Outdoor! A children’s paradise of imagination and adventure. Combine education and fun in a useful survival activity for your child to create games and lessons that show survival skills. One of the cheapest and most fun activities is to set up a camp. Take a tent and put it up somewhere, you don’t even need to go far as your backyard will be more than adequate for this experience. Being in the backyard, you can turn it into a survival training ground.
If you have a safe zone, or some important landmark like a shed, this may be known as the “safe haven”. The idea will be to create an obstacle course that can be traversed in order to reach the “safe haven”. This is a great way to get your kids into this safe mindset and the benefit is that it can be done within the relative comfort of your own home. After backyard training, you can move to your local park and extend the training there, once again allowing your child to benefit from the outdoor environment.
Hiking presents another opportunity for your children to get used to the idea of being outdoors and in unfamiliar territory. A hike can involve so many different inclines or terrain and be in any weather condition. The variation provided will allow your child to experience new and exciting points of interest. It is a good experience that they navigate challenging routes, for example, a slightly steep hill instead of flat terrain.
As children grow and learn, there will be a time and a place to learn certain skills or practices for their age. I wouldn’t show your 5 year old how to handle a knife, however a 13 or 14 year old might be ready for that step, again it will depend on judgement.
The youngest children, ages 5 to 8, are beginning to develop their own sense of identity. The discovery and wonder of the great outdoors is high on their list, and as a guide, it’s a good time to start establishing some of the survival skills they’ll begin to develop. Being aware of your surroundings is something you can work on and can be done almost everywhere. Make them understand what is happening around them. Implement a game that has them take note of their surroundings, the exit doors, or what did they actually see in their surroundings? Not only to “see” what is around them, but also to be able to remain quiet, out of sight and feel protected. Teaching children to climb a tree safely has its advantages and a tree has multiple uses. A tree provides a vantage point for a better view of the surroundings. It will help them to escape from predictors and can help in hunting down prey. Implementing these basic ideas from an early age will instill the future of their survival and it will grow as they grow.
Teach your children that food and water are essential to survival and knowing what is okay to eat and what is not will be key skills that they have learned as well. Teach them to look at the visual cues of the food, is it discolored, does it smell bad? Teach them to detect allergic reactions with people, relatives around them.
Basic first aid should be introduced at this age. Teach them to properly clean a cut and to be clean and have clean hands whenever possible. Applying a Band-Aid or compress will be the foundation and building blocks of much bigger ideas as they age, the next step to surviving in the wild.
If there’s an area in your house for emergency food storage, it’s a good idea to let your kids know where, why, how and when to use it. Give them as much knowledge as they are able to understand and use.
Teach them what to do when they get lost, not only for them but for you too! Teach them to go to a predetermined safety point or find someone to help them. Also, to add to that, teach them who to approach and who to stay away from. Teaching them to know who the good guys are is very important with this training.
To conclude on this first topic of clues:
Talk about survival and staying safe is an activity the whole family can participate in.
Outdoor activities will allow you to discuss basic topics such as food sources, water collection, and the proper clothing to wear.
Make the lessons fun and the retention will be there.
Make sure that the lessons are according to the age of your children and that the development is at their pace.
Thanks for reading this. I would love to hear what your ideas are and what you have done to better prepare yourself to master outdoor survival and how you practice and why, so please leave your comments below and share your thoughts.