How to Find Fatwoods? Simple Steps to Keep You Safe in The Dark
You probably have been out in a dark forest with no more batteries to help you see what’s in it. Then you started wondering how you could make fire out of the things around you—ropes, twigs, leaves, and other materials that you can see in the forest. One way to survive in the dark is through making a fire. If you do not have enough resources, looking for fatwood can save the night.
If you are fond of staying at night in the forest, you probably get the idea that knowing how to make fire out of the stash of woods around you is a survival skill. It is a double plus if you also know how to find fatwood in a strange area, to be able to make good fire and to make improvised bows in case situations arise.
What is a Fatwood?
Fatwood is the kind of wood that can easily ignite by the conventional handy fire starting tools like cigarette lighters and match sticks. It is a dried wood with very evident resins. If you got a fatwood, then you do not have to worry about the rest of the dark and cold night in the forest.
Where can we find fatwoods?
Wherever you are in the world, fatwoods can be easily accessible as long as there are pines around you. The most common in the west is the Ponderosa and Lodge pole Pines, and then in the southeast are the longleaf pines. Usually, these high resinous species or the best fatwoods are in the areas where pines have been damaged and healed. So, if you are in the forest, you look for areas with damaged pines and get enough fatwoods as possible through you ax.
How to get fatwoods?
- Step 1: Search for dead pines around you
Before the night comes out, look for dead pines trees in the area. Pine trees are most identified with their high resin content that makes fatwoods easily ignited by commercial fire starting tools.
- Step 2: Identify the large branches of the dead pine
If you got a good dead pine tree, check its branches and twigs. The large branches are the best fatwoods. Usually, it can be found near the trunk of the dead tree. Locate the center of all the branches and hit it with your ax. This is the most efficient way to get enough fatwoods without getting too exhausted.
- Step 3: Search for the pine knots to make fatwood
Locate the pine knots and segregate it. Pine knots can be processed to produce more good quality fatwoods to have a better fire.
- Step 4: Remove the rotten parts of the wood
Separate the rotten wood after getting the pine knots through your hatchet. After getting the pine knots, removing the rotten wood will definitely increase the ability of the fatwood to be easily ignited. After trimming your collected woods, you are now down to good quality fatwoods.
- Step 5: Clean, shave and shape according to your comfortability
Clean your collected fatwoods and make sure that you have prepared a good housing storage for it. Trim it to the size of your luggage to make it easier to carry to your next stop. Make variations as your trim the fatwoods so you can further split it down in case a situation arises. Shave your fatwoods to ensure that no more rotten parts or skin were attached to it, and so it will be very easy for it to fire up.
Via Rocky Mountain Bushcraft
The final stage of getting fatwoods is keeping it, and making sure that you can carry it to your next destination. As we travel, we would always like to have lightweight materials on our back so that it will be easier for us to move in any situation. Definitely, depending on your bag size, you can make fatwoods in the form of sticks, or bigger bundles. In any way, as long as you keep its freshness and you have kept it away from the rain, the fatwoods that you have can be easily used to make fire.
To have a picture of how you can prepare a fatwood, here’s a 20-minute video for your reference:
Fatwood and Archery
- Going back to the story, you are in the forest with not enough materials to survive and so you used fatwood sticks. More than a fire maker, fatwoods can be used in archery to keep yourself safe from any uncontrollable wild animals in the forest. You can make bows out of fatwoods - you just have to make sure that the wood is not too bent to be used as a weapon. Also, your strength will not be too exhausted if you will use fatwoods instead of the conventional bows because it is relatively lighter than the usual.
- Totally, if you are out of the woods and you are left with nothing to be used in hunting or to be used to save yourself for the wild things, look for a stump of dead pines and start harvesting good fatwoods.
We are the best hunters and we can definitely survive weeks in the forest if we know how to find fatwoods. With just your ax, hatchet and knife, you can make fatwoods that can join you in your journey inside the dark forest. If you need fire or anything that can save you from harm, definitely, these fatwoods got your back.
Let us know how we can improve the steps on finding good fatwoods for fire and bows! Do not forget to share these with your friends too so they will no longer need to worry if they got lost in the forest!