Your Ultimate Survival Guide: How to Find Food in the Forest?

Getting strayed in the forest while hunting, is a complicated situation. Every hunter should be aware of the fundamental survival skills to face such unexpected incidents, while setting out for a hunting trip. If a hunter gets lost, the only thing he should be worrying about is his own survival, until the arrival of rescue. How can a hunter survive in a forest without any resources? Food is the key. As long as you are feeding your body, there is hope. Here is a detailed guide about how to find food in the forest? So that you don’t starve to death.


Step 1: Finding Food from Plants

Plants are the handiest edible items in a forest, for your survival. What makes them the best choice is their availability. You don’t have to put any extra efforts to find them. (I hope all the vegetarian hunters are going to love this option).There are many natural food sources like, onions, wild garlic, grass seeds, acorns, nuts, berries and ferns, available in the forests, that can be utilized to feed yourself.

Note:You can’t eat anything that you find on these plants. Forests are full of poisonous inhabitants. Some known poisonous foods to avoid are; white and yellow berries, mushrooms, thorns or any plant that looks like parsley or fungi. So you better get some prior knowledge of the plants and food resources in the area, you are heading to hunt.

food in the forest

Photo credit:

Step 2: Hunt for the Insects and Bugs around you!

You have been there for hunting a big game animal, but unfortunately you are strayed. And your mind is constantly asking the same question, how to find food in the forest? The best you can do is to restrict your hunt to bugs and insects around. Jokes apart, bugs and insects make the best survival food in such emergency situations (especially non-veg hunters would love it).

All you need to do is to look around on the vegetation, particularly the undersides of leaves, rotten tree logs and stumps of some old trees to find insects that may include, grasshoppers, snails, locusts and cricket. All these insects are enriched with nutritional value of protein and fat.

Note: It is highly recommended to boil or fry these insects before eating, to avoid any possible risk of parasites on them.

how to find food in the forest?

Photo credit:

Step 3: Catching Fish to Feed Yourself

You are really lucky if you find some stream or a body of running water somewhere around you. Even if you don’t, you can try finding one. Following the animal tracks in the forest may lead you to some nearby water resource. Catching fish to feed yourself is not only a nutritious option but also an easy one.

The next step is about catching the fish. The easiest way is to use a spear to aim it on a passing fish. What if you don’t have one. You can make some tool out of the things you have. Here are a couple of ways you can try, to catch a fish.

  • You can use some fabric and attach it to some stick and use it as a fishing net for small-sized fish.
  • Create your own fishing line or rod by using petty things like bark, hemp and reeds.
  •  If you have a safety pin, utilize it, by shaping it up a bit, as a hook for catching small fish. Use a worm as a bait and you can really arrange a tasty meal for yourself.
how to find food in the forest

Photo credit:

Step 4: Try your Luck with some Small Game Animals

What if you don’t get a single fish? You still have the option of hunting small game. But how to find food in the forest without any clue of it? Let us guide you in detail. Catching small game is probably the most tiring method of all mentioned here.

Trying your luck on small game animals like, rabbit, hares fowl, squirrels or deer is not easy at all. It requires skill and a prior knowledge of it. You can’t waste your energy in chasing after these animals. As these are quite swift in movement and hard to catch. But still, if you want it, the best option for you is to set a trap for them. Trails are the most recommended places to set a snare or a trap. Sit at a distance and wait for the prey.

The other option that can be tried is making pit traps. Dig a pit according to the size of animal you want to catch. Cover the hole with foliage and sticks and wait for the animal to fall in it. But it’s not an easy option. Digging a hole and covering it may take a lot of energy out of you. An already tired and dehydrated person can hardly fulfil these requirements.

Note: Remember, all the fur-bearing small game animals are edible. So, you are allowed to hunt them without any second thoughts.

how to find food in the forest

Photo credit:

Step 5: Bird’s Eggs

Eggs have high nutritional value. You would be lucky if you find them in the forest. Look for the nests around. There are some birds who lay eggs in the ground. So, keeping that in mind, look around for some eggs. Fry, boil or bake them, it’s up to you.

how to find food in the forest

Photo credit:

Step 6: How to cook?

Just knowing, how to find food in the forest is not enough. You should also know the basics of cooking in the forest. If you don’t cook properly while you are in the forest, you can get affected by food poisoning and contamination. Here are a few cooking tips to be followed while facing any undesirable situation like this.

  • If you have found some green leaves to eat, boil them well. Just like some soup. It will help killing any possible bacteria and toxins in it.
  • Other edible items like nuts, berries and acorns can be eaten as they come.
  • For meat, it is very important to cook it completely. Boiling and roasting, both are good ways.
  • For small game, meat from the areas like legs, ribs and arms should be preferred. Entrails are a big NO!!!
  • A well-cooked fish can be eaten without any restriction.


I hope these basic tips and tricks for finding food in the forest are a great help for you. Remember, in case, you have to face such dramatic situation, keeping calm is the key. Stay cool. Keep your energy stored until the help arrives. Running after big game animals and digging out pit traps may prove great risk for your energy and hydration.

So, in my opinion, sticking to fresh foliage or insects is highly recommended initially. Once you have gained some energy, you can try your luck with other edible items like fish or small game.

I hope you don’t have to face a terrible situation like this. In case, you do, all the best!!!

Joseph Gleason

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterCheck Our Feed