32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and be Able to Do ASAP

survival skills

Knowledge is something that takes time to develop, so we need to start teaching the next generation now. In case, God forbid, our children are left to fend for themselves or we are injured. Even just to make your family more apt to survive, every child must learn these basic survival skills everyone should know so they can pull their own weight and contribute as much as they can. Food water and other survival basics make up only a part of this list.

32 Survival Skills Your Child Should Know and be Able to Do ASAP

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It’s not just physical survival we need to teach them but mental, emotional, and spiritual survival as well. If your family learns now to be a well-oiled machine, you will be more likely to survive any type of collapse.

How to use this list of 32 survival skills for kids

Only you know the maturity of your child and what they are capable of physically and mentally. Also, take into consideration their natural interests as well as local opportunities. For example, when we lived in Phoenix, going fishing wasn’t all that easy of a task and we had to travel many miles to get to a decent lake. Living in Texas, my son can ride his bike to a river not more than a mile or two away and fish for hours. Your locale can help you decide which activities on this list are most feasible.

Select one item from this list, do a little research to figure out how to best teach the skill to your child. You may need to learn the skill before teaching it! Schedule a date on the calendar to get started. Have fun!

  1. Grow vegetables from seeds. This isn’t the easiest skill to master. You’ll need expert advice and I recommend – Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
  2. Have local edible and medicinal plant foraging skills. This book is a must-have for foraging beginners with its large photos and simple text.
  3. Knowledge of dietary needs and how to meet them using wild plants and game
  4. Make a fire and know fire safety
  5. Cook on an open fire
  6. Open a can of food with and without a can opener (rub can lid ridge on cement and then pry open with a knife)
  7. Be able to tell if food is too spoiled to eat
  8. How to safely use a knife. There are many options for knives for beginners. This one is popular and good for a beginner.
  9. How to shoot a slingshot
  10. How to hunt small game with snares, traps, and slingshot
  11. How to fish and hunt, using  a bow and gun when old enough
  12. How to clean fish and wild game
  13. Find water and identify if it’s safe to drink
  14. Filter and boil water to drink
  15. Basic first aid
  16. Basic hygiene practices
  17. Find or build a shelter in the wilderness
  18. How to stay warmcool, and dry in the elements
  19. How, why and when to stay hidden
  20. Self-defense is another important basic survival skill everyone should know, not just kids.
  21. How to make a basic weapon and how to use it
  22. Be able to run and walk a good distance and be in generally good shape
  23. How to climb a tree to get away from predators, get directional bearings, and hunt
  24. How to read a map and use a compass
  25. How to read the sky for directions, time and approaching bad weather
  26. Know where family and friends live if they need to find them
  27. How to sew so they can mend clothing or any fabric and even make things such as bags or scrap quilts
  28. How to barter and trade (Kids naturally do this with their toys so teach them at garage sales.)
  29. How to be responsible for themselves and to be aware of their surroundings at all times
  30. Have a natural curiosity and good problem-solving skills
  31. Be hardworking and a self-starter and a family helper, not a complainer!
  32. Have strong faith in God (morals, memorize Bible verses, prayers, songs, and have a hope for heaven). Ultimately, everyone reaches a point in which their physical, mental, and emotional abilities are completely taxed. Spiritual survival can make the difference between giving up and finding strength from somewhere to hang in there, just one day at a time.

Skills on this list are really basic survival skills everyone should know, which means it’s a perfect place to begin for family activities. Take a fishing class together at a sporting goods store such as Bass Pro Shop and then schedule regular fishing trips. As you see some of these character traits developing in your children, identify the trait and praise them. “Just now when you figured that out on your own, that’s problem-solving! Good for you!”

Read how you can grade your children’s preparedness level. It will give you some insight about possible hidden abilities your kid may have. Also, it will let you know the areas where you can help guide and teach.

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This piece originally appeared at thesurvivalmom.com, published here with permission.


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Lisa Bedford
Lisa Bedford is better known as The Survival Mom, a preparedness-minded author and blogger, who encourages families to adopt a calm and common-sense approach to an uncertain future. She is the author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios and Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When It Matters Most, and has been featured in national and international media. Her goal is to reach everyday families with the message of preparedness.