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Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
5
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
I have to politely disagree with you on that point, I cant speak for other field guides, & i don't want to get in to a heated debate here but my copy of Food for Free just (randomly leafing through) does tell you is how to distinguish reliably from the non-edible stuff, listing similar looking non edible plants & risky hard to identify plants that might be mistakenly identified with a warning & also has entries on poisonous & harmful stuff. Random example Hemlock. Can I ask if you are familiar with this particular book or were you just generalizing & judging a book by its cover, so to speak? This book is what it is & might I also add no one likes a smart ars* only saying...

Alan, I'm not offended at all, and to an extent I was generalising, yes. I have a copy of Food For Free, and it is excellent as I said, but mine isn't the current version, so I may have to get it and might end up revising my opinion.

It is more that I distrust the lack of comprehensive coverage. For example, I might confuse, say, edible cow parsley for poisonous hemlock. You might think they look nothing like each other. So when a book says "You can really only confuse this with species X and Y I distrust it on principle. I have seen people make the most appalling misidentifications between plants (and animals) that seem so unlike each other it is hard to credit (see one of my recentish posts about people confusing caterpillars with snakes - honestly).

Basically I'm erring on the side of caution, since in the wild foraging game a mistake can be serious, if not fatal. Mick91 is clearly no beginner, but there may be beginners reading and I would hate to give them the impression that there are shortcuts to just knowing it. The books help, but they are not the whole answer. If that is being a smart anything, then I'm guilty. :)
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Alan, I'm not offended at all, and to an extent I was generalising, yes. I have a copy of Food For Free, and it is excellent as I said, but mine isn't the current version, so I may have to get it and might end up revising my opinion.

It is more that I distrust the lack of comprehensive coverage. For example, I might confuse, say, edible cow parsley for poisonous hemlock. You might think they look nothing like each other. So when a book says "You can really only confuse this with species X and Y I distrust it on principle. I have seen people make the most appalling misidentifications between plants (and animals) that seem so unlike each other it is hard to credit (see one of my recentish posts about people confusing caterpillars with snakes - honestly).

Basically I'm erring on the side of caution, since in the wild foraging game a mistake can be serious, if not fatal. Mick91 is clearly no beginner, but there may be beginners reading and I would hate to give them the impression that there are shortcuts to just knowing it. The books help, but they are not the whole answer. If that is being a smart anything, then I'm guilty. :)
I'm no beginner but no expert, maybe a cautious intermediate. 10 points for anyone that can guess WHY I only forage what's 100% certain? Pain and suffering are really fast teachers!
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
5
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
I'm no beginner but no expert, maybe a cautious intermediate. 10 points for anyone that can guess WHY I only forage what's 100% certain? Pain and suffering are really fast teachers!

Me too! On all counts. That poisonous mushroom 25 years ago could have been much worse than it was... Never made that mistake again.
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Me too! On all counts. That poisonous mushroom 25 years ago could have been much worse than it was... Never made that mistake again.
Yew berries and pokeweed got me. Thing is the pokeweed berries actually taste good but made me really quite ill. Yew berries however let you know they're poisonous straight away (burning the mouth and bitter)
A lass I went to uni with intentionally ate datura inoxia and apparently that was rough
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,466
2,431
S. Lanarkshire
Mince; Yew berries are sweet and delicious. The seed does not want to crack anyway and if swallowed uncracked just goes through the gut with out any bother.

We don't usually tell folks that about the seeds but it's true. Just don't crack them. Sook them free of the ariel and spit them out.

M

p.s. Yew tart…1/5th of the way down this page
http://wildmanwildfood.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/wild-recipes-of-young-werther-eating.html
 
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mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Mince; Yew berries are sweet and delicious. The seed does not want to crack anyway and if swallowed uncracked just goes through the gut with out any bother.

We don't usually tell folks that about the seeds but it's true. Just don't crack them. Sook them free of the ariel and spit them out.

M
Ah see I just had a couple of berries in the mouth and bit down. Almost instantaneous nausea followed by a splitting headache. I had misinterpreted someone when they said exactly what you have there. Didn't know if it was the flesh or the seed that tastes that way and did that but now I avoid them all together.
 

Alan 13~7

Settler
Oct 2, 2014
572
5
Prestwick, Scotland
Alan, I'm not offended at all, and to an extent I was generalising, yes. I have a copy of Food For Free, and it is excellent as I said, but mine isn't the current version, so I may have to get it and might end up revising my opinion.

It is more that I distrust the lack of comprehensive coverage. For example, I might confuse, say, edible cow parsley for poisonous hemlock. You might think they look nothing like each other. So when a book says "You can really only confuse this with species X and Y I distrust it on principle. I have seen people make the most appalling identification between plants (and animals) that seem so unlike each other it is hard to credit (see one of my recentish posts about people confusing caterpillars with snakes - honestly).

Basically I'm erring on the side of caution, since in the wild foraging game a mistake can be serious, if not fatal. Mick91 is clearly no beginner, but there may be beginners reading and I would hate to give them the impression that there are shortcuts to just knowing it. The books help, but they are not the whole answer. If that is being a smart anything, then I'm guilty. :)

I interpreted your comment as being negative argumentative & smart ***** & with out validation as the two points you made of the book I was listing as "of interest" were factually incorrect, it got my dander up. Just saying
If you feel the need to apologist to regular members for banging on then why make the "caveat" in the first place. So unlike you I don't feel the need to apologies for indirectly calling you a smart ars*

Regarding the current version I bought this book direct from Collins, the hardback version it came without a the hard back an early edition 1973 perhaps I'm sure I still have it some where, & in myho it was better laid out in regards the beginner its been the only book of this subject that I am familiar with, I have used it as my only means of identification & personal feel that it is great even for beginners, I always recommend it as it may be of interest. Similar to mick quote "That's my hard and fast rule. If I don't know it I don't eat it and in all honesty I do ok". it's just common sense eigh? so my point here is may be current isn't always best, wish I could find it or the same version. as my original copy

Also F.Y.I. at the risk of being a smart ars* Quote "It is more that I distrust the lack of comprehensive coverage. For example, I might confuse, say, edible cow parsley for poisonous hemlock." this point you make is moot, as I already used hemlock & its comparison/reference being in my book first So ha Ha!

Is it just me or does anyone else feel the way I do about similar "caveat banging on?" & does this post qualify? P.S. I'm actually in a good mood today!
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,466
2,431
S. Lanarkshire
Weird reaction to have to the seeds. They're supposed to be pretty innocuous. A fortunate result though in your case.

"All parts, except the flesh of the berries, contain taxin(e) a complex of alkaloids which is rapidly absorbed. Also present are ephedrine, a cyanogenic glycoside (taxiphyllin) and a volatile oil.

Where poisoning does occur, in animals or humans, there may be no symptoms and death may follow within a few hours of ingestion. If symptoms do occur, they include trembling, staggering, coldness, weak pulse and collapse."
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Harvestman imo is making a very valid contribution and a very good point based on experience expertise and knowledge, as he so often does and is trying to impart an important lesson to those less well versed. The book will be handy and I have ordered it but it's also not comprehensive.
Quite frankly I'm quite surprised nobody pulled me in calling EDC knives useless yet!

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk
 

Harvestman

Bushcrafter through and through
May 11, 2007
8,656
5
52
Pontypool, Wales, Uk
I interpreted your comment as being negative argumentative & smart ***** & with out validation as the two points you made of the book I was listing as "of interest" were factually incorrect, it got my dander up. Just saying
If you feel the need to apologist to regular members for banging on then why make the "caveat" in the first place. So unlike you I don't feel the need to apologies for indirectly calling you a smart ars*

Regarding the current version I bought this book direct from Collins, the hardback version it came without a the hard back an early edition 1973 perhaps I'm sure I still have it some where, & in myho it was better laid out in regards the beginner its been the only book of this subject that I am familiar with, I have used it as my only means of identification & personal feel that it is great even for beginners, I always recommend it as it may be of interest. Similar to mick quote "That's my hard and fast rule. If I don't know it I don't eat it and in all honesty I do ok". it's just common sense eigh? so my point here is may be current isn't always best, wish I could find it or the same version. as my original copy

Is it just me or does anyone else feel the way I do about similar "caveat banging on?" P.S. I'm actually in a good mood today!

Then I apologise for offending you, even if you don't feel the need to apologise for being offensive.
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
Weird reaction to have to the seeds. They're supposed to be pretty innocuous. A fortunate result though in your case.

"All parts, except the flesh of the berries, contain taxin(e) a complex of alkaloids which is rapidly absorbed. Also present are ephedrine, a cyanogenic glycoside (taxiphyllin) and a volatile oil.

Where poisoning does occur, in animals or humans, there may be no symptoms and death may follow within a few hours of ingestion. If symptoms do occur, they include trembling, staggering, coldness, weak pulse and collapse."
Perhaps a mild allergic reaction thinking back. I have a similar one with kiwi fruit. Perhaps a common alkaloid?
 

Alan 13~7

Settler
Oct 2, 2014
572
5
Prestwick, Scotland
Then I apologise for offending you, even if you don't feel the need to apologise for being offensive.

I don't feel offended not in the least & did not aim to offend as I said I am actually in a good mood today & I agree 100% about the need for positive Id. I was just having a smart ***** go at how caveat banging could be a negative activity, but have to concede It can be rather fun when not offensive I felt the need to edit my previous post it took me longer than anticipated, & mick I apologize for sort of hijacking your thread hope you enjoy the book as I have... Harvestman no offense intended If I were ever to meet you in person I feel we would probably get allong realy well... Right am done ...
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,466
2,431
S. Lanarkshire
I have that kind of reaction to kiwi and to bananas :sigh: these days too. Must admit I have never had it with yews though. They're a favoured seasonal munchie :D

I think in any discussion, especially on line like this, that we have three things to remember.
One is that we are passing along knowledge, information, encouragement.
Secondly, not everyone will have the same reaction to foods as everyone else.
Thirdly, there's always a numpty who will read something and not take in all of the message, and when things go amiss, blame someone else for not hitting them hard enough with the clue bus :rolleyes:

I'm sometimes tempted to post things like,
"Yew ariels are sweet and like a glutenous melony taste; DO NOT EAT THE STONE!! "
in the hope that that is actually clear enough.

Sorry for the shouting, but three days without eating won't kill you while a mouthful of some plants/fungus most definitely will.

M

p.s. Good write up :D and good on you for giving it all a go in the first place too :approve:
Thank you for sharing it.
 
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Fraxinus

Settler
Oct 26, 2008
935
30
Canterbury
Harvestman imo is making a very valid contribution and a very good point based on experience expertise and knowledge, as he so often does and is trying to impart an important lesson to those less well versed.

I concur and will repeat your comment, If in doubt, leave it out. Words to survive by.

Quite frankly I'm quite surprised nobody pulled me in calling EDC knives useless yet!

'cos you are not entirely wrong, some edc (branded) knives leave much to desire, hence the need for several types of knife in one's kit availability.;)
Cracking write up btw, enjoyed the read and your prelude post too.

Rob.
 

Alan 13~7

Settler
Oct 2, 2014
572
5
Prestwick, Scotland
Cheers sunndog, it's a bit wordy and disjointed but I think people will get the gist

This time I have to politely disagree with you mick your op in myho was not in the least bit disjointed & a thoroughly enjoyable read I almost felt like I was there or at least I wished that I had been & the Every Day Carry knife comment... I had to google EDC then I wondered about my Swiss army evo wood knife being no use but as I had enjoyed reading your trip report so much And as you had surthrived so well, I accepted that what you said must be Gospal...
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
I concur and will repeat your comment, If in doubt, leave it out. Words to survive by.



'cos you are not entirely wrong, some edc (branded) knives leave much to desire, hence the need for several types of knife in one's kit availability.;)
Cracking write up btw, enjoyed the read and your prelude post too.

Rob.
Cheers Rob. I try to keep it entertaining and informative. Have left out the pics of rabbits and game prep though for those of a more sensitive disposition.
Filling more of my spare time with learning about the autumn wild harvest for my next shot at this. In hindsight sharpening up a larger piece than Wilson might have fared me better. But suppose I managed reasonably well so Wilson was sufficient
 

mick91

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
May 13, 2015
2,064
1
Sunderland
This time I have to politely disagree with you mick your op in myho was not in the least bit disjointed & a thoroughly enjoyable read I almost felt like I was there or at least I wished that I had been & the Every Day Carry knife comment... I had to google EDC then I wondered about my Swiss army evo wood knife being no use but as I had enjoyed reading your trip report so much And as you had surthrived so well, I accepted that what you said must be Gospal...

Cheers Alan. An SAK will probably be the most useful kind of uk legal to be honest. Would have made my firelighting easier being able to prep a hearthboard and bow. I wouldn't have stuck to it though as something to knock up a splitting wedge and something sturdy enough to bash with a log or rock isn't that hard to find. I urge anyone to give no gear a shot if you have the required skills, and if they don't it's not like they're hard to learn in a basic form
 

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