7 Survival Skills Your Kids Need to Know

I have found that it is often the case that one maybe two individuals in a household are knowledgeable in the skills needed for survival or during an emergency. The one question I think hits home for most people is, “If you are not around, could your kids survive?” Ask yourself this question and read on to see if your kids have what it takes to survive without you. 

The Skills Kids Need to Know

Survival Skills for kids

When it comes to basic survival everyone should know the rules of 3 and how to follow through with them. The first couple of items on the list will be dealing with those rules.  


Whether it is shading you from the hot sun or providing protection from wind, rain, snow, and cold temperatures, a shelter is a basic survival need. Make sure they know the foundation of why certain shelters are better than others. And don’t forget the importance of insulation! 

Making Fire

The ability to make fire is paramount. It can be used to maintain core body temperature, boil water, cook food, make tools, keep predators and insects at bay, and signal for help. Teach them several methods for how to start a fire and how to keep it going. 

Finding and Cleaning Water 

Going roughly three days without water and you will enter the danger zone of severe dehydration and death. There are many methods for finding, collecting, filtering, and purifying this precious resource. Because water is so important, as many methods as possible should be learned. 

Finding and Processing Food

The skills needed to hunt, fish, and collect wild edibles has been on the decline in modern times. It is no longer common knowledge for how to process wild game, fish, or how to identify wild edibles. In a survival situation, these will be the only food options available. Kids will need to know how to find these foods, how to process them, and how to safely consume them. 

Basic First Aid

Does your child know how to stop or control bleeding? Do they know CPR or the Heimlich Maneuver? Do they know how to make a simple splint or sling? These are but a few of the basic first aid skills everyone needs to know. 

Vehicle Repair 

This may not be a typical survival skill to know but that should not diminish its importance. I think it would be great if a kid wants to learn all about their vehicle and how to repair it. However, at a minimum, the most basic skill they should know is how to change a flat tire. Imagine that your kid went for a drive, a tire blows out, and there is no cellular service.

This may be hard to imagine but it is certainly within the realm of possibility. Now imagine them having to enter survival mode because they do not know how to change a tire. This is an unnecessary risk. Once they are of age to drive, make sure that they know to deal with vehicle issues. 

Situational Awareness 

I think teaching situational awareness has become even more important in modern times. The reason for that is simply due to technology, primarily the smartphone. It is now normal for people to walk down the street with eyes glued to a screen. This makes them completely unaware of all possible dangers around them. Kids especially need to be taught the importance of being situationally aware.  

Final Thoughts

While there are many skills kids should know I believe these to be among the most basic. Teach your kids these skills (and many more!) today so that you can be comfortable in knowing that if you are not around, they will be safe.

Bryan Lynch
Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. Recently, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. Read more of Bryan's articles.

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