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Survival Preparedness - Your Family

Monday, 25 February 2013 05:36 Written by  Craig and Jennifer Caudill

Men, listen up. You have a pretty basic decision in front of you. Do you keep your survival knowledge to yourself or do you involve your family? Look at it this way, if you don’t educate them now, you will either have to walk away and leave them to fend for themselves in an emergency (which is clearly not an ideal option) or you are going to be forced to waste precious time and resources to give them a crash course during a survival situation. Neither option sounds real appealing, does it?

The following are three things you can begin doing today to help get your loved ones involved in your survival preparedness. I’ll be honest, if you have a lady who is a bit “high-maintenance” you got a bigger challenge than the guy who has a woman who is ready and willing to get a little messy.

Ease Into It

Don’t scare your lady away with a long list of grueling tasks. Take it slow and maybe start with cleaning water. A fairly easy task that doesn’t require a lot of icky stuff. Maybe try cooking over an open fire. Take a walk and casually point out areas that could be transformed into shelters if need be.


If you want her to learn about survival stuff, you are going to need some time. Trade off weekends. One weekend is spent with you training her in survival and the next, well, it is up to her what she wants to do. You would be well advised to let her have her weekend first to build up some rapport and trust.

Pack for Comfort

Practicing survival skills is critical to honing your skills, but there are a few luxuries you can include in your training sessions to make things easier on your lady. Granted, those amenities may not be available during an actual emergency, but if you actually want her to continue her training, don’t make it any rougher than it absolutely has to be. You want those first few experiences outdoors to be pleasurable. If they are not, good luck getting her to head out for another adventure. Pack the sleeping pads, bottled water and the little things that make sleeping outdoors a little more tolerable. You may even want to consider a campground complete with running water for those first couple of trips.

Guys, make your lives easier by keeping it simple and following these three basic tips. Ladies, if you are reading this and are insulted by the idea women don’t like the great outdoors, it isn’t meant to offend. There are some women who are spectacular survivalists. Kudos to you all, however, this particular message is for the guys who are not quite as blessed to have one of those ladies in their lives.  

Now that you got your wife into survival mode, both of you can help train your kids.

Survival Preparedness - Your Kids

While you are planning and preparing for an emergency, don’t forget to consider the little guys--your kids, or kids you may find in your care. If you are kind of panicking about what kids need to survive, relax, their needs are your needs. Kids are smaller versions of you and I.

They will need the same things you need to survive. Namely, personal safety, shelter, water and, food and their most important needs.  Despite how daunting the actual act of procuring the necessary things to survive may be, it is never too early, or too late, to begin teaching your kids the way to survive.

Starting Young

Let’s move on to getting your kids involved in your survival skills training. The key is to start as young as possible. Get them accustomed to sleeping outdoors and experiencing life in the wilderness. Most importantly, make it fun. Bring along the little things that ensure the kids feel safe and comfortable like snacks, drinks, and their favorite toys.

As the kids begin to acclimate to the outdoors fun, slowly take away little pieces of their comfort. We all know survival situations are not meant to be luxurious. Make things a little tougher. Maybe sleep outside while it is raining to give them a little taste of what being uncomfortable is like. It is important that you keep a close eye on the kids during your training. They are still kids and may not be aware of the dangers in their immediate surroundings. A pretty kitty, aka a mountain lion, or a really cool big snake like a copperhead, are just some of the dangers that could be lurking.

Keep Training

You cannot expect kids to truly understand the concept of an urban survival situation or why we work so hard to prepare in the event there is one. If your kids are not prepared to handle an emergency, they are going to take all their cues from you. They will react to your demeanor. No matter what is happening, you have to remember to stay calm.

Another key to any survival situation that includes children is the fact their needs come first. However, you are walking a fine line. You cannot completely neglect your own basic needs in an effort to take care of them. For example, one bottle of drinking water needs to be shared among you. Sure, it is noble to let the kids have it all, but what are they going to do when you are incapacitated from dehydration and unable to care for them? Exactly. You must take care of yourself as well or you risk leaving the kids to fend for themselves.

As with anything we hope to teach our children, it is very important to start early.  Please remember though that there is no better time to start preparing than right now.  No matter what ages they are.

Craig and Jennifer Caudill are a husband and wife survival team. Craig is a contributor to www.dansdepot and Jennifer enjoys the great outdoors with her husband as they test tent camping equipment and other survival tools. Craig is also an instructor at the Nature Reliance School. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 01:24
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  • Comment Link Mary Jane Tuesday, 26 February 2013 14:28 posted by Mary Jane

    Great article! This is an important topic where there too little information. Thank you for adding this.

  • Comment Link Practical Parsimony Wednesday, 27 February 2013 01:00 posted by Practical Parsimony

    I am not insulted. I will never camp unless my life depends on it. I don't need to practice being miserable. If I camped even once to practice, I would be in the dr office Monday morning. I get very ill sleeping in night air. So, just shoot me now.

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