How to Find Food in the Wild: Learn How to Find Edible Food in a Survival Situation

food in the wild featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Whether you have been enjoying mountaineering, expeditions, or simply staying on your modest habitat and enjoying the urban life, you’ll concur that knowing how to find food the wild is really an overwhelming, and a critical task. Nevertheless, this is a fundamental skill for anyone that wants to stay alive in the wild. This skill can be a lot useful and helpful to you when you’re in difficult situation.

It is very important to comprehend the best ways to find food to survive in the most difficult of places, knowing the various kinds of foods that can or can’t be eaten, and the various strategies in identifying, preparing, eating well, and conserving survival food sometimes.

It is due to the fact that nobody wants to be in a tight spot where his/her food would be compromised and eventually would endanger the person’s survivability.

In this article, we will be equipping you with the basics of discovering one of the most essential needs of people. Thought of the food taste would be unimportant; the significance is that you will be sufficiently capable of completing your next expedition; both mentally and physically.


Ensure you make your research ahead about the widely varied vegetation of the area, the various risky situations that you may experience, and the various counter-measures you may need to undertake anytime you are faced with these situations.

Things to Remember Always

Prevention is important here. Therefore, before leaving on any expedition, great emphasis must be given to food. You must pack up foods that are filled with vitamins and nutrients. Likewise, ensure that you’re physically fit for the expedition. Abstain from smoking or drinking alcohol drinks before you leave for the expedition.

Your body must be sufficiently conditioned to persevere through the demanding trail ahead. Additionally, it is important to research about the different widely varied vegetation of the area. Research about the edible or harmful plants, or plants that can be utilized for healing purposes.

In the event that you are uncertain about its edibility, you can simply perform a taste test to check whether you’d get any bizarre reaction. If you get no reaction, at that point you can begin biting little pieces.

edible plants

In addition, stay away from animals or plants with spooky bright colour. They have a tendency to be a sign that they can be harmful. Always try to remain hydrated and have some kind of food so you will remain energized.

Ensure you listen to your body at all times. If something feels wrong to you, don’t overlook it. Be cautious and vigilant. Focus on your environment. However, regardless of how prepared you are with food, your expedition’s unpredictability might need you to assemble and obtain foods in your environment.

What is Survival Food?

The fundamental purpose of survival food is to remain alive; every other thing becomes secondary. The wild sometimes can be a lot unpredictable. This means that survival food can come in various forms, from edible plants, slugs, or insects, to wild animals like boars and rabbits.


The priority of the individual is to exploit and make optimum use of everything that can be found and to find consumable food that would maintain the needed amount of vitality that is required to stay alive in the wild, provide the highest amount of important nutrients, and provide you with the appropriate number of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.

Different Kinds of Survival Food and Where to Find Them


There are many palatable berries, fruits, and plants that can be found in the wild. Knowing a few important features of the plants may enable you to know which ones are harmful and which ones are edible.

Local knowledge on the various flowers of the specified area and making enquiries about which ones to avoid can be of help to you over the long haul. Another sign that the vegetation can aid you in recognizing, is that if you notice the animals in the territory are hesitant to eat or react negatively when they come in contact with the plant, it is best to avoid that.


Do not be too hesitant to grab insects. Notwithstanding their creepy and peculiar here appearance, bugs are surprisingly one of the best sources of important nutritional requirement. These insects comprise of a lot of fat and protein. Additionally, there isn’t a lot of a trouble in finding and getting insects. You can always find them in soggy regions, on the ground, or inside logs.

edible insect cricket

In spite of people’s general view that bugs taste oddly, the majority of them are edible and are considered as most loved delicacies in their various regions at times. Majority of bugs like crickets, grasshoppers, molluscs, bugs, and worms can be consumed raw.  Nonetheless, frying, roasting, cooking insects are ideal. It eliminates the parasites inside the bug and makes it easy to eat.


The ocean is always your friend. On the chance that you are close to stream or any body of water that contains various sea creatures, then you have an incredible option to acquire food.

Based on location, you can find things such as oysters, shellfish, crabs, and various kinds of fishes and aquatic life that you can eat raw or simply cook. It is easy to find the sea creatures during low tide, therefore ensure you maximise the situation.

Wild Land Animals

On the chance that you have a lot of experience in wild animal hunting, this can be a practical method of getting what to eat in a survival circumstance. Hunting is hard to some length in getting food.


Then again, setting up of traps can reduce the sum of energy you will exert and allow you to have time to discover various food sources. Figuring out how to set-up easy to build traps can immensely increase your odds of getting your next food.


Eggs comprise of a lot of safe and easy to get nutrients and vitamins. It can be cooked using a wide range of methods. These eggs can always be found in their nests. Sometimes, you can find these egg shrouded in soil or on the ground.

Different Methods of Foraging Survival Food


This is the act of chasing, trapping, and killing of wild animals for eating purpose. It takes incredible aptitude and huge experience to be a great hunter. Except you are accustomed to hunting, it is not logical to utilize this strategy. On the flip side, if you have great confidence in your range of abilities, it gives you a high ground in finding food for survival.

Trapping on the other hand is a productive strategy to catch various wild animals. If utilized ineffectively, this method can be a lot frustrating at times. There are a wide range of approaches that can be used to create different traps for different circumstances in the wild.

trap for wild animals

Other things you have to consider when you want to create a trap is the type of wild animal you want the trap to catch, the situation that you are in, and the equipment and tools that are in your disposal. Some traps might be more successful than others. This is the reason why one must ensure to weigh the upsides and downsides of setting up and purchasing traps.

The snap trap is an awesome example of an excellent kind of trap. It is a trap that smashes animals with its dangerously sharp jaws that would maim, kill, or leave the creature immobilized and impaired.

This trap is extremely basic in nature, however it is thought to be one of the skills experienced expeditioners and hunters are known for. If placed in a region where wild animals may stray on, and its bait is effective, the odds of the trap success are very high.

snap trap for wild animals

The cage trap is another regular kind of trap. It is well known and is utilized in different survival circumstances in various settings. Also, the viability of the trap depends on the perfect location of the trap and having an understanding of the location and the behaviour of the animals. With incredible persistence, it can be your main strategy every time the need comes up.


You should exploit the wealth of fauna in the event that you are close to a lake, a stream, or a waterway that contains various living things. If you want to catch fish, the best time is after dusk or before dawn.

As we emphasized repeatedly earlier in the article, knowing about the various sorts of fishes in the locale, temperature levels, weather patterns and knowing their propensities ahead of your expedition will turn out to be valuable.

To catch fish, you need a fishing net, and you can even make an improvised fishing net, which can prove to be useful in caching various fish sizes. You can utilize your shirt for making a net. Angling is another effective strategy of catching fish. It is compulsory for you to have a bait, a hook, and a floating object which would give you a sign in the event that you have likely catch.

man fishing on the coast

You can simply invent with various materials you have with you on your expedition, however the best thing is to include a fishing net in your kit. In conclusion, on the off chance that you have quick hands and an awesome reaction, spearing fish can be a great option. This method is highly effective in waters that are shallow where you can see your catch visibly.

Cooking your food

Cooking is great for making the survival food more bearable to eat. Be it frying, roasting, or boiling, these methods are capable of bring out more flavour in the survival food. Also, it protects you from most of the unsafe parasites and those parasites that can disturb your digestive system are eliminated.

Because of this, it is much recommended to bring a cooking stove along because of these sorts of circumstances. However, you should learn how to make a fire in the event that that something unforeseen happens to your stove.

Things to keep in mind

Here, we will discuss some of the most vital things when it comes to surviving in the wild and discovering that important food source.

man in the wilderness

Do Your Home Work

It is very important to prepare adequately and gather important information prior to leaving for your expedition as these will get you equipped for the difficult situations ahead.

It will be helpful to gather a vast amount of knowledge about the various likely situations you might find yourself in and also the various countermeasures you can take. Therefore, before leaving for your expedition, make sure you research well.

Look Inside the Logs

Those tasty unpleasant crawlers are simply there whenever you require a fast pump of fat and protein. Just make sure you are careful with poisonous insects.

The Best Thing is to Cook Your Food Always

The worst thing that can happen in a survival circumstance is falling sick and it can cause some real complications and drawbacks. To make sure that does not happen, ensure you cook your food always so as to eliminate the bacteria or parasites in the animal.

roasting a pig

A simple method to cook is to skew your catch and roast it. Furthermore, it improves your food’s taste.

Eat Plants Cautiously

Some kinds of plant species may appear to be similar, however the other one may be noxious. They might be more available than other survival foods, however simply ensure that you can recognize palatable plants from toxic ones.

Plants That You Should Avoid

It is important to always remember the familiar saying that it is better to be safe than sorry in survival situation. This means that in the event that you can’t distinguish a plant, then stay away from it.

Stay away from plants that meet any of the criterion below:

  • Plants with coloured or milky fluid
  • Plants with hairs, thorns, and spines
  • Plants with bitter taste
  • Seeds inside pods
  • Plants with pink, purple, or black spurs
  • Plants that have three leaved form

three leaved plant

You should try as much as possible to stay away from these sorts of plants is due to the fact that these are signals that the plant is probable toxic. Never at any point consider eating a pant that is poisonous, regardless of your desperation. It is more risky to eat a poisonous plant than it is to eat nothing.

Plants You Should Find


The asparagus found in the wildernesses will be a lot thinner than the sort you purchase in the store, however, that does not mean they are less nutritious. You can eat asparagus either boiled or raw.


Cattails have a tendency to be found close to wellsprings of freshwater, and they filled in as a component of several Native American tribes’ diet for so many years. The stem and the rootstock that is underground can be eaten; all you need to do is wipe the mud off before you eat. If you want, the stem can be eaten raw, however, ensure you boil the leaves before you eat them.


If there is an open green region, clovers are possibly there. In addition, it is very easy to identify them. You can eat clovers boiled or raw.



In our everyday lives, dandelions are just an irritating weed. However, when it comes to a survival circumstance, they could turn out to be a life saver. Every part of the dandelion are palatable. Although the leaves taste bitter but you can get rid of the bitterness with boiling.


Fireweed is known for its purple colored flowers and the round veins on the leaves; all the more essentially, it is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Fireweed filled in as a staple in the eating regimen for some Native American tribes, similar to cattails. Nonetheless, matured fireweed has a bitter taste (however it is still palatable), so it is best to eat the fireweed when it still young and not bitter.


Kelp is a sort of seaweed found virtually everywhere on the planet. Kelp is very rich in Vitamin K and you can eat it raw.

Wood Sorrel

Apart from being eatable (as long as it is boiled), wood sorrel additionally has healing properties that were used by Native American tribes, who utilized it to treat mouth sores.

wood sorrel

Insects That You Should Avoid

Now we should proceed insects, which are another flawlessly reasonable food source in a survival situation due to the fact that they give fats and proteins that plants do not give. However, similar to plants, there are a few safety concerns you should remember always.

Stay away from insects that meet any of the criterion below:

  • Brightly colored insects, especially red, yellow, or orange
  • Insects with strong odor
  • Insects with visible stinger

Insects That You Should Find


Each and every ant is consumable, however they can be painful in the event that they bite. This can be prevented by killing them first; cook them over a fire. Also, this cooking procedure kills the bitterness that ants have that is similar to the taste of vinegar.  It is likewise imperative that you take out any soil from the ants prior to eating them, particularly in the event that you gather them from an anthill.


Caterpillars usually don’t look edible, and some sorts of them surely have those kind of colours that we cautioned you about earlier.


However, while there’re certainly a few types of caterpillar that are poisonous, as long as you keep away from the splendidly colored ones you ought to be safe. Remember that caterpillars are just larvae for moths and butterflies. They are filled with fat, Vitamin B, iron, and protein.

Locusts and Grasshoppers

They might be crunchy, yet grasshoppers are an incredible source of calcium and. You can eat them raw, however they will taste much better if you fry them over a fire before eating them. A lot of people like to get rid of the grasshopper’s legs before they eat them, on the grounds that the legs are the crispiest part and eating them may not end up well.

Locusts is a term used to allude to grasshoppers in swarms. In an ordinary circumstance, locusts would be a noteworthy vermin if not an extreme threat to farms and crops.  In any case, in a survival circumstance, it can become a life saver in a difficult situation.


In the event that you ever see a tree stump or rotting log, make sure you check it well for termites. They are filled with proteins, even than other sorts of bugs. A bunch of termites might alone provide you with the protein intake that you require for the day.


Also, you will have greater odds of seeing termites after a rainstorm or inside the rain, in light of the fact that they favor soggy wood to dry wood.

In Conclusion

We have reached the end of this article and we hope you have learned a great deal about different ways of finding survival food when you are in the wild. It is very essential that you learn the basics if you want to survive out in the wild. If you’re not well prepared in the wild, it could compromise your trip and cause a lot of complications for you.

You ought to at the least know the various kinds of survival food, the Do’s and Don’ts in hunting, eating, and collecting food for survival, and how to eat that would boost the nutrients and vitamins in the food.

Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.