Outdoor adventures are much more fun it you unlock or train your inner forensic scientist. Just like one of those crime shows, you can use clues to read the habits of animals, find berries and plants for food, and avoid poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak. Luckily, each of these categories is contained in one easy-to-use website with information and pictures so you know if you’re following an opossum or a skunk, a dog or a coyote.

Don't camp near a pack of coyotes. Learn what their tracks look like.
Don’t camp near a pack of coyotes. Learn what their tracks look like.

There are few more spectacular and humbling experiences than being at one with nature, miles from civilization, with nothing but the flora and fauna that surrounds you as company. It’s this oneness with nature that draws hikers onto trails for remote, days-long hikes. Nature lovers will challenge themselves against the elements; surviving on the bounties of Mother Nature and their own wits.

This kind of outdoor adventure can go awry very quickly, however, if your knowledge of the native plants and animals in a given area falls short.

Morel Mushrooms 1 011A basic knowledge of all animal tracks in the area is key. If you’re a hunter, you’ll understand the benefits of knowing your prey’s footprints by heart, as this will allow you to track and find your meal with far more ease. It’s equally important to be able to identify predator tracks, too, so you can avoid becoming the hunted one. Sharing a hiking trail with a pack of coyotes is not recommended.

America is home to a number of fruits and berries that can sustain a hungry traveler through weeks of survivalist camping. However, there are also a number of berries and plants that should be avoided at all costs.


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