How to Find Food in the Wilderness? A Guide for Beginners

hen out in the wilderness, how do you find food? In this article, you will learn how to forage for food in the forest. You will also learn how to test wild plants to see if they are edible. This is your last resort, but it will provide you with a surprisingly plentiful source of calories. There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when doing this. Read on for more tips. We’ll explore the two main ways you can forage for food in the wilderness.

How do You Find Food In The Forest?

If you’re stranded in a forest with little food, you don’t need to worry. There are many edible plants growing throughout the forest. Whether they are edible or not is often a matter of trial and error.

While you may not be able to get 100% satisfaction from the food you consume, it’s better than nothing. Listed below are some of the most common wild plant foods.

Start small. Start by taking a casual stroll in the local forest. Pay attention to the different types of plants that thrive there.

Make note of their numbers and relationships to other plants. If possible, use this list to find commercially productive varieties of these plants. This way, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success.

Once you’ve completed your initial objectives, you can move on to the next level of your journey. So, that’s how you can find food in the wilderness.

How Do You Forage Food in the Wilderness?

Foraging for food in the forest is a great way to keep yourself active, it also means you have to be mindful of the ecosystem. While some ecosystems are more tolerant to the extra foraging, others may not be.

It is therefore important to study your local area before you head out. You should be aware of what plants and animals grow in the area and learn about the most common types of edible plants and animals in your area. You can also connect with an ethnobotanist or botanist to learn more about local plants and animals.

If you decide to find food in the wilderness, you should know which plants are edible and which ones are poisonous. Before you go out for a forage, you should consult several guides to ensure you identify all the edible plants.

It is also best to avoid picking endangered species as they might not be edible. If you plan to pick wild plants, make sure you sow some seeds before you start collecting. It is also important to follow Leave No Trace principles when foraging.

When foraging for wild food, you must be aware of your environment and avoid polluted areas. Polluted areas can contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, and metals that may endanger you.

You should also ask for permission before foraging on unknown land. Moreover, foraging in wilderness areas may also require special protection.

Where Can I Find Food in the Wilderness?

Wild foods are abundant and generally easy to harvest. You can eat them uncooked and raw. Many of these foods, you can harvest with minimal tools or even by hand.

When “off the grid,” make sure you bring essential survival tools with you such as a knife, fire-making tools, and a first aid kit. These tools will ensure your safety and survival in case of emergencies.

Identifying Edible Plants

Knowing which plants to avoid when you find food in the wilderness is an important skill for the outdoorsman. There are many types of edible plants growing throughout the United States, but some of them can be toxic if eaten.

To avoid these plants, you must learn to identify them based on one or more distinguishing features. Fortunately, most edible wild plants are nutritious and delicious forest floor foods. 

Identifying edible wild plants can help you avoid a lot of health problems. However, it is important to remember that identification is not a hundred percent correct. You should be aware that the species you’re identifying may not always be edible.

Identifying Poisonous Plants

Identifying poisonous plants in the wilderness is a vital skill that should be part of any survival training. Poisonous plants are everywhere, even in the most common backyard garden.

Knowing which plants are poisonous and which aren’t can save your life in a wilderness emergency. Here are some common poisonous plants and their identifying features:

When identifying poisonous plants in the wilderness, it’s important to know the difference between edible and injurious varieties. While it’s not dangerous to ingest plant parts, it’s a good idea to avoid picking them, putting them in your mouth, and not drinking tea made from the leaves.

Knowing the scientific and common names of poisonous plants will help you keep a list of plants that you shouldn’t touch. And when you find a new plant that you’re unsure of, ask a knowledgeable person about its toxicity.

Make sure to keep all plants out of the reach of children and keep all seeds and bulbs in containers with labels.

Identifying Berries

Identifying berries in the wilderness requires some practice. While you may be tempted to eat anything that looks edible, you must first understand the differences between common berries and wild berries.

For example, blueberries are blue and purple, and blackberries are red and purple. In addition, identifying wild berries involves determining which ones are edible and which are not. This can help you avoid picking poisonous berries and poisoning yourself.

Whether you’re picking a berry is important because the berry’s seed can indicate its edible or poisonous status. The seed color can vary from jet black to pale tan, so it’s important to match it to the color you see in the guide.

Additionally, berry seeds are usually long and thin, round and fat, and medium in size. It is important to not strip a plant of its berries; it’s a vital food source for wildlife.

Identifying Cattail

The cattail is an annual plant that grows in wet places. The leaves are flat and pale gray-green, with strap-like growth. Cattail grows in clusters, with the female flower cluster at the top and the male at the bottom.

The cattail grows from 1.5 to 3 meters tall. It is found in ditches, wet fields, and open wet areas. It is poisonous to horses, so it is best to avoid it if you want to protect your horse.

You can recognize cattail easily. It grows in clusters in slow-moving waters, such as swamps and marshes. The leaf blades are long and narrow. Cattail flowers have yellow pollen spikes and are edible.

You can eat cattail all year long, pickle it, and use it as flour or make cattail wine. You may want to wear rubber boots if you plan to harvest cattail.

Identifying Kudzu

There are some tips for identifying kudzu in the wilderness. Kudzu’s foliage has distinct phenological characteristics that distinguish it from other native plants.

Unlike native plants, kudzu leaves sprout late in spring and remain green until the first frost. Fallen leaves of kudzu are easily identifiable and make it easy to distinguish kudzu from other vegetation. The leaves of kudzu have a characteristic yellowish tint and a distinct smell.

If you are hiking in the wilderness, you may have seen kudzu on telephone poles and dead trees. The vines can cover entire trees and are commonly found growing around them.

In forested areas, kudzu forms lianas that outcompete and shade native plants. This results in a decrease in biodiversity, including insects and birds. Identifying kudzu in the wilderness can help protect your property and your loved ones.

10 Edible Plants to Find in the Wilderness

Some of the best edible wild plants may be ones you’ve never seen or heard of. Others, however, are plants you’d be unlikely to eat!

Regardless of your preferences, there are several plants to eat in the wild, ranging from Amaranth to Red Clover. The following list contains at least five edible plants. These include Dandelion, Plantain, Red Clover, and Burdock.


Eaten raw, amaranth is high in Vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and fiber. It can become one of the first choices if you want to find food in the wilderness. Amaranth leaves are edible, too, and are used as a spinach substitute in some regions. Seeds are highly nutritious, and the leaves are also gluten-free. Depending on the variety, a single flower head can produce thousands of seeds.


There are several edible plants you can find in the wilderness, and dandelion is one of them. It grows in gardens and lawns, but it can also be found growing along roadsides, in woodlands, and at the edge of trails. The dandelion is a wonderful source of iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Among other things, dandelion can be a delicious drink.

Red Clover

In addition to being delicious, the red clover plant is a valuable source of vitamin A and C and contains a high concentration of carotene. The entire plant is 80% water and 10% fructose. Native Americans have used this plant for centuries, and today, it has a broader appreciation in the world of casual campers. Here are some of the ways that clover can be eaten in the wild.


Plantains are among the most common edible plants and are widely grown throughout the world. Not to be confused with bananas, plantains are tropical perennial that grows in moist, alpine areas. The leaves are oval and ribbed, and when fully grown, are approximately 6″ long and 4″ wide. Despite their bitter taste, plantains are loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and manganese.


You may not have known that purslane is an edible plant, but this weed is widely used as a potherb in Central Europe and Asia. Besides being a delicious addition to green salads, it is also used for cooking and pickling. It is highly beneficial to human health because it contains antioxidants, which help prevent or delay cell damage and fight disease. Its healing properties are also widely known.


Didi Emmons has written a book about edible plants that she grows in her garden, Eva’s Garden, and she’s an enthusiastic proponent of chickweed, or Stellaria, which has many medicinal uses. It helps relieve inflammation and soothes the throat and reduces swelling, so it’s great to know a few facts about this plant before you start eating it.

7 Best Foods For Forest Survival in the WIlderness

Birds are some of the most important sources of survival in the wilderness. Wild waterfowl and inland birds are also great sources of nutrition.

Although bird meat tends to be less delicious than meat from other animals, birds provide a valuable resource to survivalists. Insects are another great source of nutrition.

In fact, they are considered gourmet cuisine in many cultures. Make sure to cut off the unwanted parts to make your meat more appetizing.


The root of a tree can be used to make a nourishing soup. The edible stem of a plant is used as a vessel for boiling water, and its leaves are eaten raw or cooked. Rose hips are a good source of vitamin C, and they are available year-round.

The seed of a rose is cultivated and ground into a nourishing flour. Despite their bitter taste, rose hips are a good source of calcium, iron, and potassium.


There are many great plants for foraging, and shoots and roots are some of the best. Many of these foods are also raw and you can eat them immediately, while tubers and bulbs must be cooked before they can be consumed. Shoots and roots are both edible in abundance and are one of the best foods for forest survival. Here are some ideas for where to find them. This is by no means a comprehensive list!

Small meat

Aside from lean meat, small meat contains a significant amount of protein and calories. Using animal skins will provide more nutritional value, but they might be better used for warmth and shoemaking.

Bones should be avoided, but those that are large will contain valuable marrow. Small bones can be used to make broth. Grassy leaves contain nutritious juices that can be eaten raw. The grass is a poor source of vitamin C but is still useful to have on hand.


In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can also find a survival food supply by utilizing a variety of berries and nuts in the wilderness. These are rich sources of protein and calories and can be harvested easily without processing. Many nuts don’t even require cooking, making them a great choice for survivalists. The grass is another great source of food. It is hard to digest but can provide a lot of beneficial juices.

Powdered Super Greens

When buying greens powder, look for the USDA Organic seal. Organic products do not contain pesticides, fertilizer, or antibiotics, and are guaranteed to be 100% pure.

Moreover, third-party certification helps ensure that the product is pure and potent. Look for the ingredients list on the packaging and website, and make sure they are all legitimate whole foods. You should also read the label and read reviews from other customers.

Sea vegetables

Sea vegetables are an excellent addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten fresh or dried. If you find kombu too strong for your palate, you can try wakame, which is milder. If you prefer a powdered form, you can purchase organic sea vegetables. Since sea vegetables absorb contaminants from their environment, you should buy organic varieties grown in pristine waters. Sea vegetables are considered a superfood by many experts, but you may need to look for a certified organic brand for maximum benefits.

Trail Mix

A healthy trail mix contains a variety of different sources of energy. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and chocolate all provide energy in different forms. Carbohydrates are easily digested and provide a steady stream of energy, while fats provide slower energy. In this way, trail mix covers all the bases as a snack. In addition to being healthy, trail mix also has an ancient pedigree. Dried fruit and nuts are age-old sources of sustenance.