Iowa Youngster Learn Invaluable Survival Lessons

For anyone who regularly adventures out in the wilderness, it is a well-known fact that survival lessons are an extremely valuable part of any adventurers arsenal. Through skills such as hunting, building weapons and shelter, and knowing how to defend against the elements, you can vastly improve the chances you have of making it out of a survival scenario.

Ideally, it is best to learn survival skills at a young age because they can be refined and reinforced over and over. Especially for youngsters who live in parts of the world where the outdoors are a part of daily life, wilderness survival skills are crucial. Anyone can become lost or stranded in the woods, so there is really no one who is exempt from learning potentially lifesaving skills. For a group of Ames, Iowa 5th and 6th graders, a recent field trip taught survival skills that will not soon be forgotten.

Life Lessons Taught Early

Ames Christian School of Ames, Iowa recently took their 5th and 6th grade students on a field trip to McFarland Park, where they were given a crash-course on all things relating to wilderness survival. Because these kids live in a part of the country where wilderness survival is a very real and tangible skill, it is better to get them start sooner rather than later. After all, with all the prospective hunters and fishers in attendance, there is an even stronger possibility that the survival skills that were taught will be put to use.

The students’ field trip was inspired by the book “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. It’s the story of a young man who becomes lost in the Canadian wilderness and uses a plethora of different survival skills to live through what turns out to be a perilous endeavor.

During their lesson, the students were taught the principles of STOP, an acronym for what you should do if and when you become lost/stranded in the wilderness. By Stopping, Thinking, Observing, and Planning, the students learned that it is best to remain calm when a survival situation unfolds. By remaining calm and considering your surroundings and a host of other factors, you can more rationally and more effectively plan out your survival.

In addition to learning STOP principles, the students were taught how to build a simple yet effective shelter that is able to provide at least a day of solid protection from the elements. With regard to the shelter, the students learned that smaller is better and were also schooled on ways to build a shelter that will protect you from wind and rain. Finally, the children were also able to build fires with just the use of flint, steel, magnesium, and just a little bit of toilet paper. All of the tools used to build the fires were gathered in and around McFarland Park as to simulate what you would really have to do in the event of an emergency.

Though many of the skills taught to the Ames students were simple, they are incredibly valuable and are pieces of information that will not soon be forgotten. You have no idea when a survival situation may be presented to you, so it is best that you prepare for the worst far in advance of you ever stepping foot out in the wilderness.