One of my favorite things to do while hiking is to forage and eat wild plants, leaves and berries. I feel that it just helps to give me that sense of closeness with mother nature that I crave! Unfortunately, it is not as simple as wandering about, and just grabbing any leaf off from whatever plant you stumble across and eating it. You really have to know what you are eating. There are many plants that are unsafe to eat, and some could potentially kill you. A while back I picked up a book in the "Peterson Field Guides" series that has become indispensable to me. It is titled "Edible Wild Plants Eastern/Central North America" by Lee Allen Peterson. I have carried this book with me on many hikes to use on a reference. I often times will plan a forage meal on a backpacking trip, or a hike, where I will not bring anything with me for that meal. Instead I will have to "live off the land" and eat only what I can find while on that particular trip. It can be fun and very rewarding. There is also the potential to save some weight as well.
I have found that this book is very well written. It contains over 400 drawings and 78 color photos, to help in the identification of many edible wild plants as well as some poisonous look-a-likes. Each entry contains not only details of how to recognize the species, it also provides descriptions of habitat, seasons and when they flower, as well as the uses and preparation. Also contains any applicable warnings. The line drawings are very accurate and with the descriptions are enough to be able to identify just about any plant.
This book is a great resource for any survivalist's bookshelf.
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