Mushroom Collecting 101: The foolproof four

Puffball Mushroom
Note: Some wild mushrooms are poisonous, and they may resemble edible species. Eating them may make you sick or kill you. It is your responsibility to identify any wild food with 100% certainty before you eat it.

I’m very much interested in harvesting wild mushrooms, however mushrooms are scary business! Eating the wrong mushroom can make you severely ill or in some cases kill you! In fact there is even a mushroom called “The Angel of Death“.

So how can you get started into mushrooming without worrying about killing yourself?

Well first off all I would suggest locating your local mushrooming club if there is one around. Your good friend Google should know where they are.

The best place to start with mushrooming is without a doubt “The Foolproof four”. These 4 mushrooms are named because they are very easy to identify and they do not have many poisonous look alikes.

The foolproof four are:

Puffball Mushroom
Puffball Mushroom (beautifulcataya)
Chicken of the woods
Chicken of the woods ( minicooper93402)
Morel (melystu
Chanterelle (ivanteage)


Mushrooming Skills I want to learn

  • Learning your local areas and knowing where to look
  • Learning to identify tree types. Knowing which type of trees are growing is one of the most important aspects of determining which mushrooms you are likely to find
  • Spore Prints: The color and pattern of the mushroom spores are the safest way to properly identify a mushroom.

I’ll be joining and attending local mushroom events and will of course keep the blog up to date with my progress.

Author: Nick-LaDieu

Webmaster of Budding skill enthusiast and modern survivalist. When nick isn't plotting his next project he is probably running with his dogs, riding his mountain bike, or fiddling with his home theater.

  • So, if it is the fool proof four then why is there a warning for each?

  • If you click through to the warning you’ll see they are pretty obvious to see, however we can’t be foolish. Let’s put it this way: this is as easy as it gets in the wild mushroom world. The only one that actually really looks like the real thing is the chicken of the woods, but if u can’t identify a conifer then you probably should learn more before going out

  • soph

    is the wood hedgehog one to confuse with any other dangerous types… i have found these in 2 different places.. only way i could tell they were wood hedgehog was by turning them upside down and seeing the spines not gilles

  • David Spahr

    You are using an image of mine here without permission, credit line or payment. Not cool! David Spahr

  • David Spahr

    Image thief! Sorry dude but that’s stealing!

  • thereelslimshaydee

    so what shut up and be glad they are doing good you greedy bastard

  • saveourskills

    Give me the URLs to credit and I can update it with the links… or if you want a specific one removed just let me know

  • saveourskills

    David, I changed out all the photos to creative commons photos..

  • Stuart, Melinda

    You have used my image, too, and I’m happy to share it for this worthy effort, thru Creative commons. You did give me credit which I appreciate! Nice blog on important subjects.

  • saveourskills

    Hi melinda.. I did find you on a creative commons search via flickr. I assume that the link back was meeting the requirements. I will be using this method in the future for photos

  • David Spahr

    The top of the page image belongs to me. I don’t mind the content but I do mind that you did not ask or give credit line.

  • Alex P

    Are you honestly going to request payment for use of a fucking photo in an effort to limit misidentification and death? Your a piece of shit.