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Survival Food In the Wilderness

Survival Food In the Wilderness

Although we generally think of survival food in the wilderness as pertaining to getting lost in the mountains or other backwoods place, the "wilderness" can be your own backyard if a major disaster or emergency has occurred. Even if you have stocked an excellent supply of survival food in anticipation of trouble, it may well happen that this has also been destroyed. The recent tsunami in Japan was so severe that entire towns were swept away. While a disaster of this magnitude is probably unlikely where you are, there may come a time when you will need to get your food from nature.


If you live near a water source, it is likely to contain fish. Fish have a very good level of protein and can help to provide an adequate diet in an emergency. Although it will be much easier to obtain fish if you have a rod, you can also catch fish easily without one. Living near the ocean means that you can use the tides to your advantage. Build a crescent-shaped wall of rocks where the water is about knee high. It is likely that fish will swim behind this wall and then be trapped there when the tide goes out. You can easily catch them then. Believe it or not, it is also fairly easy to catch fish with your bare hands. Let your hands dangle in the water and wait. Usually, eventually a fish will swim between your hands and all you have to do is grasp it.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles can be used for food, and snakes are said to have flesh that tastes like chicken. Approach any snake, unless you are familiar with the species, as you would a poisonous specimen and dispatch it with a rock or stick. Turtles can also make excellent eating, the only caution to be observed here is with box turtles, which can eat death cap mushrooms with impunity. The toxin from the mushroom is stored in the turtle’s flesh, and can cause illness or death in those who eat it. As box turtles are land species, sticking to turtles that live in the water will assure your safety.

The Vegetable Kingdom

There are many edible plants growing in the wilderness, but there are also many that can cause problems. If you have any knowledge of wild plants, you will probably be able to harvest these to provide food for yourself and your family. If you have no idea of what may be poisonous, a good rule of thumb is if it’s bitter, acid tasting, foul smelling, or burns, it should not be eaten. Any test of a plant should be done using a very small piece.

Mushrooms and other fungi are often abundant in forests and meadows. The advice here is to avoid them completely. Unless you are an absolute expert in identifying mushrooms, there is simply too much margin for error to take a chance. While some mushrooms will only make you ill, there are ones that will cause a severe hallucinogenic experience and others that will cause death.

Whatever you can find to eat in the wild, make sure to properly prepare it. Knowing how to make a cardboard box oven and solar cooking options are great tools to know in case of an emergency.