Foraging Mistakes That Could Be Fatal


(Modern – What’s one of the most misleading bits of information about gathering wild edibles?

• Easy to find

• Hard to find

• Poisonous

• Availability

Answer: Availability. Here’s why…

Foraging for wild edibles is one way to sustain the body when lost in the woods, or even when facing a food shortage in urban areas. There are a surprising number of edible plants that grow in areas many people would never consider looking.

Unfortunately, there are some problems that come along with foraging, especially for those who do not have the proper training. Here are some common foraging misconceptions and mistakes that could become lethal.

Availability of Edible Plants

Many people have the misconception that anyone can survive in the woods by eating wild berries. There are a few issues with this plan, though. For starters, if it isn’t the right season, there won’t be any berries growing. Second, some berries are highly poisonous to humans.

Even for seasoned bushcrafters who know which plants are safe to eat, relying on wild edibles can prove difficult in the wrong season. Just watch a season of Alone, and it quickly becomes apparent just how hard finding reliable food sources can be in a survival situation.

Misidentification of Poisonous Plants

Eating a plant that appears safe but is actually poisonous to humans can quickly turn a survival scenario into a life-threatening emergency. Many safe-to-eat plants in the wild have poisonous look-alikes that could prove deadly. There are many books on the market for identifying wild edible plants, as well as apps for mobile phones. However, the best bet is to get training from a professional.

Contaminated Plants

Even if a plant is edible, its surrounding environment can make it dangerous to consume. For example, if a plant grew in water contaminated by chemicals from an industrial factory, eating it is a bad idea. The same goes for plants growing alongside roads and highways, as they can absorb toxic fumes and chemicals from passing vehicles.

Foraging is a vital skill capable of keeping anyone fed in a survival situation — if they have the proper knowledge. Even without training, there are ways to test whether a plant is poisonous before consuming it. To see how it’s done, check out this article.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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