How to Make Improvised Pitch Glue

By James Barton â€¢  Updated: 12/01/18 â€¢  6 min read

Glue is an invaluable asset in any survival situation. It is used in repairing tents, clothing, and tarps. You can also use it to improvise certain tools such as fletching on an arrow. Furthermore, it is invaluable as a sealant for containers and canoes (water rafts). It also comes in handy if you want to make a waterproof covering and setting traps.

Finding yourself in the wild without any form of glue can be devastating. But, you cannot scavenge glue in the wild. So, you’d want to improvise it from the natural sources available in the woods. The pine tree is a treasure trove in the wild. Not only does it make it possible for you to make glue from its pitch, but it also has numerous uses in a survival situation.

The Many Uses of Pine Tree in the Wild

Pine trees are incredibly versatile sources in the wild. You can use its roots to make cordage, tea from its needles, and tar or pitch from its sap. The resin from the pine tree is highly flammable. You can use it as an accelerant in a fire for short burst of heat.

The sap of the pine tree contains natural compounds that can inhibit the multiplication of microorganisms. This feature makes the pine tree sap ideal as a sealant for open cuts as well as deep flesh wounds. The pine resin is easy to carry. Just cut a hardened piece and let it dry. When you finally need to use it, only heat the resin, and it will melt back to the liquid state that is readily usable.

How Do You Make Pitch Glue From Pine?

Improvising pitch glue is not a difficult undertaking as long as you have the right materials and you can follow a few simple and straightforward instructions.

The Ingredients You Need

As you can see, these ingredients are readily available in the jungle. In evergreen forests, the pitch is often found where a tree has been injured usually by an insect or other animals, falling tree or other natural hazards. If you cannot see a damaged coniferous tree, then you can tap it to obtain its sap. Because you cannot maintain it in the liquid form, prepare to heat it before you start the process of making glue.

Charcoal is also very easy to get. If you have not started the fire as yet, then look for abandoned campsites. Perhaps, the uses of such sites had dug a fire pit and started a fire. Dry droppings from herbivores are also readily available. The best areas to look for these supplies are water points and open grasslands.

Each of these ingredients achieves an action for the successful making of pitch glue. The pitch provides the required stickiness. Dry droppings add the requisite strength and flexibility to the concoction.  Charcoal, on the other hand, adds further strength and makes a more brittle texture.

Regarding measurements, you will need something like two parts of the pitch, 1 part droppings, and 1 part droppings. You can proportionally increase the volumes of each supply depending on how much glue you wish to make.

Steps to Making Glue

Once you gather enough supplies, embark on the glue making process. Follow these simple steps. In a few minutes, you’ll have all the glue you need to take care of your emergency.

Step 1: Melt and Strain the Pitch

The first things you need to do are first melt and strain your pitch. This will help in removing any number of impurities that might interfere with the performance of the improvised glue. Use a tin over a fire. Be careful to use an unimportant container because the pitch can ruin the pot.

If the resin catches fire, put out the fire and abduct the container from the fire to lessen the heat. The longer the compounds in the resin are exposed to heat the higher are the chances of destruction of the critical ingredients responsible for the stickiness of the stuff.

For straining, use a strainer or colander if you have one. In the absence of any of these tools, you can use an improvised material such as ‘old man’s beard’ lichen.

Step 2: Mix Charcoal and Droppings

Once the pitch is clean and still hot, take time to crush or grind the droppings and charcoal to a gritty consistency. You can then mix the charcoal and the droppings to the hot pitch. Stir the mixture to ensure it is well mixed.

Step 3: Prepare the Glue for Use

Finally, you will need to prepare your improvised glue for use. The glue works only in the liquid state because it is hot glue. If you let the glue cool down, it will harden. Heating will melt the glue once again making it ready to apply.

Just leave the pitch glue in the can and then heat the can next to a fire. A more rudimentary technique is to coat the terminals of sticks with the adhesive. When you finally need to use the glue, just heat one terminal of the sticks and then apply the liquid glue as needed.

Special Tip

Getting right with improvised stuff sometimes is daunting on the first attempt. It is even more difficult in things that require mixing some ingredients in specific ratios.

That is why you may be forced to play around with the ratio of materials for some time to get pitch glue that is perfect for your needs. If you get it right, you can be sure to have an easy to make, robust, waterproof and all-natural glue.


You realize that it is not hard to make improvised pitch glue from all-natural materials. One hundred percent of the glue used in the civilized world is made from artificial chemicals. In an emergency, the stores selling these products may be compromised making it impossible for you to access the commercially produced glues. Honing these skills will help you have a reliable alternative if you need glue for any reason.

James Barton

James Barton

Hi, I'm James. I am the founder and main editor for The Survival Corps. I have been a part of the survival and prepping community since my mid 30's as I downsized and started to prepare to be self sufficient in a time of crisis.