If you find yourself in a survival situation with little to no food on hand, what will you do? Ideally, you’ll be able to subsist on wild game. But you’ll soon discover how hard it can be to hunt or trap when you’re already starving and weak, or when game is scarce. That’s when insects can literally be a lifesaver and tide you over until you can obtain a more substantial source of calories and nutrition. Here are insects that can sustain you for a short period of time.
If the thought of munching on a grub makes you a little queasy, you’re in good company. Many people have no problem with crunchy bugs, but bugs of the squishier variety are another story. However, grubs can be quite filling, and some of them are even small and crunchy (such as mealworms).
The best place to find grubs is inside fallen, rotting logs. You may also be able to find some under leaf litter, beneath rocks, or hiding under the bark of living trees. They’re not fast, so you should be able to grab them and extract them with your fingers pretty easily once you locate them.
Skewer grubs lengthwise with sticks and cook them over the top of an open flame. You’ll know they’re done with their skin is nice and crispy. Just imagine you’re eating a thick potato chip or something.
Grasshoppers and/or Crickets
Depending on the time of year and the area you’re in, you may find grasshoppers and crickets to be plentiful. They are both very high in protein, which makes them an important component of survival.
Grasshoppers taste a little bit nutty, and they’re usually easiest to catch in the early morning hours. Crickets are easier to find in dark, damp places such as beneath logs and rocks. Once you catch either of these tasty morsels, pull their heads off (which are connected to their entrails). Removing the entrail is an important step for reducing your risk of parasites. Next, remove the legs and wings, put the bugs in a pan, and dry roast them if possible. If you don’t have a pan, skewer them and cook them over an open flame.
Like grasshoppers and crickets, termites are also a good protein source. They’re also less likely to transmit parasites to you because most of their lives are spent underground or hidden away in wood.
You can find termites in wood. Just break open a cold log and shake them out as quickly as you can, before they have a chance to crawl deeper. Roast them in a dry pan if you have one, or eat them raw if you must. But remember, any bugs you eat raw carry a risk of giving you parasites or making you sick.
Ants aren’t very big, but they are plentiful, which makes them a food source you could subsist on for a short period of time. Just be careful when collecting them, or you could end up with a lot of painful bites.
The best way to catch ants is by scanning the ground until you find an anthill. Poke the anthill with a stick a few times, then set the stick down so the end is sticking into the opening of the anthill. Wait for ants to bite the stick, then quickly put the stick into a container of water. Keep this up until you have at least a few hundred ants. Boil the water for at least six minutes to neutralize any acid within the ants’ bodies. You can also eat them raw, but it might be a more painful experience.
Keep in mind that not all bugs are edible. Always avoid brightly-colored bugs or those that emit a bad smell. Staying safe and avoiding poisonous creatures is always the best approach when surviving in the wild.