Tag: mushrooms

Foraging Courses

It’s that time of the year again!  Autumn in our view is the most exciting season when it comes to wild foragables.  The berries are all on the go and the Fungi are popping up here and there, and as folk who spend the majority of the time outdoors, it’s this seasonal shift that is as noticeable as the change in temperature.

It’s these shifts that our ancestors would come to know and more importantly rely on, as they lived in a more symbiotic way with the land than us.  Spending a day out finding food for free and learning new species of fungi that can be eaten (and more importantly not eaten) definitely makes you think that you’re doing what people have done for millennia.

We are practioners of Survival, and as you may well know, the aim of the game in Survival is to get yourself rescued within the 72 hour window, which automatically negates the need for food.  However missing the 72 hour window of rescue will mean having to do your best to hunt and gather what can be found around you.  This ties in nicely with the Survival Pyramid, which states that in hierarchy “Will to live” is the most important, followed by “knowledge” and last of all “kit”.  It’s the Knowledge part of the triangle that is important when foraging.

With plants, fungi, berries, roots etc, there’s no tidy trick to remember what’s edible and what will kill you.  The emphasis is very much on you to get out there with a field guide and start the journey of collating a list of foods that you could live off should the worst happen……..and it’s not that difficult.  BCS have a number of courses running over the autumn that can help you if you get stuck, or can act as a basis to build from.

But if we’re honest (and it doesn’t make good business sense to say this)  There’s a huge amount of satisfaction attached to getting out there yourself, so that’s what we’d recommend to begin with.  But remember never eat something you’re not 110% sure you can identify as safe to eat, and if you get stuck…….give us a shout!


10 Amazing Facts about Mushrooms

Getting psyced for the mushroom season here at BCS! Please be aware that there’s no rule of thumb when coming to identification of Fungi.  Make sure you pick them with someone that know what they’re doing, and take a good field guide with you. Field guides that we use are the Collins Mushroom I.D and Richard Maybe’s “Food for free”.

It’s easy to poison yourself with Fungi, as there are many dopplegangers/look-a-likes out there.  It’s also worth remembering that the calorific value of Mushrooms in a survival context is very low. 90% of the flesh of fungi is water, so in a real life scenario you are better avoiding them for the small calorific return you’ll get rather than run the risk of poisoning.

It’s also worth learning how to take a “spore print”.


Here’s a few amazing #mycology facts.


1. Mushrooms are genetically closer to humans than #plants, having went their own #genetic way 1300 million years ago.
2.Fungi breath #oxygen and exhale #co2
3. More than 80% of the #earth under your feet is mycelium.
4. The mushroom is the tip of the iceberg, and is the fruiting body of the #mycelium. The fruiting body makes up less than 5% of the organism.
5. The largest organism on the #planet is a #honeyfungus which is 2.4 miles across!
6.The hardest #natural material in nature is #Sporopollenin which the mushrooms spores are made of.
7. Mushrooms spores can #survive the vacuum and #radiation of space.
8. Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) is one of the most #deadliestorganisms on earth. They contain #amatoxin, once ingested you’ve got no hope of recovery ????
9.#psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) are being researched by #johnhopkinsuniversity to treat #depression #addiction and many other #psychological problems.
10. Mushrooms taste good, and are #free !