What to Expect on a Foray What you need to know

COVID-19 Notice: Out of an abundance of caution for our members and the public, our 2021 forays have limited participation. We will be increasing participation throughout the year in accordance with best health and safety recommendations.

MMS forays are guided events for the benefit of our members, the members of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), and NAMA-affiliated mushroom clubs. Forays are held from May to October. Members receive foray details through the MMS Newsletter and MMS email.

The following pointers will help you, and others, have a more pleasant foray experience. Here is what to expect.

People on a path in the woods during a chilly day. The people are dressed with warm hats, closed-toe shoes, some mittens or gloves, long pants, and light jackets.

What should I wear?

  • Clothes that are comfortable to move in and that can get dirty.
    • Avoid loose clothes that can get caught on branches and inhibit your movement.
  • Long pants
    • Tuck pant cuffs into socks to better protect against ticks and other insects.
  • Covered footwear is recommended. Footwear should be able to withstand dust, moderate moisture and protect feet against sharp objects like sticks and rocks.
  • Hat with a visor or brim is preferable as this keeps off the sun, bugs, and sneaky tree branches from your face and hair
  • Recent weather in the foray area may demand additional gear such as:
    • Water-resistant or waterproof jacket and footwear if it has been rainy recently
    • a warm hat for early season forays, or cool mornings in the woods
    • Layers, such as a sweatshirt over a t-shirt, to change with fluctuating temperatures

What should I bring?

People on a moderately steep slope in the woods during summer. The people have baskets in one hand and walking sticks in the other.
  • Waterbottle and possibly a trail snack
  • Whistle to call for help in an emergency*. The sound carries well and it never runs out of batteries nor looses signal.
  • GPS*, park/area map, compass
  • Camera
  • Basket if collecting any fungi specimens. Additionally, wax bags, small paper bags, or containers made from any breathable material (i.e. not plastic bags) are helpful for keeping multiple specimens separate and clean.
  • Mushroom/pocket knife, and a small brush for gently removing debris from specimens
  • Pencil and observation slips
  • Field identification guides/books

*Please note that it is common for mobile phones to have no signal in the woods. It is advisable to have backups tools to call for help and navigation.

Ok, I’m here. What now?

  1. Arrive at the meeting location 5-20 minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
  2. Check in with the foray lead or assistant.
  3. Listen to the foray lead’s directions about where the group will be going, and when and where to reconvene. Forays often return after a couple of hours at the same, or nearby location, where collected specimens can be placed to share and observed.
  4. Embark on the foray in small groups as instructed. Look and observe fungi only collecting where it makes sense to bring a specimen back to the identification table.
  5. Arrive back at the appointed meeting location no later than the indicated time.
  6. Take time to talk and learn with other members about what you saw and observed. The foray educational lead present can help with identification and answer questions.
  7. Be a good steward of the land and leave the site clean, or cleaner, than you found it.

MMS is dedicated to ensuring everyone has a safe and enjoyable outing. Please do your part by:

  • Following all rules, local regulations, and laws at every foray location
  • Show up early/on-time. We care about our members and a foray organizer might stay back for expected, but late, arrivals. Likewise, organizers may stay late after a foray if a registered forager has not made it back yet. We don’t want to leave anyone in the woods, but we also don’t enjoy unnecessarily waiting around for our guests and members.
  • Parking space can be tricky at some locations; carpool where you can.
  • Use the buddy system in the woods and always have the group in sight.
  • Say hello, introduce yourself, and get to know other members in your group and on the foray.