Finding Food

berry plant

Finding food in the wild is an instinct built into all of us. This is because, like breathing air, or drinking water, eating food is a key element to our survival. Unfortunately, like many of our natural instincts, modern society has separated us from our ability to seek and find food in nature.

That is why it must now be re-taught. Without sufficient calories, the body grows weak and becomes more susceptible to dangers such as illness, fatigue, and malnutrition. Fortunately, food can still be found from many sources, and with a little training and knowledge you will be able to find the food you need to survive almost anywhere.

Location and time of year will play a large part in what kind of food you can find and how much. No matter where you are, always be sure that your food is safe to eat, and if you’re not sure don’t eat it! Chemical food poisoning is caused by eating plants or animals that contain a naturally occurring toxin. Chemical food poisoning often involves mushrooms, poisonous plants, or marine animals. Activated charcoal may be useful. Complications (eg, gastroenteritis, dehydration, renal or hepatic failure, respiratory insufficiency) are treated supportively.


When Finding edible plants in the wild, you must be absolutely sure that you have identified an edible species. Eating a poisonous plant is one of the most common causes of death in survival situaions. This is why it is good to carry a feild guide to edible plants in your survival kit. Become familiar with plants and there uses, that way, when a survival situation occurs, you will be ready to harness the powers of plants and there nutritional, medicinal, and other uses.


Poisonous plants: A few commonly grown plants are poisonous. Highly toxic and potentially fatal plants include castor bean, jequirity bean, poison hemlock, and water hemlock, as well as oleander and foxglove, which contain digitalis glycosides. Few plant poisonings have specific antidotes.


The Mushroom can be a good addition to other sources of food. Depending on your location, you may be able to find an abundance of edible mushrooms where other sources of food are in short supply. Much like plants, however, you must be positive about your identification of an edible mushroom. Many mushrooms are poisonous and cause death.



Collecting induvidual insects is not always recomened because each insect does not contain very many calories.  Insects, however, can provide a nutritious source of protein, especially if gathered in bulk. Most Insects are edible, and it is recomended that you cook them first to rid them of parasites. Some of the better tasting and most nutritous insects include grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and insect eggs and larvae. Although not delicious, they can save your life. Beware of fuzzy caterpillers, and venomous varieties of insects. They are poisonous


Fish are a great source of protein and in the wild knowing how to catch fish is a very useful skill. See article, fishing, for more details.

Amphibians and Reptiles

Snakes, Frogs, Lizards, and other slimey or scaly friends when prepared correctly can be quite tasty. Beware of eating any amphibian that you can not identify as ebible. Some frogs and amphibians are poisonous and can cause death or illness. Almost all reptiles, on the other hand, are edible. Be sure to skin and cook a reptile before eating it. If you catch a rattlesnake or other venomous snake, remove the head and bury it before skinning the body. Snake vemon is very potent and can still hurt you even after the animal is dead. Hunting Amphibians and reptiles is not always the best idea in a survival situation. This is because for one, amphibians can be poisonous, and for two, reptiles and some amphibians are very difficult to find and catch. If, however you come accross one of these creature, and you are sure that it is not a poisonous amphibian, use a weapon or a rock or stick to stun it and cook it up for dinner!


Hunting birds is tricky because they are quick and skeptical. Trapping them, however, can be very effective. A skilled hunter, with proper weapons will also be able to hunt them. Because they are very small, baring little meat, and hard to catch, killing a small bird is not worth the time. If, however, you can find ducks, geese, grouse, phesants and other large birds, these can be a life saving rich source of nutrients.

See article catching birds

Eggs and Young

If you can find eggs, in the spring or summer, take them and eat them. Young birds still in the nest, tadpoles, or young mammals are also easy sources of food.


Most furry animals are ebible. From squirrels, to porquepines, to deer, rabbits and bears, these are the most viable source of food in the wild. With some skills and knowledge you will be able to hunt and trap these animals to keep you sustained until you are able to grow or buy your food. Always be respectful of the lifes that you choose to take and be thankful for the life that you have taken.