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Advice and Recommedations for Childs Survival Kit

Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
759
I always try to go into the woods prepared even on a short hike for anything that might come up. I also try to equip my kids in case they get separated or lost. My daughter, age 10, has her own backpack with water bladder, whistle, extra food, emergency blanket, etc. I just got my 4 year old a really cool Camelbak Mini Mule for Christmas with a few basics to start off his kit. One question that I have is would anyone here recommend a knife to add to the 10 year olds kit and if so what kind. I am still a little unsure about this at her age but you never know what might happen. Also, what are the main/basic things that you all would recommend for a “childs/kids” survival kit? I don’t know if they could utilize some of the things that I would include in my kit and weight is definitely a factor if I expect them to carry their packs and have them with them instead of having it strapped to mine when they tire of carrying it. I did allow my older child to take some waterproof matches last time we went hiking but put them up for safe keeping once we returned home. Please keep in mind that this needs to be geared for a youger childs kit not an adult.
 
You're off to a good start. A good SAK would be a logical choice to add; any model with a wood saw, like the camper.

I think a small FAK with bandaids, neosporin, sting-eze, SAK, flashlight, blanket, I.C.E. card, compass (teach them!), whistle, water, energy bar, cordage, flagging tape, lighter (teach them properly of course before adding), small poncho would be about it. Maybe include some simple instructions on water proof paper or laminated material to help them reassure themselves about what to do if lost. Most of the above can be had small and light, tailor and figure out if it works for them.
 
IMHO, kits for younger kids should have adapted/special versions of some adult items to meet their special needs and skill levels. Ten is plenty old enough for a basic knife. Consider a Barlow, or a real basic utility knife with a bail. Punches, can openers, bottle openers, picks, tweezers don't belong there. Their kits should focus on staying found, not orientiering. They have unique energy needs too. And they need a "discovery kit" complete with magnifying glass, ziplocs for samples of the treasures they will find. Concentrate on keeping their kits light, five pounds max, even with water. Include a tiny notebook and pencil, their own LED mini flashlight, and maybe a cateye. Expect them to survive from your pack, but to gain interest and appreciation of the outdoors from theirs. And remember, no matter how much we want them to be, they are not small adults.

Codger
 
More thought to come but a good strobe goes with my kids- as well as water filter, whistle, orange surveyors tape, poly balaclava, cheap plastic raincoat, emer blanket, small LED light, cereal bars, bic, matches, cotton and hours spent making fires. My children are 7 and 11.

Whistle- to signal they are lost.
Orange tape to tie to branches to mark their travel.
Strobe for night signal.
Bill
 
I bought my daughter a CRKT Fixed Falcon but the edge kept turning into a butter knife after five minutes of whittling on a piece of pine?

I upgraded her knife yesterday to a nice zebra handle (laminated handle) puukko from www.cloudberrymarket.com. The sheath is very secure, the blade is carbon steel, about 3" long and sharpens up great - the whole knife is a work of art and the price was good. I figured I would give her something that I would also carry.

I bought similar knives from Findland for myself and my wife. These are the first puukkos if ever used, but they seem like great knives.
 
Great ideas. I guess that I should have listed what I have included so far too.

Basic first aid kit
Bright orange duct tape attached to the backpack
Bright orange bandana
Nylon cord-orange
Whistle-just got a extra loud special one for the Christmas stocking
Flashlight
Emergency blanket-right now the shiney one from Wally World but looking for something better.
Extra food-granola bars, peanuts, trail mix, etc. Looking for some special survival bars.
Small roll of toilet paper
Walking Stick

Stobe light seems light a good addition. Also thought of reflective tape for clothes and pack.
The SAK was my first thought although I like the idea of one of the small Puukkos. Wasn't sure if one of the Mora clippers would be too big. I thought about rounding the end and dulling a little bit but decided that it might be more dangerous and make bad habits.I always had big blades but I guess that I am a little overprotective of my own. Probably not a good thing when trying to teach survival.

Codger_64 I like your suggestions. I do always try to include a "discovery pack". I actually started hiking more with my daughter after a Girl Scout hike when all they did was trudge down a dirt road. No outdoor education or lessons. I eventually took my daughter off to the side and started looking at different plants, animal holes, exploring downed trees for possible survival shelters, etc. Before I knew it, I had half of the troop with us.
I always try to carry plenty in my pack for everyone's survival but I always try to be aware of the chance that they might get sidetracked and get lost and have to fend for themselves so I try to have them as prepared as possible. I am not very experienced myself but the main thing that I try to teach them is STAY PUT, try to make some sort of shelter, and keep blowing that whistle.

Rob_G, I really like the idea of including instructions with the pack. Never thought of that but it should really help in keeping them focused and reminding them what to do.
 
Carry a "full roll " of survey/flagging tape.
Teach them to string in out in a straight line across a terrain feature, i.e.
across a normal direction of travel. String it out straight tie it off to themselves or a rock etc. "where" they are sitting, then sit down and wait to be found.
It will not be long before someone trying to find them will locate some part of the 150ft. of tape and follow the tape to find them.
If you use the flashy aluminium garden tape you might even see it from the air.

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A kit is near useless for children unless they are drilled on how to use it.

Contact the police near you and get them into the Hug a Tree program that teachs kids the basics.

Key points for kids,

Dont get lost in the first place.
Wear bright colors
Lights sticks are good and kid friendly. White is best.
"Orange" garbage bag. Poke a hole in the bottom middle for the face (no holes for arms! Pull bag down over you, sit down on insulated ground out of wind and weather, tuck knees up into the bag to conserve heat.
A photo of the family and a small toy for the emotional support. (the will to live ).
Make lots of noise. Be sure they have the lung capacity to blow that whsitle consistantly as they are designed for adults.
Keep it all simple. Heat retention, shelter and ground insulation, signalling and STAY PUT!!!!!
Some simple snacks. Eatmore bars are great as they wont melt.
Dont cloud them with too much info. Keep it short for them to remember and only the basics for young ones.

#1 issue's with lost kids to teach them.

MOM and DAD will NOT!! be mad at them if they get lost.

DO NOT HIDE FROM SEACHERS or STRANGERS!!!

I teach "hug a tree" often and search for kids way too often.

Skam
 
Surveying tape sounds like a good idea.

I never heard of the Hug a Tree program but I will have to look into it and see if it's available in my area. Also, I didn't know the whistles were designed for adults so has anyone thought about or tried one of those air horns like they use at sporting events.
 
Surveying tape sounds like a good idea.

I never heard of the Hug a Tree program but I will have to look into it and see if it's available in my area. Also, I didn't know the whistles were designed for adults so has anyone thought about or tried one of those air horns like they use at sporting events.


Hug a Tree is a national program and should be available in your area somehow. Many groups teach be it police Scouting, fire services, CERT, Red Cross, SAR teams etc... YOu need to contact groups in your area to find out who does it. We go into schools and groups to teach it.

http://www.nasar.org/nasar/hug_a_tree_program.php
http://www.equipped.com/kidprimr.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Moms/story?id=981441&page=1

SKam
 
How about a Victorinox My First Swiss Army Knife EcoLine. They are designed for kids and don't have the pointy tip and have the following features. I've seen them online for about $8.00.


8 features:

1. large blade without point
combination tool:
2. - can opener
3. - screwdriver
4. - cap lifter
5. - wire stripper
6. key ring
7. tweezers
8. toothpick
 
How about a Victorinox My First Swiss Army Knife EcoLine. They are designed for kids and don't have the pointy tip and have the following features. I've seen them online for about $8.00.


8 features:

1. large blade without point
combination tool:
2. - can opener
3. - screwdriver
4. - cap lifter
5. - wire stripper
6. key ring
7. tweezers
8. toothpick

Sounds like a good choice. Do you know any place off hand that carries them. A quick search didn't bring up a whole lot. I'm going to search a little more tonight when I have a more time
 
Hug a Tree is a national program and should be available in your area somehow. Many groups teach be it police Scouting, fire services, CERT, Red Cross, SAR teams etc... YOu need to contact groups in your area to find out who does it. We go into schools and groups to teach it.

http://www.nasar.org/nasar/hug_a_tree_program.php
http://www.equipped.com/kidprimr.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Moms/story?id=981441&page=1

SKam

Thanks for the links. The one at "www.equipped.com" really looks informational.
 
A kit is near useless for children unless they are drilled on how to use it.

Contact the police near you and get them into the Hug a Tree program that teachs kids the basics.

Key points for kids,

Dont get lost in the first place.
Wear bright colors
Lights sticks are good and kid friendly. White is best.
"Orange" garbage bag. Poke a hole in the bottom middle for the face (no holes for arms! Pull bag down over you, sit down on insulated ground out of wind and weather, tuck knees up into the bag to conserve heat.
A photo of the family and a small toy for the emotional support. (the will to live ).
Make lots of noise. Be sure they have the lung capacity to blow that whsitle consistantly as they are designed for adults.
Keep it all simple. Heat retention, shelter and ground insulation, signalling and STAY PUT!!!!!
Some simple snacks. Eatmore bars are great as they wont melt.
Dont cloud them with too much info. Keep it short for them to remember and only the basics for young ones.

#1 issue's with lost kids to teach them.

MOM and DAD will NOT!! be mad at them if they get lost.

DO NOT HIDE FROM SEACHERS or STRANGERS!!!

I teach "hug a tree" often and search for kids way too often.

Skam


I agree. If the child is 4 he/she shouldn't need a survival kit as Mom/Dad should be with them at all times. Also, a 10 year-old should be more worried about being located than finding food.
 
I agree. If the child is 4 he/she shouldn't need a survival kit as Mom/Dad should be with them at all times. Also, a 10 year-old should be more worried about being located than finding food.

My kids are always within site but I think that a lot of topics on this forum are about being prepared for the unexpected. Kids do get lost even with the best of supervision. My 4 year olds kit is really just training and beginning education for enjoying and being part of the outdoors. For the 10 year old, I don't really expect her to be out hunting and finding food I just want her to be be prepared to find shelter, stay calm, stay put, know how to signal myself or rescuers, and to have food and warmth in the event that she has to wait to be found in an unexpected situation. Education and mental preparedness for the outdoors and the unexpected is part of my goal. I also want to prepare for the possibility that I may be with them but may in some way become incapacitated.
 
My son has a pretty decent kit he put together himself.

It includes a Helle Scandinavian Scout knife or Frost Mora, his Camillus Boy Scout folder, and a trappers Hawk from Fort Turner.

also included is 20' of paracord, a Swedish firestarter, matches, wire saw, fuel tab stove, several tablets and some vaseline soaked dryer lint, fish string and a few hooks. (soon to be replaced by a Pepsi can stove) whistle, mirror, compass, water bladder, protien bars, and a small radio that's good for a couple miles.

He also carries his Ruger Bearcat .22 with us, (though not loaded)

I'm pretty proud, he put most of it together with his own time, money and research. As you may have figured he's pretty responsible for his age. (nine years)

I need to get 'im knowed up on First Aid soon also, but it all comes with time, I guess....
 
I agree. If the child is 4 he/she shouldn't need a survival kit as Mom/Dad should be with them at all times.

But children (and parents) don't plan to have to survive. The point is to give kids - even young kids - the knowledge and gear needed to survive the unthinkable.

I like the Equipped To Survive Kid's Primer.

A minimum kit for young kids:
-the knowledge to stay put when lost, keep themselves dry and warm, and make themselves as findable as possible
-try make sure they wear/carry extra clothing sufficient for night-time temperatures
-two large bright garbage bags for shelter - one to wear and another to sit on or use use as a flag - call your local highway department for them. Teach them how to tear a hole in the side at one corner of the bag to poke their face through - don't make arm holes to preserve warmth.
-loud whistle on a lanyard - tell them to whistle as much as possible, and at night they can whistle at any noises to scare away critters and get help faster - the more they whistle the sooner mom & dad will find them
-small LED light w/ on-switch, to make the night less scarey and help signal searchers as night. Teach them to only turn it on if they hear noises to save the battery. Make sure they know how to work the switch.
-bright bandanna - swats insects, covers head from sun, wipes away tears, etc
-water bottle filled with water, though this can be kind of heavy for them
-finally, make sure they carry the kit with them everywhere when outside (except for school and such). If they don't have it with them it does no good. A fanny pack makes a great carrier for the kit.

A 4-year old doesn't need a knife for survival, they don't need a compass or trail markers for survival since they aren't suppose to move anyway, and the most they'll need for first aid is a bandaid. Teach them to use a knife and compass, but they aren't survival tools for a 4-year old.

In my view the gear doesn't change much for a 10 year old, though they could can use a knife, and be taught more first aid, fire craft, and signalling skills. They still need to be taught to stay put AND stay sheltered, warm, hydrated, and signal for help.
 
cucharadedragon

I saw them on E-bay but I would imiagine that most of the knife dealers that stock Vic. SAKs would either have them or can get them.
 
I left out a very important item for both kids. A laminated photo I.D. card. Some packs have a clear view pocket for these, but you can add one to any small pack with a bit of inginuity. Easiest to me would be to visit my nearest military surplus store and buy two fooked up G.I. butt packs for $1 each and salvage the I.D. window pocket from them to sew onto the kids packs. The I.D.'s are available from many police departments free or cheap. If you can't find one, make your own on the computer and laminate it. I like the way you are thinking regarding the kids intro to the outdoors. And I again must suggest that you stay away from complicated SAKs for the kids. A blunt spear blade is good, a larger fixed blade is bad for small hands, even a ten year old.

Codger
 
Our girls are 6 and 7, so our biggest concern right now is keeping them within eyesight. Orange and bright pink tops/jackets help... good luck getting a boy to wear 'em. I bet blaze orange camo would be acceptable, though. STAY PUT is paramount. (This was hammered into my head when I was a boy, by various highly respected folks.) They each got an orange safety whistle in their Xmas stockings, and they know the "three short blasts" rule. (Practice this when mama isn't home, and plug your ears.)

Everyone else has already said everything better... just throwing in my two cents, that camping/preparedness is among the best very things one can do to spend time with a youngster.

And they need a "discovery kit" complete with magnifying glass, ziplocs for samples of the treasures they will find. Include a tiny notebook and pencil, their own LED mini flashlight, and maybe a cateye. And remember, no matter how much we want them to be, they are not small adults.

Codger

Can't say it any better than that.

RE: photo ID cards... I'm leaning heavily toward a laminated card on a break-away necklace. Along with the whistle. Including full name, parents, contact info, blood type ( gawd forbid ) etc. It's important that the kids know where they at least started from, too. Home address, phone number and Mom and Dad's FULL name must be totally ingrained... when camping on public land, we make the girls memorize our campsite number, for instance. Yes, we drill 'em... yes, they think it's kinda dumb... but yes, they know where home-base is :)
 
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