Essential Mushroom Hunting Tools

Before you hit the trails, pack a few necessities

Gardener harvests a mushroom with a knife.

Aleksander Rubtsov / Getty Images

Mushroom hunting is pretty low tech, but there are a few cool tools you can bring along to make your expedition easier and more efficient.

Obviously, you wouldn't wander out into the woods without good walking shoes, a water bottle, sunscreen, and foul-weather clothes, but here are a few items you might not have considered.

  • 01 of 04

    Mushroom Knife

    Opinel mushroom knife
    Ellen Zachos

    Try bringing an Opinel mushroom knife. The brush on one end is perfect for cleaning soil from your harvest and the curved blade lets you easily carve away the smallest amount of soiled mushroom stipe, preserving as much delicious mushroom flesh as possible.

  • 02 of 04

    Individual Bags

    Mushrooms in a paper bag

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Small paper bags not only keep your different mushroom species separate but also offer some protection from crushing. Additionally, paper allows the mushrooms to breathe. Fungus wrapped in plastic bags may quickly turn to mush. In a pinch, you can roll your mushrooms in sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper, then twist the ends to hold them in place.

  • 03 of 04

    Pocket Guide

    Pocket guide to mushrooms
    Ellen Zachos

    There are many excellent volumes on mushrooms, but when you're out in the field, it's a good idea to have a small, pocket guide to refer to. It helps with identification and also offers information on edibility. Why waste precious space in your backpack on a mushroom you know isn't delicious?

  • 04 of 04

    Black and White Paper

    Spore print
    A spore print helps you identify the mushroom species. Ellen Zachos

    When you get home, you may need to make a spore print to confirm the identification of your harvest. Black paper is best for showing light-colored spores, and white paper is recommended for showing dark spores. This is often the final key in mushroom identification.