Pine trees are an incredibly abundant and useful natural resource to know how to use. They have all kinds of survival uses beyond the resin. You can consume the needles (make tea), nuts (in the cones), and even the inner bark (not the hard outer stuff). It makes a great fire wood. The roots can be used for cordage. Branches can be used for bedding. And, you can of course build with it. We're gonna focus on the resin – frequently called pitch, tar, sap, amber or rosin, though these are slightly different forms of the substance. First things first, you have to know how to harvest it.
Pine Resin Collection
Pine resin is a very viscous and sticky substance secreted by coniferous trees when they are damaged. It forms both a physical and chemical barrier to bacteria and insects. Depending on how recently it was secreted, you may find it soft and pliable (resin), or hard and brittle (rosin). This transition occurs as the more volatile substances evaporate.
So, look for damaged areas – missing bark, broken limbs, recently fallen branches. If needed, tear small patches of bark off yourself and come back later. If you're dealing with rosin, it will often times be less conspicuous as it gathers debris and blends in with the bark. You'll also have to chip rosin away, whereas the resin can be more easily scraped.
Depending on its condition and your use case , you may want to purify your resin. Toss what you have into a pot and throw it on the fire. Be careful as it is very flammable. Burn/melt it down, stir it up, and then pour it into a new container leaving the debris behind. (When purifying for home use, I pour it through a coffee filter.) *The less overall heat exposure the better, as your evaporating and breaking down beneficial chemicals.
Pine Resin Glue
The first survival use we'll cover is glue. Recipes will vary, but generally you'll want:
• 3 parts pine resin
• 1 part powdered charcoal OR • 1 part charcoal + fibrous material (hair/fur or pulverized bark)
The powdered charcoal tempers the resin, and to some extent increases its bond strength. Many use only charcoal without extra fiber. Adding a fibrous material like animal fur or finely shredded bark will give your glue more cross-sectional strength, but also decrease the flow and increase its volume. You may or may not want this depending on your application.
• Step 1: Melt down your collected resin. A tin can works great!
• Step 2: Pulverize your charcoal to a powder. If adding hair, separate hairs to avoid clumps. If adding tree bark fiber, tear the fibers apart with the goal of attaining thin fibers. Desired length will vary with application, but half inch sections is a good starting point for both hair and bark fiber.
• Step 3: Evenly mix your charcoal and/or fiber into the melted pine resin.
• Step 4: Apply your glue, or package it for later use. Perhaps you'll want to let it harden in your mixing can, which you can then throw back on the fire when you want to use it. A more compact method is to form the glue on the end of a stick and let it harden. You can then heat this over a fire for later use.
Treating Injuries and Infections with Pine Resin
As I mentioned earlier, pine resin acts as both a protective physical and chemical barrier for a damaged tree. It can do the same for you! *This is not medical advise so use at your own risk blah blah standard disclaimer.
• Suture (stitches) substitute: If you need to treat a cut that would normally require stitches, the pine resin glue with hair mentioned above is a useful substitute. The hair provides cross-sectional strength across the cut to hold it together.
Just remember, contrary to popular belief, an open wound cannot get infected. Infection occurs when foreign matter is trapped inside on the body, so be sure to flush out any debris before closing the cut.
• Neosporin and/or antibiotic substitute: The complex mixture of resin acids and lignans present in pine resin are strongly antimicrobial against a wide range of bacteria and fungi. This makes it a good antibiotic treatment both topically and systemically. To use it topically, it's nice to make a salve by mixing with wax, oil or fat, but this is not necessary. For systemic ingestion, you can eat it directly, or make a tea. Pine needles are a great addition to this tea! These treatments have been used by Native Americans for generations.
• Anti-inflammatory substitute: Pine resin is also a potent inhibitor of signaling molecules in the inflammation process. This means it can help reduce swelling/inflammation when necessary. You can use it both topically and systemically as stated in the previous paragraph.
Best Mustache Wax Color
The best mustache waxes typically come in some shade of white, yellow or brown. To some extent, it's good to match the wax color to your hair color, but this is most important for men with white or blonde mustaches. All natural waxes of any color typically go on fairly clear, but brown waxes are most likely brown from some type of coloring and can stand out more. Yellow blends well with any stache, but is more likely than a white wax to become visible in a white mustache.
If you have a dark mustache, go with brown or yellow. If you have a light brown mustache, go with yellow or brown. If you have a white mustache, go with white or yellow.
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