Wild Edibles – Cattails

Editor’s Note: Imagine yourself suddenly in the wilds, and you’ve run out of food. Where do you start? You’ve heard cattails are edible. But when? And which parts? The following info from Craig Caudill will help you know more about this common survival food. – John

 

Cattails

 

 

When in a given survival situation in the wilderness, aside from maintaining your core body temp and finding or cleaning water, food is the next essential that you should be looking for. As discussed in our previous article the first choice for survival food would be plant material that contains a sufficient amount if nutrition and calories. One of these viable food options freely available the outdoors are cattails, dandelions, chickweed, wood sorrel, and plantain. In this article we are going to focus our attention on cattails.

Cattails are a reliable food source being widely available throughout most regions of the United States. Another great thing about them is that practically all their parts are edible even during varying seasons. Cattails can be easily distinguished by the downy and brown heads that resemble large brown hot dogs. These same downy heads in the spring would appear green and have rows of seeds on them. They provide a lot of nutrition and taste even better when slightly roasted.

Take note that harvesting cattails during the spring season may be harder since most plant lookalikes have green shoots that can be mistaken for cattails. I’d like to add a word of caution, since a lot of plants that may have toxic substances tend to look like cattails, particularly during the end of the winter seasons, when they all tend to have green shoots. It takes some guidance and practice to be able to accurately distinguish cattails from look-alikes. It is also not advisable to get into the water to harvest cattails during the cold season as this violates one of the Law of Threes, which is to maintain your core body temperature.

Cattail roots can be harvested and eaten and they will provide a good source of carbohydrates that is essential in any survival situation. Simply cut through the mucky root portion of the cattail to expose the clean white material underneath. This white material is starchy and will provide some carbohydrates you might need during a survival situation.

Although plant foods have some carbohydrates in them, it is not enough to compensate for the extra effort if you will have some difficulty in harvesting them. This simply means that if you will expend more energy harvesting the plant, and the plant will not be able to supply you with vast amounts of carbohydrates and calories, then the purpose of harvesting it for nutrition is a “self defeating” effort. Remember, in a given survival situation always balance calorie expenditure with calorie intake.

 

Craig Caudill teaches about camping gear supplies and how to use them in the great outdoors. He is a regular contributor to Dan’s Depot and chief instructor at the Nature Reliance School.

 

One Response to “Wild Edibles – Cattails”

Leave a Reply

DestinySurvival Dispatch

Let's keep in touch. Subscribe to the FREE DestinySurvival Dispatch.

We respect your email privacy

DestinySurvival Radio

Listen to DestinySurvival Radio each Thursday. Joe and Amy Alton, a.k.a. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, talk about the board game they're launching called Doom and Bloom Survival! More at SurvivalBoardGame.com. To listen to the April 17th program click here, or right click to download.

Click here to listen to or download the show of your choice.

DestinySurvival Radio uses Dropbox to share audio files with you. Share your photos, docs and videos with others or access them wherever you are. Click here for a FREE Dropbox account.

The Berkey Guy
Ready Made Resources
Ready Made Resources
Camping Survival
Camping Survival
Prep Mart Select
Prep Mart Spotlight
www.govliquidation.com - US Government Surplus!

Click here to find more DestinySurvival sponsors in the Prep Mart with quality products for prepping.

Special Offers

Get Survival Training from Dan's Depot.

Up to 20% Off Plus Free Shipping on Marie Osmond Box Bundle at WiseFoodStorage.com! (valid until April 30, 2014)

Check out all the Emergency Essentials April Monthly Sales

Keep up to date on the latest Nitro-Pak-Specials

The Ready Store offers free printables, including emergency document binders, 72-hour kit checklists, disaster-specific tips and tutorials, food storage conversion charts and more! Feel free to print off these documents at no charge.

IdealVitamins.com- Take 5% off your first order with coupon code: WELCOME

USParaBand
USParaband.com
The Survival Summit
The Survival Summit Package
Categories
International Shipping

International Shipping

K-TOR Generators
Emergency Essentials
Emergency Essentials/BePrepared
FlareAware
FlareAware.com
SurvivAMINO
Destiny Survival
Urban Survival Course
Survival Course
Free Food & Medicine
Free Food and Medicine - Click to view more details
Annie’s Good Old Days Store
InfoWars Store
InfoWars Shop
It’s A Disaster!
It's A Disaster!
Before It’s News Ad Network
Archives