Wild Plants and Insects You Can Eat In A Survival Situation

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Finding safe and edible food is a very important skill when you are forced to survive outdoors without anything.  We are very aware that in a disaster anything could happen and we may lose all of our stored resources in an instant. Knowing how and where to find safe edible natural food sources can mean the difference between life and death.

Natural food

If you are forced to survive in the wilderness it is important to understand that on the first stage of a survival situation the most appropriate and easiest food you have access to with necessary carbohydrates would be plants. Having said so, finding something to in the wilderness is easy because it is full of natural food ranging from plants to insects. Knowledge on which plant or insect is safe and edible will make the difference as well. Varying your diet will make sure you get the appropriate proportions of fat, protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Meat and fish are also good sources of protein and fat and would provide virtually everything a long-term survivor would need.

Wild edible plants

Finding edible plants in the wilderness is easy except when you are in the middle of a desert. Depending on the time of the year you are sure to always find edible plants. Knowing a thing or two about safe and edible plants will greatly increase your chances of survival.

Here’s a list of poisonous plants to avoid:

Milky or discolored sap

Milky or discolored sap

Pines, fine hairs, or thorns


Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods


Bitter or soapy taste

The difficulty with bitter tasting foods is that most plants taste bitter, even the healthy ones. So it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two. the Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods by T. Elias has a “Poisonous look-alikes” feature that is an added attraction within each plant description and there is also an entire poisonous plant section so there will be no mistake about what your eating.

Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage

“Almond” scent in the woody parts and leaves

Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs

grain head with pink spurs

Three-leaved growth pattern

Three-leaved growth pattern

Here’s a list of edible plants you can commonly find in the wilderness:

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Cattail (Typha)

Cattail (Typha)

Clovers (Trifolium)

Clovers (Trifolium)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)

Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Field Pennycress (Thalspi vulgaris)

Field Pennycress (Thalspi vulgaris)

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)

Green Seaweed (Ulva lactuca)

Green Seaweed (Ulva lactuca)

Kelp (Alaria esculenta)

Kelp (Alaria esculenta)

Plantain (Plantago)

Plantain (Plantago)

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)

White Mustard (Synapsis alba)

White Mustard (Synapsis alba)

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis)

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis)

Watch this video to learn more about eating wild plants.

Edible insects

When in a survival situation keep in mind that you’re most vital nutritional needs are fat and protein. When forced to survive outdoors edible bugs are your greatest source of protein and fat.  Here’s a list of edible insects that are commonly found in the wilderness:

  1. Agave worm
  2. Ant
  3. Honeypot ants
  4. Leafcutter ants
  5. Lemon ants
  6. Bamboo  worm
  7. Bee
  8. Centipede
  9. Cicada
  10. Cockroach
  11. Cricket
  12. Dragonfly
  13. Dung Beetle
  14. Earthworm
  15. Fly pupae
  16. Flying Ant
  17. Grasshopper
  18. Hornworm
  19. Jumiles
  20. June bug
  21. Locust
  22. Louse
  23. Mopane worm
  24. Mealworm
  25. Midge fly
  26. Nsenene
  27. Pill-bug
  28. Sago grubs
  29. Silk worm
  30. Scorpion
  31. Tarantula
  32. Termite
  33. Wasp
  34. Walking stick
  35. Water Bug
  36. Waxworm
  37. Wichetty grub
  38. Zaza-mushi

Watch this video for more information about safe and edible insects you can find in the wilderness:

In : Survival

About the author

Learn More About Being a Survivalist. My name is Jack and my blog is a great way to get new and useful tips on how to get your house ready for anything, whether its a terrible storm or a really long power outage.


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