How to dress and what you need for foraging berries or mushrooms

How to dress and what you need for foraging berries or mushrooms

Some of you might wonder how to dress and what you need for foraging berries or mushrooms. For many, foraging berries and mushrooms is a familiar activity and it doesn’t require any thinking about what to wear or what to carry with you. Many people just crab a bucket and head to the forest, like they do every so often. But for those of you that wonder, we put together some simple lists that might help you to determine what you need when you go foraging berries or mushrooms.

List of things you will need when you go foraging berries or mushrooms

  • Rubber boots
    These are not only for rainy weather, but they are also protecting your ankles from adder bites. Adder is the animal you must be aware of when berry picking. Adder’s bite is not usually life-threatening but requires medical attention. Adders shy away from people, but berry picking can cause misunderstandings.
  • Long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt or jacket
    I don’t care how hot it is, I’m wearing long trousers and long-sleeves in the forest. Long trousers together with rubber boots is a good combination to protect your legs from ticks. It’s a tiny creature but can spread Lyme disease and cause encephalitis. Long-sleeved shirts also help against mosquitos.
  • A hat or cap
    A hat is essential if it’s sunny. It’s also good protection against insects. But make sure that the hat stays firmly on and doesn’t drop when you bend down. That’s annoying when your hat is too big, and you must keep correcting it, or lift it up from a bog hole.
  • A deer ked net or jacket
    I always carry a deer ked net with me when I go to the forest, even if I don’t need to wear it in the beginning. Deer ked can be annoying and sometimes even the net doesn’t stop them, but I’m still trying to fight against them with all means. The net is quite good against mosquitos as well.
  • A fanny pack
    In berry picking, it is not comfortable to carry a backpack. A waist bag is good for carrying a few essentials like a water bottle and insect repellent. This is handy also for picking raspberries as you can attach your bucket from its handle to your fanny pack and use both hands for picking berries.
  • A berry picker
    A berry picker is suitable for firm berries, namely bilberries or lingonberries. It won’t be helpful with soft berries such as cloudberries or raspberries. In recent years, berry pickers with poles have emerged and they could be handy for those who have difficulties in bending down. One Finnish dude even invented an electrical berry picker with a battery.
  • A bucket to carry the berries
    10 L bucket is good for blueberries or lingonberries. I usually leave the bucket’s lid to my car, as it is difficult to carry with you in the forest, but useful to have in the car so you won’t spill any berries from the bucket when driving. Extra bucket in your car is never a bad idea, if you happen to find a berry or mushroom heaven.
  • A mushroom basket and a knife
    For picking mushrooms, you will need a basket and a special knife which has a brush at one end for removing dirt. Or just the basket. Even a bag will do when you didn’t plan to go mushroom picking but ran into them while walking in the forest. Basket with sections is handy if you are picking different types of mushrooms and don’t want them to get mixed in the basket.
Berry picker

Don’t forget the essentials

  • Water and snacks
  • Fully charged mobile phone and extra battery, with 112 Suomi app downloaded to your phone
  • Printed map if needed
  • Rain jacket if weather requires

Other things to consider

Every year, people get lost in the forest when picking berries or mushrooms. Focusing on spotting the berries or mushrooms makes you forget to pay attention to your whereabouts. Finnish forests are no joke. There are vast forested areas, and you might easily get exhausted before finding a house or a road.

Foraging for wild berries and mushrooms can be a great way to feel more self-reliant and connected to nature. For me, this is the best thing about foraging. It’s a fantastic hobby and I encourage you to try it, preferably with a friend.

Read also

Food from the Finnish nature

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