As parents, we spend 18+ years teaching our children the rights, wrongs, risks and aspirations of life with the hope that one day, if they find themselves in a difficult situation, they will have all the skills and insights required to remain safe and/or help others in need.
Have you ever considered taking it one step further and equipping them with the real fundamental skills needed for survival?
Below, are six essential survival skills that we believe every child should know. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying they’ll be used, or even needed every day. What we are saying however, is that if your child ever finds themselves in that ‘once-in-a-life-time’ scenario, we’d certainly prefer they had the skills required to stay safe out there, and guide themselves (and maybe even you) to safety!
If you’re still not sold, remember there are so many other benefits to children learning these skills. These include; building confidence, enhancing resilience, gaining nifty party tricks, and just good old fashioned FUN!
1. Shelter Building
Did you know, we can only survive for 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment? (Except in icy water)
Protection from the elements should be one of the first considerations in a survival situation. Without proper protection, survivors are left exposed which (depending on the environment) can see them at risk to; dehydration, hypo/hyperthermia, fatigue, predators, and more! Understanding how to use the environment and scour for undergrowth, debris, and clothing to keep safe, warm and rested in the great outdoors will no doubt set adventurers up for success. Finding/Not finding appropriate shelter can quite literally make or break our survival efforts.
2. Water Purification
Did you know, we can only survive 3 days without water? (If sheltered from a harsh environment)
Understanding how to find a water source and clean water of its impurities is vital to survival. Using simple physics and chemistry expertise, we can purify our own water, giving us the optimum chance of survival and access to our world’s most essential resource!
3. Wilderness First Aid
We’ve all used a bit of first aid here or there... be it an antiseptic wipe, a plaster, an arm sling, or even a bandage. Out in the wilderness however, we don’t always have access to our usual first aid necessities! At Ultimate Survival, we therefore think it’s important to learn how our natural surroundings can be used to heal wounds and prolong life when exploring those ‘hard to reach’ places. Prioritising injuries and working together as a team to help those in need are also essential skills to group survival, which in itself can almost be an entirely new challenge on its own!
4. Plant Identification
Did you know, we can survive for 3 weeks without food? (If we have shelter and water)
In the desperation of hunger, we could easily see ourselves reaching for those juicy red berries, but how can we know which ones are safe?! Understanding what we can and cannot eat is key to preventing illness and further dehydration when exploring. Learning what plants to avoid and which ones are safe can be vital! Not only does this do wonders for our adventurers when exploring the great outdoors, but also transfers to cooking back home in the kitchen!
5. Fire Lighting
Fire lighting is a legendary survival skill that can help adventurers keep warm, cook food, purify water, scare off predators, signal others and even create a social hub for a community. Using ferrocerium rods (flint and steel) along with naturally occurring tinder and kindling, children can learn the different techniques and safety precautions we must consider when lighting fires.
Remember: Understanding the dangers of fires is just as important as learning how to light them!
6. Knife Skills
If survival success means catching food to eat, protecting ourselves from predators, and building shelters, some tools are going to come in handy! Having a catalogue of knife skills and practicing safe techniques to wield cutlery, hammers, tent posts and hunting tools could mean the world of difference!
Fancy a Walk on the Wild Side?
Do these sound like skills you’d like your children to have and benefit from?
Our inspiring Ultimate Survival instructors love helping children flourish during their time on camp and sharing their practical survival skills in a safe and fun outdoor setting that they would never get the chance to experience in a classroom. Our Ultimate Survival team encourage the children to work together and use their initiative through exposing them to (scenario-based) survival situations thus building resilience and self-awareness.
Check out our Ultimate Survival Camps running this Summer, and let your child Go Wild For A While!