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#64354 - 04/19/06 11:44 PM kids & survival skills
handyman Offline

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 79
Loc: Massachusetts
When I was a kid [ way too many years ago ] I learned some good skills that might help me in a survival situation . I wasn't a boyscout or have any real training . I just picked up these skills mostly by trial & error while playing . I learned how to catch diferent types of fish with minimul equipment . Learned how to catch frogs and turtles [ a good emergency food ] which is not as easy as you might think . Learned how to build a fire in all types of weather with just a few , usually slightly damp , matches - I would build a fire to keep warm when fishing on cold and wet days . Learned how to build a fairly weather proof shelter , from branches leaves and pine needles , in the woods . Was able to navagitate through many unfamiliar wooded areas without getting lost . Learned a little about hunting small game - had a BB gun . I picked up a lot of general info about the outdoors by just being out a lot . These things may not seem like a lot but Imo Most kids these days couldn't do any of those things . I was fishing the other day and noticed that I rarely see kids fishing the shoreline like we used to when I was a kid . Unfortunately , because of all the child predators out there these days , the kids lead sheltered , protected lives . They can't go out and " be kids " like we used to . I think that as part of your preparing for some sort of disaster scenario that you try to involve your sons , daughters , nephews and nieces . Teach them how to fish or hunt , build a shelter , start a fire etc. You never know , they might be forced to try to survive without you .

#64355 - 04/20/06 10:47 AM Re: kids & survival skills
JIM Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 1032
Loc: The Netherlands
I (16 years old) also didn't learn any survival skills(and didn't really care), untill I was nine and got stuck in a overnight emergency/survival situation (see my profile).
After that I started with learning skills and making PSK's.
Now I'm learning my dad survival and firelighting skills!
On his last birthday I gave him a PSK that I assembled for him. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
''It's time for Plan B...'' ''We have a Plan B?'' ''No, but it's time for one.'' -Stargate SG-1

#64356 - 04/20/06 04:24 PM Re: kids & survival skills
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
The main reason you don't see a lot of kids out fishing is because of tv, video games and computers, but I won't go into that. <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, I really do believe kids need to spend some time in the outdoors and learn about the world around them. It amazes me how many kids have never been fishing, camping, ect and don't even know how to start a fire without gasoline. Kinda sad. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

#64357 - 04/24/06 08:40 PM Re: kids & survival skills
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
I didn't go camping or fishing or hunting or learn how to start fires without gasoline when I was growing up. But I am trying to do better for my children. Mine are too young to start fires yet, but this weekend provided a teachable moment regarding fire. My oldest (almost 5) was concerned about the fire when I was lighting tiki torches..."Oh no Dad, fire!" I explained that if we respect fire, and are careful with it that fire can be a really good thing. She's listens to a song that teaches about not playing with fire, so I'm trying to teach her not to play with it, but that fire, used properly is good. Once I buy a tent and some gear, we'll go camping too. That way, we can learn together <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#64358 - 04/25/06 06:27 PM Re: kids & survival skills
Kuovonne Offline

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 71
Loc: Spring, TX
My two year old is still pretty young for learning survival skills. We're still working on "don't walk into the street without a grown-up". I think that when she's older DH will take care of all the outdoorsy stuff. The two outdoorsy things that we have taught her so far are that there are "owie" bugs and plants and "okay to touch" bugs and plants. We have a book with pictures of insects and when we read it, she asks if it's okay to touch each insect. When we get to the bumblebee, she always says that it's an owie insect (she was stung by one last week). We also had the chance to show her poison ivy over the weekend. She can't reliably count "leaves of three" but she can understand that some plants can make her sick just by touching them, so always ask first when in the woods. DH also gave her a whistle and is trying to teach her to blow it three times as loud as she can and hug a tree if she gets lost. We've had really mixed results in that area. So I guess that I'm rambling here, but my point is that there are lots of simple safety/survival skills you can start to teach kids as young as two, although I still wouldn't let her out of sight when outdoors.


#64359 - 04/25/06 07:23 PM Re: kids & survival skills
ChristinaRodriguez Offline

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 324
Loc: Rhode Island
The first survival skill my parent's taught me was how to swim, "in case I ever fell off a boat." I have grown relatives who don't know how to swim (properly) and have nearly drowned in backyard pools.

While I don't have kids, I certainly feel like one when I'm learning the traditional skills now. It's been alot of fun. I'm so jealous of kids whose parents teach them this stuff when they're young; I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.

I believe we've had a discussion here before about how the Boy Scouts rock but the Girl Scouts fall woefully behind in teaching kids about survival skills. I think if the Girl Scouts taught more things like the Boy Scouts, I would've enjoyed my time alot more (and might not have left). Now, I'm trying to teach myself the basics so I can volunteer someday and not have the kids upstage me!

#64360 - 04/25/06 07:28 PM Re: kids & survival skills
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2209
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Here's a fun compass game to play at home - or anywhere. It is like pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, but with a compass.

Show the child how to "box" a compass needle and follow the direction of travel arrow on the compass. Then pre-set the compass so it is pointing at the "donkey" - which can be anything. They can practice it several times with parental help.

Then put a sheet over them and spin them around slowely & carefully a few times to disorient them. We used a "fog rolled in" storyline. Then tell them to use the compass (box the needle and follow the direction of travel arrow) to turn and walk toward the donkey with the sheet still on. I did this with my Cub Scout den many years ago. They enjoyed it and learned a lot about compasses. As they get better with the compass, have THEM point the compass toward the donkey and box the needle before getting covered in a sheet and turned around.

Ken K.

#64361 - 04/29/06 01:20 AM Re: kids & survival skills
desertrat1 Offline

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Kingman AZ
You are so right. I was fortunate to grow up in the country, in a family of exceptional southwestern (Arizona) outdoorsmen. I'm now trying to pass on to my kids what my father ans uncle passed on to me. We camp often. (once a month when possible) regardless of weather. My kids started shooting at age 5 with Cricket 22 lr rifles. I take them hunting and fishing often. I took my 9 yr old dove and quail hunting last season. he did pretty well considering he's shooting a H&R Partner .410 single shot. But the skills will continue to be refined and his knowlege base will grow. My youngest is 7 and will be hunting upland game soon.

If I can teach my kids half of what my mentors forgot, I'll be doing well.
What you know isn't as important as knowing what you don't know

#64362 - 05/02/06 03:28 AM Re: kids & survival skills
Ors Offline
Namu (Giant Tree)

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 664
Loc: Florida, USA
(box the needle and follow the direction of travel arrow)

Okay, here I'm showing the results of my upbringing, but what does it mean to "box" the needle?

If I don't ask, I can't possibly teach my children <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Memento mori
Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (They all wound, the last kills)

#64363 - 05/09/06 01:47 AM Re: kids & survival skills
Be_Prepared Offline

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
>>Okay, here I'm showing the results of my upbringing, but what does it mean to "box" the needle?

Hmmm, can I do this without a picture...

If you can visualize a baseplate style compass, there is a rectangular base, with a "direction of travel arrow", and a rotating ring, or bezel, with 0-360 degrees marked around it. Inside the ring is the magnetic needle that points toward magnetic north, that spins around freely. Also inside the ring,on the bottom, is an outline of an arrow typically. That outline will rotate when you turn the bezel.

Ok, so let's say you're walking, and you hold the compass so that the direction of travel arrow faces in the direction you're walking. Now, you keep the baseplate facing the same way, and rotate the bezel until the magnetic needle is "boxed" inside of the outline of the arrow that rotates with the bezel. When that happens, the reading in degrees on the bezel is the direction you're heading.

You can also work it the other way. Let's say you know you need to walk East. You turn the bezel until it reads 90 degrees, or East. Then, you turn your whole compass until the needle is boxed inside the outline of the needle. Now your direction of travel arrow points East (90 degrees).

Pretty wordy, it's a lot easier to show someone than to describe it.

- Ron

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