November 2014 - Wild Foraging
4 November 2014 | Admin
Hasn’t it been a fantastic Autumn? The leaves have only recently started to change colour and shower us with their glory. Mushrooms and fungi seem in abundance but I haven’t seen many folk out foraging like they were for blackberries and sloes a few weeks ago.
There has been so much of late about “foraging” as if this is a new art! Yet many of us have always foraged. As a girl I was often sent out by my Grandma to fetch the field mushrooms. We all knew where to find them, the trick was to see who could find the largest! There was no fear we would pick the wrong ones and be poisoned as we always picked the same type, however today we are much more cautious.
A few years back I bought a great book “Mushrooming without Fear” and the main premise is not to pick any mushrooms with gills initially, so that’s our field mushrooms out! Back in 2007 we went exploring with the Worcestershire Fungus Group to learn about local edible mushrooms.
Listening to “From our own correspondent”, a radio 4 broadcast, there was a section on mushrooming in Hungary. I was interested to hear how they were using technology and expertise to ensure safe foraging. It seems our European cousins are much braver than us when it comes to mushroom picking!
Still, what a joy to go forage for something and bring it back to the campfire to cook!
Bob has been off this last weekend to a Backpackers Meet over in the Brecons. In the days prior Bob was rummaging through our outdoor kit looking for the right gear to test. In this case it was mainly the Hubba NX and the Boreas Buttermilk 55. Both of which got the thumbs up, especially the tent, as Bob does hate it when they don’t provide enough space for taller people.
The last minute rush (as always) reminded us that proper preparation is needed and that we used to have a “Grab Bag” ready so that some spontaneous excursions might be possible! To that end I have asked him to list off what he’d put in his overnight grab bag. Ironically what you need for one night is often the same as for a week, bar the food!
On reflection it is harder to put a grab bag together now than in years gone by. This is for several reasons. Products change and evolve, plus generally we pack the bag to suit the activity. So on some occasions it will be a tent and others a bivi or tarp would better if wild camping.
Talking of which Bob has just finished Episode One of his Wild Camping Challenge for October. He chose to keep it simple and start as a newbie might do with a second hand bivi and an old sleeping bag up on our local hills. Check it out and have a listen here.