Foraging and Hunting: The Basics

November 15, 2016

#howNOTtostarve Foraging and Hunting – The Basics

Foraging and Hunting – The Basics

Because it is bad form to leave a good man hanging, we’re revisiting one of our favorite topics – eating to survive. When we encouraged you to “go forth and forage” in our first survival food post, we didn’t mean to throw you to the wolves. You only got a taste of the skills and tools you’ll need to survive if your food supply should dwindle or even worse, run out. There’s so much more, so let’s dig in.

Foraging – Finding the Food

Face it, when you were 10 or so, you thought food appeared in your fridge by magic. You didn’t know or care that the peas you hated grew on a vine – on a farm! But, did you also know these little green balls of powerful nutrition can be found growing on their own?

Lots of edibles grow out in the wild, the key is being able to recognize and locate them. A field guide for whatever area you’re escaping to is invaluable. Even the most seasoned foragers carry at least one of the lightweight, pocket-sized books.

Aside from the must-have guide (you don’t want to be on a 10-mile hike when you learn your new aloe and herb tea is a powerful laxative), some other tools useful when foraging include:

• gloves
• knives
• pruners
• trowel
• digging stick
• string
• scissors
• mesh bag
• bucket

In an emergency situation, it may only be you and a knife. But if you do have time to plan ahead, consider including some of the above in your stockpile.

Hunting/Fishing – Killing the Food

Did you also know at the age of 10 that the thick, juicy steak you inhaled at dinner wasn’t created at the supermarket? The butcher who killed that slab o’ beef won’t be with you when the SHTF. You need to hunt and fish for yourself to survive a long siege.


If the largest animal you’ll ever meet is a coyote, do you really need to lug around that elephant gun? Learn what it requires to take down the prey you’re tracking. Some useful weapons to learn to use now are:

• Guns – You’ll need to choose for yourself what type of gun(s) to carry. The most important thing is to be very familiar with your weapons.
◦ Shotgun – good for up-close as well as scatter shots (think flocks of birds)
◦ Rifle – necessary for long-range shots, various calibers available

• Knives – The saying “the best survival knife is whatever one you have with you” is a good start. Knives can be a very personal choice so pick one that is comfortable for you to carry, use and care for. Ideally, you’ll have many knives or blades for different purposes. No matter what you choose, be sure you have a way to keep them sharp.

• Other – Here are a few more to help keep you fed and safe.

◦ Bow and Arrow
◦ Crossbow and Bolts
◦ Snares
◦ Traps
◦ Pits

You need to know your limits and learn what tool best serves which purpose. Don’t decide you’re Rambo and jump onto the back of a bear – armed with only your knife. This bear scenario is where that trusty elephant gun above could come in handy.


Just as it’s overkill to blast a squirrel with a shotgun, you don’t need to stock a tackle box with deep-sea gear. That is unless you’ve got a big-ass boat and are near deep waters.

Fishing line is the most valuable piece of tackle you can have. Aside from the fact it is cheap, easy to find and carry, it is also useful for things other than fishing. Along with various types of line, include these items in your box or bag:

• Rods/poles
• Hooks/lures
• Pliers
• Weights/sinkers
• Bobbers/floats

You can start with prepared bait, but it’ll run out in time. Learn what bugs, worms, and natural baits your targeted fish enjoy. They can usually be found near the water where the fish are. The other thing to note is you still can catch fish with a stick, string, and a baited hook – fancy gear isn’t required.

The Takeaway

The best thing to do is prepare yourself for anything that can happen. Learn as much as you can now about fending for yourself later.

Because we are such good guys here at Rip-It, we’re going to keep this ball rolling. Join us next time as we dig in even deeper. We will share the common plants and wildlife you might find in your own particular neck of the woods.

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