Are you looking for a guide on survival skills for kids? Keep reading to know more.
Everyone in the world, no matter how old you are, needs to learn and know how to use basic skills of survival. It is even more important that children are aware of these survival skills and how to be independent in case a situation calls for it.
Of course, as a parent, it is your job to protect your children at all costs and make sure they are always safe; no one wants to imagine their children helpless and in trouble. However, the world is not always safe and life is unpredictable so why not equip your children with these skills?
The basic skills of survival have always been FOOD, SHELTER and CLOTHING.
This article will highlight some basic survival skills revolving around these that all children should know and how you can teach them.
1. How to find water and figure out if it is clean for drinking
Humans cannot survive long without water and your children should know this. If water is scarce, one of the easiest sources is rainwater. They can also get water from streams or lakes. An easy way to find natural sources of water (lakes and streams) is to follow animals (critters) or look downhill where water flows naturally. Animals need water just as much as we do and will have a natural source. Water gotten from streams should be boiled for safety as they have pathogens but if that is not an option, they can drink the water like that. Remember, it is better to be alive and sick than to be dead from dehydration!
2. Starting a fire
Children can be taught how to start fires naturally in extreme cases. The oldest and most difficult methods of starting fires are friction, sparks or the sun. Again, this is used in extreme cases where items like lighters, matches, and tinder packs are unavailable. In all cases, however, a fire pit needs to be created. Neither rubbing sticks together nor using a lighter can immediately light logs of wood. Your child will need to gather tinder, which are easily flammable items to get a fire going. Examples of tinders are manmade fibers like flint, dry rope, pads and tampons; tiny needle-sized sticks and dry grass. Once they have flint, they will need to gather kindling, which is a larger sized type of flint that lights up your wood. These are usually just pencil-sized sticks. Finally, your child needs to gather wood and arrange them together to create their fire pit.
Remind your children that it is important to have gathered all these items and have them arranged before starting the fire so it does not go out while they go about looking. Fire is useful to cook raw food, warm food, boil unclean water and keep warm.
3. Sourcing for food
The best way to prepare for food scarcity is to teach your children how to grow and catch or trap their food and to stock up on canned foods. You can start by teaching your children all they need to know about planting a garden and teaching them about types of soil, growing conditions and different types of fruits, vegetables and plants that are edible. It is also highly recommended to educate them on how to identify edible medicinal plants. This could save them in a life or death situation. It is advisable to stock up on basic medicines like painkillers and antibiotics for emergencies and to teach them basic first aid skills. While on this topic, you should also teach them how to preserve food and identify spoiled food.
4. Keeping warm
Another survival skill to teach your children is how to survive when it is cold and insulate their clothes to save them from hypothermia. You can practice with them and do it as a game so it seems fun to them. Teach them to tuck in their clothes and to tuck in their trousers into their socks. Then you teach them the ‘scarecrow method’ where they stuff their clothes with non-harmful plants and leaves.
5. Building shelter
Another important skill is how to find and build a shelter. Teach them things like a temporary shelter from the rain by hiding under tree branches, a small cave or alcove, or a shade to keep cool. You should also teach them how to build simple leaf huts and lean-to shelters. You can also make this a fun challenge for them that they can turn into a fort.
There are numerous other skills that you can teach your children such as how to use a knife, how to skin animals, basic fishing, etc. however it is best to start with the five listed above. Depending on how old your child is, you can explain to them the importance of basic survival skills like these.