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Does anyone forage while they hike?


jay
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Just a curiosity here, does anyone forage when they are out?  There is a veritable multitude of edible things in the wild.  As a kid, my family and I used to go out and forage for a number of things, wild grapes for jelly, nuts in the fall and a number of plants, as well.  Foraging seems to have gone the way of the Dodo in recent times, just curious if anyone does and what they collect?  I realize this will vary from region to region but am always interested on edible plants in any area.

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I certainly don't rely on foraging as a source of food, but I eat plenty of berries when I'm in the Cascades, and the occasional wild onion in the Sierra.  I don't know much about edible plants, but these few are easy to identify.

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oh I don't try to live completely off the land, just keep an eye out for treats in the fall.  Finding a good stand of pecan or walnut trees or my favorites.  A good blackberry bramble patch or ripe mulberries are good too.

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Yeah, I regularly usually lightly forage as a way to supplement my trail bag chow. I'll research what's available before the trek. Even then, it's about lightly foraging in way that allows plants to recover rather than unsustainably wrecking eco havoc by being greedy.

Too many items to list but teas made from leaves/needles, roots, bark, fungus(chaga), mullein(Verbascum) usually are enjoyed as well as the found coconut, mango, avocado, citrus, barbados cherry(Acerola), wild taro, breadfruit, jack fruit, Durian, coffee beans, guava, passion fruit(lillikoi), Natal plum(Carrisa), Java plum, seaweed,  etc in Hawaii are a treat.

Ramps, thimble berries, huckleberries, blueberries, ginger, wild apple, chanterelles, Hen of the Woods, burdock, purslane, clover, sorrel, wild mustard(Brassica)Prickly Pear cactus, chickweed,  dandelion,  Brook Lettuce(Saxifrage spp), gooseberries, daylillies, Nasturtums, filberts, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts(out west) etc great on the east coast.

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I tend to do it the same way, it's more for me about plant identification and the odd treat now and again.  I will grab up some wild garlic should I find it, but I don't take the "Billy goat" approach and take it all. 

One thing I stay strictly away from, however, is mushrooms; I have not learned how to properly identify them and don't take chances.  I know there are some great ones that grow in the wild but do not trust my skill sat identifying them. 

I know my limitations :)

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  • 2 months later...

I've wanted to learn, but I think it's daunting for me. So many plants, and folliage. But I recently learned about miners lettuce Claytonia perfoliata, it was eaten by miners back in the day for vitamin c. I saw a ton last month while hiking and I had to know what they were. Didn't try it though. 

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23 hours ago, Pinknika said:

I've wanted to learn, but I think it's daunting for me. So many plants, and folliage. But I recently learned about miners lettuce Claytonia perfoliata, it was eaten by miners back in the day for vitamin c. I saw a ton last month while hiking and I had to know what they were. Didn't try it though. 

I think it is good that you want to learn and highly advise it for anyone that spends a fair amount of time outdoors.  I have been thinking about this a lot in light of information that has been in the news about a lady (Inchworm, I think she was called) that died on the AT a while ago.  According to the information I have read, she died of starvation and exposure. 

Understand, I am not trying to take anything away from this tragedy, simply stating that knowledge in this subject can, at the very least, provide some peace of mind.  Also, it is always a nice surprise to find a few tasty things growing in the wild and add something different to your trail rations.

I learned a lot of these skills growing up from my parents and grandparents and it was years later before I realized that not that many people these days are familiar with edible wild growing things. 

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  • 7 months later...
RealestNature

I definitely like to forage as I hike.  I think it's part of what makes backpacking so cool.  I still bring all the necessary provisions, but it's a good way to keep the hike interesting.

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On 6/5/2016 at 2:46 PM, Pinknika said:

I've wanted to learn, but I think it's daunting for me. So many plants, and folliage. But I recently learned about miners lettuce Claytonia perfoliata, it was eaten by miners back in the day for vitamin c. I saw a ton last month while hiking and I had to know what they were. Didn't try it though. 

I've been knocking out the Cali Coastal Trail in large segments. Lots to forage along the coast. You should expand your knowledge of edibles in a way that isn't so daunting. Miners lettuce is a good place to start.   

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