Basic Plant Identification

For centuries man has used plants for food, medicine, and recreation. Those plants still exist today and can be used for the same purposes. On this course you will learn 5
everyday plants, plants that are always around you in the Boreal Forest. You will learn to recognize them in the season we will conduct the walk.

In this session, we explore five of the most basic of plants; their proper identification and some emergency uses. These plants are some of those that we consider most
important in a survival situation.

These first five plants were chosen by the following criteria:

  • For their ability to be easily recognized
  • For their value as first-aid items
  • For their value as food and comfort
  • For their value as fire-lighting material
  • For their value as tool-making resources

We will learn the values of each of these criteria as related to survival and wilderness living skills.

Length of the walk is dependent on the area which we are using, but will not normally be more than 2km. Walk is not contingent on weather, so, please, dress accordingly. Area we will be trekking through may have very wet spots. While we cannot control how wet, it is not our intention to have anyone walking through water that would be above their normal shoes. We will inform you of an alternate location as needed.

There are no prerequisites for this walk except the ability to walk 2km on mostly level ground that may be wet occasionally. Trails in winter will be groomed as much as possible to reduce fatigue.

  • Supplies needed for this course are as follows:
    • A small knife for cuttings (whatever you are comfortable carrying andusing)
    • A cloth bag for collecting samples (this must be cloth or paper, plastic makes the plants scream)
    • A notebook or pad for drawing while standing, pencil (coloured pencils are ideal), and
    • A camera (optional)

  • Course starts at 10:00 sharp!! That actually means that that is when we will step off. If we are already gone when you get there, then catching up might be difficult. This may be the only timing we meet all day, 😉

  • Participants are asked to meet at the rendezvous point 15 minutes prior the 10:00 AM start (9:45 AM) to allow for confirmation and collection of waivers and to ensure everyone is cognizant of the area we will be in and the conduct of that particular area.

  • Please bring weather-suited clothing and footwear to change into because we go rain, snow, shine, or cold and the only thing stopping us from doing so will be road safety.

  • Courses are planned so as to be carried out in daylight so that maximum opportunity can be given to recognize the plants themselves as well as the environment they grow in.

  • Please bring sunscreen year round and bug repellent as appropriate.

  • Please bring a snack with you if you feel you will need it as this normally crosses lunchtime. Walks can last up to 4 hours depending on the level of interest of the group.

  • We will discuss, at a minimum, these 5 plants:
    • Yarrow – staunch blood
    • Plantain – insect bites, skin irritations, wound healing
    • Willow – bark for cordage, inner bark for pain relief
    • Poplar – inner bark for food, tool manufacture
    • Birch – fire lighting, tool manufacture
    • Please ensure that you have transportation to the outdoor site.

  • Please call for more details or email contact form.
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