A nightmare of almost every camper or hiker might look like the following – you’re lost in the woods without food or the ability to get help. So what do you do? You might search for edible plants to keep you going. That’s what this post is about…helping you find edible plants.
However, and this is super important, absent a deep knowledge of plant life
, you should avoid eating plants in the wilderness if at all possible
. In fact, the human body can last for days without food, which, even under the most trying of circumstances, should be enough time to make it back to civilization or find help.
In addition, if you ever venture into the wilderness, it’s a good practice to carry a guide book on
edible plant life
. A highly recommended book is the The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants. Click here to read more about it on Amazon.
You also might want to study the
Universal Edibility Test
, a copy of which I provide at the end of this post. Essentially, it helps you in determining if a plant is edible, while minimizing the risk of ingesting a poisonous plant.
To sum up, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to anything you might put in your body – this includes plant life.
Some “Plant” Life Caveats to Keep in Mind:
- Not all portions of a plant are edible. For example, the “meat” of an apple is edible, but its seeds contain cyanide!
- Plants near a roadside could be polluted with oil or other car waste. Thus, it’s best to avoid them.
- Stay away from any plant that smells like root beer. Or almonds.
- Examine plant life for worms, insects, animal life or other parasites. Should you find any, don’t eat the plant.
- Same goes with mold – don’t take a chance on a plant that’s moldy or has any fungus on it.
- Avoid all mushrooms.
- Finally, do your homework. While it might not be possible to carry a plant guide book, read about plants before you go on an extended wilderness trip. Edible and non-edible plants (i.e. poisonous) can look very similar. So make sure you do your homework in advance. It could save your life!