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Survival Chef Outdoors

A walk in the mountains of northern Canada reveals low growing fruiting plants adapted to the subarctic climate. Some of these wild edibles included . Crowberry ( Empetrum nigrum), Bearberries ( Arctostaphylos spp), Arctic Blueberry ( Vaccinium spp), Cloudberry, ( Rubus spp) , snowberry ( Gaultheria spp), as well as some other types of berries found at lower elevations. These wild edible berries are sweet to tart to the taste, are good for a topping on cereals, pastries as well as jams, jellies and Preserves. Gathering of sufficient quantities will provide for a tasty mixed berry pie.

There can be some fear, misunderstanding and even a bit of intimidation when it comes to foraging wild edibles with children, however it doesn’t have to be that way. People have been gathering wild edibles since long before the onset of this modern industrialized lifestyle that we have grown comfortable with.

Foraging (also sometimes called wildcrafting) is the art of identifying, collecting herbs and other plants that grow in the wild for food and other needs.

What about poisonous plants ? Should Children learn to Forage? It is important in teaching foraging to kids that it is done in a way that teaches safety without excessive fear and it’s not as hard as it might seem. There are many wild edibles reference manuals to choose from, it is best to select ones with the most accurate information and full color illustrations.

Yes, it’s true there are some plants that are poisonous, but time and careful study will help increase your awareness.

poison hemlock or (Conium spp) is sometimes mistaken for wild carrot ( Daucus carota). Wild carrot is is edible while young and tender, while the alkaloid poisons from the poison hemlock can be lethal. Great caution should be taken to learn the differences between these two plants in order to clearly identify what is safe to eat. The wild carrot has a very pronounced carrot like odor, the young tender flowers can be sauteed or used as a garnish, the leaves are edible in smaller quantities and the very young roots can be cooked like ordinary carrots.

Properly identifying wild mushrooms takes skill, it requires knowledge and understanding of their parts. There are many poisonous look-a-likes. This increases possibility of mistaking a safe edibles for a dangerous toxic specimens. Before assuming that any wild mushroom is edible, it should be properly identified. Accurate determination and proper identification of a species is the only safe way to ensure edibility, and the only safeguard against possible accident. Deadly poisonous mushrooms that are frequently confused with edible mushrooms and responsible for many fatal poisonings include several species of the genus Amanita, in particular, Amanita phalloides, the death cap.

Foraging for and improvised

Bedding : Cattails

Some of the wild plants that produce soft fluff are; dandelions tops, cottonwood tree, milk weed pods, cotton grass, feather reed grass and common reed. However the quality and quantity from these sources is somewhat lacking. If you need improvised bedding and would like something somewhat softer that straw then consider a cattail fluff pillow.

Cattail plants do however produce enough material in the form of fluff on their mature flower stalks. To produce improvised bedding in this form, first gather what you need for all components needed for sleeping arrangements ( sleep mat & pillow etc) .Gather from the most pristine sources of possible. Strip down the cattail stalks and pack a ready made pillow case or sack if you have one ( an equivalent can be made from a cloth bag or sack). Cattail fluff fibers are fine and can poke threw the fabric material so if possible doubling the sack material may help.

Fill the bedrole and or pillow case to capacity and seal end by sewing or using improvised adhesive materials. Test it out for comfort and adjust accordingly.

The Dakota hole fire pit is an efficient, simple fire design that produces low profile fire for cooking and warmth.

This fire burns from the top down, drawing a steady stream of fresh air from a connecting air hole as it burns. Because the air is drawn around around the fuel, efficient combustion is produced in a small space - producing hotter fires with less wood. This is very useful when low profile/ discrete camp outs are in order. Some of the benefits of this type of fire vs the standard surface camp fire are.

  • It's hard to spot from a distance because it's below ground level.

  • It produces less smoke.

  • It's wind resistant.

  • Uses less fuel.

  • It's compact.

Laetiporus is the genus of edible mushrooms oftentimes referred to as chicken of the woods.

Chicken of the woods is usually found growing on dead or dying hardwood trees; most often on oak trees from summer to autumn. It is said to have a meaty texture which tastes like it's chicken . These mushrooms need to be properly cooked before serving in order to avoid GI upset with some people, my favorite method is stir fry for dinner. For those newbies to foraging you may wish to consider this easily identifiable mushroom can be a good starting place due to it's unique texture, taste and distinctiveness.

Do not eat any wild fungi that has not been properly identified, great caution should be used when foraging.

A Quinzee shelter is esentually a hollowed out mound of snow that is warmer on the inside due to it's natural, thick insulation. Quinzee shelters are typically thought of as utilitarian structures constructed in times of need or as an instrument of survival. They are short term use structures of low durability built in short order. Interior bedding can be made for comfort from spruce boughs, this being the only advanced feature. All snow shelters in common will eventually collapse or melt.

Safety precautions should be taken and consideration for poor snow conditions, warm weather, blowing rain and warm temps. Collapse poses a danger of suffocation. Use this type of shelter only when no other is achievable.

Archery is a skill that is achievable with practice and one the children can learn. A good hunting bow set is a wise investment for anyone with the prepper mindset along with the practice and acquired skills to effectively use them. Some of the advantages to having a good bow set are. - -

  • Bow sets are light weight and portable.

  • Inexpensive low maintenance.

  • Can be hand crafted.

  • Legal restrictions and bureaucratic red tape on other methods of hunting.

  • Whisper quiet operation, low profile.

  • Ammunition ( arrows ) are reusable.

  • Can be used as a primary or secondary hunting tool.

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