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As anyone who has been involved in survival knows, it can be an all-encompassing activity. It is made even worse when you have to ensure the survival of others. Unfortunately, most prepping families only have one person who is knowledgeable about survival, with everyone else in the family depending on that individual’s knowledge to see them through.
Can Your Kids Make It On Their Own?
In a sense, there’s nothing wrong with that. We do the same thing all the time in other areas of life. Couples don’t typically share the same skills and abilities. Each has their part to play, using their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the family or group. But what happens if some evil befalls the expert survivalist in the family? What if mom and dad are killed or injured? What if they are sick? Can the kids make it on their own?
Simple prudence would indicate the need to teach our children the necessary survival skills to make it on their own in such a case. While it can take years to reach the point of having enough expertise to truly survive on your own over the long-term, basic skills can be taught fairly easily. Those can then be built upon over time, thereby increasing the individual’s ability to survive.
The Ideal Way To Teach Your Children Survival Skills
Of course, there are some problems with teaching children about survival. Their knowledge base is limited, so you have to train them more thoroughly. Some tasks may require strength that they don’t yet possess. But the biggest problem with teaching children about survival is security. Kids can’t keep a secret, no matter what it is or how important it is to keep it secret.
The solution to that is teaching children the skills without telling them they are survival skills. I grew up as a boy scout and learned a lot of basic bushcraft skills which are useful for survival. However, I never remember talking about them as survival skills. We simply needed to know those things for camping.
A little bit of deceptive misdirection like this can solve the problem. All the child needs to do is associate the activity with something else and they won’t be looking for another reason as to why they’ve learned it. Even so, they will still have learned what they need to know.
Teaching Wilderness Survival Skills
Probably the easiest part of teaching children about survival is to teach them wilderness survival skills, otherwise known as bushcraft skills. If you can get your hands on one of the old Boy Scout Handbooks, that’s a great resource for teaching those skills, as it talks extensively about them. If not, there are other books on the market which talk about those skills as well.
Nevertheless, the bigger part of this is actually practicing those skills rather than just studying them. You can easily fit these exercises into your busy schedule by going camping. The typical camping expedition is an ideal time to teach children new bushcraft skills, as well as allowing them to practice the ones they already know.
Of course, this depends at least somewhat on how you go camping. Some people define camping as taking a motorhome or trailer. While you can still leave the trailer to go out in the woods to practice bushcraft skills, that’s not the same as staying out in a tent. There, you will actually need to use those skills as part of your camping experience.
If you make camping a regular part of your family’s routine, then you can plan on teaching one or two new survival skills on each trip. Eventually, your children will have a good selection of skills that they can rely on.
Teaching Long-Term Survival Skills
Long-term survival generally means turning your home into a homestead. Teaching those skills to your children is probably easier than teaching wilderness survival skills, simply because you’re at home more than you’re out camping. If you’re growing a garden and raising any sort of animals, involve your children so that they can learn as well.
In the frontier days of our country, many such things were a normal part of a child’s chores. Hauling water, finding eggs, weeding the garden, and feeding the animals were all things that parents taught their children to do. They adapt to those chores easily as long as you make that an expectation.
The trick here might be that you’ll be competing with electronics for your children’s attention. However, electronic games and social media can’t match the satisfaction of harvesting vegetables that you’ve grown yourself. Teach your children young to enjoy taking care of animals and a garden, and that will become the norm for them.
Teaching Self-Defense Survival Skills
Of all the areas you need to train your child in for survival, self-defense is probably the hardest. Becoming proficient in any type of weapon or martial art requires time, discipline, and dedication. Fortunately, they are interesting enough endeavors to capture a child’s attention and hopefully keep them engaged.
I would recommend teaching them at least one means of armed and one means of unarmed combat. They don’t need to become experts, but they should become proficient. Actually, the more proficient they become, the greater their chances of survival.
Teaching Other Useful Survival Skills
Finally, there are many other skills which could be useful in a long-term survival situation. You wouldn’t consider these things as survival skills today as much as craft skills. I’m referring to things like sewing, carving, woodworking, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, cooking, electronics, and mechanics. In a post-disaster world where we are enduring a long-term survival situation, all of those skills and more will be of supreme importance.
Obviously, nobody can learn all of that. Even learning enough about one of those areas to be useful will be a major undertaking. Notwithstanding, I would recommend helping your child find one of those areas which interests them. Then, they should learn how to do it as a hobby. There will always be a place for handicrafts in the world and especially in a post-disaster world. Learning such a skill could be their ticket to prosperity in that post-disaster time.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Why ‘Free-Range Kids’ Are More Well-Rounded And Better Prepared For Life
Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on how to teach survival skills to children? Let us know in the comments below.