When you’re on a hike or wild camping, it’s a good idea to know about the flora and fauna that surround you. Ideally, you will already have all the food and water you need to sustain you through your trip, but supplementing your diet with a few natural foods is a great way to connect to the landscape.
However, foraging can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. While there are plenty of things to eat all around you, recognizing the things that could cause a serious tummy upset (or much, much worse!) is essential. Similarly, if you are planning to hunt or fish, you must know how to cook your catch properly to avoid food poisoning.
Fishing and Hunting
If you are passing a lake and you are allowed to fish, this can be a great opportunity to catch your next meal. Sites like Fishing Sun are great for learning tips and tricks to increase your chances of a catch but you should also look at guides to the local area to see which kinds of fish you might stumble across.
Hunting is another good way to find your next meal but you must remember to abide by ethical hunting rules. This means that you need to aim for a quick kill and you have practiced your technique at a range to ensure a good shot. If you plan to cook your game, you should also make sure that you have a solid butchers technique and you know which parts of the animal to avoid.
You must cook fish and meat properly to minimize your chances of food poisoning. Primitive cooking methods such as placing the meat on a stone in the center of a fire still work just fine though you may need to be a little more patient for the results! However you choose to cook over your fire, always check the meat is done before tucking in!
Foraging and Gathering
Foraging for ingredients in the wild requires imagination, excellent recognition and an appetite for something different. Lots of wild foods aren’t sold in the supermarkets and might seem a bit weird at first but if you’re willing to experiment, your taste for the wild is sure to increase.
It’s really important to look at the area you are foraging in to determine whether it is safe and acceptable for you to gather. Always make sure that you forage from healthy plants and you avoid toxic areas (such as the roadside). Unlike meat and fish, lots of foraged plants are suitable for eating raw. However, if you’re interested in making a stew, plenty of plants will provide extra flavoring and nutrients to enjoy.
The best way to forage is to keep your eyes out as you walk. While there are many areas that are well-known for particular plants, you never know when you could spot something delicious along the way! Keeping a journal of the plants you collect is also a nice way to document your travels and your changing tastes.