emergency shelter.
snowy field and bare trees
Scott Falls, Alger County, Michigan
A forest bed of wild leeks
Billboard stating name of website
WildernessFolk logo
Basic Survival Skills

Nature's Glue

What is nature’s glue? Mother Nature's hot glue is actually heated pine sap. In its raw form it is little more than a sticky mess. If you're out in the woods, for whatever reason - either a long drive or a longer walk far from anything resembling a store, you may have occasion to need a dab of glue to fix or make something.
Nature's glue has a multitude of uses, limited only by your imagination, i.e.
Attach an arrow point
Fletch a shaft
Patch that pin hole in your old canteen
Even build a canoe
Rak, website avatar for WildernessFolk.com
For hafting (attaching) arrow heads or fletching a shaft, you only need a
small ball of sap about twice the size of a marble, which will service several arrows.
Survival Tip billboard
How-To Make Nature's Glue
Find a stand of pine trees, it doesn't matter what kind, and look at the branches and trunk
Any place that the tree has been injured will bleed sap whether that injury was caused by snow load on a broken branch, a deer rub, a bear marking its territory, a wood pecker, or a smaller critter getting lunch. It will usually be covered by a thin layer of bark dust or lichen.
Scrape or pick this lump of sap from the tree. (This is where your knife may come into play.)
Heat the sap. If you have a small tin like one of those candy tins that usually come filled with mints, then just heat it up in that. (This will also make a good container to carry any excess with you). If you don’t have a tin, use a flat rock - it just takes a bit longer to heat.
The debris will float and a small twig will act as your glue brush
Apply where needed and let it cool.
If you don't have a lidded tin to carry your pitch in you could peel the bark off a small stick and wind the cooling sap up like taffy. When it cools and dries, it will form a dry plastic amber shell on the outside so it is no longer that sticky mess. The next time you need it just heat it up again. Be careful because it is flammable to the point where, when wrapped in tinder, it will make an excellent fire starter that will burn for 10 minutes or so.
content separator
How to turn nature's glue into pitch which is a much stronger bonding agent: This only takes two more ingredients and a bit more time.
The first is charcoal which you already have in your fire. (That's those black chunks of wood that haven't turned to ash yet.)
The 2nd ingredient is skat. What is skat? It is poop. Yep, you read this right. You need a little poop from a deer or rabbit, not a meat eater. Not human! The fiber in deer skat from partially digested plants is one of the binding agents. Don't look for a fresh steaming pile of it. What you want is skat that is days old and dry. You don't need much.
Pull a few chunks of charcoal out of your fire pit and let them stop burning and cool down.
When the charcoal is cool to the touch crush it to a fine powder. Use a stone and a flat rock to grind them.
Do the same with the dry skat.
Mix the two in equal portions.
Mix them into the liquefied pine sap. The portions are about 1/3 each.
What you have will be a thick tar like substance that is a much stronger glue than pine sap alone.  Nature's glue is readily accessible, easy to make and handy for a multitude of tasks.
Rak, website avatar for WildernessFolk.com
Footer for WildernessFolk.com
content separator
The following recipes contain ingredients found in the wilderness
link to WildernessFolk YouTube Channel