Morel Hunting Gear and Equipment
When spring is in the air, morel hunting enthusiasts are ready to get lost in the woods. Those new to this springtime passion may be wondering what type of gear or equipment is needed. Well, not much to be honest. Morel hunting gear can be as minimal as a pair of boots and a collection bag, or as low tech as a walking stick gathered from the forest floor. However, if you wander through the woods in just a pair of boots with a stick in your hand, you might look a bit out of place. You might need a little more than that and The Great Morel is going to give you a list of gear you should seriously think of taking with you on your morel foraging journey.
Use this little check list and get ready to get lost in the woods.
From Head to Toe
Underwear to OuterwearNow, let’s talk about clothing. Much depends on the weather in which you may be hunting, however, a good pair of pants on the bottom is where it starts. Depending on the woods you hunt, you may get by with a pair of cutoffs but there is nothing worse than getting caught up in a briar patch in a pair of shorts or sweatpants. The Great Morel recommends a pair of jeans or canvas pants. Even better, “briar pants” or “upland brush pants” will help you get through the nastiest of thickets you may find yourself in.
No matter what type you choose, long pants are best and will also help protect you against pesky insects like ticks – seriously, keep the shorts in the closet!
As for the upper body—again depending on your geographic location, the time of the season, and the weather for that day—a short sleeve Morel T-shirt may do. You may need something more to keep warmer up top. The Great Morel recommends layers. As for jackets, avoid fabrics that may catch or snag on thorns. While nylon jackets can be a nice lightweight layer, they easily get caught and snagged in the woods.
Take Care of Your ShoesFinish off by taking care of your feet. A good pair of hiking boots or hunting boots are a must and if they are waterproof that is an added plus. There is something to be said about a good pair of boots on your feet as you are trudging in the woods for hours seeking the ever-elusive morel. If you don’t have a good, trusted pair, then look for a lightweight ankle-high boot with a good sole, and if you can get the waterproof variety then go for it. Coupling the boots with a good pair of socks is also a must. The Great Morel is pretty fond of “Darn Tough”® brand (and no The Great Morel is not lining the pockets with a kickback for that promo), they are just a great sock based out of Vermont. Everyone knows there are two good things to come out of Vermont – Phish and Darn Tough.
Trusted SticksA quality hiking stick may very well be the best or most useful piece of equipment you’ll take to the woods. Many morel hunters use the same hiking stick for years and years. A trusted companion to keep you steady, push back low growing ground cover, and help you navigate through the woods. For many, their hiking sticks are their sense of pride. If you do not have a personal hiking stick, you can easily find one in the woods. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to support you when needed, is about as tall as your body from foot to shoulder, and is strong enough to fend off any Snipes you may encounter. If you’re looking for a unique, hand-carved morel stick, then check out the hand carved morel hiking sticks in The Morel Store.
Collection GearCollection bags are the next item up. Those who have been hunting morels for any length of time, certainly have an opinion or preference on collection bags. The Great Morel is not about to change that opinion either; however, mesh bags and/or an onion bag are recommended by most morel hunters. You can easily find these online or save the mesh bag from your potatoes or onions. If worse comes to worst, and you’ve encountered the motherlode, use the shirt off your back if you need to! Most seasoned morel hunters will tell you not to use plastic bags – read more here on collection bags.
Taking Down the Morels
Fighting the Evil InsectsFinally, we cannot forget a good tick repellent. Again, The Great Morel talks about the dangers of these little evil insects and the menace they pose – you can read more on ticks here. It is important for everyone heading to the woods to be wary and take the necessary precautions to guard against ticks. Whatever means you choose – be it a natural concoction or a purchased repellent – it is important to protect yourself.
The Great Morel suggests lifting your pant legs and spraying halfway up your calf (socks included), spray your belt line, arms, and neck, and rub some behind your ears and forehead at your hairline. It does not hurt to spray your clothing either. Just be sure to follow the directions on the product – you know, that part where it says not to spray it in your eyes and mouth.
Note: If you live in regions where the tick population is heavy – do a self-check when you get home and yes, that means check your ears and private parts too!
Good to Go
what you take into the woods, you bring back out of the woods
There you have it – you are geared up and good to go. Invite a friend or loved one, take your four-legged companion, pack some snacks, a brown bag lunch, and a source of water, and head to the woods. Always remember this – what you take into the woods, you bring back out of the woods. We have to take of our land if we expect her to be good to us.