Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pine sap and it's uses

Pine sap.  
     To get your sap, wound a tree.  Ask forgiveness if you have to, but cut it and walk away.  The tree will ooze sap to protect the cut or gash from infections.  We've all seen the wonders of amber as portrayed in movies like Jurassic Park.  I don't know that you can get DNA from those bugs, but the reason they are trapped in the sap that becomes amber is the tree is protecting itself from the bugs, too!  Go wound a couple more trees.
     Gather the sap and use it for the same purpose!  Pine sap is natures antiseptic band aid.   The web site to the right, suggests collecting sap in a Mason jar to the half way mark, fill with olive oil and leave on a sunny window sill for two weeks to make a pine sap infused oil balm.  Shake daily and strain to remove impurities.    

     For a cut when away from the med kit, apply pine sap directly to the cut.  It is sticky, so maybe use a stick!  You can peel a piece of bark or leaf and apply it to the sticky surface to keep it from getting all over your clothes.  After applying the sap, cover with a piece of cloth for an antiseptic bandage. 
     You can make your own pine pitch.  Pine pitch  is famous in our minds as the stuff poured over the sides of castles then set afire to ward off invaders.  I suppose if you get started right now, you could gather that much sap to make that much pitch.....but, don't!  A small amount goes a long way to make fire starters and pitch is better used as a waterproof sealant for canoes, rafts or windows.  Vikings rolled cloth in the pitch then stuffed it in the cracks of their ships.  Natives used it to seal the seams of birch bark boats.  Pine tar pitch has a long history of helping humans stay afloat and light up the night as torches that burn long and bright.
     This site, above, posts step by step photos of how to produce your own pine pitch.  There are two ingredients, pine sap and pine charcoal.  You will need stones to pulverize the charcoal and a pot or shell to melt the sap in.  The cautions here are:  do not melt the sap OVER the fire.  Sap burns bright and hot, follow the steps to melt the sap on the side of hot coals.  

     Be sure to copy this website into your favorites, and it will become one.  Pioneer handbooks is a free site with several links per article to other sites that offer free how-to instructions on how the pioneers made and lived their lives. 
    To the right  is a photo of what happens to pine in the wood pile, if you are lucky! You get pine pitch fire starters that my Gram called lighters.  If you find this piece of pine in the wood pile, do not burn it as a whole piece.  Cut it down into sticks and use them as lighters.  All you need is a match to set one alight and it will burn long enough to catch those logs afire!.  

     I have found several sites that offer pine lighter sticks for sale.  a pack of ten sticks the size of a pencil are averaging $7, plus tax and shipping.  I'm sure these are very nice people, but save your coin and go look for a fallen limb.  Make your own pine lighters.  Wrap a dozen in paper and a ribbon and give them as gifts to all your friends with a fire place.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Find a fallen pine, cut the roots to find fat wood: resin impregnated wood-red coloring, the darker, the better. Shavings cut very fine catch a spark well and over-all burns excellently!