pine sap as tinder

Wave Man

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I had the opportunity to try pine sap as a fire starter the other day(using my 1/2"x5" ferro rod) and despite getting a heap of liquid sap, and really giving it a heap of spark I failed to get it to light up. Has any one else tried this and had success? I tried this because of the hype about fat wood(pine wood saturated in sap)and am no questioning the validity of fat wood.
 

Templar

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Hmmm... try using it as a flame extender rather than a tinder by itself, it works in a similar way to PJ & Cotton balls...


As a standalone, it would work with a lighter, but it's not going to catch a spark, kind of like oil.


The fatwood has more turpentine like chemicals in it rather than just the sap, think of it like an alcohol that has come from "fermenting" the sugars in the sap, that’s why it has to come from long dead trees and not fresh boughs...
 

Wave Man

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thanks Karl for the clarification and explanation, makes sense to me. I saw a youtube vid on a fella who harvested and then used pine sap exactly the way you describe, as a flame extender/improver to help start a fire to get going.
 

Bartnmax

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We need to undersatand the properties of the chemicals invoved here.
Turpentine, petrochem's etc, in themselves do not burn. It is the vapours aroud the liquids that actually burn, hence there must be vapours present before they will light.
Now we've all heard about the old "you can chuck a lit match into a bucket of petrol & it wont burn" idea.
Yeah, being a mechanic I've seen it demonstrated more tha once (in damned cold conditions to limit the presence of vapours).

PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF AS IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

Given a lack of vapours a bucket of petrol in liquid form simply will not burn, even if an open flame is introduced.
However, once there are even the very minutest amount of vapours present - BIG change to the story - stand well back(as we all know).

So, Pine sap. Usuaully, due to it's high glue constituant, there are few vapours present around it at normal temps, until it is heated up sufficiently to convert the right chemical constituants into vapourous form, which will then ignite. So at normal to low temps it simply will not take.
Heat it up though (by adding to a heat source) & it will burn very well.
So the sap itself is not very good as a base flame source, however, get a small flame started & add the sap to it, & it will propegate very well.

My recomendation would be to start the flame via the normal spark/tinder method & then add the sap to it (carefull to prevent extinguishing the flame before thew sap get's to a vapourous state). Once the correct temp is reached it will burn very well for a goodly length of time, so as to be a very usefull resource for fire propegation.

Bill A.
 
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Moondog55

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I think a lot of people confuse pine sap with pine pitch, pine sap is a white milky substance that drys clear shiny and sticky, pine pitch is old aged sap that has gone very hard and can be ground into a fine powder, there must be a lot of years between the stages I would think for all of the water to dry out.
As a kid we used the dry sap ( pitch ) from Blackboys to get our fires roaring away, and I know around here we have far more grasstrees than pine trees.
Just as an aside; don't remove transport the pitch, sap and flower stalks from this area around Geelong and Melbourne; the dead ones are more likely than not to be infected with cinnamon fungus and we should hasten the spread of the dreaded die-back.
 

Aussie123

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I've tried it and as everyone else has stated it won't light from a spark, but it is great an an extender - once you have a flame.

Of course you can soften it and use it as a glue, much more fun !
 
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