There are many survival skills that you need to learn and teach to your kids. You only have so much time to learn these skills, and these should be the first six to learn and teach to your kids. These six skills will help them survive in a life threatening situation. They’re not the only skills you need, but you have to start somewhere. These six skills can save their lives. Each emergency will be different, but these six skills are fundamental to most. Once you have these 6 covered, add to them.
The first survival skill you need to know is how to make a fire. Why? It’s hard to know exactly which skill is the most important in any situation but in general, I think making a fire is the most important. With a fire, you can keep yourself warm, purify water, see in the dark, cook food, signal for help, make tools, sterilize surgical equipment and protect yourself from predators. Having a fire is also a huge psychological advantage.
The next skill you need to have is how to get water you can drink. Depending on your circumstances, this one may actually be more important than getting a fire. You can only go 2-3 days without water. You should be thinking about your water situation as soon as you figure out you’re in a survival situation.
If you don’t have a tent with you for some reason, hopefully you at least have a tarp. You really should get a tent though. They are made today in such a way as to fit into your survival kit. In case you don’t have anything, you should at least learn how to make a debris shelter.
Once you’ve gotten fire, water and shelter, you probably want to be thinking about food. You may be able to go a month without food, but after a few days, you start losing energy to do things. One of these things is thinking. If you are starving, you’ll eventually start making mistakes a lot more often.
Hopefully you brought some emergency food. If you don’t have food with you, you’ll have to find some. If you have a river, lake, or ocean around, fish are one of the best foods to go after. Plants are the safest and simplest way to eat but you have to know what you’re doing.
Hopefully you’ve brought along a first aid kit. Even if you did, you still need to know how to use it. Obtain a book on survival medicine and study it. For the most part, you need to know the basics of keeping a wound closed and clean, setting and immobilizing broken bones and identifying/treating for shock, hypothermia and heat exhaustion.
If you’re stuck out in the wilderness, hopefully you were smart enough to let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back. Or, you may be out there because your car broke down or your plane crashed. In any of these cases, your best bet is to sit tight and wait for rescue. You need a way to signal someone passing through that you’re there and need some help.
If you can’t stay out in the open, put something out in the open that they’ll notice. Try to use movement, color and shapes that don’t fit in the area. Try to make it unusual. Also consider building signaling into your equipment by doing something like sewing a rescue signal panel into the inside of your jacket or have a way to hook it onto the outside of your tent, or take a signaling mirror with you in your survival kit.
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