When people who love wild mushrooms say “foray,” they’re talking about organizing a group to go into the forest to look for fungi. The purpose of a CMS foray is education, first and foremost. Forays can also be to hunt for edibles, collect for scientific study, or to just look at the beauty and diversity of mushrooms. Most CMS forays are for the day (about 9:00 am to 3:30 pm) and are usually on a Saturday or Sunday. However, we do have some weekend-long forays where we stay in cabins, yurts, or a campsite, for Friday and Saturday nights.
CMS Forays are FREE. But, are only open to CMS members. Previously we took whoever showed up. In 2010 we began a registration process limiting the number of participants because of the overwhelming turnout we started to get. In 2014 we began limiting forays to CMS members as members were having difficulty getting registered before non-members.
Please keep in mind that CMS Membership grants you free access to 9-12 single day forays and two weekend-long forays (lodging not included). Foray Guides (if you can find one) normally charge between $25 to $50 per person per foray.
If you would like to attend a CMS Foray, you can become a member online on our CMS Membership Page. Membership starts at $15. Guests or friends that are not members are not permitted on forays. If you are a CMS Member and want to bring a friend on a foray, consider purchasing a Gift Membership in the CMS Store. To learn more about Member Forays and what to expect, read on …
Below is the foray schedule for the 2018/2019 mushroom season. The schedule will be updated as the season progresses and we obtain more commitments from Foray Leaders and Co-Leaders. The Registration Announcement and Foray Registration Form will be posted to the CMS Blog on the Homepage of this website, plus a foray announcement will be emailed to all persons on the CMS Newsletter list. You will also find Forays and Registration dates on the CMS Calendar. The best way to guarantee a spot on a foray is to volunteer to Co-lead – find out more on our Volunteer Page.
Equipment and Gear needed
- Most Important: A watch to keep track of the time.
- Be prepared! Oregon is wet and rainy. Rain gear, warm clothes, and waterproof boots are best. It is always better to bring extra clothes than be cold.
- Brightly colored outer clothing or a safety vest is also recommended.
- Mushroom basket or container, Pocket Knife and soft brush for wiping mushrooms clean.
- Extra bags for mushrooms (paper, cloth, or waxed bags are best).
- A compass.
- A whistle.
- Food and water.
- Matches, lighter or fire starter.
- Fully charged cell phone.
- A hand-held GPS unit if you have one. A GPS unit can be handy for finding your way back to the car, and to save good mushroom spots for later reference.
- Identification Books (optional).
- An Epipen if you need one.
- Personal Use Mushroom Permit – You will be notified if a mushroom permit is required for your destined area.
- Parking Pass (or cash) – If required, you will be notified.
- A camera (optional for taking pictures).
- We do not allow pets on CMS forays.
Foray Rules and Etiquette
- Waiver Form. As part of the Registration process, each Adult participant is asked to acknowledge a CMS standard waiver form. Click here to download Liability Waiver Form.
- Permit. If required in the mushroom hunting area, you may not collect mushrooms without one. You may still accompany us and participate in the educational portion of the foray.
- Safety Information. When you gather at the meeting location, the Foray Leader will provide some safety instructions and a description of the foray area and its boundaries. Please pay close attention to this information.
- Be Courteous. You must be considerate of the Foray Leader and your fellow participants.
- No Pets. Service animals are allowed, please notify the foray leader in advance.
- You must be Counted. Before leaving any foray area, including the parking lot, the Foray Leader will count the number of participants. If you leave the area or the foray you must tell the Foray Leader.
- Watch/Time Piece. At all times during the foray, you must have the accurate time or buddy up with someone who has a timepiece.
- Several Locations. Often forays will cover one or more areas or stops. The leader will give a time for everyone to return to a particular location. Return Promptly. Otherwise, you risk being asked to leave and not go on future forays.
- Aware of Location. Pay attention to your surroundings and which direction you are traveling. This will help you identify the habitat for mushrooms and help keep you from getting lost. It is always best to have a foray buddy. Carry a compass or GPS if you have one.
- Please Listen. These forays are offered for everyone’s enjoyment and education. Please be considerate and helpful to those with less experience. The primary purpose of the foray is to educate you about mushrooms and their habitat. Our most important objective is to help you learn safe mushroom collection practices and to ensure everyone’s safety in the woods. This is not a training for commercial mushroom pickers. If the Host of the foray determines at any time that you are not following the rules or instructions, you will be asked to leave and no longer allowed to participate in this foray or possibly future forays. The Foray Leader may not be a mushroom ID expert. Never eat any mushroom that you have not personally collected and absolutely identified as edible. Be sure to read the Edibility Guidelines. When in doubt, throw it out! We may go to relatively remote locations with rough terrain. We may or may not be close to roads and trails. Be aware of your limits. We do not want you to get hurt or lost. We endeavor to provide a safe, educational experience, but ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety. CMS assumes no liability.
- Please do not return to the location of CMS forays. Our foray leaders spend considerable time and efforts finding good locations appropriate for large groups. These spots are few and hard to identify. We use them again and again over the years for teaching and forays. If they become overwhelmed or overused we need to identify new locations. Pay attention to the habitat, elevation, and dominant plant species at the foray site to help you identify other locations for your own forays.