Your offspring deserve to know how to cope with whatever life may throw at them, even if they’re only children.
As a parent, protecting our little ones comes as an intrinsic ability. It’s good to let them know they can rely on us. However, as they grow, they too realize that you won’t always be there for them.
For this reason, you must show them the many tips and tricks of the craft, so that they’ll handle any survival situation effectively.
Do your children know any survival basics? If not, it might be time to teach them a thing or two. It’s time to stop being overprotective!
You know all too well that children are more prone to learning new stuff through practice, and not through theory.
Of course, theory has its purpose, but combine it with real time experiences and your kids will grow fond of this ancient survival practice.
When they’re young, they see the world differently. So, even a relaxed walk through the forest might teach them valuable lessons.
For example, they’ll observe the many landmarks and geographic features present outdoors. They’ll see the streams, the waterfalls, the mountain tops or tracks left by animals and develop a kind of analytical thinking.
Providing them this freedom when they are of small age will go a long way as they move into their teenage years.
Here are a bunch of other useful and fun stuff you can do with your youngsters.
1. Building shelter
This must be one of the most entertaining things to do as a child. Of course, adulthood will take this to a whole new level, but don’t ever underestimate your children’s capabilities.
You should initially start with a lesson. Do this while you have their full attention. Outline the most important things of why humans need shelter. That would be:
- For body heat
- For protection against wild animals
- To get rest
- To get them through the night
- To have fun
Children will be up for this task regardless of the season. If the weather conditions are right, you can build an igloo during the winter or a temporary wooden refuge during the other seasons.
2. Lighting a fire
Now that the shelter is ready, they’ll want to feel cozy. Unless it’s winter time, you can teach them how to start a fire.
This will keep them warm, cozy, and entertained. You can also cook over a fire, as well as send distress signals.
You’ll want your kids to know all that. And don’t forget about the safety measures!
Teach them how wind can spread and fuel the fire. You’ll also want to let them know how to isolate a fire and where it’s best to build it.
Since you’re a skilled survivalist, you might know of many ways to start a fire. Teach them as many techniques as possible. They’ll enjoy it.
3. Discovering a fresh water source
Another basic rule your kids should know is that a human being will survive three weeks without food, but only a few days without water.
For this reason, the little ones must know where to look for water in the wild, as well as how to purify it.
Do so by teaching them about the waterflow in nature, walk them near springs and lakes, and show them how animal tracks can lead to these sources.
4. Finding food
This one comes naturally after the water issue is solved. However, foraging for food is a sensible issue and should be treated with utmost care.
Why? Because there are heaps of poisonous plants and berries out there!
I would suggest you teach this skill to your children only when they are ripe enough to understand the dangers.
You can go through a quality foraging guide to help them distinguish between species. Then walk them through the forest, find a few reliant species and let them have a taste of them.
You will find thorough foraging guides on foraging.com.
Alternatively, you can teach them how to make provisions to last them for a few days, if you don’t want to expose them to any harm.
5. Outdoor navigation
Before they are sucked in by technology, it would be wise to teach your children how to use these soon-to-become extinct items.
To do this efficiently, simply hike with them through the forest where there’s no signal and announce them that you’ve lost your way, and the only way to reach the camp site is by reading the map.
Now that you’ve grabbed their attention, go together through the entire process. Act surprised when you get back to the beaten path and give them credit.
This way they’ll remember the experience and will have this skill embedded for life.
While at it, you may show them various other tricks, such as reading the time using the sun, which way moss grows and how is that relevant, as well as the various inclinations that appear on a topographic map.
Here are two fine videos to help you with the teaching process.
6. Self-defense skills
It’s likely they’ll enjoy this lesson very much.
When out in the wild, a physical threat may commence at any moment, reason why it’s vital to teach them self-defense from a small age.
You can do this in many ways. Teach them how to shoot a bow, fight with sticks or even sparing if you have the necessary know-how.
You’ll also want to teach them various ways in which they can deal with wild animals.
With these being said, your children should gain a proper introduction to the world of survival and preparedness, as well as bushcraft.
Time will tell how much this mattered, but be assured that a taste of nature with the proper mix of fun and useful tactic practice will keep them bound to this road for life.