There's nothing mysterious or strange about fatwood. But many people seem to know about fatwood only by reputation, and not from any actual experience finding it and using it. Fatwood is known by many names: fat lighter, lighter knot, rich lighter, and heart pine are just a few of the common titles. Whatever you choose to call it, fatwood comes from the heartwood of pine trees and a few other resinous conifers. As a tree stump dies, the pine resin can become concentrated in the heartwood, which then becomes hard and rot resistant. Once this happens, the center of the stump and its tap root can be great sources of fatwood. You may also get lucky and find fatwood in the joints where pine limbs intersect with the trunk. Fatwood is prized because it lights readily with an open flame, burns well, and it burns even in wet weather. The resin in the wood makes fatwood almost waterproof and very flammable, which are both great qualities in fire starting. The fatwood can be cut and split into small sticks for kindling, or carved into shavings for tinder. To find yourself a ready supply of this fire starting wonder, look through a pine forest until you come across a stump with only the center remaining. This center (heart wood) should seem solid. Cut off some pieces of this and give them a look and a sniff. If they look like perfectly good wood (not rotten at all), then smell the pieces. If it really is fatwood, it will smell strongly of pine cleaner and resin, with the sharp odor of turpentine. Fatwood is commercially available, but it's more useful to know how to find it than where to buy it.