You can live for several weeks without eating but regardless, food provides life-saving energy to your body and replenishes substances that your body burns during physical and mental activity. The average person needs 2,000 calories per day to function at a minimum level. Any less than this and your body will cannibalize itself and burn its own tissue for energy. When no tissue is left to burn and hence no source of energy, the body’s organs begin to shut down.
There are three sources of food – plants, animals, and rations that you carry with you. It is important to note that during survival mode, food that is carried with you is intended to augment plant and animal foods that you gather while in the wild.
Plants as food are an excellent source of carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for the body. The natural sugars contained in many foods provide calories and quick-burn carbohydrates. Many plants also provide enough protein to keep the body at normal efficiency.
Plants can be dried (via wind, air, sun, or fire) to retard spoilage. Hence, plants can be treated in order to preserve their nutrients and carried with you for a long period of time. And of course, plants are also easier to gather than meat.
Below you’ll find more details, including identification properties, photos, and drawings of common edible plants you will find in the wild.
Meats from animals are more nourishing than plant foods but they may be harder to obtain. Keep in mind that there are easier to gather sources of meats such as insects, crustaceans, fish, and reptiles. These can be used to satisfy your immediate hunger while you are preparing traps and snares for larger game. Animal food can also be dried or smoked in order to prepare the animal meat for longer term storage.