Hello all. This thread is inspired by JacKatMtn's ""Get Out There" thread Get out
I really liked this member's approach to "getting out there" and observing his/her surroundings and making use of them. I've been wanting to "Get
out there" myself, and this past weekend finally had the free time to do so. I hadn't yet made myself familiar with the nature around me, and after
much research decided to go hiking on a local trail. At first glance, it's hard to imagine surviving in a nature environment that at first glance
looks so desolate!
At first, after much walking and hill climbing, I started to think I wasn't going to recognize much that could be used in a survival situation. Then
I came across this interesting gourd like plant. I knew that it must have some beneficial use, since you could tell by looking at it that it was in
the gourd family.
I came home and researched it, and I believe what I found was Buffalo Gourd. The root can be used as a soap/shampoo substance, because it contains
saponins. The gourd itself can be used as a spoon or ladle. Isleta-Pueblo Indians boiled the root and applied it topically for chest pains, and this
boiled root juice was also used as an antiseptic for tooth pains. A poultice can be made from the mashed plant for skin sores and ulcers. That's just
some of what I learned about this plant, make sure to do your own research for safety! I wouldn't recommend eating it, it acts as a super-laxative!
Again, please make sure to do your own homework on anything you find in the wild! Medicinal Buffalo
At this point, my poor sweet dog was getting exhausted!
After a rest and water break, we continued onward. And finally, I found what I had really been searching for the whole time!
The prickly pear cactus! This plant is pretty amazing in my opinion. The pads can be eaten, and are called nopales (or nopalitos for the young pads).
The fruit can be eaten. The spines can be used for needles. Juice made from the fruit has a cooling effect on the body. It has tons and tons of uses,
I encourage you to research the plant more! My goal for the day was to gather the fruits so that I could make jam out of them, as well as Prickly Pear
Lemonade. Use caution gathering these! I used long tongs for grabbing them, and had a small cardboard box that I put them into. I covered that with
another cardboard box, because the fruits have these hairlike spikes called glochids. Those are nasty buggers, that fly into the air and embed into
your skin! No fun. Preparing the fruit requires a bit of work. First, holding them over a flame to get the majority of the glochids off, then several
washes and scrubs to get more out. Once the juice has boiled down, I strained it several times through cloth to make sure none of the glochids were
hanging around. I haven't tasted the jam yet, but the prickly pear lemonade is delicious! I hope you all take the time to Get Out There!