The best foraging gifts in 2023
To help you buy for the forager in your life, we've rounded up the best foraging gifts on the market to enhance the art of identifying, gathering and bringing wild food home, from the hedgerow to the kitchen table.
For the foragers among us, few things are as rewarding as picking the first green leaves of wild garlic in the spring, or finding a secret patch of mushrooms in the woods. And for those of us lucky enough to have such a person in our lives, having access to eat or cook with the (responsibly gathered) results is a joy in itself. What better way to say thank you than with a foraging gift that enhances the experience further?
Whether you're looking for a lightweight camping stool for long stints picking berries, or a shoulder bag to hold a haul of hazelnuts, you'll find plenty of ideas in our foraging gift guide below.
Of course, the right outdoor clothing also makes a great gift, as does a good field guide. Don't forget to check out our recipe section for some excellent ideas for how to cook it all.
Best foraging gifts to buy in 2023
Secateurs and snips
A sharp blade of some sort is an essential for any foraging expedition. This set from trusted gardening brand Spear & Jackson gives you two fantastic options: a pair of secateurs and a smaller pair of snips. Taking both out on the road gives you flexibility when it comes to gathering food.
Use the bypass secateurs for living stems and tough material, and switch to the snips when you want to make a smaller or more precise cut. Both have a carbon steel blade and soft-feel hand grips, so they should perform well and be comfortable to use.
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£23.50)
Having a trug to hand will make it easy to collect small foraged goods as you go. Rather than open and repack your rucksack every time you pick up some food, just toss it in your carry basket.
This natural trug is made from a single, sustainably sourced willow branch, woven in the UK using traditional techniques. While there are plenty of plastic trugs out there, this eco-friendly alternative is totally biodegradable. Plus, its woven finish and neutral tones make it a beautiful option.
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Try this delicious sloe gin recipe now and enjoy a warming sup in the colder months. It also makes the perfect personal Christmas gift that simply cannot be bought in the shops.
These berries ripen in September and October – perfect timing for making a delicious liqueur to bring cheer to the darker days of winter.
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£2.25+)
A shoulder bag gives a forager the freedom to use both hands for picking, without the need to hold a container. They can also be conveniently folded for the trip out to your chosen harvesting patch. This cotton tote comes from a small, UK-based seller and is durable enough to stand up to general wear and tear. Alternatively, check out this smart cotton drawstring bag from the same company.
Even if you’re not planning to pick up a lot of produce, it’s a good idea to take a backpack with you when you go out foraging. You’ll need somewhere to store everything you take for your trip, from gloves and secateurs to berry pickers and any handbooks you carry with you.
This one is made from heavy-duty, water-resistant canvas and premium, reclaimed leather. It has interior compartments and external pockets to help you organise your belongings, and is finished with attractive metal buckles and zips.
Gloves might not immediately spring to mind when you start to pack your foraging bag - but they’re often invaluable when it comes to poking around in hedges and undergrowth. Not only will they keep your hands clean, but they’ll also protect you against cuts and scratches.
These Sicilian lemon print gloves offer a practical and durable option for foraging trips. You’ll benefit from the reinforced palms and fingertips, as well as the adjustable Velcro wrist strap, which allows for a snug fit.
Alternatively, try the Sicilian lemon gauntlets, which provide added protection for tasks like reaching into bushes.
If you’re after more robust gloves, you could opt for this set from Draper. They come with a split leather palm, thumb and knuckle guard and have a rubberised cuff.
- Buy now from Etsy UK (£24.95)
Picking individual berries can be time consuming - but berry pickers like this one get the job done quickly. As you slide them along a branch or bush, they pick up the fruits and pull them from their stems.
This traditional berry picker is made from beech and metal, so it’s sustainable and should stand the test of time. You can even personalise it with your own name or message, so it also makes a great gift for anyone interested in foraging.
Arguably the most important item to keep close by when foraging is an informative handbook. Picking wild fungi and berries can be dangerous, so you need to be sure you’re not gathering toxic varieties.
There are many different books designed to help you find and identify wild plants - some even delve into the history of different species and provide tasty recipes to try out. Take a look at our round-up of the best foraging guides available at the moment to get the information you need.
This one by Richard Mabey is a thorough handbook to more than 100 edible plants found in the wild. Inside, you’ll find advice on picking food, as well as some guidance on countryside laws and regulations. There are even recipes designed to make the most of the food you find.
If you’re planning to stop on your travels - or if you’d like to know you can find a spot to sit at a moment’s notice - take a travel stool. Collapsible ones like this pack down to a small size and are usually light enough to include in your backpack.
Made with a lightweight aluminium frame and polyester seat, this folding stool is a convenient choice for foraging expeditions. It comes with its own bag and weighs just 340g. When folded, it’s 33cm in length.
Even if you only go foraging during daylight hours, it’s a good idea to pack a torch with you. An extra light source will not only help you correctly identify plant species, but also come in handy if you find yourself in dark areas with lots of tree cover.
Your best bet is to take either a standard hand torch or a headtorch.
This LED flashlight from Linkax has more features than your average torch. It comes with five modes, including ‘high’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ light, as well as strobe and SOS signal functions. It can even ‘zoom’, turning a wide pool of light into a focussed spot.
Designed to stand up to the elements, this torch is made from high-quality aluminium alloy as opposed to plastic, and is waterproof and shockproof.
Alternatively, you might prefer to invest in a headtorch, which you can use hands-free. This one from LE has a beam reaching 150m into the distance, as well as three main lighting options: spot, flood and red. Handily, you can adjust the brightness of the beam too.
Just charge up the headtorch using the USB cable for up to 15 hours of light.
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Drawing on a love of gardening and countryside walks, Alice works across Countryfile and Gardens Illustrated magazines to find and review the very best products for life in the great outdoors.
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