctor in your group is not an option, then learning basic procedures for stitching wounds, CPR, and more will be an absolute necessity for every adult and teenager in your family group.

Veterinary Skills:

Your farm animals are vital to your survival.  Horses are a tool for transportation, your goats are your milk supply and your chickens and rabbits are your protein.  Heaven forbid that they have any health issues that require immediate veterinary care.  Learn at least the basics about the animals you are caring for because they are depending on you as much as you are on them.

Dental:

Knowing how to pull a tooth, fix a filling, and manage pain during dental procedures will come in handy.

Knowledge of growing herbal gardens for making medicine at home will prove to be very important.   Being the tribe’s shaman with a natural medicine chest is a prestigious position. Learn how to make the most powerful natural painkiller. Watch video below!

HYGIENE & SANITATION

I know this may not sound important compared to food and water but if you think about it, it is. When a disaster strikes, whether it be natural or man made, the creature comforts that people have grown accustomed to throughout their lives will no longer be there. No more daily showers and washing your hair with apple scented shampoo. No more flushing the toilet 10 times a day. Sanitation services that require power will no longer be functioning. This will quickly lead to diseases being spread rapidly.  Learning how to build a composting toilet, a solar hot water heater, or a sewer drainage system is important.  It is good to know how to make your own toothpaste, deodorant, soap and shampoo and stock up on the supplies necessary.

Home and Property:

Regardless of the threat, an ideal home is one that is secure and can keep you safe from a person or people who mean to do you harm.  Take the time now to learn how to protect your home, land, and everything on it as best you can.  This includes farm animals.  Your animals are a valuable asset and must be protected from hungry predators, including man and beast.

Personal Defense:

Learn how to protect yourself through hand to hand combat.  There may be times when you’re in the garden or tending to the property and are caught off guard by a lone stalker or a group of marauders.  I know this sounds Mad Max but when the SHTF it can happen.  Learn to use your tools as weapons.  Nunchucks were originally used to harvest rice.

Weapons/Combat:

Alternative Energy and Fuels:

Having the knowledge to implement alternative energy systems will make you a wealthy survivor in a “dark” world. You can learn to build your own alternative energy systems through solar, hydro, and wind power. Knowledge of how to create energy would be invaluable when oil is scarce.

In the event of a grid failure, all life as we know it will change. The ability to build or do anything without power will become a life-saving skill in itself – but it will make sure you have a steady supply of either cash or barter goods coming your way. Most other folks – even if they have some of these things – don’t have any skill in using them. Your skills and services will not only be in demand, but may just be the thing that keeps your family or tribe thriving.

Here is a list with the best items you can stock for trading:

See, barter comes down to how desperate (or how much does your life depend on it) you are, as to how critical it really is to have for barter. Can you live without toilet paper, versus that last wool blanket? THIS is how barter REALLY works.

Barter is far scarier than you can even understand, if you are UNABLE to assess ‘critical need’ from ‘whimsy want’ right now. Fire, water, shelter, warmth – yeah, you’re going to pay dearly for what you didn’t see fit to pack now. Think about critical needs, before you think all that ammo is so important. I bet my wool blanket is worth AT LEAST all of your ammo, if you’re cold and we’re both armed. Again, don’t plan on thuggery, stock what you can’t afford to trade for. Have extras to trade yourself, in regards to those critical things we MUST have.

Toilet paper? LOL, Davey Crockett didn’t have toilet paper and he did just fine. HE DID have a weapon, a knife, a fire flint, a good blanket, and good clothes and boots. He traded horses, burros, saddles and whiskey. Take a 3-year, 1,000 mile trip in your mind, and imagine only meeting others on the road like yourself. Each packed differently, not all are nice, not all are passive. Now, prepare for the trip in your mind and take it. What do you see yourself needing, each day, as the seasons change, as the environment changes, and as bad and good people cross your path?

Once again, toilet paper is like a good cigar or stick of chewing gum. It might give you ‘modern comfort’, but there are far more important things you need first.

Did you pack them?

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Don’t let this knowledge get lost.Find all the wisdom of our ancestors in this great book ”The Lost Ways”. 

Table Of Contents:
Making Your Own Beverages: Beer to Stronger Stuff
Ginger Beer: Making Soda the Old Fashioned Way
How North American Indians and Early Pioneers Made PemmicanTLWPH
Spycraft: Military Correspondence During The 1700’s to 1900’s
Wild West Guns for SHTF and a Guide to Rolling Your Own Ammo
How Our Forefathers Built Their Sawmills, Grain Mills,and Stamping Mills

How Our Ancestors Made Herbal Poultice to Heal Their Wounds
What Our Ancestors Were Foraging For? or How to Wildcraft Your Table
How Our Ancestors Navigated Without Using a GPS System
How Our Forefathers Made Knives
How Our Forefathers Made Snow shoes for Survival
How North California Native Americans Built Their Semi-subterranean Roundhouses
Our Ancestors’Guide to Root Cellars
Good Old Fashioned Cooking on an Open Flame
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Preserve Water
Learning from Our Ancestors How to Take Care of Our Hygiene When There Isn’t Anything to Buy
How and Why I Prefer to Make Soap with Modern Ingredients
Temporarily Installing a Wood-Burning Stove during Emergencies
Making Traditional and Survival Bark Bread…….
Trapping in Winter for Beaver and Muskrat Just like Our Forefathers Did

How to Make a Smokehouse and Smoke Fish
Survival Lessons From The Donner Party

Get your paperback copy HERE

This content was originally published here.

While I was Christmas shopping, I came across a new water filter by Sawyer called the Mini. After checking out its specifications and seeing how many different ways it could be used, I had to pick one up. I have been using the Lifestraw for a while now and it goes with me whenever I’m hiking and fishing and I also have one in my bug out bag as well. But after comparing these two filters and seeing all the benefits of the new Sawyer, it looks like I will be replacing the Lifestraw in my bug out bag with the Sawyer.

Now don’t get me wrong the Lifestraw is an excellent filter, but in my opinion the Sawyer is a far better filter and here is why. First the specifications on the Sawyer are a lot better, not only does it filter down to 0.1 microns, but it also filters 100,000 gallons of contaminated water compared to Lifestraws 264 gallons. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you check out the other features of the Sawyer below.

Now here is where the Sawyer really outshines the Lifestraw, not only can it be used like a straw, but it can also be attached to standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or the included drinking pouch. That means no more crouching down and sticking your face near the water to get a drink. Now you can just fill up your hydration packs or your disposable water bottles and be on your way, which makes it a lot more versatile than the Lifestraw.

Even though both filters weigh in at 2 ounces and are roughly the same diameter, the sawer is about half the length of the Lifestraw making it more compact. Now for the price, the LifeStraw sells for $19.99 on Amazon and the Sawyer Mini sells for $20.85. So for $.86 cents more you can have a more versatile water filter that can filter roughly 378 times more water. Keep in mind neither of these two filters can remove chemicals, dissolved solids, or viruses. However, viruses are very rarely found in North America or when traveling to foreign cities.

This content was originally published here.