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Children that learn to appreciate nature will become adults that respect the environment and have healthy hobbies like hiking and fishing. The easiest way to encourage kids to enjoy their time outside is to take them to new places, spend time with them, and teach them the skills that will keep them safe. Here are five examples of the critical outdoor skills children need to learn.

#1. Stay in Place

Teach children to respond correctly if they become lost. A lost child has a better chance of rescue if they stay in one place and wait for responders. Teach children to look at their surroundings for any dangers, to prepare themselves a safe campsite, and to stay at that campsite.

#2. Build a Shelter

A shelter can save a life because it can protect people from excessive temperatures and precipitation. In addition, shelter building is a fun skill that kids will enjoy. To make something from nothing other than natural materials can give a child pride in their skills. Shelters also give more reassurance to children if they need to spend the night outside alone.

#3. Start a Fire

Fires contribute light and warmth and discourage predators. A fire may also help rescuers to find a lost child sooner and enable kids to boil water for safe drinking. Children need to learn how to build a fire safely, keep it burning, and how to extinguish it when leaving a campsite. Fire building is a valuable life skill people will use repeatedly.

#4. Purify Some Water

Different methods exist to purify water including boiling, purification tablets, and survival straws, among others. Lessons on purification remind children of the risks in untreated water. Certain weather conditions cause dehydration within hours, so remind children to formulate a plan for safe water as soon as possible.

#5. Identify Local Plants

Plant identification allows people to forage for food and avoid unhappy mistakes. No one wants to walk through a patch of poison ivy or consume a poisonous mushroom. Likewise, no one wants to go hungry when they have edible plants surrounding them. A salad of safe vegetation can give lost campers or hikers energy and comfort.

These five steps give children an excellent start in survival skills, but there are many other lessons to learn. Children should learn how to grow food, hunt, and fish, as well as much more. Self-sustainable lifestyles boost confidence and the skills save lives.