Fire is an important necessity when you are in the wild. It can give you warmth to avoid hypothermia in cold areas, boil water so you can drink it, cook your food, as well as give you light to keep wild animals at bay in the darkness of night. If you’re unsure of how to make a torch in need to
What Items are Necessary to Make a Torch?
To make a torch when you are in the wild, you will need some type of handle so you can hold it and walk with it or put it in the ground to use in lieu of a campfire. You will also need material on the end and some type of fuel to soak it in so that it burns slowly. The best man-made torches will burn in the same manner as a lantern with a wick, fuel, and a handle. Torches can be made relatively simply using several different items that you may find off the beaten trail or in the wilderness.
The Simplest Torch
You can make a very basic and simple torch within a few minutes, however, it requires a manmade fuel, which you may or may not have on hand. Here’s what you need to do:
- Cut a branch or limb from any tree that is green.
- Wrap strips of fabric around one end and tuck the ends in it.
- Soak the fabric in a fuel, such as gasoline, oil, animal fats, such as bacon grease or wax. Make certain the fabric is completely saturated so it doesn’t just burn up quickly and fall to the ground.
- Light the fabric with your matches or flint.
The Pine Pitch Torch
According to Gone Outdoors, if you don’t have access to a manmade fuel, you can still make a great torch. Pine trees have a sticky sap underneath the bark called pine pitch. This is an excellent fuel for a torch. You have most likely had a campfire at some point in time that you put pine logs in and noticed that pine burns very hot and bright. This is because of the sap in the pine wood. If you need to make a pin pitch torch, follow these instructions:
- Cut off a pine branch with your folding saw or hatchet and split one end of the branch into four or five sections. Make sure that the tree is living.
- Shave off some thin shavings of bark from a pine tree and press them down into the slits between the sections. This serves a dual purpose of keeping the slits open so air can get into them and the shavings work as your tinder and wick for your torch.
- After you light the torch, it will burn and wick the sap from the pine branch and burn for about an hour or one and a half hours.
- When the torch extinguishes itself from lack of fuel, you can easily make another. If you are on the go with your torch, you can make several at one time and carry them with you.
Alternate Materials to Make a Torch
If you don’t have an extra shirt to tear into strips and tie on the end of a branch for a torch, you can use toilet paper instead. The trick to this is to roll the toilet paper tightly together so it resembles a rope and then you wrap the toilet paper around the branch and tuck the ends in. You will need to soak it in some sort of fuel, just are the fabric type torch.
If you happen to find a pine knot on a tree to make your pine pitch torch, it will burn much longer because the swirls in the wood contain more sap per square inch than a simple, straight branch.
According to the Society of Primitive Technology, if there are no pine trees in your area, you can use other items to light for a torch. In swampy areas, you may find some cattails. You can just pull up a cattail and light it for a small torch. Hickory bark is good torch material because it burns longer than pine pitch and when it becomes dim, you simply blow on it to make it flare up. You can also use bamboo or river cane strips for your homemade torch.