My children have had their sleds lined up by the garage door since Thanksgiving. They’ve been run their snow clothes and eyeing new ski jackets and are ready to get out in the snow and burn some serious calories! I like to observe them play in the snow and ski down a, slightly elevated, hill, but me, wants to make sure they also have some winter survival skills. Combining the fun of winter sports and outdoor activities with some survival lessons is my sneaky method of making sure they know what to do if ever they find themselves in trouble.
Above all, I want my children to know a way to make it easy for rescuers to find them. When there’s a chance they’ll be out of my sight, say, when they’re skiing or tramping through the woods, i want them to own alittle survival kit with them. Just in case.
Once children are on their December break, putting together individual Winter Survival Kits may be a successful activity to keep them occupied. These are small enough to be carried in backpacks or fanny packs, and children love having something important that’s all their own. It’s important to keep in mind that the most essential piece of survival equipment is information. Ensure your children know what to do with every item if they’re ever in an emergency situation. Here is what you’ll need to make up these kits:
- a bright colored bandana or similar size cloth
- a whistle
- a small, powerful flashlight
- 2 hand-warmers and 2 toe-warmers
- 2 high calorie energy bars
- a small bottle of water (Once it’s empty, it can be filled with snow for more drinking water.)
- a large black trash bag (use as an emergency blanket or shelter)
- a pocketknife
- small packet of tissues (emergency toilet paper, runny noses, etc.)
Put all these things in a large zip-loc bag or tiny nylon sack, and it’s finished. In no way is this meant to be provisions for long-term survival! It’s filled with just enough essential items facilitate a teenager signal for help and stay occupied till rescue arrives. For older children, you might add a firestarter, some tablets of over-the-counter pain medication, in case there’s been an injury, and extra food and water.
Besides having some tools for survival, specific skills and information are just as necessary. In addition to what you can teach them from your own training and experience, there’s a vast resource of survival tips on-line. Older children will enjoy video of how to build atiny low survival stove using a few cans, toilet paper, and alcohol, and multiple survival tips designed to help children survive in the wilderness.