The wood in old pine stumps, especially above the taproot, is fat with pitch and extremely flammable. I've been buying it under the product name Fatwood for years, but evidently, if you live in an area with lots of felled pine trees, it is quite easy to find and harvest this yourself.
It is not actually cold here in Northern California. It's down as low as 45ºF outside. So the other night, for no reason other than solidarity with my East Coast friends, I decided to start a fire in my fireplace. I am always amazed at how quickly a stick of fatwood lights up. Typically one match or just a few seconds with a lighter and I've got a torch that is ready to start any fire. Two to three sticks of wood starts a three-log fire in my fireplace right quick. I like using the laden-with-tar pine to start fires instead of factory-made firestarters as my fireplace has a catalytic converter and gets kinda finicky. It also just strikes me as a simpler, likely safer to be around solution.
If you are interested in harvesting it yourself, Rambling' Jim offers a ton of great information. Evidently it is quite simple to find if you're in the right area.
Jim had this to share:
Fatwood is easier to find than you’d think. All you really need to do is find a stand of pine trees. Once you’ve found one, look for old, dry stumps. You’ll find a fatwood bounty in logging areas.
Ideally, you want stumps that are rotting. Rotting stumps have had plenty of time for the resin to collect in the stump. Fresh stumps will be poor in fatwood.
I keep fatwood by the fireplace and I always have a few sticks in the Westy to quickly get a campfire going.
Fatwood firestarter, 3lbs box.
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]
Bluetooth speakers may be convenient to use, but many of them just aren’t that powerful. Sure, it may be fine if you’re seated in front of the speaker. But move across the room, and you may strain to hear what’s coming from those tiny drivers.There’s a reason why the G-BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Boombox (now $79.99 in the Boing […]
If you’re working to build your web programming knowledge, you know you have a lot of ground to cover. With literally dozens of languages, platforms and environments available to coders, mastering all those technologies can be a daunting task.Up-and-coming coders can start learning some of the most fundamental programming study areas with this Web Hacker course bundle – and […]