November 29, 2018
Foraging Tips for Safety
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.
- Avoid foraging alone in case of animal run-ins or injuries.
- Wear long pants and sleeves to avoid sun exposure/thorns/insects/etc.
- Waterproof boots will not only protect your feet from water, but also from other items on the forest floor.
- Bring along:
- Gloves for harvesting
- Hats and sunblock to prevent sunburns
- A belt or bag for your harvesting tools to keep your hands free
- Plenty of water and snacks to prevent dehydration and fatigue
- Bags and containers for safely transporting your foraged items back home
Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
- Keep an eye out for signs and sounds of nearby wildlife.
- Watch for plants like poison ivy and poison oak.
- Ant mounds, wasp nests, spiders etc. can be very well hidden.
- Always check your footing to avoid tripping hazards.
- Check your map/route to avoid getting lost.
- Watch for any changes in the weather to avoid getting caught in dangerous situations.
Test for Reactions
- Be mindful of your body – only add one or two new wild edibles to your diet per week.
- Test your body’s reaction by preparing a small sample. Wait a full 24 hours before consuming any more to watch for signs of a reaction.
A few others to keep in mind
- Every “rule of thumb” has exceptions (i.e. if a deer eats it, you can – not always true).
- Learn to identify the poisonous plants in the area as well to avoid mixing them up with harmless types.
- Document any of your findings for future reference or in case of a reaction.
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