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Jesus Is Lord!
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I have several good books about edible and medicinal plants with color plates of flowering plants. My favorites are Peterson Field Guides Eastern Central Medicinal Plants and Peterson Field Guides Edible Wild Plants and The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers (eastern and western editions). Those are good starter books.
 

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Just a few titles for your edification--the manuals have sections on wild edibles that are quite good...What I always take with me into the bush is an eighty two (?) or five deck of survival imprinted playing cards, (you can play Canasta but not bridge)...Cards are printed on both sides with edible plants, nasty things to avoid and how to treat them if you don't, simple first aid, fire starting and rope work, providing shelter...It works great as you can get others involved with the situation by just giving the kids/adults a couple of cards of plants for them to find or things that have to be done, firewood etc…...

I was just reminded of a statement that the best survival **** is a tea bag because you have to calm down and drink it by making a fire ring, finding firewood, starting a fire, finding water and boiling it which is nearly everything needed to survive except shelter...Sitting down and playing a hand of Solitaire does somewhat the same thing in calming you down and that's three quarters of the battle won right there...


McManners..... Hugh..... The Complete Wilderness Training Book
Fitzhenry & Whiteside Publidhers..... Northern Survival
Kochanski..... Mors..... Northern Bush Craft
Paladin Press..... Never Say Die: The Canadian Air Force Survival Manual
McPherson…..John & Geri….. Primitive Wilderness Living And Survival Skills - Volume l
McPherson…..John & Geri….. Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied And Advanced - Volume ll
Bane..... Michael..... Trail Safe: Averting Threatening Human Behavior In The Outdoors
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 01
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 02
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 03
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 04
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 05
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 06
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 07
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 08
Wigginton..... Elliot..... Foxfire 09
Alloway..... David..... Desert Survival Skills
Davies..... Barry..... The SAS Desert Survival Manual
Nelson..... ****..... Desert Survival
Paladin Press..... U. S. Marine Corps Desert Handbook
McPherson.....John & Geri….. Fire And Cordage
Rippinger.....Robert.....Making Sure Fire Tinder
Angier.....Bradford.....Feasting Free On Wild Edibles
Angier.....Bradford.....Field Guide To Wild Edible Plants
Berglund.....Berndt.....The Edible Wild
Brown.....Tom, Jr......Tom Brown's Field Guide To Wild Edible And Medicinal Plants
Crowhurst.....Adrienne.....The Weed Cookbook
Delta Press.....The Official Pocket Edible Plant Survival Manual
Epler..... John.....All About Ginseng
Gibbons.....Euell.....Beachcomber's Handbook
Gibbons.....Euell.....Stalking The Blue Eyed Scallop
Gibbons.....Euell.....Stalking The Healthful Herbs
Gibbons.....Euell.....Stalking The Wild Asparagus
Harding.....A. R......Ginseng And Other Medicinal Plants
McPherson.....John & Geri….. Makin' Meat 1
McPherson.....John & Geri….. Makin' Meat 2
Polunin.....Miriam.....The Natural Pharmacy
van Allen Murphy.....Edith.....Indian Uses Of Native Plants
Vogel..... Virgil J......American Indian Medicine
Weiner.....Michael A......Earth Medicine - Earth Foods

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Comes in a clear plastic case and bought many years ago at a camping/backpacking store in Wyoming ot Utah and now created by an Unknown Author on a deck and a half (85 pcs) of playing cards
Edible And Poisonous Plants - Eastern & Western USA = Basic Survival & Weather, first Aid & Trapping weighs 150 gr.

I just recently found another 110 card bridge deck of Eastern & Western birds, butterflies, mammals, snakes & lizards, frogs & toads, wildflowers and trees at a Museum in Alberta weighs 280 gr
 

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Nothin' Personal...
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I have a book given to me as a gift entitled "Outdoor Survival Skills", written by Larry Dean Olsen. Not only does it have full color pictures of ninety-something different plants used for food and medicine, it also goes into making shelters, traps, and primitive tools, as well as hide tanning. A good one to look into.
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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If you have any interest at all in edible plants, you need to know the correct step, by step way to identify plants in general first.

The best book to learn that skill is called Botany in a day (search Amazon.com).

The book starts by explaining the various types of plants, and classifications. It describes all the plant parts and how they vary across different plant families. it also shows how to identify each plant by family and pattern in a clear, step by step manor so you can know in no uncertain terms what it is you are looking at.

This book focuses on edible plant families, but that is not what really matters to a beginner. Knowing HOW to properly identify a plant is what matters, so you don't accidentally eat a poisonous look alike.

Once you have mastered the skills taught in Botany in a day, then you will need several other books that go into more detail on specific edibles in your local. Once you have several of those books, the Peterson field guides would be the last step in your education as they are the best and clearest books for specific individual plant identification, but they are remarkabley lean on facts, data and details found in the other books.

I would recommend a 3 step or 3 level learning process.

FIRST - Study "Botany in a day throughly", then study it again. get an note book and hand copy it several times, if need be, to memorize it. Commit the book to memory if you can. This is the MOST IMPORTANT step in developing your plant identification skills.

Second - Study books like "The essential Wild Food Survival guide" and "The Forager's harvest" There are others that are very good too, search Amazon for Botany in a Day, and all the good ones come up in the search.

Third - buy the Peterson Field guides for your area, and any area you plan on going to and get out in the field and practice your identifying skills as much as you can.

I am doing Botany in a day all this winter, several edible plant books next spring, and taking my field guides out to practice my skills all next summer. My schedule should have me capable of foraging most of north America unaided by next fall (according to my sister, who has already done this).
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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10,167 Posts
If you have any interest at all in edible plants, you need to know the correct step, by step way to identify plants in general first.

The best book to learn that skill is called Botany in a day (search Amazon.com).

The book starts by ..... I am doing Botany in a day all this winter, several edible plant books next spring, and taking my field guides out to practice my skills all next summer. My schedule should have me capable of foraging most of north America unaided by next fall (according to my sister, who has already done this).
Yes and no.... There are 4,000 edible species in North America. Learn the two or three dozen best dozen for your area. I've been foraging for over 50 years, and I teach it. (Got a site and over 50 videos on You Tube. Click on my blog.) Botany in a Day is a good book -- is one of my 40 or so -- but it is limited to plants in the Idaho region.

The quickest and best way to learn is study with someone, which is how most of humanity learned since before recorded time and before there was botany. Books are good but they fail in three respects. They do not give you confidence, mistakes are very easy to make, and real plants can vary greatly from pictures and descriptions. A book will not eat the plant in front of you and point out the local difference from the guide books. You can find a local teacher for cheap through the Native Plant Society. By joining for a year or two you learn the plants in season with an expert.

Now, is studying good? Absolutely, but you can shorten a 10-year process into a year or two learning from someone, and reduce your mistakes down to three or four and maybe only one that will make your really sick.
 
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