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Just like any other type of wood, birch bark has a variety of different beneficial uses. Although harvesting this timber must be done so carefully. There are 9 different ways birch bark can save your life in an SHTF emergency.
Irreversible harm can befall any living tree if you remove the inner layer of bark. As a result, it can stop the flow of live-giving sap within the wood. Despite these possibilities, that should be avoided at all costs.
Birch bark retains the following uses if you are able to safely obtain the lumber.
9 Ways Birch Bark Can Save Your Life
White birch is typically used most often as it has a cardboard-like consistency. Harvesting the bark in early spring or summer is the best time to do so.
A smart and common usage for birch wood is making wooden frames for canoes, small boats, and shelters.
Baskets and Body Armor
Other additional usages, good especially for survival situations, include baskets made out of thin strips of this wood and body armor to protect your chest, arms, and legs.
These are somewhat impractical uses when you are in a more urgent situation. But if you have the time and the resources, they can be very easily interwoven into suitably protective and helpful gear and tools.
More practical gadgets and items you can make out of birch wood include tinder and storage containers.
Putting together a bowl to store water, food, or save and serve either of the two is relatively simple to do.
You can make shallow slits in just the outer layer of the wood and, once cut it will almost peel itself from the base of the tree. Roll this new layer inside out, and use the inside to carry items and put it to use for shelter roofing and for boats or canoes.
Cordage can be made from the aforementioned inner birch by cutting long strips, separating the fibers, and entwining them into a sturdy rope.
Heating birch wood makes it more pliable, however, do not get it too close to your fire, as it could blacken or burn the timber and make it less usable. Heated birch, when done correctly, will be easier to make into a canoe or boat’s wooden frame.
As birch wood is waterproof, this is a perfect usage for it.
Another amazing birch property is its medicinal properties. The inner bark’s oils work as an astringent, which can be used to treat minor wounds.
Birch bark can be eaten cooked or ground into a powder for bread and as a thickening agent in other foods. Many Native Americans believed that the inner bark was famine food; however, it is actually high in starch and vitamin C.
The sap of this tree has a flavor described as wintergreen and is known for making tea.
Instructions for Birch Bark Tea:
- Bring water and the sap to a boil,
- peel some of the inner bark into small strips
- place strips into a makeshift cup
- pour the boiling water and sap over the bark
- let it steep
Now you have a freshly made cup of birch bark wintergreen tea. This is my favorite tea when I go camping. I just love this stuff.
If you are able to harvest some of the outer bark of the birch wood, it is known for containing antibacterial properties. This makes it ideal for carrying water and food.
By heating up some of the wood, it will become pliable enough for you to mold into a suitable bowl. Use a rock to aid in these efforts. Once your bowl is made, creating a sealed lid will keep any food or water from contamination.
Although birch wood cannot be found everywhere, this valuable information could be vital should you ever be in a situation where this beneficial timber is available. Keep this knowledge with you at the back of your brain – it could very well save your life.