Foraging and gathering food are intrinsically linked to the history of humanity, dating back 1 million years to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Thankfully, with the help of modern tools and foraging gear, beginners can now explore the woods and forage for wild food with ease.

In this article, we’ll examine the best tools and gear you’ll need to harvest wild edibles. We will then discuss the basic uses for each tool and how to get the most out of them.

1. Beginner Small Foraging Bag Kit

For beginners, the Small Foraging Bag Kit is the perfect all-in-one kit that comes with top-quality foraging and harvesting knives for mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables; a belt pouch, sharpeners, and more. 

2. Weatherproof Harvesting & Gathering Bag

On your foraging trips, foraging bags and harvesting baskets are essential items. After all, you can only pick as many wild foods and edibles as you can carry! For a misty or rainy foraging day, you’ll also need to consider water- and weatherproof materials.

For the best rugged outdoor harvesting bag for both committed beginner and master foragers alike, we recommend the Barebones Weatherproof Harvesting & Gathering Bag.  The bag features flexible carry straps for carrying through dense woods, an easy-release bottom for quick unloading and cleaning, and a weatherproof canvas to protect edibles during rainy seasons. 

3. Classic Outdoors Folding Mushroom Knife

The Mushroom Knife is an essential tool for wild foragers, as its sharp edge and curved blade are perfect for cutting mushrooms and the brush end is great for cleaning them up. We’ve recommended one that has measurements etched on it so you can easily identify and compare mushroom sizes.

It is also helpful to have a stainless steel knife when harvesting wild foods. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to cut or trim something while foraging in the woods. Also, seasoned foragers will appreciate the lock design of the folding knife blade.

4. Weeding and Digging Knife

Both foragers and gardeners enjoy the versatility and strength of a good weeding and digging knife. From cutting branches, digging holes, or weeding, the digging knife has always been a go-to for hunting, fishing, and camping — and of course — foraging wild food. Robustly solid, scratch-proof and rust-resistant, you won’t have to worry about getting a few silly scratches on our recommended digging knife.

5. Gloves, protective gear

When digging up root vegetables, digging under logs, or pruning edible cuttings, you may have to get your hands particularly dirty. Along with avoiding splinters and knife cuts, you might also want to avoid an irritating itch or soil under your nails. That’s when a reliable pair of protective gloves, such as these cut-resistant outdoor gloves for gardening and outdoor activities, come in handy.

6. Garden or Kitchen scissors

When it comes to soft-stemmed plants, floral scissors are the best tool for harvesting leaves and trimming foliage. We recommend these highly-rated stainless steel floral scissors to trim delicate flowerheads and stems.

7. Pruning shears & scissors

Most of the time, scissors just won’t do the job when cutting tough stems of wild plants. Plus, if you use poor cutting tools, you end up harming the plant. Pruning shears are what you’ll need when harvesting thick-stemmed plants. Any foraging trip is made easier (and friendlier to the plant) with this recommended 5-in-1 folding multi-tool. It helps you prune, saw, dig, and cut excessively tough plants.


Take these weatherproof info cards when foraging in North America.


Comes with knives perfect for pruning and harvesting mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables.

8. Hand Weeder or Hand Trowel

Under the soil, there are hundreds of wild edible vegetables and bulbs, such as leeks, wild onion, burdock roots, and even certain flowers and plants that have edible root systems. Even a small hand-held spade is enough for digging up wild edibles, so most foragers never leave home without one.

As a beginner, you can get a hand-weeder toolset that includes gloves, a hand spade and a hand weeder. Still, consider investing in a top-quality hand trowel, such as the highly rated Fiskars Ergo Garden Hand Trowel.

9. Hand Lens or Loupe

In foraging, it is critical to identify the plants correctly, as eating or harvesting anything you are not sure of can be dangerous. A loupe or lens will be useful here, as you may need to closely inspect a plant or mushroom for identification marks. Even though this is also used by jewelers, the Foldable Loupe Magnifier comes with bright LED lights and is an excellent tool for any forager.

10. Bushlore Wild Edible Plants Cards – 19 Pocket Field Guide Emergency Survival Kit

Having all the right tools and necessary gear won’t help much if you’re unable to find any edible plants or produce. Even as a beginner, if you’re equipped with the right manuals and field guilds, you can start your wild foraging experience today! 

Bushlore Wild Edible Plants Cards  – 19 Pocket Field Guide Emergency Survival Kit can be packed with every camping trip and harvest expedition. This set of cards includes easy-to-identify plants that are common in North America. In addition, they include all the information you need to identify these plants, including harvest and season times, clear pictures, and a ruler to match leaf margins and root structures.

11. The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods

This book is perhaps one of the most essential wild foraging tools you must have in your harvest kit. As a beginner, and even as a seasoned pro, having a reliable referable guide on hand to confirm plant IDs. 

The Forager’s Guide to Wild Foods is also favored among foragers because it not only contains everything you need to know about foraging and wild edible harvests, but it also prices amazingly helpful tips on how to find the best foraging spots and times of year for each plant.

12. Wild Food: A Complete Guide For Foragers

With this guide, thousands of wild food items can be found in North American landscapes and urban settings. This handy guide also demonstrates how to use them in tasty recipes. 

There is a recipe in Wild Food: A Complete Guide For Foragers for everything, including berries, herbs, mushrooms, salad leaves, and seaweed!

The Bottom Line

You may find your task overwhelming if you are not properly equipped with information and foraging tools as a beginner. The essentials, luckily, are wildly simple. And at Wild Food West, we know that the proper tools can make all the difference in your life.

Get the right tools & field guides

Whether you’re a forager or someone who’d love to cook wild food, check out our store.

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