There have been numerous stories of woodsmen and other people who spend time in the outdoors being stranded in the wilderness. Many of them stayed there, and perished. Some have never yet been found. However, a lot of them emerged from their ordeal, perhaps a few pounds lighter, but alive. Often, having something to eat can be the difference between coming home and never making it out.
There are several ways you can gather food while in a survival situation.
Foraging for fruits, nuts, roots, safe mosses and mushrooms, berries, greens, and other edibles can yield some calories, although I caution if you have no idea what you are eating, you may end up poisoning yourself to death.
Fishing with a trot line and emergency supplies will provide some added nutrition and can contribute greatly to your chance of survival. (Recommended: Survival Fishing Without A Pole.)
Most people in a survival situation never eat anything besides what they have on them, or a few items they find through foraging and stumble upon. In truth, successful hunting in a survival situation depends on what you have on your person when you are thrust into a life or death situation. The old Boy Scout motto “be prepared” carries heavy weight here, and anyone daring to journey into the woods should always have some equipment to get out alive should the need come up.
I have already written an article on items you should always have with you in the woods. If you fail to bring those items, there is a great chance you will wind up dead. Having a knife and a means to start a fire is great, but if you are deep in the woods, you should also have a firearm.
A firearm gives you three things in the woods: a means of protection, possibly a means to signal (provided you have ammunition to spare), and a means to harvest game. Personally I always carry a 9mm handgun as my personal defense weapon. However, the 9mm is not always the most suitable firearm in a survival situation. If I am going deep in the woods away from civilization, I carry a light rifle like a .22, or better yet a .410/.22 over under survival firearm.
I always come across small game in the woods such as rabbit and squirrel, and these species are in abundance throughout the US, as are upland game birds and waterfowl. These species alone can provide good resources of protein. But beware: A diet of strict protein without any fat can kill you, and often you will need to eat some of the animal’s internal organs such as the liver and heart to get some additional nutrient.
In some places, larger game is in abundance, and species such as deer and wild boar have very high populations in parts of the country. Truth be told, it can be very difficult to harvest these species in a survival hunting scenario, as the taking of this type of game can require some planning. In swampier areas, alligators, turtles, frogs and even snakes can add to an emergency diet. Also, the dispatching of some of these species can be quite dangerous and lead even to your death, hence the need for a firearm. I don’t ever suggest taking on a predator such as a bear or cougar unless you have a larger bore rifle, and even then it is often best to avoid such predators.
Having some snaring wire in your pack can also contribute to your coming out of the woods alive. Setting up snares for rabbits and small game on game trails can provide you a few meals, if successful. Snares don’t always pan out, and having at least half a dozen set up can greatly increase the chances of you having a full stomach.
When combining firearms and snaring with foraging and fishing, you can eat, and you can with God’s help, return to your loved ones.
What survival tips would you add to this list? Share them in the section below: