Foraging for beginners

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Did you know that there’s a relatively simple way of adding some seasonal variety to your camping diet? Foraging is not so much about living off the land (that would be quite hard, and probably involve some hunting), than just trying a little taste of the land. Remember, we’ve got a great range of camping stoves and all the other accessories you need to cook up and serve a feast out there in the outdoors.

Here are our tips, depending on whether you’re inland or near the coast.

(Note: we haven’t included mushrooms, as they require specialist knowledge to identify, and can be poisonous.)

Woodland

In autumn and winter, you can eat beech nuts raw, or acorns after boiling them in hot water to remove the bitter tannins. Then there’s chestnuts to roast in a dry pan over the fire or camping stove. In spring you can eat dandelions raw in salads, or sautéed. Nettles are another abundant and nutrient-rich spring edible, from which you can make a simple tea, or blanch and eat as a green. In late spring and summer, you can gorge on bramble berries, which grow abundantly in UK hedgerows. Try adding them to your morning campsite porridge. Another abundant and healthy summer target is yarrow, which can be eaten raw, cooked as a vegetable, or used in stews.

Coast

If you’re near marshy land like estuaries, look for samphire, which can be cooked and served as a green. Seaweed of all kinds can be eaten, but you might want to try a few types to find which ones you find the tastiest. Seaweed can be eaten raw, but many people prefer to boil or dry it out first. If you fancy something living, both limpets and winkles are plentiful and nutritious. Limpets need to be struck once, hard, to get them off the rock. Extract the flesh from the shells and poach them in water (same goes for winkles, except you can cook them in their shells and extract them as you eat).

Happy foraging! Remember, we’ve got all the gear you need to love the outdoors. Our team is always happy to help if you have any questions.