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Hardwood is one of the Resources in Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This resource can be used to upgrade certain gear elements. It is collected from trees and bushes.

Hardwood is one of the most important resources in the the game because it (together with Feathers) is needed to craft Arrows. Luckily it is rather abundant in the Siberian Wilderness as well as the Peruvian Jungle.

Depending on the Difficulty settings one has chosen (starting with Survivor in Rise of the Tomb Raider, or normal Exploration Difficulty in Shadow of the Tomb Raider), hardwood is also needed to light the fire at a newly discovered Base Camp; this is also true in the Endurance Mode.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Upgradable by Hardwood

The Makeshift Longbow has an upgrade that use hardwood.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Lara can carry up to 35 pieces of hardwood without upgrading her carrying capacity.

Use Hardwood to craft Silent Arrows on the run, and upgrade weapons at Base Camps.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, On-screen info

Strong branches found on saplings, and in harvested bundles. Used for crafting arrows, weapon upgrades and restoring outfits.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Survival Guide