Fatwood: The Quick and the Tender


When it comes down to it, you want your fires to start quickly and efficiently. Not using excessive fire starting materials (cardboard, paper, wood) can help you save these resources for another time. Fatwood is one of the most efficient ways to start a fire. The small bits of wood drip gooey sap into the fire, thus strengthening the flame. As well, you don’t need a lot of it to get a fire started. You can also use this natural firestarter outdoors and even in wet conditions.

You can easily purchase fatwood, but will end up paying $25-$50 for a case of it; or you can take a walk onto your property and find some on your own. Fatwood is made from the resinous remains of a pine tree that has died. When a pine tree dies, either upright or fallen, the sap settles into the branches and trunk. As the tree rots the sap hardens into resin soaked wood, this is the fatwood.

Locating Fatwood on a Dead Tree

The best spots to find fatwood is where the branches attach to the trunk or the roots if the tree remained standing for a while.Use a hatchet to knock and chop away all the soft, rotten wood. Find the fatwood at the joints of branches and trunk. Some other indicators of fatwood are:

  • amber-orange colored wood
  • distinctive smell
  • wax-like feeling

Any tree that produces sap can be used, but some of the most popular for cultivating fatwood are the Georgia Pine, also known as the Longleaf Pine. These produce large amounts of sap.

Check out this video on how to process fat wood and get it ready for use.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 2nd, 2015
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