Brief disposition. December. The temperature is below zero, but tolerable. There is no wind, no precipitation. Morning. Mixed forest of the middle zone. Nearby there is a river. Equipment – warm clothes, backpack, tent, bowler hat, gas burner, survival kit, knife. You don’t have to worry about the heat – there is enough firewood around. There is also a gun, but you should not count on a successful hunt. So…
The Survivor’s Menu: What to Eat in the Winter Forest
Pine needles tea
Water balance is extremely important in this situation as well. Moreover, there is a serious risk of losing precious moisture with sweat. And you will definitely sweat, especially if you have not chosen a set of winter clothes very well. So, there is no snow in such situations categorically. And drinking melt water without preliminary heating – too. This is fraught with hypothermia of internal organs with all the ensuing consequences. But just cooled boiling water is, although useful, but boring. Therefore, most experienced conquerors of the taiga always add pine needles to the pot. Young pine needles, if, cedar – it doesn’t matter what exactly.
Proportions – a glass of finely chopped (this is important) needles for 1 glass of water. The mixture is boiled over a fire for 30 minutes, then cooled slightly. It turns out to be a rather concentrated and healthy drink. There is an alternative way that retains more vitamin C, which does not tolerate long boiling. To do this, it is enough to pour a glass of pine needles with a glass of boiling water, close the lid and let stand for 7 minutes. In addition, a small amount of fresh resin of coniferous trees can be added to this broth. About a teaspoon.
Fishing is a much more efficient and easy way to get food than hunting. Even in winter, when the fish is much more lethargic than at other times of the year, there is still a chance to catch something. Hooks, lines and “reusable baits” can be found in many survival kits. So we will assume that you will succeed in catching at least something. And here a little problem immediately pops up. The fact is that there are plenty of parasites in the river fish. Under normal conditions, they are dealt with either by serious salting out, or by prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Cooking in this case is the best option, since it allows you to evenly affect the entire volume of fish. And according to the initial conditions, we have no frying pans and butter.
So. Large fish are scaled and gutted. You can leave the scales, but then the finished ear will be slightly “sticky” and unnecessarily thick. Gills are removed from the heads – this is important. Small fish can be thrown entirely, but it is better, cleanly, just in case, to gut it too. Proportions – 600 grams of fish per 2 liters of water. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. In the process of cooking, it is worth stirring the fish in order to “break up” large pieces – let the mixture be more uniform, since, according to the terms of the problem, we do not have vegetables. Cook without a lid – the pot is covered only after removing from the fire and only for 20 minutes – so that it is infused. If suddenly, somewhere in the backpack, some spices, salt and alcohol are still lying around, and in a normal survivor they can really be found, then they should be added 5 minutes before the end of cooking. 50 grams of alcohol will be enough for a full pot.
Winter is an extremely difficult time of the year, especially for food. There are no berries, there are edible roots, but they are not so easy to find, there are no more mushrooms. But there is bark, which is actively devoured by all sorts of herbivores, such as deer, and even hares. And a person – too, if he knows which bark to look for and what to do with it later. We will need a fresh pine tree. Experiments have shown that almost any bark will do, but the most “tasty” bark – in Eastern white or Weymouth pine. However, spruce, thuja and larch are also suitable.
You can “cut on a living” tree, but it is better to knock it down. Then – separate the bark with a knife. The surface layer – “cork” – is not of interest to us, but right below it lies the growth layer – phloem or bast. This is what we need. Fortunately, it is on it that the bark is removed – you just need to scrape off the surface layer – and you can proceed further. The separated layer can be chewed directly like chewing gum. Even slightly sweet (if we are talking about Weymouth pine, for example). However, it is better to find a large, thin, flat stone and use it as a frying pan. When the thin strips of bark have acquired a golden hue, they can be eaten. Or – grind and prepare something like flour from them. And from flour mixed with water, you can make unleavened cakes. Or it can be used to thicken the fish soup described above.
Mushrooms, berries and other gifts of nature
When we said that there was no such good in the winter forest, we turned our hearts around a little. Yes, but not enough. And they still need to be found, but not to be confused with inedible. Most often, the following edible mushrooms can be found:
- Late oyster mushrooms (oyster mushroom)
- Winter honey
- False foil seroplate
- Some varieties of tinder fungus. Sulfur-yellow, liverwort, scaly and umbellate.
The theme of “winter” mushrooms interesting, but also extensive, so about it in the next article. All the mushrooms mentioned are edible, although not overly nutritious. As for cooking, we recommend that you first scald the collected mushrooms, then boil for half an hour in one water, drain and cook for another half hour until tender.
With edible roots it’s not that simple either. The fact is that in the glades in the winter forest you can find dead burdock common. Find, excavate and get very live and edible roots, which some “connoisseurs” generally compare with potatoes. Well, since they are comparing, then it can be added to the fish soup we have prepared – it will not get worse. Only, of course, it is necessary to clean it up. The same goes for the roots of reeds and reeds.
As for the berries, then we are interested in mountain ash, rose hips and cranberries. All this, if you’re lucky, can be found in our winter forests. You can eat it this way, but it is better to add it to “pine tea”.
Acorns are an interesting topic too.… Peel, soak for an hour, then fry, grind and get flour. An alternative option, more suitable for our situation, is to pour the acorns into boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, drain the water, pour in a new one, bring to a boil, and so on 3 times. The criterion of readiness – the water does not turn brown. The boiled acorns can then be fried and chopped.
As you can see, it is quite possible to find food in the winter forest. The table, of course, can hardly be called festive, but it is quite satisfying and not too heavy. Exactly what you need to survive in the cold season.