A few years back I was teaching classes for kids at the local Cabela’s, “Wilderness Survival for Kids”. I really enjoyed developing the class and knew that the information and activities could be life-saving.
One strategy I taught the kids was how to be found if they were ever lost in the wilderness. The main concept is to attract attention with colors, sounds, and movements that don’t occur in nature. For example, to my knowledge there are no metallic silver animals or plants found in the wilderness, so an emergency blanket is a great signalling tool because it’s so obviously not part of nature. Rhythmic tapping of 2 rocks against each other: tap-tap-tap-tap, tap-tap-tap-tap. Again, this repeated rhythm will attract attention of anyone trying to find a lost child because it’s not a sound that naturally occurs in nature.
However, when we take our kids on hunting trips, we do want them to blend in, thus the popularity of hunting/camo wear. The next time you take the kids hunting, have them first put on a neon yellow or orange t-shirt and then their hunting/camo shirt. This will provide an extra layer for protection against sunburn, insect bites, and cool temperatures, but then train them to take off the camo shirt if they are ever lost.
I have yet to find a child-size animal in North America that is neon colored!
Take this one step further and teach your child several different ways they can use the camo shirt. It can become:
- A head covering to protect against the sun, wind, cold
- A small ground cover
- A way to filter debris from water
- Worn under the neon shirt for an added layer of clothing
- Other uses?
The great outdoors is meant to be a giant playground for our kids, but they do need training, supervision, and the right supplies and equipment.