Getting lost is always a real life possibility while exploring any part of nature, and having a contingency plan in place will be crucial to getting through the situation alive and well. Part of that contingency plan should be to always let someone know where you are going so that efficient rescue measures can be enacted, but other factors, including the remoteness of your location, can extend the time it takes for a rescue team to find you. In this circumstance, you may resort to survival foraging for water and sustenance. Here are a few tips to help you forage safely in a survival situation.
The haul above would be a very good one for someone who was survival foraging, as it features commonly found items that you know are edible. Acorns are packed with protein and carbohydrates, but they do require some boiling to reduce the tannins that make a raw acorn bitter tasting. Apples are of course abundant in many regions of the US in late summer through fall, and several types of mushrooms can be consumed in forests throughout the country. It is vital that you are able to identify what you are consuming before eating it, which is why it’s never too late to brush up on what will help you and what will harm you in your area.
Many urban weeds, like dandelions, sweet violets, and chickweed contain essential nutrients like vitamin C, iron, anti-oxidants, and other minerals, sometimes at twice the levels of our normal salad greens, like lettuce and spinach. Even grasses and parts of pines can be cooked or consumed raw for sustenance in a survival situation.
Filter Foraged Water
While everyone would do well to keep some kind of water purification or filtration device handy when adventuring in the outdoors, you can make a natural water filtration device using minimal resources: gravel, charcoal, and sand. Grass can also act as part of the filter if sand is not available. You will need to have or find at least 2 receptacles for this process, preferably one water bottle that can be cut in half to create the filter and the scoop to get the source water into the filter. Although it won’t be effective against bacteria and microbes, a handmade water filter will still separate out particulates and some taste.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bug Out
We used the picture above because we thought it would be good to remind you that, however gross it may seem, bugs are a significant source of protein and are commonly consumed as such in other cultures. They can be consumed raw, or speared on a stick and roasted over a fire, depending on how squeamish and/or hungry you are. Ants and termites are an ubiquitous source of protein in virtually every environment on Earth, and even larger bugs like grasshoppers, grubs, and worms can be consumed for survival purposes. As they say in every language: don’t knock it till you try it!