No, not the metal, but just as valuable to anyone who wanders the woods. If like me, you are a bit of a Heath Robinson then you will already know what woodland gold is. For those who aren’t in the know, woodland gold is quite simply, pine sap or pine resin.
When the sap is first released it is a beautiful golden colour, once exposed to the air it goes a milky white and crystalises. The sap is normally released to help the tree recover from a cut or insect invasion.
FIRST AID KIT
Pine sap or resin is a great first aid kit, if you have a cut then d the obvious of flushing it (if you have clean water) and work some resin in your fingers until soft and simply cover the wound resin.
Use the sap as a wound seal, use it like super glue.
Pine resin hold antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Treat eczema by making a tincture of resin and alcohol.
A sore throat? Beeswax, pine sap and honey mixed together to make a “gum”
Pine sap can be turned in to a fantastic, natural glue. You need to make a pitch, to do this, you need to heat the sap, don’t let it ignite though. Scrape off any contaminants and then add a filler. Now, you can use almost anything but For me, I like to use rabbit droppings as if they are dry, they become powdery and blend really well. You can use sawdust, sheep’s wool, literally anything that will bulk out the pitch. then stir it all up whilst its liquid and allow it to set. To use it, heat it gently and then form a “glob” in your hand, you can then mould it on to any surface or heat it to liquid and drip it on a joint to glue together. Got a rip in the tent? Melt some pitch and run it down the rip, tent sealed.
This is what I taught Lu today. Pine sap or resin is a fantastic fire lighter, if you have ever been in the woods on a damp day wanting to start a fire, you will know the benefit of pine resin. I harvested the resin from an injury on the tree.
You don’t need a mountain of it, just enough to spread on a stick. Once on there you just need to strike a flint and steel on the stick and you will have a very smokey bright orange flame.
One thing to remember with resin, it burns for a long time. If you split a stick 4 ways and pack the split with resin you get a fantastic torch that will burn for hours. Similarly, you can coat a cloth or even tightly wound ferns to make a similar torch. I know it might sound a bit survival hero but, a flint and steel should be in everyone’s coat pocket, we use this one. Its cheap, hard wearing and produces a great spark.
DO I NEED IT
Quite simply, yes. if you get the opportunity, grab a small tin, the type that lip balms come in and harvest some resin, put the lid on and leave it in the car? Leave it in the coat you wear when you go out and about, you never know when that woodland gold might come in handy.
Thanks for reading