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5 Outdoor Survival Lessons Parents Should Teach Their Kids

Pensive boy helping his father on camping

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Whether you’re a parent or not, you can benefit from this information. It is important for any child you know to understand how they can survive if stranded in the wilderness. Read on to learn about the five outdoor survival skills all children should know.

1. Location Recognition and Direction

Children should know how to immediately determine their location anytime they are lost, and as you can imagine, this is even more important when lost in the wild. It is very easy for children to get disoriented when panicking, so be sure your stress the importance of remaining calm, too.

You can teach children to turn to the sun for reference as to not just what time is, but also to determine directions. Don’t forget to instruct children on how to determine direction by looking at stars, too.

2. Establishing a Place to Seek Shelter

It also is important that you instruct kids on how to secure safe shelter. Remind children they can venture off if they see clear paths and know for certain their direction. However, you must teach them that in no way should they ever venture off without knowing those things.

Let them know about the different ways to build a shelter in the outdoors. Explain to them that they should gather the items needed, but tell them to hold off on constructing their shelter. Tell them they should leave their shelter materials behind until they gather other needed items.

3. How to Find Water

It is important you explain to children that they must be able to ensure they have access to water. Of course, you can tell them to head through clear paths to nearby streams or creeks, or a river or lake if nearby. Make sure you also teach children that water needs to be filtered if possible. Ideas for filtration include digging a hole out of wood to use as a pot for boiling water or creating an evaporation trap.

You also need to teach kids about other sources of water. Instruct them on how to access water through rain, morning dew, through a tree or rock crevice, snow and ice, and from fruits and vegetation. You could instruct children how to dig holes in the ground to access water, too.

4. How to Build a Fire Without a Lighter

Don’t forget to teach kids how to build a fire without a lighter. Let children know that a fire will help keep them warm, possibly send off a smoke signal for rescue, and help them boil water and cook food. You also should remind children that wild animals usually are afraid of fire, and that they can be better protected against dangerous animals.

Depending on what children have on them will impact what processes they could use. Teach them how to create a tinder nest that will help fuel the fire along with plenty of dry wood added on top once there is a big enough flame. Options you let them know about are starting a flame by rubbing batteries and steel wool together or igniting cloth with flint rock and some type of steel item like a knife. Using a magnifying glass and creating their own bow drill or hand drill are other techniques you could teach them.

5. Ways to Secure Food

And finally, you need to be certain children know how to secure food in the outdoors. Remind children that food can come from all kinds of resources. Teach them about fruits, safe edible plants, and sources of protein – including bugs and insects. Make sure they know to create fishing rods and how to fish should they have access to fish nearby.

To teach kids about fishing and how to play it safe around water, you should look for opportunities to take children out into the wilderness. Among your options are nearby excursions or booking wilderness travel like Canada fly-in fishing trips.

Why take the risks? Even if kids are not ever faced with trying to survive in the outdoors, you are teaching them important life skills. And each of the above suggestions is a life skill that anyone, especially children, could benefit from knowing.

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