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Dear Wilderness Expert

Last Question:

Hello, my name is Dan.  I am 9 years old.  What kind of plant or animal can I eat in the wild?



Hi Dan,

This seems to be a popular topic, because the very last question I answered was about what plants you could eat in the wild. You can scroll down to see what I said about that. But you also asked about animals, which is a bit different. Why? Because almost any animal you find in the wilderness is edibleÖ they just donít always taste very good! It depends on what they eat and where they live. But watch out-- there are a few deadly ones out there. Like certain kinds of frogs and salamanders that have poisonous skin.

That's why I always tell people to look at some books and field guides about the areas they will be traveling in, so they can become familiar with the local knowledge about what you can and canít do in that kind of wilderness.  There are a lot of these that you can either buy or request from your own library. You might be interested in one of my favorites for general survival skills called, The Boy's Book of Outdoor Survival  by Chris McNab.

Thanks for writing, Dan. And remember: the best way to stay safe in the wilderness is to go prepared!

                                                                                    The Wilderness Expert



Other questions the Wilderness Expert has been asked:

What can you eat and what can you not eat
 in the wilderness?

Dear Future Survivor,

You must be careful eating plants in the wild.  There are lots of plants that are very harmful to humans.  The human body can go for 30 days without eating.  What you really need is water.  You should decide whether it is going to be more beneficial for you to go hungry or risk eating something and getting sick.  If you really need to eat some of the vegetation, rub it on your skin first.  If you break out or itch in 24 hours then it is NOT edible.  If that test passes; put some on your tongue for a minute and spit it out.  If it makes you sick in the next 24 hours, it is not edible.  Finally if those tests have gone well you can eat it, but just a little bit, you guessed it; wait 24 hours to see if it makes you sick.  After that test it is more than likely ok to eat.

I recommend you get a book that is specific to your area and study the local edibles.  You can also talk to the locals to find out what is edible (That is what Bear Grylls does before his shows).  Contact your local college: sometimes they have good classes on local flora and fauna that can be great fun starting your knowledge of plants in your area.

Thank you for your question, I know lots of people were wondering the same thing.

See you in the backcountry,

                                                      The Wilderness Expert



What's your REAL name?

My real name is:

(to my sons), and Son (to my Dad and Mom), and Brother (to my Brother) and Friend (to many others). To some I am Boats (a Coast Guard thing). To others I am Dude (they don't know me very well) and to some The Wilderness Expert (No one really calls me that but it explains a lot in a short title).

There is a lot to be said about the name people call you. That is why it hurts so much when people call you a bad name, because you don't want to become that. Wilderness Expert explains to people that don't know me that I have quite a lot of experience in the outdoors. I have tried hard to live up to that name over the years and that is why I like it so much. Make a name for yourself this week, then try your best to live up to it.

Write to us and let us know how it goes.

                                                                The Wilderness Expert

P.S.  My Mom calls me Jay-Boy if you really want to know.  You can also find out more about me here.



About the Wilderness Expert...

Wilderness Kids Club 
is sponsored by the
  Wilderness School Institute,
 where they 
"take learning back to nature."

Take care of your   piece of the wilderness...




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