Prepare your kids for The Great Outdoors with five survival skills
As parents, the skills you look to pass on to your children are numerous and wide ranging. It is the responsibility of any parent to prepare their children for adulthood as best they can and seeing them develop is a great source of pride to any parent. Once children reach schooling age, much time is spent helping to progress their learning and develop the academic skills that they are being taught in the classroom. I wonder though if you have given much thought to your child’s outdoor survival skills. If you are like a fish out of water whenever you spend a prolonged period of time outside without those home comforts, than I guess the answer will be very little. But having an understanding of simple outdoor survival skills should not be restricted to those children in the scouting movement. With outdoor activities peaking during the summer months, it is possible that your child could find themselves in a situation where they are on their own outside for long spells. Are you confident that they would know what to do? Here are five tips that we think every kid should know before they head outdoors.
1. Stay Put
This is arguably the most important thing to remember for kids that find themselves in unfamiliar outdoor surroundings. The natural instinct is to run around and look for help, so you can help to curb this by stressing the importance of staying put. With younger children, why not encourage them to find a favourite tree, rock or other natural landmark if they get lost. By getting them to name that object and even make friends with it, they will find it more appealing to stay in one place and make the job of finding them that much easier.
2. Insulate Clothing
The threat of hypothermia is present for any outdoors person, but children are especially at risk. Their smaller frames mean their body temperature could drop dangerously low at night or if they get wet. Teaching them about insulation at a young age could help for situations where they feel cold but do not have adequate clothing. Get them to tuck their trousers into their socks and to fill their trousers with vegetation. Then get them to tuck their shirt into their trousers, and likewise fill the shirt. In the summer they may well be wearing shorts, but at least the second procedure would enable them to keep their torsos warm.
3. Build Shelter
This is the area that children are likely to find the most fun. Seriously though, teaching them to build a shelter with a sturdy frame and to insulate the walls with thick vegetation is something that could save their life. With natural shelters being camouflaged, you should make them aware of the importance of marking them for visibility.
4. Find Safe Water
Rain could well be the safest source of water in an emergency situation, but it would be incredibly useful to show them how to boil water from a stream or creek. In the absence of fire and a container to boil with, teaching them to look for smaller, cleaner streams as a drinking source is a good idea.
5. Signal For Help
Being able to attract attention is hugely important, so have children carry a whistle round their neck. Practice drills whereby they blow the whistle in concentrated bursts at regular intervals, so as to aid the search efforts of those looking for them. Carrying a torch could also be a good idea for helping with location after dark and for when search parties are in close proximity.
Equipping children with basic outdoor survival skills is incredibly useful, potentially lifesaving and is also likely to increase their enjoyment of the time they spend outside. Whether your child is an experienced bushman or just making their first forage into the wilderness, Greenman Bushcraft has a range of accessories to suit so visit our website today.