Archive for May 17th, 2010

Wilderness Survival for Children

Monday, May 17th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

Getting lost is unsettling for adults and downright terrifying for children—especially if they’re in a wilderness area.

:05— We teach them what they need to know to survive out there if they do get lost.

David Owens, assistant manager at Lake Mineral Wells State park, often teaches children wilderness survival skills. He does this by playing games with the kids, and by using acronyms such as S.T.O.P. to help focus their attention.

:23—And the acronym for the STOP sign tells them to: S—stay put; don’t go any further, you may get more and more lost. To T—think; think about initial things they need to do to start with. O—observe; look at their surroundings; make sure they stay in a safe place. And P—plan; plan on how to use the things that they may have brought that can help them out.

Parents should provide their young hikers with a pack containing a whistle to make noise, a mirror they can use as a signaling device, and a plastic trash bag.

:15—A garbage sack can help in many ways. You can make a raincoat out of it; you can also use it to flag down search and rescue people looking for you. I’ve had kids tell me you can make a shade if it’s too hot. So we teach them how to do a lot of those things.

There’s a wilderness survival skills workshop at Lake Mineral Wells SP on May 22. Find details in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today. For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.