Thinking about solutions to plug our crack in the canoe, we stumbled upon an idea that had been lurking in the back of our minds for some time now- what about pitch?
Organic pitch and tars are products obtained from the dry-distillation of wood, peat or in our case, bark. Birch-bark produces some of the finest tar and has been utilised for milennia, from Neanderthal spears to the later medieval period, where it was hugely important in a large part of Northern Europe’s economy. ‘Russian Oil’ as it was known, is a brilliant waterproofer, adhesive, disinfectant and leather dressing.
We had a bash at making some during one of our regular Wednesday volunteer sessions and were seriously impressed with the ease of manufacture and the results.