From Urban Foraging to Backwoods Hunting, Frost River has the gear to get you going.
Self-sustaining hobbies like hunting and foraging not only provide you with food you source yourself but also give you more time in the great outdoors.
Hunting & Gathering is a Human Tradition
Hunting and gathering is a human experience that has sustained our livelihoods since the beginning of humankind. What once was necessary for survival is now a trending hobby. It seems like everyone wants to learn how to mushroom hunt, forage for berries, or provide their own meat for their family.
There’s a reason for this though—knowing where your food comes from not only ensures you’re getting the best sustenance nature can provide, but it also gives you a sense of immense satisfaction. There’s nothing quite like eating a meal that you created from your own two hands. From an animal you hunted and dressed, to plants and fungus that create woodsy side dishes on your plate—whatever you forage, you appreciate more because you know all of the work that went into founding that meal.
For some, however, hunting and gathering isn’t just a hobby, it’s their way of life. More and more people are seeking ways to be more self-sustaining. Not only does it allow you to depend completely on yourself but it’s a renaissance of rediscovering knowledge, a way of life that was once passed down from generation to generation. It’s a practice about the fortitude of self and getting out of life exactly what you put in.
Whether you are just getting started, learning about hunting and gathering, or are an experienced off-grid lifer, Frost River has the time-tested and handcrafted gear you can rely on to take you from forest to freezer.
Simply put, foraging is finding edible goods in the wild. You don’t pay for these goods, rather you earn them by finding them and harvesting them in the appropriate manner. Believe it or not, there are ethical and unethical ways to forage. If you take more than you need or take every specimen you come across in the woods, that specimen won’t be there next year for you to harvest.
Thus, there are some general guidelines, and even laws, to foraging wild foods ethically:
Take only what you can consume
Get permission if not on public lands
Only harvest if the plant, nut, berry, fungus is in abundance
Leave some behind for the next season
Rare species are off limits
Uprooting and removing a plant completely is an illegal no-no
Make sure to stay away from places near roads or that use chemicals to treat for insects, etc.
Foraging natural found foods is also a great way to make sure your body gets what it needs when it needs it. It’s quite remarkable how nature provides the right sources of nutrients when we need them.
Take for example pine needles. Yes, you can forage pine needles all year round, but they are particularly handy in the winter months when sometimes, that’s all you can find to forage. Why are pine needles great in the winter? They are ridiculously high in vitamin C—even more than oranges! Which means during cold season, you get the immune-boosting benefits you need to protect your body from viruses and other ailments.
Take a look at our quick guide to seasonal foraging below to get some ideas on how you can either start or further your foraging pursuits.
Seasonal Foraging List
- Pine Needles
- Early blooms
- Green shoots
- Wild vegetables and fruits
While foraging is thought to be a bit easier to jump into, it still requires just as much knowhow as hunting. There are many styles, seasons, and tactics for hunting wild game. The benefits are similar to foraging in that protein provides your body with the nutrients it needs to sustain itself. However, hunting an immovable plant is a bit different than hunting a wild animal on the go.
There’s also different kinds of hunters. Some are social and hunt with large groups, making it a memorable bonding experience while in other cases, hunting (and trapping) are a means of feeding your family.
Hunting is also something you can get very adventurous with. It can take you across the country to hunt big game like elk in the mountains of Colorado, or even as close as your nearest huntable public lands that offer small game like grouse and porcupine. Did we mention that hunting can also be an adventure in eating?!
If you’re just starting out as a novice hunter, there will be a few extra steps you need to take to get into the sport, or lifestyle for some. First, you’ll need to take a hunter’s safety course to be able to obtain a permit to hunt.
Next, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with what you want to hunt, where it lives, and the best tools for harvesting those animals. Different game requires different guns and ammunition, or bows, to successfully, safely, and ethically harvest animals from the wild.
Like foraging, hunting seasons also change and you’ll only be allowed to harvest a certain number of animals, as permitted by your game permit.
While hunting may be controversial to some, it should be known that hunters are historically some of the biggest conservationists. Just as in foraging, there are rules and laws that hunters need to abide by to not only respect the animals they hunt, but the future of the sport by never over-harvesting.
We recommend looking to your local Department of Natural Resources for an introductory course to teach you the basics. Or, if you happen to know a hunter, ask to tag along on a hunt to learn. The one thing we can tell you is the gear you’ll need to get started. See below for a list of quality, American-made items we handcraft with the hunter in mind.
In summary, hunting and gathering is a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors while providing yourself with not only food but an experience to keep you coming back for more. In the end, it’s really the connection with nature and the glimpse of the circle of life that we get from the land and wildlife that we love about hunting and foraging. It takes us to places we’ve never seen before and gives us stories and adventures to last a lifetime—just like the packs we are so passionate about manufacturing.