Resin-Rich Fat Lighter’d: Nature’s Most Prized Fire-starter

For the benefit of my novice woodland Friends….

Survival Sherpa

by Todd Walker

Uncle Otha would tell us boys to gather some ‘fat lighter’d’ while out hunting squirrels. He was a retired Army cook and our personal camp chef. Squirrel stew at its finest!

What is fat lighter’d?

You may know it by another name – fatwood, lighter wood, fat lighter, pine knot, lighter knot, or something else. Fat lighter’d, as Uncle Otha called it, is a 100% nature-made fire starter. The resin in conifers concentrates in the base of the tree. If a pine is cut down or dies by disease or storm, the pine resin will harden and preserve the wood.

While hunting yesterday, I ran across what you’d look for when searching for fat lighter’d.

This pine tree was snapped in half by a storm This pine tree was snapped in half by a storm

The base of the tree’s trunk had been damaged. Pitch (resin) had moved to the area to seal the wound. Though it…

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