Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Bushcraft - Edible and useful plants

Last night we had an initiation course of bushcraft skills with Nick, our survival and bushcraft guide. He showed us so many things about how to survive in the bush and how to find food easily. It is actually awesome how many edible things we can eat around us that we wouldn't even think about. In just 5 minutes of walking he showed us so many different species that we see every day but didn’t know they could feed us. The two first ones are very common and most of the people knew their names but still learned some new properties. Plantain and the Dandelion both can be eaten as salad and are very nutritious. Plantain also has some medicinal properties. In the same meadow we found clover which is also very common. You can eat the leaves and flowers. The flowers are very nice and sweet but don’t eat them when they are getting dry as they start to produce a bad substance for humans and animals. Just next to the clover we found the wild chamomile also know as pineappleweed, this plant has similar proprieties to real chamomile but also has a taste of pineapple when you eat it.

Nick also showed us the Saskatoon bush. This bush produces deep red berries, very good and tasty. Just next to the bush a douglas fir was growing and Nick just took a young branch and ate it. We started to laugh and tried it also. The taste was a bit citric and like fir but interesting. He explained us that most of the firs are edible and if you don’t want to eat it you can at least do a tea out of it. Doing a tea out of fir or spruce is also a good way to clean your water because you need to boil it before drinking it or at least pasteurize it.

Last but not least he explained to us how to get protein very easily from ants. Even if it’s not from plants it is very interesting and useful. If you find an ant colony in a pile of needles and you really need energy it is a useful food source but just keep in mind you are destroying part of an ant colony, so don't do it just for fun! First, you need to put a fabric or your sweater on the ground and fold it in one corner. Then you shovel or use your hands to put the colony on the fabric. In a couple of minute all the ants will bring the eggs in a safe spot that would be the folded part of your fabric or sweater. When the pile of eggs is big enough you can eat it. Apparently it tastes a bit like peanuts. In less than half an hour Nick showed us enough edible things to survive in the bush.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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