According to Wisdom Magazine, pine resin contains many healthful vitamins including vitamin C. When combined with honey, it makes tasty and soothing cough drops. Pine resin also burns readily, making it perfect for fire fuel or for rendering into pitch to tip the ends of wooden torches.
Collecting pine sap is actually the easiest part of working with it. As long as you resign yourself to getting sticky and a little messy, the process is simple and pretty fast.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Large plastic or metal bucket
- Long, sharp knife with sheath
- Leather work gloves
- Hiking boots
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Sturdy trousers
Put on sturdy hiking boots and a long sleeved T-shirt, sturdy trousers like jeans or khakis and a hat. These protect you from ticks and other insects that might want to hitch a ride on your skin.
Go hiking in a wooded area in late spring or early summer. Walk slowly, examining each pine you pass. Look for white-grey lumps or streams of shiny, sticky sap. Pines often bleed sap after losing branches or as a result of animal scratches.
Slip your knife under a lump of resin and slice around the edges, moving your knife in a circle around the lump. Slide your knife under the bottom edge of the lump and pull the knife handle toward you; the lump should pop free.
Hold your bucket under your knife to catch the lump before it falls to the ground. Pack the resin lumps tightly into your bucket to make the most of your available space.
Tips and warnings
- Use soap with gritty exfoliant in it to remove the sap from your skin after collection. The orange-scented soap that house painters often use works very well.
- Spraying yourself with lemon balm spray or bitter apple spray before hiking wards away insects without the unpleasant odour of most bug sprays.
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