Friday, March 16, 2018

Spring Foraging Survival Skills

When you think about sprint time, you may think of things like new wildlife being born or an abundance of new plant life popping up everything. Spring seems to be the highlight of abundance and new life, across the board. However, even though you might not imagine it, it’s just as easy to starve in the spring if you are completely dependant on wild food. In fact, spring is one of the leanest times of year.

In some areas, spring is known as “the starving season”, and for this very reason, the fall stockpile was laid up not only for the winter, but for the spring as well. There may be a great deal of plant life to eat at this time, but there aren’t many calories in what you might find. So if springtime survival becomes key for you, here are some important resources to keep in mind.


You can eat dandelion roots both raw and cooked, but they are incredibly bitter in the raw stage. This often discourages anyone from eating them. They are touch and are usually best used in stir frying, stewing or sliced and turned into snack chips. They are high in iron, boron, potassium, silicon, calcium and vitamin C.

Ounce for ounce, dandelion roots have even more beta carotene than carrots do. If you happen to have a craving for coffee, you can even chop and roast these roots into an alternative. There is no caffeine, but there is a bit of a coffee flavor. True coffee connoisseurs disagree on that flavor. Simply roast the roots beside your fire or in an oven, if you have one, until they become dark and brittle. They can be stored for future use, or you can use it immediately, soaking a teaspoon of the root in scalding hot water for about fifteen minutes. You can then strain it and sweeten it to your taste.


Across the Northern Hemisphere of the United States and North America, you will find lots of different thistle species. There are none in the United States that are toxic to humans, but you will find some that taste far more bitter than others. Harvesting them is easy, as you’ll only need to use a shovel or some similar device to pull the roots up, then cut off the tops, which are spiny. The remaining portion of the root can then be washed, chopped up and eaten immediately, if you wish. Or, just like any other root vegetable, they can be fried, stewed or even simmered, and then eaten.

Wild Onion

There are about a dozen wild onion species in North America, some of which even grow well in the winter. They prefer sunny conditions, right out in the open, so you’re more likely to find them in meadows or fields, or maybe even in your very own yard. Some seem more like garlic, both in flavor and looks, while others more closely resemble and taste like chives.

However tasty these plants are to the general population, make sure you don’t just forage and eat everything that seems to be shaped like an onion. The fact is, they still belong to the lily family, and it’s one that does contain some toxic plants. First, make sure you’re really dealing with the onion class of the family by looking for the bulbous roots and round stem. Once you’ve verified the looks, then you can do the scratch and sniff test. Just bruise the bulb or top portion of the plant. If it’s the edible variety, you will immediately smell that familiar onion/garlic smell. You will be able to use these in the same way your would use onions bought from a store, cooked or raw.

Reasons To Consider Foraging

Even if you aren’t in a survival situation, spring foraging can be incredibly beneficial. There are as many economic benefits as there are survival benefits, and well worth knowing about. Consider these factors:

  • Foraged food is free food, and makes an excellent alternative to organic produce that is often overly priced.
  • Foraging is possible almost all year long, if you know what to look for and how to harvest it.
  • Foraging can add to the wealth you harvest from a garden, or replace it all together.
  • Foraging is a great way to get outside and get moving, so it’s beneficial as a means of exercise.
  • Foraging familiarizes you with the immediate surroundings of your location.
  • Food found through foraging is naturally higher in nutrients than foods you find in commercial settings, there is no genetic alterations of any kind, and the soil in which it is grown hasn’t been depleted by years of industrial farming.

Important Foraging Rules

The best way to learn to forage is to do so under the training of someone who is experienced in foraging. If you cannot find one, or a group in your local area, the next best advice is to get yourself a really good-quality edible plant guide book. Once you begin your foraging journey, be sure to adhere to these basic foraging rules:

  • Don’t pick anything you don’t readily recognize and most certainly do not eat it.
  • Take your guidebook with you – preferably a very good one.
  • Never pick a plant that looks as if it has a disease of any kind.
  • Wash everything well before eating it.
  • Keep an eye out for bugs, snakes and other dangerous creatures that often use plants as hideouts.
  • Wear gloves and other protective clothing in case you come in contact with poison ivy or other such plants.
  • Stay in areas you are familiar with, so that you don’t accidentally get lost.
  • Do not forage on private property unless you first get permission from the known landowner.
  • Do not forage in national forests or public parks unless you are sure it’s permissible to do so. Some foraging is banned in areas such as these.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Unfortunate but necessary...

By: Sebastian Berry

Friends, I write this after our blog has been on hiatus for a while. Unfortunate events caused us all to be out of commission for a while as we regrouped and reset. I sincerely hope that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

It is my personal goal in writing to be able to better prepare people for emergency situations. My forte is medical however I have military and some outdoors experience that help guide me. In light of the recent cultural and political climate this post will probably be divisive but I will put it out there anyway.



The above is the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It has been hotly debated for as long as I can remember. Tax stamps, papers, ATF, BATFE, assault weapons, magazine capacity, bullet buttons, etc. 

I personally like firearms. I have use for them, like other tools that I own. Like any of my tools that I own, they need someone to use them. I would love if the vacuum ran itself or the snowblower for that matter. I do not believe that the issue with guns lies in the gun itself. Guns do what we want them to do.

I own an AR-15 style rifle. Never once has it gone out and shot another person, albeit I have killed many paper targets and melons with it. I believe the AR style rifle is being targeted because it is what is popular. I have asked the question several times to people on both sides of the issue, why the AR? Answers vary from it looks scary to no one should be able to own that kind of rifle to it shall not be infringed.

Which leads me to my main point. The second amendment was written in a time and by people who were very distrustful of government. The founders (of our country) believed that government should be limited and that is why they came up with the constitution, and then the amendment process.

In my opinion the second amendment might have been transcribed in error. I believe there was supposed to be a period after the words free state. I personally think the framers (of the constitution) had two separate thoughts. I believe the amendment should read as follows...



The reason that I think this is simple. The people were and still are the militia. This is not the National Guard or Reserves. The militia are lay-people as opposed to professional soldiers. Think about it, people who served in the militia brought their own arms and ammunition. If our country called for a militia again, who would serve? Those who are already armed. The same principle of olden time applies to our time.

A friend of mine made a statement thus, "It seems like there is nothing that can be done constitutionally to stop people from shooting up children, given that law enforcement will fail again."
His position was to eradicate the AR-15 style rifle, in all its variants. I asked him how it could be done and he answered with confiscation. But how? I asked. He took maybe a half second and said that the AR would have to be illegal. But what about the second amendment? I asked. I would have to be done away with. How? I asked. He couldn't answer!


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate2.

Folks, there is a way to change our constitution. It is by amendment. It has been done 27 other times and can be done more if needs be. Allow me to be very clear, I am not suggesting elimination of the second amendment. I am also not suggesting the outlaw and confiscation of firearms. I believe the founders saw a time where the people (all of us) would be called upon to defend our country. In order for the people to be able to do that we must be able to be armed.

I heard a statement on the radio from the Cato Institute about the constitution last week, it went about like this- The constitution set up a government, no one ever said that it set up an efficient government.

Let's hear from you in the coments. Do you own an AR style rifle? Support gun control or bans? Tell us!