The paper of the white birch tree is used for canoe, basket and craft construction. Native Americans have used birch bark containers for storage for generations. Children's toys and sleds have also been crafted from the versatile bark. The white birch has a layer of paper thin bark with distinctive gray and black coloration on top of it. A downed or dead tree is the best source of preserved bark that you can strip and gather for your craft projects.
Search for fallen or dead birch trees. Be alert for any tree top that is rotted, as it is an extreme hazard. Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from insects and possible splinters.
Cut a vertical line straight down the trunk.
Pry under the darker inner bark with the knife blade to loosen the edges of the piece.
Pry the loose edges with your gloved fingers, and lift up on the bark. Gently lift and peel the bark strips away from the tree.
Brush the harvested bark with a soft bristle brush to remove any dirt. Place the strips into a carrying container.