Foraging on Hikes

March 15, 2024 2 view(s)

Foraging on Hikes

Foraging for wild berries, mushrooms, and plants can be a great way to add an extra bit of fun on hikes or other adventures! Foraging is also a great way to get more connected to the Earth and where your food comes from. You can also find plants that have medicinal benefits. Some people even use berries to dye fabrics. There are so many ways you can forage, but it is super important to know how to forage safely. This blog will give you a few tips on how to get started foraging.

No matter where you are foraging, whether it’s a place you’re familiar with or especially if you’re somewhere new, research what plants and wild edibles are in the area. There are a lot of guidebooks you can purchase, or you can research online on a credible website. Cross-referencing from multiple sources is also a good idea to make sure you’re foraging safely. Figure out what is safe to eat and what is poisonous. You should only eat a wild plant if you are 100% confident that it is safe to do so. If you have any hesitation, it is best to be safe and just not risk it.

Another thing to consider and research before going out to forage is what else is in the area. If you’re foraging close to a city or a farm, be aware that there might be pesticides or herbicides being sprayed where you’re hiking.  If you’re near any polluted areas, the water and soil that is feeding the plants could be contaminated, possibly making even safe plants no longer safe to consume.

Foraging also isn’t just for finding yummy snacks in the wild. You can also forage for plants that can be medicinal for things such as bug bites. Katie, our Digital Marketing Specialist, used to work at a summer camp in Michigan and has some experience foraging around camp for plants and berries to eat, and plants to help with itchy mosquito bites or painful bee stings. Common Plantain is a plant found all over camp that was sometimes used to temporarily relieve the itching or stinging from a bug bite. Wood Sorrel is a popular plant, also found all over camp, that has a slight lemon flavor—yum! The most popular wild edible found at camp, for both humans and the camp goats, is Autumn Olive berries. These tart berries are ready to eat straight from the plant, or you could collect a bunch and make delicious autumn olive jam. At camp, we always made sure that campers were aware of the rules of foraging and asked before they ate anything.

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If you go out to forage on hikes and adventures, do your research before and during, and make sure you are 100% confident before eating anything. Share your forage findings with us on Instagram @peregrineequipment!

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