*** UPDATE ***
Winter Survival Food is now available! This full colour booklet shows you how to forage for wild edibles during the lean winter months, giving your body the nutrition it needs to survive.
No matter where you live, inevitably you have heard some form of advice along the lines of having at least three days of emergency food on hand at all times. Having stored emergency food only makes sense; however, in the event of a catastrophic event, three months of food supplies may not even be enough. Knowing what to forage no matter the season is knowledge we all should have; but it is more important in the winter.
Foraging for survival purposes in the winter months would be quite challenging depending on where you live. Those living in cities and other urban centers will find it by far more difficult to survive than those living in rural areas. Depending on the urban location, people will have no option but to get to an area that can provide food. Should a winter storm take out power for a few days, and if you are properly prepared this will not be an issue; however, far too many people do not even have three days of food and water supplies in their home let alone other necessary supplies.
Why be prepared?
Historically, this planet has given us some intense summer and winter storms. Thousands of people have experienced the horror of getting through a storm then trying to cope afterwards without power. Here are some examples:
February 1998 – Ottawa/Ontario – Thirty-five people died as a result of an ice storm. An estimated 11,000 hydro poles, 1,000 transformers and 300 steel towers were damaged in Ontario alone. More than 1.2 million homes in Quebec (about half the population) and 250,000 homes in Ontario lost power for up to two weeks. About 600,000 people were forced to leave areas where the blackout lingered.
December 2013 – U.S. and Eastern Canada – Over a period of three days a crippling winter storm, ice storm and tornados impacted the central and eastern portions of Canada, parts of the Central Great Plains, the Southern United States, and the northeastern United States. 27 people lost their life and over a million people lost power.
February 2016 – Eastern Canada leaves hundreds of thousands without hydro.
December 2016 – Almost 100,000 without power after a winter storm.
December 2016 – South Dakota declares a state of emergency that left thousands without power.
January 13 – Europe is getting battered with a brutal winter and recent storms have left 330,000 without power in France.
We’re living in times of climate and political uncertainty and should the conditions be perfect, a winter (or summer) storm can take down hydro for days, if not weeks. Even worse, there are scenarios that can happen without warning that will send us back to living as though it was 1800. An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or a massive geomagnetic solar storm can take down the grid. In 1859 the Carrington Event basically ‘fried’ existing communications. During this event a solar coronal mass ejection hit the Earth’s magnetosphere resulting in the largest geomagnetic storm on record. These storms frequently happen and many scientists feel we will experience another Carrington event. If this happens we are in big trouble. Will you be ready?
Knowing how to be self reliant has become quite popular in recent years. People are learning how to maximize their “growing food” potential in their backyards and on their balconies. Other skills people are learning include hunting, fishing, and foraging. There is no how to survive without food and water situation, learning basic survival skills is important.
Winter foraging is not so easy but it can be done. It would be a very rare case if a person could survive on their own in winter. Simply put, the amount of energy required to find food will exceed what is gathered. Survival will inevitably hinge on teamwork.
There’s a powerful saying that goes: “It is better to have and not need than to need and not have.” If you want to know what foraging opportunities exist in harsh winter conditions then be sure to order your copy of Winter Survival Food. This book will be available in early February – order now, you’ll save on postage and the book will be shipped to you the moment it is printed!
I have been trained in survival for many decades, including having to figure out food, shelter, heat, navigating in forests for three days when we were about 11 years old in the Hungarian Boy Scouts. I have many skills, but I will tell you, you can always have more. Having more skills than you need to survive is better than not having enough skills to survive. I continue to expand on my survival skills and Karen Stephenson has been a wealth of information I did not have before I met her. Your life, the lives of your family or friends could depend on your life skills. Most have none.
Could you light a fire in a massive rainstorm? Cook without pots and pans? Find or gather drinkable water? How about navigating with stars, without stars? Food, do you know what you can and can not eat in the wild? Fishing without tackle? Trapping game, big and small? how about first aid? Would you know how to create an airway if someones throat was swollen shut? How about treating a broken limb? Oh and there is no Google Survival in the wild. Relying on Google is a deadly idea when your device goes dead or the signals are not connecting. Be smart. Learn to survive. Your sock and some mud, can be used to get precious drops of water in you body if you know how. Could be the difference between life and death! Your choice.
Thanks for the kind words Attila. Yes – there is so much out there to know and you’re right – search engines may not be there to help. Good ole fashioned knowledge – better to have and not need than to need and not have!
Loved this, basic survival skills are certainly lacking in the 21st century, despite the fact they are arguably needed more than ever.
On a lighter note, I found a cool article that combines foraging and pancake day that may be of interest!
Yes – I agree with you, basic skills are needed more than ever!
I live in California with no snow, during the winter we have fruit from abandoned trees until January. Asparagus grows wild, (that’s not very unique it grows wild in many areas). It seems zucchini has taken to the wild as well. The deciding factor of foraging after a catastrophic event will be how many other people have shown up to do the same. I fear living in a low populated area may attract some people thinking they would be better off here than in the city. Good article, thanks.
That is really interesting to know that zucchini has gone rogue! I wouldn’t fear being in a low populated area. I did a walk in a rural community last summer and many people there are prepared to make their way to the cities in a shift event because they believe there will be services there for them. Many people in cities have that same attitude – the services to help will come to them.