Survival in the bush comes in many forms and a morning on the trails of Ewen Maddock Dam with Rick Petersen from 'Men of Change' introduced us to many interesting bush survival skills including some of the following.
- What weeds are edible
- What plants can be used for medicinal use
- How to use a survival straw
- How to apply a snake bandage
- How to judge distances when hiking
- How to use the shadow stick method
- How to work out directions
- How to start a fire without matches
We all had a fright and jumped into action when we thought Rick had been bitten by a snake. People grabbing for their phones to make emergency calls, my getting Rick to lay down as he appeared disorientated and telling him to stay with me and asking people for a snake bandage. Fortunately it was only a scenario to see how we would react.
The best of the day was to come where Rick cooked up a bush tucker meal with plants from the bush with a special treat.
Rick played a 'Bush tucker Challenge' where we had to guess the height of Mt Kosciuszko and unfortunately I won!
He told me I was to have a treat that not many have the opportunity to enjoy. As I saw this small aluminium foil parcel being presented to me I knew what it would be - CANE TOAD!! Rick had presented Survival Skills in the Bush at my group 'Your Boots are made for Hiking and had talked about how you could eat CANE TOAD!
As I opened up the package and saw those hind legs splayed out with it's long sharp toenails I suddenly felt like I wanted to vomit. I thought I have to save face in front of the 18 other people I was sharing this day with on the trails. I could feel their eyes staring at me waiting to see my reaction when I take my first bite of this ..........!! I turned to Rick and said 'You go First' - I then quickly picked it up by it's legs and took a BITE! - I am sure I had a very strange look on my face. Hmm... a bit tough I thought - fortunately Rick had cooked it in a lot of Moroccan spices which overtook the taste. One little bite was enough for me so I handed it around to the rest of the group. Not everybody was game but some enjoyed this most unusual treat. Yes cane toads are poisonous but as someone said to me - just trust Rick so I did trust that he had removed the body properly so all the poison was gone - guess it must have been as I am still here! Can tick that one off the list along with having eaten guinea pig and frogs legs.
What unusual delicacies have you eaten?