Fending for yourself off the land could be challenging even in some of the most favorable conditions, and it is, therefore, some necessary bushcraft skills. Bushcrafting often requires a good knowledge of the local animals and plants in addition to one’s ability to gather or catch them to prepare a good meal.
Foraging for Edible Plants
Being able to forage for lunch or dinner needs vast knowledge of all plants in your camping site. You should be aware of what to eat and what not to eat. So, what should you look for?
• Roots and tubers: Root tubers are often found in the soil beneath the stalk or vine of a plant. Most tubers, like potatoes and yams, are highly nutritious and need boiling or cooking.
• Grasses: The soft whitish tips of most grasses are usually edible and palatable. These tips could be consumed raw.
• Nuts and Seeds: The nuts and seeds of most plants are usually edible and are an excellent source of nutrition. If you taste a nut and it has an acidic or bitter taste, it is perhaps not safe for consumption.
• Fruits and Berries: Most of you are used to seeing fruits in your local grocery store, so you probably know what is right for you. In the wild, however, not all fruits are fit for human consumption. Fruits that are mainly red should be avoided unless you are sure of what fruit it is.
What Should You Avoid?
A crucial aspect of Bushcraft and foraging for food is knowing what you should not take. Here are a few guidelines you could follow:
• Bad Smelling Plants: If a fruit or plant has an unpleasant odor, it is probably not good for consumption. Try to keep off plants that have a distasteful scent.
• Bitterness or Acidity: Plants that have a “hot” or bitter taste should be avoided since they could make you sick.
• Fungus: There are mushroom species that are safe for consumption. However, it can be difficult to differentiate between their toxic counterparts. So, unless you are sure that a mushroom species is edible, it is advisable not to eat them at all.
Another option how to get proper meal in the wilderness is to choose MREs, you can read more here.