When it comes to survival food, many of us gravitate to the idea of hunting or fishing. While a big slab of meat sizzling over the fire is certainly an appealing prospect, actively catching food often requires significant preparation and substantial effort — that means carrying added gear, and burning calories to obtain more calories. In some cases, there are sources of food in your surrounding environment that won't put up a fight or escape your grasp. In these cases, you should consider foraging.

Black walnut trees can be found throughout most of the eastern United States. (Map via Wikipedia)

Sometimes, sources of food will be clear as day — a ripe ready-to-eat fruit dangling from a tree along your path, for example. In other cases, you'll want to be extremely cautious when foraging for wild edibles. Certain types of mushrooms can be deadly, and may closely resemble edible varieties. This is why it's wise to study and prepare yourself before you venture into the wilderness.

The brown walnut shells we're familiar with must be removed from the green fleshy husk.

In the following video, YouTube survivalist The Wooded Beardsman shows how to process wild black walnuts from tree to table. These walnuts are an incredibly calorie-dense food source, with 100 grams (about 3/4 cup) providing approximately 618 calories. They're also high in fat and protein, both important resources for energy-intensive survival situations. In his own words: “When [walnuts] are available, the survivalist — like a busy squirrel preparing for winter — should focus their efforts on collecting as many as possible before it's too late.”

As the Wooded Beardsman aptly notes, “making a living from wild food is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive endeavor.” But if you know where to look and learn how to process them, these black walnuts can be an incredibly valuable resource for survival.


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