Camping with Kids: A Playground for Survival Skills

by Vern Evans

Camping isn’t just a fun outdoor activity for the whole family. It’s a classroom for teaching kids invaluable wilderness survival skills. It provides young adventurers with hands-on experience that prepares them for self-reliance and resilience. There are so many skills kids can learn while camping that can become life-saving knowledge in the future.

Tactical Wilderness Skills

Constructing Shelters

Camping empowers kids with the fundamental ability to construct shelters. Whether assembling a traditional tent or fashioning a safe haven using nature’s tools and basic supplies, kids gain practical knowledge about creating a secure dwelling in the wild.

Starting Fires

Teaching kids how to responsibly and safely start fires is a cornerstone survival skill. Camping provides an ideal setting for children to learn fire-building techniques, from gathering tinder, kindling, and fuel to mastering various fire-starting methods, including matches, lighters, or even a ferro rod and striker.

Cooking Over Open Flames

Preparing meals over an open flame is another skill closely associated with camping. Kids have the opportunity to learn how to cook using campfires, portable stoves, or even inventive cooking methods. This experience instills in them the ability to manage heat, practice fire safety, and adapt to unideal cooking conditions.

Tying Knots

Knot-tying proficiency has practical applications in numerous outdoor scenarios. Camping gives kids the chance to learn and practice essential knots used in shelter construction, securing gear, and even first aid situations. Not only will they learn different knots, but they’ll also get first-hand experience and knowledge as to which knots are best when.

Tracking and Identifying Wildlife

Observing and interpreting animal tracks, droppings, and other signs are invaluable skills for understanding wildlife behavior, identifying potential threats, tracking, and hunting.

Getting Comfortable with the Great Outdoors

These days, with over 80% of the US population living in urban settings, there aren’t always many opportunities for kids to spend time in the woods or other rural areas with few people and lots of nature. Camping gives kids the chance to experience that.

Below are some of the top reasons getting familiar with the outdoors can make a huge impact:

Camping in Childhood and Survival Preparedness

Camping experiences during childhood foster a sense of familiarity and comfort with the outdoors, proving immensely beneficial in survival situations later in life.

Adaptation to Outdoor Environments

Regular exposure to camping helps children adapt to various outdoor settings, from sleeping under the stars to coping with changing weather conditions and understanding the rhythms of the wilderness. This adaptability prepares them to face unexpected challenges and discomforts that may arise in survival scenarios.

Camping with kids can teach them self-reliance and problem solving

Self-Reliance and Problem-Solving

Camping encourages children to become self-reliant and resourceful. Whether setting up a tent, procuring firewood, or finding creative solutions to practical challenges in a campsite, kids learn to think critically, make informed decisions, and have an opportunity to see the impact their decisions or ideas have. These problem-solving abilities are easily transferable to survival situations, where quick thinking and resourcefulness are key. It will give them confidence in their skills, which will help immensely.

Nature Connection and Situational Awareness

Through camping, children develop a deep connection with nature and gain an appreciation for the environment. This connection fosters heightened awareness, sharpened senses, better situational awareness, and an understanding of ecological systems. Such knowledge is invaluable in recognizing potential dangers, locating resources, and navigating the wilderness effectively.

While It’s Fun, It’s So Much More

Camping goes beyond being just mere recreation for kids; it’s an educational opportunity for hands-on wilderness survival skills. From mastering shelter-building techniques to becoming proficient in fire-starting, knot-tying, and wildlife tracking, camping offers a practical and engaging learning experience. Also, the familiarity and ease developed through camping will lay a solid foundation for kids, instilling self-reliance, confidence, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities essential for surviving in challenging and unpredictable environments and situations. So, gear up for a camping adventure that promises lasting memories and equips your kids with skills they’ll carry with them for a lifetime.

Did you go camping as a child? What skills did you learn that still help you today? Have you passed any of these skills down to your kids? Have I missed any? Let’s discuss it in the comments!

Camping with Kids: A Playground for Survival Skills

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