What Is Fatwood?
Fatwood is one of nature’s best all-natural waterproof fire starters and comes from the heartwood of various species of pine trees from around the world.
Fatwood, also known as pitch pine, pine knot, lighter wood, heart pine, or lighter knot, comes from old pine stumps that were leftover during the logging process after the pine tree stump was split. Fatwood is also created from trees that have fallen over, been damaged, or have died from other natural causes.
After the pine tree has been cut or damaged, the tree sends a terpene-rich sap into the damaged area.
As the tree dies, the resin-saturated wood at the base of the stump gets hard and remains. The resin includes an all-natural hydrocarbon called terpene, which is also used in the production of turpentine. That is what makes fatwood fire starter so flammable.
Terpene is an organic but highly volatile chemical, which is why terpene is the “secret sauce” that helps turn dead pine stumps into Fatwood fire starter… one of nature’s best water repellent (some would say waterproof) firestarters.
What Kind Of Tree Does Fatwood Come From?
Fatwood can be made from most resinous trees but historically the most common tree used for is pine. Historically, in the United States, fatwood was most commonly associated with the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris).
However, longleaf pine was over harvested in the U.S. and takes up to 100 – 150 years to grow to maturity, so other faster growing species of pines have replaced it for commercial replanting… and the commercial harvesting of Fatwood.
What Is Fatwood Used For?
The most common use of fatwood today is as a firestarter. True Fatwood is all-natural, with no chemical additives and is 100% organic. It’s wind resistant, lights quickly and easily, burns even in the dampest conditions, and burns hot enough to ignite significantly larger fuel logs.
Which is why it’s a favorite for outdoor use and should be strongly considered as a must-have survival tool for any emergency situation.
You can shave Fatwood into tinder, or chop it up small enough to be used for tinder (a popular size for tinder is approximately 5 or 6 inches long by about ¾ inches in diameter).
The pine resin (which makes Fatwood such a great fire starting tool) also produces pitch and tar. Pitch and tar have been used as preservatives and sealants for rope and wood. Tree resin is also used in nail polish and household cleaners such as pine oil or turpentine.
Is Fatwood Toxic?
The best Fatwood (IMHO) is 100% naturally harvested from the sap-rich heartwood of the pine stump. It should never be treated or chemically enhanced in any way.
Technically speaking, any chemical produced during combustion could possibly be toxic, as well as the “toxicity” of inhaling smoke in general.
However, 100% all-natural fatwood is generally considered safe for indoor use in your fireplace, your woodstoves, coal stoves, pellet stoves and chimneys. You will also find it very useful for outdoor use in campfires, barbeques, and firepits.
What Is Fatwood Soaked In?
Some companies choose to soak their “fatwood” in very toxic and extremely volatile chemicals to help it ignite. Chances are this is because they are using inferior pine (less sap, lower levels of terpene, etc.) for harvesting.
The fumes that are emitted from chemically treated wood can cause those that are exposed to it to have headaches and nausea, which is why I strongly recommend against using any type of chemically treated wood indoors or other areas with bad ventilation.
How To Find Fatwood
When it comes to looking for and finding fatwood in nature, the best areas to find it is where pine trees have been logged or killed by a fire. Look for ones that have old, dry stumps. These will have the most fatwood.
The stumps should be grey and rotting as this will have allowed time for the resin to collect. The stumps are where you will find the resin more concentrated and well kept. You will find the highest concentration of fatwood between the trunk and the roots.
How will you know if you have found it or not? The first clue will be the strong scent of pine in the air. Look on the surface of the stump for any noticeable pools, streaks, or beads of dried sap. You will also notice that the wood has a yellow or golden tone in contrast to the grey wood that is surrounding it.
The best place to look is in a pine tree that has been dead for quite a while. This will have allowed the resin to rise to the stump from the roots.
You will be able to easily pull the stump up from the ground. You will want to use a hatchet to chop away all the rotten wood to uncover the fatwood. You may want to put some lubricant on the blade because fatwood is very sticky. If you need to clean your blade, it is best to use a degreaser or gum remover.
What are the benefits of using Fatwood?
- All-natural Fatwood is an environmentally-friendly product that comes from renewable and sustainable forests. Plus, it’s collected from surplus stumps and roots that have been left behind after the tree has been harvested for other purposes (lumber, paper, etc.).
- Naturally sourced Fatwood is generally considered safe and non-toxic because it doesn’t contain added chemicals or toxins, which is why it produces a very pleasant “burning pine” odor when burned (unlike kerosene and other chemical soaked fire starter products, which smell like toxic chemicals when used for starting a fire).
- Fatwood has a unlimited shelf-life and is easy to store.
- It’s water-repellent (some even call it waterproof), making it extremely easy to light, even when wet (which is why it’s a must-have product when going on your next camping, hiking or canoeing trip).
- It doesn’t leave a chemical taste in your food (unlike charcoal lighter fluid), which makes Fatwood the perfect fire starter for your next cookout or backyard BBQ.
- 2 small sticks of Fatwood and a single match is it all it takes to start a roaring fire, that’s it.
- Fatwood just makes starting a fire (and your life) so much easier!
Fatwood For Sale
All-natural Fatwood is a 100% organic, chemical-free fire starter that lets you start a fire with a single match (you can even use it to start a fire without a match, if that’s your thing).
Here are a few of our favorite All Natural Fatwood Products from Amazon (we may earn a commission from qualified purchases)…
Betterwood Products Fatwood Firestarter Box 25 Pounds
Betterwood Products Fatwood Firestarter Box 25 lbs is a responsible and sustainable product that helps you easily start fires for barbecues, fire pits, wood stoves and more without unbalancing the natural environment. Every piece of wood here has been harvested from pine tree stumps without the addition of chemicals or additives. Pine has a naturally high concentration of resin, ensuring a strong and healthy fire.
Using Fatwood Firestarter is simple. All you need are two or three sticks properly placed in your fireplace, fire pit or barbecue along with some charcoal or wood around it to allow the fire to catch and spread. They’re simple to use and you’ll find that starting a fire has never been easier. Best of all, Fatwood Firestarters catch fire fast and burn hot, even if they’re wet.
While Better Wood is proud of how fast their product works, they’re even prouder of their SCS Salvaged Wood and Fiber certification. All the pine wood they harvest comes from logging waste, meaning that no live tree is harmed or cut to produce Fatwood. They collect the stumps that have been left behind and process them in a natural and sustainable way.
BetterWood goes even further than that. As the originators of the Three Tree Pledge Program, they plant three seedlings for every tree used. This goes towards ensuring the stability of the forest and the continuation of this renewable resource. Green practices create a healthier planet and sustains us for the future.
Better wood Products Fatwood Firestarter Box 25lbs is a sustainable product that will help you start fires whenever you need them, ensuring high heat and a strong fire for cooking, warming yourself or just enjoying the flames. BetterWood’s all-natural product uses no chemicals, yet you’ll find that it catches faster than any other product on the market.
Check it out and you’ll see why sustainable products are the way to go.
BetterWood Products Fatwood Box, 10 Pounds
Better Wood Products Fatwood Box, 10lbs is a product that commits to providing you the best fire starter wood along with adhering to strict green standards for a sustainable item that doesn’t harm the natural environment. In fact, they seek to enrich it while ensuring that you get the strongest, fastest fire for your camp fire, barbecue, fire pit or anywhere else you want a roaring flame.
How does Betterwood ensure strong flames each and every time? It’s all through nature’s goodness. They source sustainable pine wood that naturally contains a high amount of resin, allowing it to burn quickly and immediately spread to your other wood or charcoal. No chemicals or additives are used here, only pine. You’ll find that Fatwood starts with a simple match and it isn’t affected by moisture. Wet or dry, our wood starts quick.
You might be worried about how they source their wood. If you are, then you’ll be happy to know that they’re worried too. We understand that the forest is a renewable resource that must be treated with care. All of Better Wood’s Fatwood comes from logging waste. These pine stumps are left behind, they are just reclaiming them and using them appropriately. They never cut down trees or use any live wood for BetterWood Fatwood products.
Not only that, but they go one step further to help ensure the health of the forest. As the creators of the Three Tree Pledge, they leave three seeds for every one tree that is used. This goes a long way to helping this renewable resource grow back and to restore the forest once trees have been cleared.
Whether you want a strong fire or believe in the green initiative, BetterWood Products Fatwood hits both marks perfectly. They never use any chemicals but guarantee that this product will quickly catch fire whenever you need it. No matter the conditions, Fatwood is there to give you a strong, roaring fire.
Earth Worth Original Fatwood Firestarter
For those looking to get a fire started quickly, you’ll love our Earth Worth Original Fatwood Firestarter box 10 lbs. Packed with 10 pounds of premium Fatwood sourced from all-natural pine that will immediately catch fire, this will help you get a roaring fire for fireplaces, fire pits, grills and anywhere else you need a fire. Indoor or outdoor, and under any conditions, Earth Worth Original Fatwood Fire Starter is sure to light and give you the best fire ever.
Harvested from naturally resin-rich pine wood, they only use previously felled trees to give you the best wood nature has to offer without harming the forest. No chemicals are needed or used here. You’ll find that pine works amazingly on its own. All you get is the wood, so this is ideal when you need to cook or if you’re worried about inhaling dangerous chemicals.
Not only that, but pine is highly durable. It will never rot and has an indefinite shelf life. You can even use it when wet. Just strike a match and light the wood. No matter how wet or dry, the wood will light perfectly for a roaring flame.
Using Original Fatwood couldn’t be easier. Just get two or three sticks from the box, place them at the bottom of your intended fire and lay the wood or charcoal on top. This ensures that the fire will spread once it starts. Be sure to leave room for airflow to keep the fire going. Then you just need to strike the match and ignite the pine. The rest will take care of itself.
If you want a strong fire from a product that uses no chemicals and causes no harm to the natural environment, then you’ll love Earth Worth Original Fatwood Firestarter. This sustainable product will get a fire going wherever you need it and it couldn’t be simpler to use.
Pine Mountain StarterStikk
Pine Mountain StarterStikk is an all-natural, American-made product that doesn’t use any extra chemicals or additives. You’re just getting nature’s goodness here without anything else getting in the way. StarterStikk hits all the right boxes whether you’re looking to quickly start a fire, you hate harmful chemicals or if you want a product that doesn’t harm the environment in any way. We just use left over wood that’s high-quality and doesn’t hurt the forest.
When it comes to starting a fire, pine is hands down the best way to do it. Pine is naturally rich with resin and is able to quickly ignite even with a single match. Not only that, but even high moisture content won’t stop pine from igniting. Wet or dry, this wood will start without any problems. Just place it near your wood or charcoal and watch the fire spread like magic. In seconds, you’ll be getting cozy by the fireplace, warming up to a fire pit or anxiously waiting to get the burgers and dogs on the grill.
For those who are looking for a green product, it doesn’t get much better than Pine Mountain StarterStikk. According to Pine Mountain, not one single tree is harmed to produce their product. They only use lumber waste, like left over pine stumps, to manufacture our Fatwood. You’ll find this is one of the greenest products on the market when it comes to kindling or starting any fire.
Whether you want to start a small fire or a big one, and regardless of whether it’s wet or dry, Pine Mountain StarterStikk will get the job done. All you need now is to get some wood or charcoal together and light the pine stick to get the fire going. Give it a try, you’ll find it works in seconds and gives you the best fire possible.
Plow & Hearth 35 LB Box Fatwood Fire Starter
If your idea of a good time involves fire, whether it be for fire pits, camp fires or barbecues, then you definitely need Plow & Hearth 35 LB Box Fatwood Fire Starter. All you need are a few sticks to get a good fire going, so this big, 35 pound box will ensure you have plenty of wood for your needs. Not only that, but this is a natural and premium product that you’re sure to love.
First of all, you might be worried that they are actively harvesting live trees and harming the natural environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. This 100% natural product doesn’t harm or even use a single live tree. All the wood is collected as a byproduct of logging. Plow & Hearth simply harvests the remaining pine stumps and transform them into Fatwood for your use. Each piece has been split and cut to about 8 inches for convenience.
They also don’t add any chemicals or additives whatsoever. They believe that pine is perfectly fine on its own as it is rich with resin and can be ignited whether wet or dry. Within seconds, and only using a single match, the wood will ignite and will quickly spread to any other wood or charcoal that you’re using to sustain the fire. All it takes are two or three sticks at most for a big, roaring flame.
When you want to start a fire quickly and easily, then you’ll love a 35 lb box of Plow and Hearth Fatwood Fire Starter. You won’t find any chemicals or additives in their wood, just strong and resin-rich pine that ignites in moments. If you want a good fire without any harmful chemicals, and if you want the fire to start easily without any complications, then you’ll find that Plow & Hearth Fatwood is one you can trust to get the job done.