Submitted by throwaway in anticiv (edited )

I've warmed up to the idea of escape by taking a couple of long solo trips in the last four years, trying to teach myself whatever I need to know to stay afloat with only the gear I can carry. My most definite trial was on Vancouver Island, where i stayed for a month.

Besides the absurd amount of absurd thinking you get done when you live for a month by yourself, this is the most concrete stuff i learned:

  • Build a sturdy shelter as fast as you can

  • Food is difficult - water is not, at least once you're set up

  • Mushrooms are scary

  • So are berries

  • Fishing is the way to go, but it's a gamble - if you spend too much time trying to catch something in a half-dead lake, you're practically done for

  • Loneliness, as in truly being alone, can twist reality to a surprising degree

  • No food means no energy, no energy means no food

As you can see, what I've struggled with most is food. I've been carrying a fishing rod, but it just doesn't cut it - or maybe I'm not skilled enough yet. Then there's berries and mushrooms, but mistaking one for another, even with a nice book on hand, isn't an unimaginable fuckup, despite it resulting in, at the very least, some shitty days with no work being done, and at worst, something worse (poetry is my passion).

I'm looking to take it to the north - northern Sweden or Norway, as far up as I can get without ending up on nothing but rock. Before I do so, though, I want to be absolutely sure that I've got a plan for the food situation, because it's such a struggle. Any reading materials or tips from your own experiences would be very cool.



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kore wrote

plants that we eat by anore jones is a book about northwest alaska, don't have a copy on hand but I've looked through it before and it has lots of stories in addition to what plants to look for, I think the stories are especially nice because it gives you an idea of what it's like to actually eat the plants described.

I've never spent time surviving only off foraging, but my experience with gathering wild plants is that once you can identify something reliably you see it literally everywhere even if it was practically invisible before, and even if it's not common when you do see it it practically jumps out at you. So if you expand your horizons and look to all different kinds of plants you might be able to find more. A good edible plants book will tell you if there's anything that's ridiculously poisonous that looks similar to something edible.

On the subject of berries, I think in a lot of northern boreal forests and even tundra clearly identifiable wild berries are literally everywhere in late summer. I'm thinking of raspberries/blackberries/other drupes especially, i think basically none of them are poisonous (don't quote me on that). e.g. in a lot of places in the temperate US they grow trailside, i've even heard of like entire hideouts cut out of giant blackberry bramble patches. Even blueberries and cranberries are pretty easy. If you go to sweden or another boreal place you should definitely look for cloudberries, incredible flavor.

Finally most of the reliable plant knowledge I have has been transmitted to me orally, I find that when I'm walking with someone and they say "look, this plant is this and you can eat it" then it will practically be burned into my mind (same way for birds). So it might be worth going on some short foraging trips with someone that knows the area before you set out on your own.


aaaaargZombies wrote

I guess I'd start researching what Sámi people did for food historically. If they still do that, and if they have stopped is it because it's no longer viable.