Survival Tips for Kids: How To Stay Safe in the Woods

Health & Wellness on 02.08.12
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Photo: BCoutdoorsurvival/video screen capture

A few weeks back I posted a video on how to make a DIY wood gasifier from old tin cans over at TreeHugger. And since then I've been diving into some of the other offerings by the video's creator, Paul Osborn of BCoutdoorsurvival. I should note that while I am looking forward to taking my kids camping one day, I am no great ourdoors enthusiast, nor am I one of those practical, survival specialists. And yet I find myself fascinated by bush craft and survival knowledge, and think we could all do with being a little more prepared for what might happen if we get lost in the woods. (Or society collapses around us.)

So I thought it was cool that Osborn not only includes his kids in his survival/backwoods explorations, but actively encourages them to take a starring role. Here Paul asks his little ones what they should do if they meet a bear.

Sadly, my own children are not likely to be as prepared. Our current favorite game is to play "chase the bear", with the offending grizzly/daddy being scared away simply by blowing on him. I suspect that may not work in the real world, and I may have to sit them down with some of Paul's videos before we ever venture off into the woods for real.

Meanwhile another useful video created by Paul talks us through a survival kit he created with his daughter for a kindergarten project. Featuring items ranging from the practical (blanket/zip lock bag for carrying water/mirror for signalling) to the psychological (a fire steel and striker is unlikely to come in handy for a five-year-old, but it will make her feel better and keep her occupied), this is a pretty smart set of tools that should help a child stay safe if they do happen to get lost.

Here's a screen grab with a full list of items:

survival kit for kids

And here Paul talks about the logic behind what was included and why.

Be sure to also check out John's post on 10 essential items to take camping with your kids (a Target air mattress may not be a survival necessity, but it sure makes it all more pleasant...). And as Paul says in his video descriptions - it is vital that you do your own homework and really prepare if you are taking your kids into situations where they might need these skills. BCoutdoorsurvival is as good a place as any to start honing your skills, and you can also follow Paul on Twitter - @bcoutdoor. Anyone have any other important outdoor/survival tips for kids?

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