Field Trips & Foray
Four or five times each Spring and Fall the Society organizes field trips, usually at forest campgrounds. Members are free to arrive and leave as it suits their schedule, however standard procedure (recommended for new members) is to arrive before 9 am for tea or coffee while you get some pointers on where to try hunting and possibly hook up with another person or group. From there individuals or groups fan out in the surrounding 20 miles looking for new hot spots or old reliables. People that are tired or not successful may return to eat their lunch and find out how others have been faring, then head out again; while those in the gravy will stay out all day. Master Identifiers are present from 9-4pm to verify your discoveries.
Weather permitting, there is usually a pot luck dinner starting around 5:00. Appetizers, salads, soups, stews, fresh fruit, deserts, bring enough for several people, your own plate, drink, and join the fun. Once or twice a year an overnight field trip is held; however, a Master Identifier may only be available on Saturday.
In order to participate in field trips, members have to sign a liability waiver at the campground in the morning of the field trip.
If you wish to prevail yourself of a member's privilege to go out with a guide, you must have a whistle with you. No exception.
"It takes a lot of love to make a house a home" and each field trip needs an experienced host and a new member assistant to give a little love, putting up direction signs, bringing coffee and hot water as well as the host kit (includes cups, plates, stove, etc) , lighting a fire on chilly days, greeting people, helping to close up shop after dinner. Several hosts can sign up for a single field trip sharing responsibilities and allowing for both to participate in the hunting as well.
Please volunteer once every two years to co-host a field trip. Contact Jon Hall, Field Trip Hosting Chairperson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
More info on hosting a field trip is available on the hosting guidelines page.
The field trip schedule is available to members on the members' calendar.
Contact Brian Luther (Contact information available in the roster on the members' page), or email email@example.com and the email will be forwarded to him.
Field Trip Tips
The Pacific Northwest is wet. Wear warm clothing, preferably in layers, and waterproof shoes or boots and bring your rain gear. Pacific Northwest vegetation is usually thick, and the sky is frequently overcast. Bring a compass and whistle and a map of the area and remember to use them.
You will need a wide-bottomed container for your mushrooms. This can be a basket or bucket. Do not use plastic sacks; they tend to condense moisture and turn mushrooms into slime. You will need a sturdy knife suitable for cutting and prying and perhaps a soft brush to clean up the edibles; some people even bring a small garden trowel for digging. To protect individual specimens for identification, take some wax paper sandwich bags or aluminum foil.
If you know you have a good edible, cut off the stem cleanly and brush off as much soil and debris as possible. Store like species in a rigid container where they won't get crushed or pick up more dirt. Try to keep the mushrooms cool and dry, and process them as soon as possible.
A PSMS Foray is something like a field trip, only on a broader basis, lasting two or three days. Though there may be field hunting, the focus is on education with several learning opportunities. Because the outing includes at least one evening and dinner, there is also an emphasis on good food, drink and conviviality.
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