COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to changes in Oregon state and CDC Guidelines; masks on forays are now optional. We are also no longer discouraging carpools. If you do want to carpool, you may want to bring a mask. If conditions change, these guidelines may change.
What is a Foray and who can attend
When people who love wild mushrooms say “foray,” they’re talking about organizing a group to go into the forest to look for mushrooms. The purpose CMS member forays 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). They can be on a weekend or sometimes during the week. We also have some weekend-long forays where we stay in cabins, yurts, or a campsite, for Friday and Saturday nights.
Where do we go and how do we get there?
We generally have a meetup location in the Eugene/Springfield area and carpool from there. Our typical foray locations are from Eugene out to and including the Oregon coast, to the west out highway 58 or highway 126, and the Umpqua forest near Cottage grove. We can sometimes accommodate an alternate meetup location for someone who lives close to our final destination. For example, a meetup location at the coast for a coast foray.
Foray locations are chosen to accommodate all levels of physical ability, including children. We also choose locations with safety in mind to ensure access into and out of the woods is easily accessible and identifiable. Some are at established campgrounds or trails, while some are not. Lastly, foray locations must be able to accommodate vehicle access and parking for all participants.
Please be aware that many foray locations do not have restrooms. So, please be prepared. For women, wearing a light days pad will eliminate the need for toilet paper. Also be aware that some foray locations are on gravel roads. None should require a four wheel drive vehicle, but you may want to leave your Porsche convertible at home.
Who can attend?
CMS Forays are FREE. But, are only open to CMS members. CMS typically offers 9 to 12 single day forays and one or two weekend-long forays each year (you pay food and lodging for weekend forays). Each foray is lead by a CMS member that typically has 10 or more years experience in mushroom hunting. Not all foray leaders can identify every mushroom you may find. However, most can identify mushrooms to genus level, and all can make sure you do not end up with something non-edible in your basket – unless you are interested in it for study purposes.
If you would like to attend a CMS Foray, you can become a member online on our CMS Membership Page. Membership starts at $15. Please do not register of bring guests or friends that are not CMS members. If you are a CMS Member and want to bring a friend on a foray, consider purchasing a Gift Membership in the CMS Store.
Pets are not permitted on CMS forays
To learn more about Foray Registration and what to expect on a foray, read on …
Foray Registration and Selection Process
All foray registrations take place on the CMS website; you must log in. You may access the Registration form from the My Membership page during the registration dates/times. We require all adults (anyone over the age of 16) to register separately, stating a foray partner does not register them. If you have a Family membership you may register both yourself and other family members from your login.
We always have more people register than we have openings to attend – sometimes 3 to 4 times more. The selection process includes a series of random drawings. We do favor new CMS members who have never attended a CMS foray (we are all about educating new people). For the first 50% of the selection, only new CMS members who have never attended a foray are in the drawing. Then, we include everyone for the last 50% selection. After those 2 selections, we do one last drawing with everyone to select 3 to 4 people to be on the waiting list, as we may have people that cancel prior to the foray.
How does it work if I specify a foray partner?
If two or more people register as partners, we assume that you only want to attend if you all get to go together. So, our selection process always includes everyone in a foray group.
How are notifications done?
After the selection process is complete, 3 emails are sent. Everyone who was selected to attend will receive an email notifying them of their selection and informing them of all the foray meetup details. A second email is sent to the persons on the Waiting List to let them know they may be able to go if we have people cancel. A third email is sent to the remaining persons to let them know they might as well make other plans.
Recommended Minimum Gear needed
- Most Important: A watch to keep track of the time.
- A whistle if you have one – for safety.
- Bright outer clothing or a safety vest.
- Rain gear, warm clothes, and waterproof boots are best. It is always better to bring extra clothes than be cold.
- Mushroom basket or container, Pocket Knife and soft brush for wiping mushrooms clean.
- Food and water, forays last 5-6 hours (including drive time).
- Fully charged cell phone, if you have one.
- An EpiPen if you need one.
- Personal Use Mushroom Permit – We will let you know if you will need a personal use mushroom permit.
- Parking Pass (or cash) – The foray instructions will include any parking pass requirements.
- Gas cash if you plan to carpool from the meetup location.
- A camera (optional for taking pictures).
- Hand lens – for looking at mushrooms up close.
- A compass or handheld GPS unit.
- A backpack with overnight gear: Blanket, extra clothing, matches, lighter or fire starter. Note: We take great care in choosing foray locations that are not far off of a road to minimize the risk of anyone getting lost. Please pay attention to your foray leaders instructions and stay within hearing distance of a foray buddy at all times.
- We do not allow pets on CMS forays.
Foray Rules and Etiquette
- Liability Waiver Agreement. As part of the registration process, each Adult participant must acknowledge a CMS standard waiver form. Click the link above to view the Liability Waiver Agreement (opens in new tab).
- Safety first. Our most important objective is to help you learn safe mushroom collection practices and to ensure everyone’s safety in the woods. 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 and listen. Forays are for everyone’s enjoyment and education. Please be considerate and helpful to those with less experience. Forays are to educate you about mushrooms and their habitat; not a training session for commercial mushroom pickers.
- No Pets. Service animals are welcome, please notify the foray leader in advance.
- We do a lot of counting. 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.
- Pay attention to the time. Often forays will cover one or more areas or stops. The leader will give a time for everyone to return to a particular location. Please return promptly at the designated time.
- Be aware of your location. Pay attention to your surroundings and which direction you are traveling. This will help you identify mushrooms habitat and keep you from getting lost. It is always best to have a foray buddy. Carry a compass or GPS if you have one.
- You are responsible for what you choose to take home and eat. The Foray Leader may not know the identification of every mushroom you pick. They should be familiar with the common edible and poisonous species. Never eat any mushroom that you have not personally collected and absolutely identified as edible. If you are trying a new wild mushroom for the first time, please read and follow the Edibility Guidelines found on the CMS Mushroom Foraging Safety page
- Be aware of your physical 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 effort 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 will 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 outings.