Foraging for Beginners: 5 Effective Tips

Posted June 7, 2022 by in Health + Fitness

It finally happened, one minute you were sitting in your car waiting for the food you ordered to be delivered, and the next, the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse. You take what food you have and return home knowing it will only last your family so long.

You remember reading somewhere that if 1% of the population survives, you only have about 2 years until the world permanently runs out of food, and then what? 

Eventually, you will have to forage for food, but how? You are so accustomed to others picking out food for you, that you don’t even know how to pick out ripe fruit in the grocery store, but if you continue reading, we’ll give you 5 effective tips on foraging for beginners that could very well save your life!

Woman holding a mushroom she just picked while foraging

1. Do your Research

When foraging, it is of the utmost importance that you are able to identify what you can and cannot eat. Grab a book or download a local plant guide to learn what kinds of plants are in your area.

Keep a journal and jot down the different plants you find that are edible. Take hikes on various trails and discover what types of plants you can eat that grow in abundance, but be sure to harvest away from main trails in case of contamination.

If there really was a zombie takeover, chances are we would have no internet either, but until that happens, download a plant identification app. Apps such as Leafsnap can help identify a wide variety of plants, but be sure to note it in your journal so you always have it.

2. Choose Wisely 

Don’t be caught off guard like Peeta in The Hunger Games who almost died because he never learned any foraging skills. Learn what local poisonous plants and berries are in your area.

You will need to learn to use your senses when identifying what is safe to eat. Does it smell bitter? Have thorns or prickly hairs? Does the vine have a milky white substance or anything else oozing from it? Then there is a good chance it could be poisonous.

Identifying poisonous plants and berries takes time, but with some practice, your sense of taste, smell, and sight will become better attuned.

3. Eat your Weeds

Sure, Wheaties are great, but when the apocalypse hits, and you have eaten the last box in your entire town, you can then forage up some weeds. If eating healthy is important to you then you’re in luck.

Weeds such as dandelions, plantain, red clovers, and lamb’s-quarters are safe to eat and offer many health benefits. Learn to identify them, your stomach will be thanking you.

4. Proper Storage and Cooking

When you are out foraging and collecting food, it is important to have a proper place to store your plants. Be sure that you use something breathable and nothing plastic as it can cause plants to mildew.

If you want to know what kind of bag to use and how to use it, Barebones Living can help you with all your foraging bag needs.

Make sure that all foods are properly cleaned, inspected, and cooked. Learn what tastes good now and take notes, so you will know how to prepare and cook them when the time comes. There are plenty of people out there who make foraging a hobby and can give you some great recipes if you want to learn.

5. Know the Law

Unless you really do find yourself at the end of the world, make sure to check your local foraging laws, foraging certain plants and flowers is illegal. National Parks have a law against picking flowers and harvesting plants, so know before you go.

Be respectful of wildlife and only take what you need, cut above the root so the plants can regrow, ensuring that wildlife has enough to survive.

Foraging For Beginners Starts Now

Take these foraging tips and get out there now while you still have time to prepare. Foraging for beginners can be a fun way to get the whole family involved. You will learn a new skill, and best of all you will be prepared. Grab the tent and the kids and head out for a weekend of foraging. You never know, foraging may just save your life one day.

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