Best books on foraging and living off the land?

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Kenny Lee

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Things like mushrooms, berries, roots, plants for food and medicine? Basically I want it to focus on North America so if SHTF I might be able to get some calories like Bear Grylls.
 

old_anorak

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Find an old (pre 95) Boy Scout manual. They are pretty loaded with information. The older you can find, the better.
 

Danil54grl

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Things like mushrooms, berries, roots, plants for food and medicine? Basically I want it to focus on North America so if SHTF I might be able to get some calories like Bear Grylls.
Be careful. . . remember the guy that set off from California to Alaska and lived in a bus? He had a forage book, but ate a plant that was simulair looking to what he "thought" it was. He ended up dying from it. I would also love to learn, but haven't found anyone in my area yet to teach me. I was able to locate a few thing that I was confidant on though. Some mushrooms and purple passion.
 

Danil54grl

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Oh and blackberries, mayhaws, mulberries, dewberries, but those are a given around here.
 

Kenny Lee

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I read the book about that guy, "Into the Wild". Well, if he didn't die from that a bear would have probably eaten him since he had a crappy firearm, just my opinion. Yeah, but learning all that stuff would be great, especially medicinal stuff.
 

old_anorak

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You could also see if you could find someone that does forage for edibles. I know I've seen a few shows about people in NYC who do foraging classes so that people would learn first hand what they were looking for.
 

Colt 1911

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Things like mushrooms, berries, roots, plants for food and medicine? Basically I want it to focus on North America so if SHTF I might be able to get some calories like Bear Grylls.
That guy has a cast iron stomach, grubs and bugs that would suck.
 

Danil54grl

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Things like mushrooms, berries, roots, plants for food and medicine? Basically I want it to focus on North America so if SHTF I might be able to get some calories like Bear Grylls.
Try doing some research online to see if there is a class held close to your area or at least within drving distance. I have seen a few, but not in my state yet.
 

old_anorak

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Things like lambsquarter, wood sorrel, and poke are pretty easy to distinguish, but mushrooms leave me a little hinky on any but morels.
 

WhisperingWhiskey

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I have a few books that have been really helpful to me. The US Army Edible Plants Guide is my favorite. Hunting and trapping guides are fun too. I've also gotten information from my local Game and Fish on local edible plants and insects. Hope this is helpful!
 

WilliamAshley

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I think that this stuff is mostly self learned, I have yet to find a definitive book on this, but identiying plants and mushrooms is the way to go, the internet is a great tool for this. any plant you don't know take a sample and try to ID it, write down its characteristics and take a photo of it. I've been doing this for a few years now, and I've expanded my base of foods I know are edible and mushrooms I know are edible etc... for me its mostly based on local knowledge, but I when researching plants like to include native uses, pioneer uses, modern uses, and chemical composition.

I have yet to find any one book that does all this.


field guides for specific things can be useful when out in the field, but personally I like the take a sample and ID it approach. Even if you get 3 things to ID on a given day, it adds up over time.

btw FM's and SAS survival guide are general introductory reads, field guides specific to mushrooms to your locality, and plants to your locality offer more specialized knowledge, but you really need to get into biological testing to ID mushrooms by spoor prints, and chemical analysis.

There are scopes for less than $100 with high level magnification now available for IDing spores, likewise, most plants will be able to be IDed through the internet.

I love to mushroom hunt but I generally only eat mushrooms I positively identify unless I want to sample a new one and I know it isn't lethal.
 

artbylorraine

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I was wondering why Nevada doesn't have a book on edible plants and such so when I asked, I was told that there are so few edible ones here, one would need five hundred miles to support one person...ok...I guess that I will have to look elsewhere for food. We have pine nuts once a year and once in a while watercress and a few greens but nothing really to survive on.
 

artbylorraine

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Since we are high altitude and considered desert, we have to haul in top soil to garden. I have done this but it is a challenge. Things that grow here well have to have a short growing period since we get snow until June and frost in August, but we have grown some pretty good crops here of corn, beans, and most crops. It just takes more water and work, that is all. I was referring to things that grow naturally in the forest or desert.
 

Haloray

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Not telling people to break the law but there are thousands of informative books at your fingertips if you have internet access. I have downloaded hundreds of herbal books, survival, trapping, medical books, etc. :/ On a rating of how hard it is 1 being a child could do it and 20 being only a science major could do it the difficulty is around a 2-3 lol.
 

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