by Bjorn Dihle
All serious berry pickers have their preferred techniques. Some are aggressive; some are Zen-like. I’ve tried different methods and even dabbled with a Jonas Swedish Berry Picker. Presently, I use a method I’ve learned from ravenous yet meditative bears that involves stripping bushes of their berries. Instead of using my jaws, though, I use my paws. My wife takes berry picking seriously but does not like to pretend to be a bear, at least when she’s in the woods. (Home life is a different story.) Numerous times she’s mentioned wishing she had a berry picking bucket that would allow her the use of both hands.
So, last year I gifted her a Sagebrush Dry Hands-Free Berry Basket for her birthday. I was already a fan of Sagebrush Dry, as they’re a small-town southeast Alaska company and make great waterproof backpacks and other gear. My wife first used the basket at our “secret” patch of nagoonberries and then got serious using it on expeditions for blueberries and huckleberries. She loves it and recommends it to all berry pickers—she’s even bought a few as gifts for her favorite pickers. The basket is worn just like a fanny pack, which is also a plus for fashion and for inspiring awe and envy in rival berry pickers. It frees up both your hands, so you can theoretically pick berries twice as fast. The basket holds about a gallon of berries and is soft, so they won’t get squashed. It’s waterproof, has a lip that prevents berries from spilling when you bend over to pick more, and is easy to rinse clean. Like all Sagebrush Dry products, it’s high quality and should last for decades. If you’re looking to change your berry picking game, you should check out Sagebrush Dry Hands-Free Berry Basket.