Gathering Fatwood & What is Fatwood

Trayer-Wilderness-Gathering-Fat-WoodFor those seasoned outdoorsmen and women you are probably familiar with Fatwood.    For those of you unfamiliar with the term Fatwood or you see Fatwood sold in the stores and outdoor catalogs, but are unaware of what it really is, let us educate you.

Fatwood is a piece of pine wood saturated in resin.  This can be found in the root system of the tree or where a pine tree has been injured in some way.  Often times where a pine tree is injured you will see sap/resin oozing from the tree.

Sap or resin is highly flammable and a very useful tool in the wilderness for fire starting and a variety of different uses.

With our wet weather here in Idaho, both in spring and in the winter months, if I were stuck in a survival situation without a combustible  fire source such as char I would head for a fallen pine and gather some Fatwood from it’s root system.

The Mountain Man was out this week gathering Fatwood and did an educational video to assist you in these efforts.

Enjoy and God bless!


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Tammy Trayer is an author, freelance writer, blogger at and a radio show host at Mountain Woman Radio. Tammy and her family live traditionally off-grid and have a passion to help educate others by sharing their experiences of living off the land, dealing with autism, gluten free and dairy free cooking, self-reliance, wilderness survival, traditional and primitive skills, and much more. Follow Tammy's radio show on iTunes and her website. Keep up with Tammy's informative articles and videos by subscribing to: and She and her family have also created where they will be teaching their homesteading, off-grid, traditional and wilderness survival skills to like-minded people just like you.

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2 thoughts on “Gathering Fatwood & What is Fatwood

  1. Well, this was very informative! I haven’t a clue when it comes to outdoor survival and had never heard of fatwood. We don’t have many pines in our neck of the woods; odd for the Pinetree state huh? I’m sure it was all harvested out in the early years before good forestry practices became the norm. I see more of them further south..anyway…thanks for this video. I’m curious to know what that tool was you used to scrape the fatwood. My SIL is interesting in learning these skills and I’d like to help him along; I’ll be checking out your site more often to learn more. The ‘bird’s nest’ fire in something else that piqued my curiousity. 🙂 Hope you will be feeling better soon!