Of all outdoor sports, morel mushroom hunting is one of the least expensive. You don’t need any special equipment, and you won’t need a hunting license. The only requirements are comfortable clothes and a bag in which to place your finds. However, there are some preparations you can make which will ensure that your morel hunting adventure is a safe and enjoyable experience. In this article you will learn what clothes you should wear, and what items you need to bring with you to ensure that you will stay safe and comfortable, and have the correct tools that are essential for a successful morel hunt.
It’s best to wear old clothes in which you are comfortable, as they may get stained or ripped. Wearing long pants and sleeves will prevent direct contact with threatening plants such as poison ivy, brambles, etc. Wear an old t-shirt underneath in case you get hot and need to remove the long sleeved shirt. In early spring the weather can be unpredictable. It could be sunny, it could be raining or there could still be snow on the ground. Bring rain gear just in case. Why let rain ruin your hunting experience? Wear comfortable shoes. Wear glasses rather than contact lenses.
Protective eyewear can keep branches out of your eyes. Wear garden gloves to protect your hands and a hat to protect your head from the sun and tree branches and to keep off the ticks. Don’t forget insect repellent as well as a small first aid kit. Remember the rule that if you don’t bring it you will morel patch certainly need it. And if nature calls unexpectedly a small roll of toilet paper will be essential. Bring a small trowel to dig a hole and keep nature undisturbed.
An onion sack or mesh bag is ideal for storing morels. Special bags have been designed for morels that allow the spores to fall back to the ground after harvesting. The bag should allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup which can damage the morels. Never place your find in a car trunk or glove box, where humidity and heat will lead to a rapid deterioration after picking. Bringing ice filled coolers with some sheets of cardboard to put between the morels and ice will ensure that your mushrooms stay cool and fresh as you transport them home.
A walking stick will help to clear paths and is ideal for poking around in the leaves and grasses that may be hiding these elusive mushrooms. Bring your camera to record your finds. A GPS unit is recommended to record the location of your find, as morels tend to reappear in the same area in subsequent seasons.
Use common sense safety procedures. It is wise to bring maps and a compass, and a whistle. Never go mushroom hunting alone. If you don’t have a GPS unit, bring a notebook with pen to record the location of your finds. Bring a small pack with food and water. Plan your trip in advance, allowing ample time to return safely. Make sure that you have familiarized yourself with all legal regulations, that you have permission to enter the land where you will be searching for the mushrooms. Be sure to have enough gas in your gas tank. Spring trails can be dangerous. A rope or winch can help removing your vehicle from muddy roads that may become impassable.