What is a foray?
All mycological societies sponsor field trips to
mushroom habitats, called
"forays", the purpose of which is to gather, learn about, and identify wild
What happens at a LAMS foray?
After arriving at the designated foray location the foray leader
gives a brief orientation to the foray site and answers any questions
participants might have. If a foray site is known to harbor hazards,
such as poison
oak, that will be mentioned and anyone unfamiliar with
poison oak will be offered the opportunity to see it and learn how to
In accordance with LAMS policy a liability release is given to each
participant to complete and sign. Parents or guardians must sign for
The foray leader then guides the group into the habitat to find
whatever mushrooms may be found.
After the foray there will usually be an opportunity to identify the
mushrooms found, although it is never possible to identify EVERY mushroom
found by EVERY participant.
Is there a charge for participating in the foray?
Unless stated otherwise, there is no charge for participation in a
LAMS foray. We do suggest to non-members that if you enjoyed the foray and would
like to participate again that you consider joining
When is the next foray?
This is probably the most common query we
receive. First of all, Southern California has a Mediterranean
climate. Rainfall is very uncommon in
the dry months from May through November, and so, therefore, are forays. Even during the rainy
season, we have found it necessary to implement a reservation system to
prevent the number of foray participants from becoming unmanageable, as discussed in the following section. Forays, if they are
announced, will ONLY be publicly announced on the LAMS
Calendar and NOT on our Facebook
pages. Current LAMS
members receive email announcements of all forays as soon as they
How do I sign up for a foray?
ensure a safe and enjoyable foray experience for everyone, effective
January 2015, participation in ALL forays will be BY RESERVATION
For most forays LAMS
members will have a three day window to reserve places before
registration is opened to the public.
Due to the popularity of forays, in most cases this means that the foray
will not have any
openings for the public, and it will not be publicly announced.
Reservations for a few forays each season will be open to members and the public alike.
Once announced, foray reservations will be accepted on a first received,
first reserved basis.
reservations are accepted by email only. Specific reservation
procedures will depend on the type and location of the foray and will be
announced when the foray is scheduled. If you made a reservation and
later find that you are not able to participate in the foray, please
inform the field trip leader as soon as possible so that others on
the waiting list may participate.
What should I wear to a foray?
For most forays you should wear clothing such as you might wear if
you were going to be gardening, hiking or engaged in any similar outdoor
activity. Shoes should be sturdy and comfortable with flat heels. Boots
with waffle soles are recommended for all forays with an Activity
Rating of 2 or 3. Even on warm days long pants, long-sleeved
shirts and cotton gloves are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED as they will help protect you from
poison oak, scratchy brush, ticks and sunburn. A hat is also recommended
for protection from the sun and overhead branches.
A jacket is also recommended as weather may change
quickly even on
What else should I bring to a foray?
For collecting: A sturdy container such as a wicker basket or plastic bucket is
recommended to carry your finds. Plastic shopping bags are emphatically NOT
RECOMMENDED. A garden trowel or digging tool will help excavate your
finds and an inexpensive steak knife and brush will help you trim and
clean them. Bring wax paper to wrap and protect your finds. Bring a
mushroom field guide if you have one. Many people also bring a camera to
photograph mushrooms, plants, or animals they encounter. A pocket
sized notebook is useful for recording details of where a particular
mushroom was found and for recording information about any photographs
you might have taken.
For yourself: Bring lunch, or at least a snack.
Bring a bottle
of drinking water. Toilet paper is also recommended as restrooms are not
located at most foray sites.
What other preparations do you recommend?
Bring your cell phone, if you have one, and make sure it
is fully charged. Make sure your car has adequate fuel, as many
foray sites are located 10, sometimes 20 miles or more, from the nearest gas
station. Check your spare tire to see if it is fully inflated and bring
an extra set of car keys.
May I bring friends or family members if they are interested?
Yes. Children are welcome, but forays with an Activity
Rating of 2 or 3 are probably too tiring for most children younger
Are dogs permitted on LAMS forays?
Subject to the discretion of the foray leader, dogs may be
permitted if well-behaved toward people and other dogs, AND on a leash. Foray locations are not
"off-leash areas". Be aware that dogs may pick up poison oak
resin or ticks in their fur and potentially transfer them to you or other people.