Surviving in the wild: How to create a leaf container for holding foraged food when you're on the move
Wilderness survival expert Zach Gault shows how to construct this handy vessel using materials found in nature
Having the ability to transport wild edibles* and collect resources in a wilderness environment is up there with any good survival tool — like starting a fire and purifying water. Luckily, even if you haven't brought a container with you, there's a simple way to create one using materials found in nature. In this wilderness skills video, Zach will demonstrate how to craft a burdock leaf into a temporary container for storage and transportation of foraged wild blackberries. However, if you can't find a Burdock, this unique method for a natural container can be made with most large leafed plants or bark and uses limited resources to be constructed.
(*NOTE: When harvesting and foraging for wild edibles it is crucial to make sure you have a complete understanding of what you are putting into your body. If you cannot identify the plant or species 100% positively, do not consume it.)
Here's what you'll need:
- A cutting tool
- 1 8-12" live hardwood stick
- 1 2" live or dead wood spreader stick
- 1 large leaf (burdock, if available)
Here's how to do it:
- Locate and collect all of the materials listed above.
- Using your cutting tool, safely split the live hard wood stick down the middle. You want to end the split at the halfway mark, leaving you with no less than 2-3" of intact wood at the base – this will help prevent the stick from completely splitting down the middle.
- Using your 2" spreader stick, carefully wedge it down the split of the live hardwood 8-12" stick, spreading both sides open in the process and creating the T-Bar Clamp, a clothespin-like clamp that will hold the entire leaf container together.
- Now that the T-Bar clamp is constructed,using your cutting tool, safely make one single cut 3-4" down either side of the leaf – the cut side is dependent on being right or left handed or personal preference.
- With the single 3-4" cut made, gently bring the slit side of the leaf across the opposite side and pinch them together, tightening any slack in the leaf. Repeat this process of folding and holding a few times until the leaf starts to resemble a bowl or cup-like shape.
- With the folds of the leaf being held together firmly, bring the stem of the leaf up into the folds and hold it in place as well, creating a tightened framework that will add stability and strength to the otherwise fragile leaf.
- Fold and tweak any sections of the leaf that seem out of position.
- With the entire leaf folded and the outline of the container formed, wedge the T-Bar clamp over top of the leaf folds and the stem, firmly holding the entire container together and adding a backrest and handle in the same process.
- If desired, fold the top rim over on itself to create an even stronger top rim section (this step is not crucial).
- Begin foraging wild edibles* with your newly constructed container!
Zachary Gault, Owner and Instructor at Primitive Living, is a Wilderness Skills Instructor whom specializes in the art & skills of Bushcraft, Self-Reliance and Sustainable Wilderness-Living. He passes on his knowledge of nature and the outdoors with formal instructing of these tribal skills, as he feels there is a strong connection to the earth when you strip away modern comforts and learn to create them yourself from nature. Zach's exploits of his treks and adventures in different remote environments can be viewed through his Instagram and YouTube channel.