The travel kit list: autumn foraging gear for 2021

Snipping and storing wild fronds and fruits requires a few select items of kit. Just be mindful of autumn’s fickle weather and remember not to dig anything up and to leave plenty for hungry creatures and fellow foragers.

By Nora Wallaya
Published 2 Oct 2021, 06:06 BST, Updated 1 Nov 2021, 09:43 GMT
Camelbak Carry Cap SST Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1L

Left to right: Craghoppers Salado Mid Boot; 2. Barbour Lowgos Jacket; Camelbak Carry Cap SST Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1L.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. Craghoppers Salado Mid Boot

With Crawler Guard insect repellent treatment incorporated into the upper, and a fabric insect guard to protect from overnight guests while the boots are stowed away, it’s clear the design of these hiking boots has been well-thought out. They’re waterproof, have Vibram soles, a snug ‘ghillie’ lacing system and excellent padding. £120.

2. Barbour Lowgos Jacket

Wrap up against the elements without the usual weight. This knee-length coat is light and waterproof, with a baffled inner for extra warmth and weather protection. It has a large hood, for protection in unpredictable downpours, deep pockets for plunging cold hands into, and comes in a relaxed fit, so you can add layers underneath if need be. £259. 

3. Camelbak Carry Cap SST Vacuum Insulated Bottle 1L

Take plenty of water for yourself and for your finds — a litre will do the trick. Splash a little into containers to keep fast-wilting goods fresher for longer and use some to wash away soil and small critters before they find their way into your bag. This bottle is easy to clean, BPA-, BPS- and BPF-free, and keeps liquids hot for 10 hours and cold for 24. £35.

Left to right: The Forager’s Calendar, by John Wright; Scarpa Ranger GTX Activ Lite; Fjallraven Ulvö Rolltop 23.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

4. The Forager’s Calendar, by John Wright

Leaf through this weighty guidebook for a comprehensive introduction to the UK’s best sources of wild food, from the meaty-tasting hen of the woods mushroom to succulent and salty marsh samphire. Penned by naturalist and mycologist John Wright, the book offers expert insight into identifying species, what to pick and when, and how to store your finds and prepare them for the table. £12

5. Scarpa Ranger GTX Activ Lite

A new take on an old classic, the Ranger GTX Activ Lite comes with the best features of Scarpa’s best-selling Ranger boot but in a lighter-weight and more softly-cushioned shoe — ideal for roaming on paths and hills. Thanks to a Gore-Tex lining, they’re comfortably waterproof too. £180.

6. Fjallraven Ulvö Rolltop 23

This roll-top backpack with a structured bottom has plenty of room (an impressive 23 litres) for you to stack containers of delicate foraged items quickly and easily, keeping them tidy and organised. The durable, waterproof Bergshell fabric outer layer — made from recycled nylon — is new for Fjallraven. £140.

Left to right: Niwaki Tokusen 165mm Secateurs; Burgon & Ball Everyday Gloves; Danner Women's Mountain 600. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

7. Niwaki Tokusen 165mm Secateurs

Hand-forged from carbon steel, these Japanese-made ergonomic secateurs are small and light enough to fit into the palm of your hand, while being sharp enough to make quick, clean cuts. A leather strap keeps the handles fastened shut when not in use, and a blade-cover, tenugui cotton cloth and lightweight box crafted from paulownia wood ensure they can be safely stowed away while on the move. £149. 

8. Burgon & Ball Everyday Gloves

These gloves — created by Sophie Conran, a member of the Conran designer dynasty — are comfortable enough to wear while out exploring; they’re also durable enough to handle prickly branches and machine-washable at 30C — handy when dealing with staining leaves and berries. What’s more, the gloves flare at the wrists, helping to protect against snags and stings. £17.99. 

9. Danner Women's Mountain 600

With the enhanced comfort of an OrthoLite foamed insole footbed, these hiking boots combine excellent support and cushioning with a range of hiking must-haves: they’re 100% waterproof, have enhanced air circulation, great grip on wet and dry surfaces, and are highly durable. £161. 

Published in the October 2021 of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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