Backyard survival training is not only for preppers or homesteaders. Everyone should know how to take care of their basic needs during an emergency. Recent weather events across the U.S. offer a real-life example of how quickly a situation can become a life-or-death issue. Here are five skills all kids should have so they can survive if left alone during an emergency.
Start a Fire
Begin with basic fire-building skills that include the search for dry firewood and kindling. Do the first lessons on a dry day with the help of a lighter and matches. Teach the child how to stack firewood and how to prevent the fire from going out of control. Move on to more complex scenarios, like fire-starting in wet weather, once the child masters the first lessons.
It is impossible to know exactly what someone would have on hand during an emergency, so make certain your children are comfortable with multiple methods of starting fires. Include lessons on using bow drills, flint, and a magnifying glass or other lens.
Find Safe Water
Safe drinking water is a priority in any survival situation. Humans can survive only a few days without water, and their health takes a steep downturn even sooner. Teach children how to identify the signs of dehydration and how to find water and make it safe for drinking. Show them how to use condensation, use rainwater, or dig a seep to take advantage of groundwater.
When you teach fire-building skills, boil water to remove contaminants. Also explain the other options for water purification in case your children need water before a fire is raging or they have nothing to hold boiling water. Water purification tablets, portable water filters, and filters made from sand and rocks are alternative solutions.
Build a Shelter
Teach children how to find the best location for a shelter and to use natural formations like large trees or rocks to reduce effort. Scout out a dry, suitable area in the yard. Include a variety of lean-to and Aframe shelter ideas as well as how to gather dry pine needles, leaves, and other natural debris to use for cover if finding or building a shelter before nightfall is not possible.
Find Edible Plants
Plant identification enables people to have a sustainable food source in the immediate area. Foraging provides enough calories for basic survival until rescue or can boost energy during foraging, hunting, or fishing. Teach your children what is edible in your area and how to identify dangerous plants.
Additional foraging lessons whenever your family camps or hikes outside of familiar areas will give your children the knowledge they need to find the largest amount of food possible. Some particularly important safety tips to teach include eating only what they know is safe, paying attention in order to avoid getting lost or injured, and never thinking that an entire plant is edible just because part of it is safe.
Perform First Aid
Every child should know basic first aid. Take your children to CPR classes, explain how to recognize and treat shock, and teach them how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. During a backyard practice session, include instructions on how to stop bleeding and how to clean and dress a wound. Your children should also practice applying slings and splints to themselves and others.
It is never too early for kids to know how to take care of themselves in an emergency. People can learn basic camping and foraging skills at an early age, with more in-depth information and lessons added as they mature. At Bargain Center, we have all the gear and supplies you will need to guarantee your children know what it take to keep themselves safe. Stop by our shop to learn more.