I was interested in finding a good ready source of tinder in the forestry I trap in. When wet most of the usual suspects really did not work at all well. I then came across a tinder called Fat wood on the internet.

This works when wet or dry and is extremely easy to light. The basics of finding fatwood are

1- look for old fallen or cut down Pine Trees ( have not tried any other types of trees yet, as this is the forestry I have to work with )

2- forget the tree and find the stump, if it has been cut down.

3-check the stump to see if it has been rotting away.

4-look for the hard wood left in a rotten stump, this wood when the tree was cut etc, is where the resin will have settled into, therfore preserving the wood and prevented it from rotting.

5-remove the resin filled wood and scrap off some wood. when cut the wood stinks of resin, and is clearly visible in the wood.

6- the finer the wood shavings or chips are the easier they will light, use your firesteel to strike a spark and away you go.

A ready made product similar to this you can buy is Maya Dust from light my fire.

N.B. this does not happen to all the stumps, so may require searching around several trees, a Pine forestry block is good as they thin out trees as they get bigger, so usually have a fair amount of stumps around. This does not work with freshly cut stumps, needs to have been rotting.

I am assuming that there is other types of trees this will work with as well, if any one knows please pass on that knowledge to the rest of us.

Pine resin burns really well, although it is a really orange flame and gives off lots of smoke, if you are prepared to damage a tree and collect the resin you can use just this.

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Comment by Paul Sice on August 7, 2015 at 10:02

Great info, thank you

Comment by Kesate Iyasu on April 20, 2015 at 11:25

You can also find fatwood in the crotch of a pine tree, from the research Dave Canterbury does, the more the angle of a forked off branch, the more likely it is to contain fatwood

Comment by Adventure Walks on October 18, 2011 at 23:31
P.S Also the fresh sap is apparently great to seal cuts on,spots,soaps and if you dont like the tea you can use it as a sweet smelling alternative for shampoo. 

Comment by Adventure Walks on October 18, 2011 at 23:27

Pine trees are fantastically useful.The resin burns well a bit smokey.Great for candles and tourches.The residue was used as a glue and sealer used in everything from canoe making to even fixing holes in boots.Make sure you dont get this on you you'll never get it off.I have made pine needle tea not a big fan of herbal teas but this is great.Suppose to have 8-10 times more vit c than orange juice.I have eaten the resin after reading it was used as an alternative to boiled sweets was more like boiled snot!Where the branches join the trunk do contain large amounts of resin and on dead/rotten trees can be easily pulled out and are great for the fire.A bow hunting friend recons wilding pine wood makes great arrow shafts but needs to be wittled from main trunk.Sounds like a alot of work to me if your stuck in the bush with out a lathe!

Comment by Ryan Johnson-Hunt on December 8, 2010 at 7:03
Very interesting, cheers for that Deanz I'll give it a go for sure

Comment by Scott Hamilton on December 4, 2010 at 16:23
Thanks for the Video Deanz, did not realise this, will give it a shot next time. Would be a hell of a lot easier than trying to chop the resinous part of the stump out.

Comment by deanz on December 3, 2010 at 19:48
I found this video the other day that I've never seen/heard of done before.

Comment by Scott Hamilton on June 9, 2010 at 18:45
Not sure about how to use the straight pine resin, I believe in the dried form you crush it up and put a spark to it. As to the natives Rimu and Kauri, They may work if have been cut down, but when they fall over they are usually already rotted from the inside out, as I understand it. So, not sure. Is it still ok to fell Rimu and Kauri here?

Comment by Andrew McKay on June 9, 2010 at 15:26
For natives Rimu and Kauri both are very resinous so it could be worth experimenting with those species.

Comment by Ryan Johnson-Hunt on June 9, 2010 at 13:43
Very interesting! I love pine forests, much more open and you don't have to fight every step of the way like native forests. Very eager to try this out, once found it would be easy to carry around as well.

I suppose using the resin from an existing cut wouldnt harm the tree. Is in best gooey or hardened?

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