Preparedness - Backpacks and Children by Mountain Momma
The article below was submitted by a young parent and professional who has been hard charging in their family preparedness steps for a couple of years now. I often refer to certain people or families as being "on fire" in their preparedness steps and this family is just that. They are very thorough, focused, constantly willing to learn and move the ball down the field. When I received this article in my email I was happy for the effort to share one of many efforts being made in the family preparedness plans and preparing the children. Keep charging!!!
I am a mother of two young children ages 8 and 4. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to hike. We have recently moved to the NC mountains where the trails are plentiful and the area is unfamiliar. One of my greatest fears is one of my children getting separated from us and getting lost. Thanks to the influence of Bravo Echo, each child has their own age appropriate backpack. The children were involved in putting the bags together. It helped them understand what was in the bag and got them excited about carrying the bag. The items in their bags will help them survive for 24-48 hrs. The largest bag currently weighs 5.6lbs. We double up and use these as our Go Bags for them too.
All of our packs hang at the bottom of the stairs near the exit door.
Pack contents: Lifestraw water bottle A bottle of water Snacks (granola bars, trail mix, nabs, beef jerky) 2 whistles (One is none and two is one) Garbage bags for shelter 1 flashlight 1 mini lantern 3 AAA batteries Small 1st aid kit Kids poncho Paracord Extra set of cloths (shirt, pants, underwear, socks, jacket) Hand and body warmers (to put into the bivy to stay warm) Favorite stuffed animal My oldest has a fire starting kit, a slightly more advanced first aid kit, and notes for guidance
*After talking to others and field testing the garbage bags, I am ordering a emergency tent and bevy from amazon. The garbage bags were, well garbage and the kids struggled with turning them into a shelter. I am also adding a signaling necklace to each bag.
We help them prepare for how to handle getting lost/separated by reading them the book “Where is Everyone” by Russel Sage. We discuss different scenarios on how children get lost. Things like running ahead of everyone and following the wrong path, chasing a butterfly into the woods, slipping down an embankment just out of our sight, etc. We talk about what to do if we are separated before and during the hike as well. They are to stay put and blow their whistle every minute or so until help arrives. If help doesn't come quickly, they are to build their shelter, fire (oldest), and check for a water source. We practice with the items in their bags sometimes during the hikes. We try to keep the children between us during our hikes, when one person stops, everyone stops. There are things we can still improve on and skills we have yet to learn and master. As the children get older, we will incorporate more skills for survival like land navigation and compass reading, FMS radios, foraging, building shelter and more.
Thanks for Your Time,
Bravo Echo Out