You made it! You survived the first wave of zombie attacks. But by now you have also realized that the food you have always taken for granted is now a limited resource. It’s a fact that the human body can survive up to three weeks without food. But if you want to stay among the living you will need to find your own source of food soon enough.
Eating anything you find in the wild, however, may turn just as deadly as starving. So make sure you know what you’re doing by checking our guide to wilderness survival food from your day one out there to becoming the expert in survival.
Survival food for beginners
If you are new to surviving in the wild the safest route for you is to go for the fruits in season. The most recognizable fruits out there are the different types of berries. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are both delicious and safe food, to begin with. There are of course some poisonous variations, however, the chance for something to go wrong is much smaller.
Fruits are another great and easy to reach source. Wild apples, agave, cactus, and many others are both tasty and accessible even for the very beginners.
There are even some edible flowers out there that are rich on fibers and vitamins. Although they are not a very good source of energy, they will still keep you from starving until you find something better to eat. Some of the edible flowers you could pick along the trails are wild roses, violets, black locust, and many others.
Insects, on the other hand, are very nutritious and a good source of protein. After all, even today insects are considered gourmet cuisine in many countries around the world. Grasshoppers, ants, and beetles are easy to find and relatively easy to capture. Just make sure you remove all uneatable parts like wings, legs, and antennae first. If your catch includes crickets be sure to cook them as they may contain tapeworm parasites. The easiest way to cook the insects you have gathered is by arranging them on a stick and roasting them over the fire.
Another great wilderness survival food, that is both easy to gather from beginners and a good investment, are roots. They are available almost all year long, they are easy to store for some time ahead and they can be eaten immediately even raw in case there is no fire available at the moment. Some roots you may want to stock up on include water lily roots, taro roots, and Jerusalem artichoke root. You may also want to consider gathering some bamboo or watercress shoots.
Getting comfortable in the wilderness
Once you start getting to know your way around there are better food sources for you to try. A good wilderness survival food should not only keep your belly full but also be high on protein.
Reptiles are usually easy to catch unless you feel brave enough to try for an alligator. There are however a good number of reptile and amphibian species that are a good source of meat and are safe for you to approach. Such reptiles and amphibians include turtles, frogs, snakes, and salamanders. To enjoy them fully try to remove the skin and then cook them over the fire.
Lizards are a bit harder to catch because they move quickly and hide in small crevices but you can easily catch amphibians in lakes and streams using only your bare hands.
If you see birds around, there is a good chance that some eggs are also lying around somewhere close. Eggs are an excelled source of protein and can be eaten both cooked and raw.
Mushrooms may be easy to find in the wild but you should be very careful which ones are you picking. Most edible mushrooms have very similar poisonous doubles. Even if the poisonous mushroom you have eaten does not kill you, you may start suffering from diarrhea which eventually may result in death from dehydration.
If you are still going for mushrooms, the most recognizable edible types include chanterelles, boletes, and morels. Keep in mind, however, that mushrooms are a very weak source of calories and if you are not confident you know your mushrooms better not risk it.
Fish and other seafood may be a bit trickier to catch but if you manage to get some they are another great source of both protein and fat. Using your bare hands or a spear may look easy on TV but you will probably want to try to prepare a fish trap instead.
When cooked properly all freshwater fish are edible. Aside from the variety of freshwater fishes, you may also want to consider all kinds of ocean life such as shrimp, crabs, lobsters, octopus, as well as kelp, sea lettuce and nori.
Wilderness survival food for experts
Although berries, roots, and reptiles will keep you from starving they will not provide you with the energy you need in the long run. So once you get a grip of yourself make sure to up your game by going for birds, small and large game.
You will need to invest some time and effort in preparing some hunting traps and tools first but the end result will surely be worth it. To get the hold of hunting you could try with easier prey such as ducks, wild turkeys, pigeons (suitable for urban survival as well), hares, and squirrels. All birds are edible so any catch will make a great dinner.
After a while when you reach a higher experience level you will be ready to go hunting for large game such as white tail deer, wild boar or moose. They are not only a high-quality food source but will allow you to stock up for some time ahead, especially if the winter is coming. So be sure you also learn how to properly preserve not only the meat but also the skin of the larger animals.