Survival skills are essential in our lives. We might experience a disaster in our homes in the future, and if we don't have this basic knowledge, we might fail to save our loved ones.
If we travel and meet a plane crash or a shipwreck, we will die if we don't know how to swim and find a safe spot. Survival skills are a set of techniques that any person can use to sustain life in any environment.
Researchers said that these skills had been used by our forefathers since thousands of years ago. It provides an idea of how to acquire necessities such as food, water, and shelter.
Mastering survival skills can also enable one to interact with plants and animals. Various adventures such as mountaineering, camping, hiking, riding, and hunting require basic survival skills, especially during emergencies. It includes primitive living and the use of several tools to survive.
This set of skills must be learned by people of all ages, especially our children. It is best if we start them young so we'll feel confident wherever they are.
Benefits of learning survival skills
Survival skills are usually composed of building a shelter, making a fire, searching for food and water, finding a way to safety, and mental preparedness. Let us find out below what are some of its benefits to the people:
Finding your way when you get lost
Thousands of people get lost in each country every year while they are out in camp, hikes, or other outdoor activities in the wild. Luckily, most of the lost adventurers are rescued, but hundreds of them are never found.
They eventually die of starvation, dehydration, and exposure to dangerous animals. They can't cope with the kind of environment they have. Apart from getting lost, survival skills are also paramount in natural disasters and accidents that can cause incapacitation and other circumstances.
So if you are an adventurer with some primitive skills, these skills will save your life and those of your loved ones during crises.
Familiarizing yourself with survival skills will also build confidence and self-esteem in the future to deal with potential emergencies brought by nature. You'll be more prepared in how you deal with a dangerous situation and at ease in prioritizing steps to make every plan work out.
Unexpectedly, learning survival skills can remove the stresses that you've experienced in your everyday life. Practicing how to make a fire, for example, can help one slow down the busy mind and the body.
Increase knowledge of surroundings
One can also have a chance to learn about geology, especially the animals and the plants, and have a deep connection to it as our ancestors did for many years.
You'll appreciate the usefulness of various species of plants and the behaviors of the animals even in the wild. In addition, your awareness of the landscape is enhanced as you begin to pay attention to geological features that shall tell you where to fetch water and even find food.
The awareness and the appreciation of the beautiful things around us will be enhanced as you practice and learn survival skills. This will then open a new world every time you step outside your home.
Because of this, your aspirations to help conserve and protect the earth will grow, thus making a difference and enabling our children's children to experience the same ancient practices that have been in our humanity since time immemorial.
Survival kits and emergency preparedness
Meanwhile, studies have shown that one component of surviving is bringing some tools with you. Often, people carry with them a survival kit whenever they go outdoors.
However, the supplies in this kit vary greatly depending on what needs you anticipate. When traveling in the wild, they often bring water containers, knives, first aid kits, matches or fire-starting tools, food obtaining devices, light, compass, or navigation/ communication devices.
These tools are multi-purpose, handy, and lightweight so as not to become a burden when traveling. These survival kits may be bought as a package in various sellers, or individual components may be purchased and have it as a kit.
Bringing a survival kit with you can make life easier, especially during emergencies. Indeed, no survival kit can replace good knowledge and training, but having one is an integral part of preparedness.
Survival Skills to Learn
1. The hunt for food and water
Growing own food
According to Danielle of the Rustic Elk, kids must now learn how to grow their gardens. The Idea Hacks blog also suggests that kids must be taught the importance of agriculture.
Orienting the kids on the basics of gardening will make them survive even if there are no groceries available. It will also invite creativity to the kids since gardening is exciting and fun.
To do this, first, gather all the tools and the seeds to plant. Next, illustrate to them how to plant seeds or cuttings in the soil. You can also explain the basics of vegetation so that it will be a fruitful and interactive discussion.
Share the importance of gardening with the use of improvised tools. Lastly, please point out the importance of taking care of the garden, such as watering it and fertilizing it from time to time.
Spotting spoiled and unsafe food
According to Danielle of the Rustic Elk, spotting spoiled food is necessary apart from growing their food. Kids must know how to tell that food is not safe for consumption just by its physical appearance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that unsafe food is becoming a global threat. Furthermore, according to BBC News, 40% of the death record for consuming dangerous food are kids aged five years old and below.
Here are some simple ways to teach your kids how to tell the food is not safe to eat. According to Lucky Peach, green potatoes are best to get rid of. It tastes bitter, and it will give stomach aches to your kids.
Steer clear of food with molds because some bacteria won't get killed even if you cook it. In addition, it is advisable not to consume rancid nuts and oils because it has unpleasant smell and taste.
As soon as you harvest food, it has a short lifespan before it ultimately gets rotten. Thus, it is vital to teaching your kids how to store and preserve food for future purposes.
The Idea Hacks blog discussed the importance of gathering wild plants and fruits to keep your kids safe and well-fed. Train your child to identify edible and medicinal plants for a myriad of uses.
Educate them how to smoke the meat, salt cure the fish, dehydrate the vegetables by the sun, and other food preservation techniques that you know.
The key to survival is food preparation. Familiarize them with the use of kitchen tools, and they will surely benefit from this knowledge shortly.
They must know how to use a knife and clean a fish and cook it as a meal. Opening a can without the use of a can opener is a plus for your kids' learning. Orient the kids with food preparation, such as cooking with fire.
They must also learn how to produce fire even without a lighter or a match. You can teach them the primitive way of making a fire, such as through stones, sticks, or a flint. Or perhaps you can explore several options, such as using the magnifying lens in producing a fire.
Humans can go for days without food, but they would die if they didn't have safe water for drinking. Thus, it is best to teach your kids how to find safe water even in emergencies.
Teach your kids to use their senses in finding clear and flowing water in the wild such as the river, lakes, and streams. They can fetch water in these sources using their water containers or devise an alternative if they don't have one.
Always invite your children to be innovative to create a possible solution to a problem.
2. Situational awareness
As soon as you get lost in the wild, one of the first things is to assess the situation. Every child must understand that whatever happens in their surroundings directly impacts them, as stated in Mom with a Prep. Bad things happen to us, and as a child, they must know how to handle such things.
One has to learn how to build a shelter or look for one and stay warm. According to Danielle of the Rustic Elk, teach your kids how to utilize the surrounding for their benefit.
Guide them on how to stay safe from harmful elements such as the rain, snow, or the scorching heat of the sun. They can temporarily seek protection under giant boulders, caves, or even big branches of the tree until they can formulate a plan to survive.
Drowning is one of the most common of death among children. Thus it is crucial to teach them how to swim at an early age. Swimming can keep your child's heart and lungs healthy.
It can boost the immune system, prevent diseases, and increase stamina. Furthermore, if a kid knows how to swim, you'll be confident of his chances of survival, even in whatever circumstances it may be.
According to Idea Hacks, with just a few moves, a child could save themselves from danger. In addition, Mom with a Prep says that a child should understand how to protect themselves when someone is about to attack them.
The difference between when to run and when to fight back must be clear so they can survive. Some of the few self-defense moves, according to Life Hacker, are poking an attacker's eyes, striking his nose, kicking the knee of the attacker, and stabbing in the arms. Teach your kids to use few tools to defend themselves in the case of emergencies.
3. The proper use of tools
Children must not be exempted from learning basic first aid. A small cut can be deadly if not treated appropriately and immediately, according to Idea Hacks. The first thing to do is to introduce each item in the first aid kit and its purpose.
The first aid kit stuff is cotton balls, ointments, bandages, gauze, and others. Present to them some of the medicines in the kit, take them, and when to use them. Next, teach your kids to stop bleeding and address fractures even if you are not with them.
SewingAccording to Idea Hacks, teach your kids how to sew to repair their clothes and even build tents when they need one in the wild. In sewing, you will need a thread and a needle. But in times of disasters, you can teach your kid to look for alternatives such as an awl or thin sticks.
Using a blade
Blades are helpful during emergencies. You can use it as self-defense, as a tool to look for food, produce fire, and build a bandage for your wound. Thus, it would be best if you taught your kid how to handle a blade. Kids must know how to sharpen a blade and how they can keep it safe. Most importantly, kids must know how to handle the knife without even harming themselves.
4. Determine the direction
How to use a compass and read a map
Some parents provide their kids with gadgets that will help them tell their location even during catastrophes. While these gadgets have GPS features and are accurate most of the time, they will run out of battery in the long run.
Thus the most reliable method is to teach your kids how to determine direction, read a map, and use a compass. Maps will indeed help us figure out our place in the world, so expose your kids with the grids in a map and the needles of the compass, and they will indeed find their way back home.
5. Psychological and emotional preparedness
Lastly, your kid must learn to keep calm and think even if their life is in danger. Kids must be trained to work even under pressure, especially if they are out in the wild. If they are alone at home and feel something strange, teach them to remain calm. If they panic and start screaming without doing any survival plans in their head, then they will most probably not survive.
In sum, teaching our kids basic survival skills while they are still young can provide various benefits. It can unite them with nature and learn new things. It will boost their self-confidence, open their minds, and invite creativity.
Lastly, it will save their lives even if we are not at their side; that is essential in this knowledge. For sure, there are kids in your neighborhood that need orientation on basic survival skills. We never know what will happen in the future, and the best time to act is now.