Chuck Kleine Published

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN – Rock Tripe A Winter Survival Food

Edible Mountain - Rock Tripe.jpg

Rock Tripe

Knowing what is edible in the wilderness can create a sense of security
in our wild world. But what if you need to feed yourself in the dead of
winter? What would you eat?

Rock Tripe (Umbilicaria mammulata) is a type of edible lichen, and it is
plentiful in North America.

RocK tripe growing on sand stone

Chuck Kleine
RocK tripe growing on sand stone

A lichen is not just one organism–it is a mutual, symbiotic life form
comprising of a species of fungus and a species of algae. They work
together to survive, needing very little from their surrounding


Chuck Kleine
Rock tripe in February

In the dead of winter, when just about every plant is dormant, Rock
Tripe is still thriving. It’s not great tasting, and you may even
struggle to keep it down, but it will alleviate hunger pains. It
contains a similar amount of calories as cornflakes.

Soldiers from the Battle of Valley Forge journaled that they ate Rock
Tripe by the bushels to combat starvation through winter months of 1777.
God forbid anyone is ever in such a dire situation, but when push comes
to shove, now you know that Rock Tripe can be on the menu.

EDIBLE MOUNTAIN – Rock Tripe A Winter Survival Food

Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that showcases
some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products of the
forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses. The series
features experts, from botanists to conservationists, who provide
insight on how to sustainably forage these delicacies. It also explores
the preparation of these amazing delectables, something that many could
be achieved in the home kitchen.