Pine cones for preppingl

Pine and Spruce for Survival
Using pine and spruce cones, pollen, needles, bark and sap...

Known as the "tree of peace" by Native Americans, the pine tree offers and
abundance of survival uses. Preppers, survivalists and homesteaders agree in the
powers of the sacred pine and spruce for food, medicine, shelter, fire, and more.

Pine is a source of food for wildlife: Seed is eaten by squirrels, wood duck, bobwhite,
pheasant, and many varieties of woodpeckers. The seed and needles are eaten by
spruce grouse and turkey. Ponderosa Pine is the State Tree of Montana!

Absolutely, preppers from Montana and beyond should take note of the wonders of
pine for prepping. This article highlights seven ways to use pine  for survival:
  1. Pine bark - the edible portion is the white cambium layer. It's a starvation
  2. Pine cones - have an edible portion and many other uses, including fire
  3. Pine needles and young shoots are nutritious.
  4. Pine nuts / needs - October and November is harvest time for pine nut
  5. Pine pollen - the new superfood with immunity boosting powers has actually
    be eaten for thousands of years.
  6. Pine tar - Man-made, pine tar is ideal for
  7. Pine (resin or sap): Naturally produced pine resin or sap is great for fire

Pinus strobus also known as eastern white pine, northern white pine, white pine,
soft pine, or Weymouth pine have plenty of uses for preppers. Spruce also. Pine
resin has had several uses including to waterproof baskets, pails and boats and the
sap can be processed to make turpentine.

How to Use Pine in Prepping and Survival
So let's get going so you can learn to harvest your own pine nuts and know how to
use the pine cone for survival.

Pine Bark
While in the fall, you'll find pine nuts, in the spring you'll find edible shoots, but  in
winter you'll find edible pine bark loaded with starch and carbohydrates in the white
layer that has a bit of sugar and a bit gummy. If you cook it over a fire and roast it,
then you'll have a nice  Native Americans found the inner bark of the pine valuable
particularly in time of starvation. You'll need to get the white cambium layer and not
the outer hard stuff. Peel it right off the bark. If not done properly it can be rather
bitter or taste like turpentine. You need to carefully get the inner portion.

Pine Cones
Pine cones have many uses for preppers:

  • Accelerant  / fuel source. Pine cones are ideal for fueling your fire! Some
    preppers coat pine cones in paraffin wax and keep them by the hearth to
    provide not only a beautiful accent to their home, but a viable accelerant

  • Fall or Spring food source. Both young and dried pine cones can provide
    edible nuts to harvest. You just have to crack a little harder on the dried
    variety. See pine nuts below, and the tutorial film at the bottom of the page.

Pine Needles
Free vitamins, anyone? The most popular use of pine needles is as a tea because
pine needle tea is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C -- it's both nutritious and
refreshing! The starchy green needle tips are refreshing when chewed, but here is
the recipe for pine needle tea:

  • Pine needle tea can prevent scurvy! Because pine needle tea is rich in
    Vitamin C, it's a survival source for preventing scurvy! Pine needle tea is also a
    rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, beta-carotene,  and riboflavin and thiamine.
    Pine needle tea isn't naturally sweet, so don't shy from adding a bit of honey!
    You'll find pine needle tea is an acquired taste and has a bit of a citrus flavor.

    Be sure to select the correct kind of pine needles (spruce) to make your tea!
    You'll want to use the freshest and youngest needles and those furthest at
    the end of the branch.  Spruce needles are sharp and square. They prick your
    finger like a bunch of thumb tacks.

    NOTE: Do not drink pine needle tea if you are pregnant as the pine needles
    may have abortive qualities, and likewise if you are nursing.

Here's how to make pine needle tea:

Steps to make pine needle tea:
  1. Gather young, moist and fresh pine needles (Spruce).
  2. Cut needles to 3/4 in length.
  3. Crush the needles to enhance the flavor and get the Vitamin C.
  4. Steep in boiled water for 10 minutes
  5. Strain through a clean cloth to remove the needles

Other uses for pine needles include:

  • Tinder: Tinder is usually the soft fluffy stuff you need to catch the sparks of
    your fire. Dry pine needles are the exception and even better when combined
    with pine sap.

  • Basket weaving: Native Americans used pine needles to weave useful
    baskets and mats.

  • Mulch: White pine needles.

  • Primitive mattress stuffing. Pine needles can provide a layer of warmth
    against the snow or cold ground. Tuck a layer under the tarp.

  • Rabbit feed. It's true: rabbits eat pine needles! That's something to
    remember if you're forced to feed your rabbits. Select fresh pine needles.
    Here's the proof that rabbits like pine needles:

Pine Nuts (seeds)
Pine nuts are food for bears, chipmunks, songbirds, and squirrels, and also for
preppers! Another name for pine nuts is, pignolia. There are actually 18 species of
pine trees that produce cones with seeds in Asia, Europe and North America.Pine
nuts are not only edible, but they are delicious and treasured pantry item of the
Italians. You can and should add this treat to your meals. The easiest way is to
make a pesto from the pine nuts, the Italian way, but this article shows you so much

  • Pesto is basically a mixture of pine nuts and basil. There are many varieties,
    which may add sun dried tomatoes or other flavorings, including Parmesan

  • Toasted pine nuts add a nutty and rich flavor to your pasta dishes.

Here's how to forage for pine nuts:

Tips: You can use a simple hooked branch to help harvest the pine nuts, bringing the
cones just out of reach. Heat can liberate the nuts from the cone. You can bury them
in the ashes of small fire to help

Pine Pollen
Pine pollen is the potent new superfood with immunity boosting powers, or is it?
Actually, it's been around for centuries -- as Asian cultures have used it since the
Han dynasty more than 2,000 years ago. Also a sacred medicinal of Native
Americans, pine pollen

The powder comes from the tiny grains on male cones that produce a yellow
powdery dust that you can collect and use as a nutritious powder or you can make it
into a tincture. Not a common allergen, pine tree pollen .

  • Pine Pollen Powder - contains more nutritive qualities
  • Pine Pollen Tincture - an extract tincture of pine pollen is high in testosterone
    (pine pollen contains testosterone for androgen/estrogen balance).

Pine Sap or Resin
In his book, "Hawkes Special Forces Survival Handbook," pictured immediate left,
Mykel Hawke, Captian, U.S. Army Special Forces, and star of
Man, Woman, Wild on
the Discovery Channel, discusses the benefits of pine resin. He wres that "pine resin
makes good food and glue, and also burns very well." On the topic of food for
survival, Hawke has an excellent explanation of the ethics and honor of survival and
an important lesson on the phases of starvation that every prepper should read!

Indeed pine sap (resin) is useful in primitive living and important for survivalists to

  • Acellerent. Spruce sap is great for starting fires! Pine resin ignites easily,
    even in damp conditions.

  • Pine sap for water proofing: The resin / sap is ideal to craft waterproof
    baskets and boats. Modern day primitives can also use sap to waterproof
    boots or moccasins.

  • Pine sap for flavoring foods. Like the maple tree sap, pine sap stewed with
    meats was a favorite of Native Americans because it provided a sweet taste.

  • First aid / wound care and healing. Native Americans also used the powers
    of the sap to help fight infections. It was a medicinal remedy for gangrene!
    The resin can provide a sticky layer of protection for wounds. Think of pine sap
    as natural adhesive bandage!

  • Turpentine. Pine sap is an ingredient of turpentine, used to thin and clean
    paint and artist brushes and equipment after projects. Left is Klean-Strip
    Green, made from 100% renewable resources and derived from pine tree
    resin and denatured alcohol.  Below is a historical picture of barrels of pine
    sap being brought to a turpentine still in Iron City, Alabama:

Pine Tar
Whereas sap is the naturally produced sticky or hard stuff, pine tar comes from high
temperature carbonization of pine. It's a distillation of pinewood. Produced by slowly
burning pine roots and branches, you can create pine tar for survival purposes, the
way manufacturers use it for creating soaps and shampoos, including skin conditions

Here's how to make use of pine tar in prepping and surviving...

More uses of pine tar...

  • Use pine tar to get a better grip on your axe. Pine tar is useful in primitive
    living, but did you know that pine tar is also has a place in baseball? Major
    league baseball rules allow players to add pine tar to grip of their wooden
    baseball bats. The pine tar allows a player to loosely grip a bat and pop it.
    Pitchers, however, are not allowed to alter the ball with a foreign substance,
    including tar.

  • Wood preservative. Mariners have used wood tar has been for more than six
    centuries as a preservative for wood and rigging.

Medicinal uses of pine tar:

  • Removal of tapeworms? To remove tapeworms (flat worms) or nematodes
    (round worms) with pine tar.

  • Healing horse hooves? Any equestrian is familiar with the probelm of cracking
    in horse hooves. Keeping them primed with pine tar apparently helps fight
    fungal and bacterial infections. Pine tar provides natural soothing relief for
    corns, split hooves, quarter cracks, "hard frogs" or any type of hoof problem.
    Just the same, consult your veterinarian if one is available.

  • Controlling Dandruff? Mixing pine tar with sulfur can curb the problem of
    dandruff. Not exactly a survival use, but something good to remember about
    the versatility of  pine. (Pine tar mixed with sulfur is useful to treat dandruff,
    and marketed in present-day products.)

Happy Endings...
Lots of preppers talk about Cat-tails, and Dandelions, sometimes about pine needle
tea, but not so much about other parts of the pine, including the pine cone!
Now you understand the magical properties of pine and spruce! On your next nature
hike, take a few moments to ponder the majesty of this sacred tree.

Pine cones are incredibly useful to preppers:

  1. Kindling. Pinecones make a beautiful kindling for your firestarter because they
    catch quickly and have a high resin content, they will sustain your fire. Dip
    them in candle wax and you’ll have a nice prep.
  2. Scrubber for dishes (if you forget one in your backpack).
  3. Roof covering for survival shelter.
  4. Food. Remember pinecone seeds are edible (pine-nuts)! Getting at the nuts is
    hard, because you’ll have to whack it with a rock, but they are worth the
    effort. You can toast them over a fire and even bake or boil young ones.

And so much more. How will you use the pine in prepping?

Related Articles

  • Pine cone extract. In Japan, Pine Cone extract is a natural remedy to treat
    illness and disease ranging from the common cold to cancer.

  • Want to know more about how the native Americans used pine? Below is a
    fascinating documentary from U.C. Berkeley with complete instructions to
    study at length for survival, particularly if your bugout location is in such
    territory plentiful with the sacred conical wonder of the Paiute, Shoshone &
    Washo. This tutorial covers harvest, along with processing for a meal:

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