The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America by Lee Allen Peterson. In a survival situation, be sure to start searching for food while youa€™re still operating at full strength. Whenever possible, evaluate the condition of an animal before killing it.A  Active, lively animals have less chance of being rabid or sick, and therefore can be safely eaten (in most cases) after light cooking.
It's not always easy or legal to find and shoot deer and moose, so consider the many game animals available when trying to survive in the wilderness.
Rabbits: These are a source of lean meat only, so eat them sparingly or combine with fattier foods. Although they provide balanced nutrition, trout and many other types of pan fish provide few calories.A  A fat salmon, however, can offer a substantial meal of 900 calories.
Make a basket by rounding a green branch into a frame, then attach a lattice of leaves or porous cloth around the frame.
Tie a button or bright cloth to a line as bait, and when the fish bites, quickly pull fling him onto shore.
To prepare fish for cooking, slit it with your knife on the belly side, from the anal vent to the head. To preserve fish for future consumption, cut the flesh into thin strips and hang to dry.A  For long-term storage, dehydrate the fillets by heating them wrapped in green leaves and set atop a grate on a low fire. Crabs: All are edible, but like other shell-fish, you should keep them alive until cooking time to avoid potential toxins released in their systems. Clams: Along the Pacific shore below the Aleutian Islands, The dark meat of salt-water varieties SHOULD NOT be eaten between April and October. Bones are rich in minerals and can be salvaged if found with the carcass of an animal killed by another predator (i.e. Often neglected in survival situations, Vitamin C is essential to health and a lack of it results in scurvy. Except for hard portions, wings, and any areas of poisonous secretions, all parts of insects are usually edible.A  Remove a grasshoppera€™s legs, wings and head before eating raw or cooking.
Ants (bitter taste), spiders and moths are edible.A For red ants, hold them by the head and bite off the back side to eat. For fresh meat, cook only as long as necessary in order to reap the most nutrition.A  If available, you can use clumps of moss as oven mitts.
Quick and Dirty Oven: For food requiring several hours to cook, hot rocks make a good lasting heat source.
Tripod: Lay two or three branches with forked tops against each other teepee- style and steady them so they'll hold a load. Our wilderness survival expert reviews basic survival skills he's covered in the past and provides advice on keeping your bearings in unfamiliar settings.
A good snug, shelter — such as the simple debris hut shown here — is the first requirement of wilderness survival. If youa€™ve got an outdoors trip coming up, hopefully youa€™ve thought about what youa€™ll need to bring along.
Finding potable water comes before eating; you can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without drinking.
Thata€™s not to say that eating isna€™t important; you need to keep your energy up if youa€™re going to build a shelter and get rescued. Dona€™t forget a cooking tin-A in the event you catch a fish or a squirrel, you dona€™t want to eat it raw.
It will get cold at night, and theA best way to conserve body heat is with a survival blanket. If youa€™re lost in the wild, ita€™s usually best to sit tight, keep visible and stay alive until the cavalry gets there.
If you dona€™t want to splurge on a special signal mirror, grab one from a makeup kit or pick one up at a pharmacy for a dollar. As you may remember from the end of Titanic, even a person too weak to speak can be heard from afar with a whistle.
Set among the beautiful redwoods of Santa Cruz and Marin, the 1-Day Wilderness Skills clinic is a great way to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the work week and get back to nature!
This class is 100% hands-on and appropriate for all ages, but the pace is geared towards teens and adults (children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult). This class is about getting back to the earth, learning how our ancestors lived in harmony with our planet, and experiencing nature to its fullest. Clinics are held in two locations: the beautiful redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains (south Bay Area) and Marin (north Bay Area).
An aviator's survival vest (SRU-21P), worn by helicopter crews, also contains survival items. This 15 inch survival knife with drop point blade features a thick quality stainless steel blade with serrated top edge. I have 40 acres of undeveloped land behind my house in which we will venture into and find a suitable place to construct shelters while observing leave no trace to the best of our abilities.
Plan on an early departure Sunday morning (around 8am) so you will not need to bring breakfast.


The Boy Scouts of America Fleur-de-lis (as well as other BSA logos, words and phrases) are trademarks of the Boy Scouts of America. Most people can survive without it for 2-4 weeks, so it's not necessary to make yourself sick with unappetizing mouthfuls. Carefully remove the entrails of fish, reptiles, mammmals and large insects before eating or cooking them. Keep in mind that animals that have been harassed or chased prior to the kill release lactic acid into their muscles.A  That makes the meat more perishable, so plan to eat it the same day. Rabbits often rely on camouflage rather than flight from their predators, so pretend you dona€™t notice one as you approach it.
When retrieving, try to leave some of the eggs to insure the next generation of available prey. During these months clams consume poisonous sea organisms that cana€™t be destroyed by heat. Blood is also rich in vitamins, iron and other minerals.A  Four tablespoons can be as nutritious as 10 eggs. Depending on the situation, rawhide may be better utilized as shoemaking material, or for warmth. Drink spruce or pine needle tea to get nearly eight times the amount of C as a glass of orange juice. The most important component of a survival diet is fat, and bugs are 100% fat.A  You can catch them using a light or torch fire at night. Other ants that bite will have formic acid that can irritate your digestive tract, so heat or cook them first when possible. Cook all meat well enough to avoid germs, parasites or disease, but overcooked meat is not healthy either. You can pull out the cooled rocks after awhile and toss in newly heated rocks to keep the soup stewing along. Remove the pouch below neck, then cut or rip open body with your hands above and below the ribs. Save the drained blood for soup, as it's highly nourishing.A  Cut the animal around each ankle. For long-term storage, cut in long strips, trimming off fat (save this) and hang this meat in the sun and wind until it's hard and black.A  Fat makes meat rancid. Pliers, screwdrivers, a saw blade, a bottle opener and more, all in a tiny, lightweight package.
It doesna€™t need to have everything, but basic medications, splints, trauma dressings and gauze are all musts.
Therea€™s plenty to eat in the wild (humans got along just fine before the arrival of supermarkets), such asA rodents, bugs, weeds and acorns.
During the day, you can use its reflective material to signal for help, spread it out to catch rainwater or to keep your stuff dry if it starts to rain.
Thin but strong, you can use it for a multitude of purposes, from holding your shelter together to fishing line.A Super strong (550 pound test strength), ita€™s made of seven nylon strands woven together, so you can break it open and tie those end to end if youa€™re short on length. There is something here for everybody – come with an open mind and be ready to learn! Click one of the REGISTER links below and you will be taken to our online reservation system where you can view schedules and locations. You will have until dark to complete your shelter for your overnight living accommodations! Foreign foods should be ingested in small amounts until your digestive system acclimates to the new meal source. Alternatively, give the animal time to recover by capturing it when possible and killing it later. Extract the marrow from large bones and cook.A  The less cooked, the more nutritious it will be.
As for the oven, dig a hole, line it with hot dry rocks (see caution above), then insert the food on a bed of green leaves.A  Now you can cover the hole to seal in the heat. After the gases escape, penetrate the skin completely but not so deep that you cut the intestines.
A A good knife is crucial as well, withA a four to six inch blade, a solid handle and a non-slip grip. For your kit, theA surest and most lightweight method is to have some purification tablets in your pack.
But even if youa€™re prepared to tap into your hunting and gathering instincts, bring along someA energy bars. Since all three are light and compact, and considering just how important it is toA have a fire to keep warm and signal for help, ita€™s wise to have all three on hand. The simplest way to do that is with a GPS.A There are lots of affordable options on the market, so ita€™s best to have one along.
No matter what your background, from the novice camper to the seasoned backpacker, there is something for you in this class.
Learning these timeless traditions, such as native shelter building and fire-by-friction, helps to build self-esteem and awareness from knowing YOU CAN SURVIVE! Exact directions, maps, recommended packing lists, and other details will all be provided during the registration process.


In a survival situation, when slaughtering or dressing animals, always drain the blood into some form of container. In the issues to come, Tom will strive to provide us all with a deeper, more intimate understanding of nature and the art of survival. Will you be able to make a fire, find clean water, signal for help, and keep warm at night? But make sure you know how to use a compass and have one with you, since you never know when the GPS will break or lose its signal. You WILL build a shelter, you WILL make fire, you WILL learn about edible plants, see and learn about native style traps, and experience several other indigenous skills. Childcare is not available at this course – it is the responsibility of parents to monitor their children so that our instructors can focus on teaching to the group. Survival kit includes a hollow grip with a compass top to store items within the knife itself, as well as additional pouches on the sheath to hold the rest. Generally speaking, it's the very small ones whose poison is deadly, not so much the larger ones. Now you need to open up the cavity and start cutting the intestines away from the belly of the animal. At Home in the WildernessSurvival training involves far more than just learning basic survival skills necessary to endure hardship. When preparing upland birds, such as grouse, pheasant, quail and partridge, skin or pluck the bird and soak in cold water for one to two hours to remove excess blood. Cut the windpipe (trachea) and cut away all the attachments of the heart and pull out the chest contents.
The mechanics of constructing a shelter, finding food and water, and building a fire are crucial, but they're only part of the whole. The art of survival is a dynamic philosophy unto itself, a doorway to greater understanding of yourself and the world in which you live.Sadly, the conveniences our civilization has devised have separated most of us from nature.
Because we no longer have to live directly from the earth, because we no longer have to hunt and gather our food, many of us no longer understand the web of life. People buy apples in a supermarket, but fail to acknowledge the tree from which the fruit was plucked or the energy drawn from the soil to produce that fruit.
They buy bread but fail to see the wheat, first growing green in the fields, then turning golden and ripe, and finally falling at harvest. They buy meat neatly packaged in plastic trays, never thinking of the animals sacrificed.This is not only regrettable, but also dangerous.
As a species, the more we remove ourselves from nature, the more likely we are to unthinkingly abuse and destroy it. And as individuals, we place ourselves at risk each time we enter the natural world without a full knowledge of the ancient truths and realities of that world.Granted, you may never be faced with a life-or-death situation. You may never need to actually use any of the skills you'll develop from survival training.
But the attitude and perspective you'll gain while mastering those skills will be useful to you always. Because in order to learn how to survive, you must learn how to reconnect yourself with nature. And in so doing, you will become a much more aware, involved, vital creature of the Earth.A ReviewIn my initial series of articles for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, I covered the fundamental techniques involved in providing shelter, food and water, and fire. Of course, there isn't sufficient space here for me to completely explain everything I covered earlier. You'll have to go back and read the first articles in the series for additional details on such relatively complex techniques as starting a fire with a bow drill or stalking and trapping.A Matter of PrioritiesIf you find yourself lost or for some other reason stranded in the woods, the first thing to remember is to stay calm. If you know before you go into the wilderness that you'll be able to cope with any situation that might arise, you won't be as likely to panic if you are faced with some kind of difficulty.Keep a cool head. Check, too, to make sure there are no dead limbs or other objects above your campsite that could fall on you or your shelter.Now, find a long, strong pole to serve as the ridge of the shelter and prop one end up on a stump, rock, forked tree, or other support that's at least two feet off the ground.
Use them only to supplement your water intake or to temporarily stave off thirst.The best techniques for gathering water are [1] building and using a solar still, and [2] collecting morning dew. You'll find complete instructions for putting together a solar still in "Finding Water in the Wilderness." In my opinion, though, the latter method is the simplest and safest. Get up early in the morning and, working as quickly as you can (dew doesn't last long!), wipe the moisture from grass, rocks, and leaves, and wring the liquid into a container or your mouth.
However, a good blaze is useful for cooking food, making tools, sterilizing water, and melting snow.
This will cradle your fire and keep the hot coals grouped together in the middle, where they'll burn slower and longer.
It's also a good idea to build a U-shaped reflector around the side of the fire, with its "mouth" facing you. Unfortunately, I don't have the room here to begin even a cursory discussion of wild-plant identification, but most regular MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers already have at least some knowledge of the various forageables in nature's pantry.
On the other hand, be careful never to consume any creatures that show signs of sickness, and if possible, cook all meat before eating it.



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