Find Pitch Wood In Old Rotten Stumps

Find Pitch Wood In Old Rotten Stumps

Find Pitch Wood In Old Rotten Stumps

Pitch Wood / Fat Wood / Grease Wood

Here I discuss how to find the almost magical Pitch Wood.  Also known as Fat Wood  and Grease Wood.  This stuff is great for starting fires, but in some places it can be hard to find unless your buying the pre-packaged stuff from Wally world.  As far as I know there are primarily two places to find pine wood that is saturated in pine sap or what I call Pine Pitch.  The first place where Pitch Wood can be found in the largest quantities is in the rotten old stumps of a dead pine tree.  Take a look at the video below where I quickly show what that looks like and how to harvest Pitch Wood for your use!

Click here to watch on YouTube if you don’t have Flash:


The second place I know to find a good useable quantity of Pitch Wood is at the base of dead branches on a living pine tree.  The 3 or 4 inches of the dead branch closest to the pine tree will typically be soaked in Pine Pitch.  These lower branches on a pine tree are a great resource for building fire.  Take a look at the video below to find out how to harvest Pitch Wood in this manner and how to prepare it to use in a fire as well!

Click here to watch on YouTube if you don’t have Flash:


1. Make heartwood shavings for use as a fire tinder.

2. Make feather sticks for use as either a tinder or a first stage of kindling.

3. Break down into pencil lead sized kindling.

4. Use it in larger pieces as fuel for your fire.

5. Break down into pencil sized pieces about 4 inches long and wedge 20 or 30 pieces into the end of a green stick and use as a torch.

6. Keep a few extra pieces in your kit as a good emergency waterproof fire starter.

7. Use a larger burning piece to carry fire from one location to another.


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Great post! Keep up the good work 😉

Thanks Richard! I truly appreciate all feedback and comments. Cheers JJ

Thanks for the ideas on where to look. I noticed one other place a few years back. I had a Monterrey dying behind my place, and it was dripping sap like crazy. I didn’t discover until later that it had bark beetles that had cut under the bark. Sap was running out of the holes. Peeling back the bark at that point yielded some fuel for fire. It was a smokey fire, though. Great for signaling, not so great for covert warmth.

Nice piece. I am lucky enough to live in the largest Ponderosa forest in the world and have no problem finding the stuff all though I stiil keep some nuggs (impregnated bark) because it is easy to break apart and sprinkle on petro/cotton for a even better burn.

Along with the pitchy pine you may find other forms of the stuff. the fresh stuff has some uses, perhaps a bug trap for some no hassle calories. I really like the pastie white stuff. Most everyone in my Family has a can of it to treat wounds. Of course it makes great fire starter and sticky trap stuff as well as water-proffing and cordage binding and what ever else you can think of. How about a little on your hand before heavy knife work. It could save you some hassle and a cut. Just rub your hand in the dirt to be rid of the sticky. Stay sharp, JD

Great article! The next time I go out into the woods I will need to try this out.

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Find Pitch Wood In Old Rotten Stumps

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