Survival is something every human does whether subconsciously or consciously. We often find ourselves in situations we can’t control and we have no other option than to look for a means to wiggle out of it; that is survival. This is exactly the same for kids too most times, but not to worry, you have come to the right place.
Here, we shall be looking at the basic outdoor survival skill you can teach your kids to if a situation ever arises where they find themselves stranded or lost, and without your care:
The first thing you should teach your kid is the power of remaining calm. As a parent, your child looks up to you most of the times and dotes on your every word, so, teaching your child the act of keeping a calm and clear head is always the first step.
It is an established part that panic never pays and kids are so much more vulnerable. Having a clear head and mind is the key to making other better decisions.
Water is a necessity. The human body can survive without food for weeks, but without water, it survives for only a few days.
You need to teach your kids how to source for water and how to purify any water they find around. Water usually runs downhill so as parents, you should teach your child that and teach them to follow animal footprints because hey, animals need water too and their prints can lead you right to a water source.
When water is eventually found, the most common way to purify it is via boiling.
BUILDING A SHELTER
A shelter comes in quite handy, especially at night when there is very low chance of a search party coming. Parents should teach their kids to find shelter and emphasize the importance of this that is, to keep warm and to keep clear of wild animals. You can teach your kids to build quick shelters than can just enable them lay down comfortably, using leaves and branches. Also, you can show them how to locate caves and hollowed trees where they can stay for the night without having to worry about actually making a shelter.
BUILDING A FIRE
Knowing how to construct a fire is a major outdoor survival skill. A fire is so handy in so many ways because, it can keep you warm and toasty, the flames from a fire can give the search party an incline as to where the kid is and it can be used for the purification of water and to cook food like fish and others.
You should teach your kids how to locate good logs for the fire and how to properly stack the logs together to aid the airflow and make the fire burn brightly. Remember to also teach them to be very careful about the fire and always be watchful.
The human body can go for a while without food, yes, but the kids still need to eat. Food provides energy even water cannot give and being lost outdoors; the kids is sure to be using up more energy physically and mentally.
Parents should show their kids the likely animals that can be eaten like small furry animals, fish and some insects and teach them how to hunt for these animals. Obviously, some insects are gross, but they might have to eat them to survive. Plants are not advisable to eat because the majority of them are poisonous.
You can also teach your kids to pluck fruits because fruits are somewhat easier to locate than animals.
KEEPING TRACK OF LANDMARKS
You as a parent should teach your kids how to be aware and in tune with their surroundings. Camping or hiking is not just randomly walking around the forest or jungle. One should be aware of the route one follows.
As a parent, you can use some catchy terms and places like “Look at that tree shaped like a big umbrella,” or “look at how beautifully those rocks are arranged over there.”
By doing things like this at intervals, subconsciously, the kids are learning the routes and if something unexpected happens and they go missing or get lost, they can easily trace back their steps because they little clues in every location they had been to. And if per adventure they don’t trace their steps back, they might eventually stumble into a familiar location.
Kids get very bored easily because they have low attention span. So, as a parent, try as much as possible to make your camping or hiking trips fun. Do not be too strict or obvious, make the learning process like a fun game to get the kids more interested. Kids actually learn to recall thigs faster if they were learned in a fun way like through songs or fun activities. Parents could consider making fun, educational games while on camping trips.
USING A COMPASS
Most times when we go camping, we take a compass and a map to be extra sure of the direction we are headed towards. The kids need to be taught how to read a compass and look at a map. You should study maps and directions together with your kids and in the process, they learn how to do it on their own overtime. It might be difficult to get them focused on these things because of the evolving technology, but it is left to the parent to make the kids actually see the importance of these things.
And hey, it’s pretty cool to read a compass right? I mean, most kids are that cool, right?
One of the most important skills in life is knowing how to protect yourself and this is also a very important outdoor skill. Parents should teach their kids basic ways to protect themselves against any physical threat. Self defense skills like martial arts or operating a fire arm is highly advised in this case. Also, kids should be thought how to sense dangers from wildlife and what to do about it.
Kids should be taught how to use various tools like a knife or an axe. Having tools can come in very handy outdoors. Tools can be used for a lot of things like clearing paths, self defense and even creating a tent. They should be taught the use and function of each tool so that they wont mix up the uses and slow down their progress.
Having a tool is one thing, maintaining it is another. As parents, you should teach your kids how to properly clean and sharpen their knives and other tools. Poor maintenance brings about rust and a rusty knife is pretty much useless most times. And a dirty tool has a very high probability of inflicting an infection on anyone that gets cut or injured by any of them mistakenly because they carry so much germs.
Kids should be properly taught about all the tools in the first aid box and how to use each and every one of them. This skill is so important and not only for outdoor survival, but for life as well. It shouldn’t just be about band-aids and cotton wool, teach these kids that every single tool in the first aid kid is equally as important as the band-aids.
The first aid kit helps prevent a lot of future emergencies so, everyone should be able to operate with it.
MAKE HELP SIGNALS
When one is lost outdoors, one tries all he/she can to get help. Kids should be shown different ways to signal for help. This is better than just staying put and hoping to be found. Creating SOS signal with sticks for passing airplanes or using some sort of location land marker is one handy outdoor survival skill.
READ THE SUN
Reading the sun is one helpful thing to do when lost outdoor if out of a mobile device or any gadget. If adults can do it, why can’t kids? When hiking or maybe camping, parents should try to draw their kids’ attention to the direction of the sun at intervals to tell the time. The time can be roughly estimated with the direction of the sun and this is a pretty awesome skill to possess.
FORAGING FOR MEDICINAL PLANTS
Sometimes when kids get lost outdoors, they can sustain an injury. It might be something minor like a graze or something serious like a deep cut. Either which one, it is very important for them to know how to treat this type of injury incase there is no access to a first aid kit. Some plants are medicinal and can be used to stop bleeding and prevent infections. When camping or having any activity outdoors, it is very important that parents teach their kids the skill of knowing the right plants to pick.
This outdoor survival skill can help prevent a more catastrophic event sometime in the future.