Wilderness Survival: What Foods Will Kill You

Share with your friends.

When you find yourself lost in the wilderness, it is very important to know what types of foods are available.  Most food can be found naturally and come in different varieties. Things such as wild berries, fish and other water foods, insects and bugs, birds, and other large animals.  It is very important that you have knowledge about each different type you may come across. Food sources should be researched and learned about before any type of outdoor trip or adventure.  Here is a glance at some of the different types of foods for wilderness survival.

Foods for Wilderness Survival

Wild Berries

Wild berries are one of the easiest and most commonly found food items when you are lost in the woods.  Most of the wild berries you will find in the wilderness are edible. However, you need to make sure that you research all of the different types of wild berries there are. Knowing what they look like so you can be sure you don’t consume berries that could potentially harmful ones. 

Wild berries are especially easy to find in the summer months. However, you can still find some wild berries that will grow in the wintertime.  So make sure that you research and know your berries for food supply when you are lost in the woods.

Fish and Food from the Water

Fish and food from the water can easily be found. If they’re sourced from freshwater in North America, most are safe to eat.  It is advised that you warm and cook the fish from a fire or portable grill.  Catching fish does not have to be a hard task to perform at all.  Many fish you can catch barehanded. 

The easiest way to capture a ton of fish is by waiting carefully where the fish are found swimming. Then pinning them down to the bottom of the stream.  Although it sounds difficult, in actuality it is not.  You can also catch other animals for the water to consume such as shellfish and crayfish.  Most of these water animals are safe to eat. They can be easily captured to give you the nutrients and energy you need to survive in the woods.

Insect and Bugs

Two of the safest insects and bugs to eat are grasshoppers and wood grubs.  Although they aren’t very tasty, insects can give you the protein and nutrients you need.   In a wilderness survival situation though, does it matter the taste? These two types of insects can be consumed without cooking. If it is possible though, it would be better to cook them.  You also want to make sure that you remove the wings and legs from the grasshopper. 

You can find grasshoppers in grassy areas and wood grubs can be found in rotten logs.  There are a ton of insects and bugs that you can consume if you are trapped in the wilderness. Not all insects and bugs can be consumed. Without the proper knowledge, and eating the wrong bugs, illness could occur.


Although it is very hard to capture a bird without a gun it is possible with rocks.  However, survivalists find it much easier to capture a bird from its nest or to capture bird eggs.  Capturing bird eggs is one of the top survival food items that someone can get. They are filled with tons of protein that your body needs to give it energy and to survive.  You always want to make sure that you cook the eggs before consumption.  Never eat eggs raw. 

Larger Mammal Animals

Although it can be a daunting task to capture a larger animal without any weapons. Capturing a smaller animal through a trap and then killing is a much easier task.  With no weapons, a rock is the easiest weapon available to you in the woods.  Make sure that you cook the animal thoroughly. 

Although being lost in the woods can be a very scary situation, making sure that you know the foods that are readily available and surrounding you can alleviate one worry off of your shoulder.  Making sure that your body stays hydrated and nourished is very important in your goal to surviving the outdoors, so make sure you keep these tips in mind and use them if you ever become lost in the woods.   

Read about other essential items and how to budget for them here in our article about Emergency Preparedness .

If you love kayaking as we do, you know you can navigate to some pretty lonely areas. Using the tips above and the ones here, if an emergency arises, you’ll be prepared.


Jamie Wilkinson

Hey! My name is Jamie and welcome to Surviving the Day. I'm a jack of all trades but master of none. I love learning new things and living a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, you'll find some of the information I share useful to you and your family. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll be sure to respond!

Recent Articles