In a survival situation having a fire is a must. It can be used to warm you up, cook food, or in this instance a source of light.
To make a pinecone torch here are the steps:
Step 1: Collect resin
Have you ever climbed a tree? It may be awhile for some so let’s take it back when we were kids; trying to reach the highest point all while avoiding those nasty little cicada shells. Well, eventually we would have to come down for supper but before washing your hands did ever notice that your hands felt like they were dipped in glue? That stickiness was tree resin. You can find tree resin from tree wounds. Depending on its age, you might find some resin that’s clear or you may find some that’s gold and clumpy. It’s easier to collect the clumpy one just like on the picture shown. To do this just take a knife and pry it off the tree. Store them in a bag or container.
Step 2: Making the Torch Stick
Try to avoid using dead or dry wood as it can catch on fire. The type of wood you’ll need is a green fresh chopped branch. If you don’t want to chop one, try looking for a newly broken branch. To make the torch you will need to divide the tip into four prongs. With a knife make two intersecting cuts (plus sign.) To widen the prongs, push twigs down the intersecting cuts to have them separated.
Step 4: Pinecone Wick
Now that you have your torch ready it’s time to add a wick. If there are no pinecones in your area you can use a cattail or sacrifice a sock; it’ll be similar steps. In the picture above we’re actually using an immature closed pinecone. If you use a closed pinecone, cattail, or a sock, melt the resin first and then apply it onto your wick. If you have an opened pinecone you can place resin clumps in between the scales. This is recommended because once the resin begins to liquefy from the heat the scales will stop it from dripping on to your hand.
TIP: You can remove the twigs separating the prongs to secure the wick more firmly after wick has been placed.
Step 5: Let there be light!
To light your torch, it’s best if you place it over a campfire just like you would a marshmallow. Once it is lit, hold the torch away from you at an angle. You do this because if it becomes completely vertical the melted resin will drip and burn your hand. Most importantly be wary of your surroundings. Remember what Smokey the Bear taught us “Only you can prevent forest fires.” Depending on the wick you used, the torch should last around 10- 25 minutes.