Finding Fat Lighter - Fatwood Firestarter

Discussion in 'Survival Articles' started by survivalmonkey, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. oldbee1966

    oldbee1966 Monkey+

    Very informative thread, thanks!
  2. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Same here. Had never heard the term "Fat Wood" before. It was always call Pitchy Pine. In the Northwest where I grew up it was everywhere along with cedar. Always carried some of both in my saddlebags, the pocket on my chaps or in my backpack if I was shanks mare..;)

    EXCELLENT idea! had never thought of that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2015
  3. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    I'll never forget a backpacking trip years ago into the Shawnee Forest near Porstmouth, OH. I was taking KYHillChick on our first trip together-- nothing too much, just 16 miles over two days. We got to the campsite about two hours before sundown. It was March. The rangers were supposed to leave regular drops of firewood, but there wasn't any because it was still early in the year, so I had to go foraging for deadfall.

    My buddy, John, had gone through The Bulge. He was pushing 80 by this time. He didn't go on this trip, but he had always told me about how his buddy from North Carolina had taught him about fatwood. He was big on fatwood-- said it had kept him from freezing to death in the Ardennes many a night. So there I was out in a strange place in the middle of the woods and looking for dry deadfall. That stretch of woods had been picked clean by those before me. Nothing. Then I found an old pine stump, and I thought "Fatwood." Sure enough, I kicked over the stump like John had said and there it was. It was enough to dry out some tinder and a few bigger pieces so that Girlfriend and I got a hot dinner and there was enough fatwood left in the morning to get the fire going for coffee and oatmeal.
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Fatwood. It is sometimes hard to find quality fatwood in the woods, and I actually ran across something brilliant not too long ago which has forever solved my needs. The price was about $5 for a box of really sexy looking fatwood, all natural with no chemicals.

    Duraflame, found right next to the charcoal fluid in your local supermarket or hardware store. I vacuum sealed one box to keep it nice and dry for long term storage, not sure if it is even needed. I like to light my natural wood charcoal with this, and shave off what I need to get it started in my lighter.

    Look how dark, rich and full of turpentine this fatwood is. Every single piece is like this, too.

    Motomom34, Tobit, Ganado and 4 others like this.
  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I love fatwood! Always take camping and sometimes hiking. It is like cheating to start a fire and most helpful when it's raining and everything is wet. Fatwood, pine resin and paperbark are my favorites here.
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Its called 'Lighter Pine' down here, I have logs of it at my west place.
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have not seen this at my local market.... hmmm, wonder if Amazon carries it?!
  8. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    L&L Bean does, or at least used to.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  9. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Wal*Mart carries it, I prefer getting it off of Ebay, and then remember the seller that was selling the best stuff, the worst fat wood is the same quality that Wal*Mart sells.
    Tully Mars and Yard Dart like this.
  10. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey++

    When I was a a young guy, it was called "Squaw wood" in this part of the country. Wonder why you don't hear that so much anymore.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    IIRC, "squaw wood" was small wood, like branches and such that was fallen out of the trees and down long enough that it wasn't "green" and therefore burned more or less smoke free. Squaw, because the women collected it rather than men. I suppose the term is not PC --
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  13. john316

    john316 Monkey++

    “we allways used to use womens tampons in the kit to readily accept the spark from a commercial fire lighter “

    they used to be all cotton.....worked great as a wick with olive oil....plug for a bullet hole.....start fires

    anyway they are NOT all cotton not work GREAT for anything anymore

    you hear about using dryer lint for a fire MUST be cotton lint...polyester will not work...will not wick....will not burn

    a good wick for an olive oil COTTON sash cord........hard to find....cotton will most sash cord now is improved polyester and does not work as a wick

    another nice wicking is a commercial heavy duty mop..... all at lowes or home depot

    “a lump of rubber cut from a tire “ works great

    anyway ...back to fatwood,.......Its called 'Lighter Pine' down here, as gator 45/70

    it is NOT old wood............

    it is the HEART WOOD OF THE pine TREE......not the sapwood

    IN THE SOUTH YOU CAN find old fence posts of heart pine

    “The tree's sap was concentrated in the stump when it fell or was cut down. “ is just the heartwood of the tree
    GREAT POST other than that
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Very nice, I like this. Never thought of a mop. Thank you for this idea.

    ** just bought a new package of fat wood from a yard sale for .50 cents.
    I think I will break the box up and make a few packs (vac sealed) to go in the different bags & cars.
    Hanzo, Ganado, Brokor and 2 others like this.
  15. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey++

    A few alternative fire starters that I use when I don't have fatwood are Birch bark, rubber from an inner tube or fine steel wool. I like birch bark the best but the inner tube can come in real handy at times. I cut the tube in band about an inch wide and use them for like you wood a rubber band. Then if I get in a bind I can use it for fire starter.
    Hanzo, Tobit and Motomom34 like this.
  16. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Walked up htc phone 8-22-2015 111. on this piece yesterday, A good 35' of lighter pine.
    SB21, Hanzo and Bear like this.
  17. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Wow @Gator 45/70 !... is that all fat wood?
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Yes it is,
    Yes it is, I have another one about 12' tall to the west of this one, I have others on my west location. This was close to where we are cutting a fire lane/food plots.
    Yard Dart and Ganado like this.
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Found some more...Cou-zan and I think we are setting on several grand of lighter pine based on Wally World prices?
    The one on my trailer I simple drove up to and worried out of the ground
    The green one is Triple AAA lighter pine, You won't find better!
    IMAG00121. IMAG00121. IMAG00123. IMAG00123.

    Bear, Hanzo, Yard Dart and 1 other person like this.
  20. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Women's tampons? Are there any other kind?

    This is a serious problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2015
    SB21, Ganado and Brokor like this.
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