Birch bark is a very versatile material with
which to make containers. It can be used to make baskets, bowls and cups,
and even canoes and shelters. It is waterproof (if there's no holes in it,
of course!). Birch bark also has other uses. It will burn even when wet,
and is therefore ideal for starting fires.
The best time to remove birch bark from the
tree is in the spring when the sap is running. However, it can be removed
at any time. Ideally you would remove the bark only from a fallen tree. If
your needs cannot be met this way, then of course take it from a living
tree. Of course doing so will likely hurt or maybe even kill the tree,
depending on the circumstances. As in all survival skills, decide this
using caretaking methods (for more info please consult the Earth
Birch bark can be rather brittle when you try
to bend it. The secret is to heat it briefly over a flame. Don't scorch
it, just heat it. You will find that it immediately becomes very pliable!
For the ultimate birch bark container, see