Masters of Survival not only gather food, but they also cook food. Whether it is an Alaskan Salmon, a White Tail Deer, a bunch of berries, or even all of the above, a true master of the Art of Survival knows how to combine these ingredients to create a meal worthy of a king. Just because you are in the wild it does not mean that you cannot enjoy what you are eating. Preparing your meals carefully can do more than just give you nutrition, it can make you feel human again. The biggest problem with surviving is that if you do not keep your morale up then you can actually become more like a dying animal. You have no hope, no reason to go on, and finally just give up and die.
Fortunately this does not have to be. The easiest way to keep your morale up is to eat well. A full belly makes you feel better no matter the situation. It also gives you energy to keep going. However just eating does not guarantee a good morale. Most people interested in survival has seen the Discovery Channel shows based on survival. Of course the most famous when it comes to food is Bear Grylls, who seems like he will eat anything. A survivalist though does not need to eat bad tasting food. The biggest trick is to know how to prepare your food and where to get it.
Cooking starts with your fire. The right fuel for your fire can enhance the flavor of your food greatly. Whether you use White Oak, or Palm Tree, choosing the wood to cook with enhances your flavor. Choose the material you put on your fire carefully, not only can you enhance your flavor but you can destroy it too. NEVER cook with wood that is rotting, and NEVER burn any plant that could be poisonous. Poisonous plants can turn toxins into aerosols that can poison the air, and poison your food. Choosing the right fuel for your fire can create flavor for your food so choose carefully.
Choosing how you prepare your food is the next step. No matter what animal you get for food, you should bleed the animal. There are mixed feelings about why you should do this, however my recommendation is to bleed the animal. There are several reasons for this, the first being that blood carries disease. If you remove the blood then you lessen the chance of getting a disease from the meat. Secondly blood is saturated with iron. Iron is need for a healthy life, however it has a drawback, it causes the breakdown of cellular tissue faster. Therefore when you bleed out an animal it will prevent the meat from spoiling faster. Third, blood coagulates. One of the biggest complaints of people eating wild animals is the “gamey” taste. This is due to the blood. If a lot of blood is left in the veins of your kill then your meat will have a gamey taste. This due to the excess iron in the meat.
The key to making sure that meat is safe to eat is to thoroughly cook it. If you raise the inner temperature of the meat to 160 degrees for about 15 mins. With out a thermometer it is hard to tell if your meat is up to 160 degrees, the easiest way is to do the rugged check. If the meat is somewhat rigged then it should be safe to eat. Imagine a steak that has been slightly over cooked the meat inside looks grey and is tough. In a restaurant this is not exactly perfect, however in a survival situation over cooked meat is a good thing.
What ingredients can you use in the wild to create meals? Well just about anything around you can be used. For instance you can use pine needles to make a tea or to give your meat a nice citrus flavor. Acorns can also give a nice flavor to meat.
Of course man can not live off of meat alone. There are plenty of wild fruits and vegetables in the wild in most places. Coconuts, wild onions, berries, oranges, bananas, and just about anything else.
Cooking in in the wild does not have to mean that your food does not have to taste good. It does mean that you will probably have to change your idea of taste slightly.
As Always folks: Prepare and Survive Todd Out