If you go out in the woods today, will you be prepared if you get lost or hurt, and will you know how to walk and approach wildlife? Will your child? If you’re thinking of doing some exploring this spring or summer, here are some tips that will help you and your child stay safe and learn more about the forest.
Woods-Wise Skills: What to Bring to the Woods
What should your child bring to the woods? Well, normally you’ll probably be there together, but if your child has forest nearby and plays in it regularly far from the house, it’s good to bring along a few things. A water bottle is important for hydration, and it’s good in case you get lost. We’ve packed safety blankets in our backpacks just in case we’re caught out in the cold. A whistle helps if you get lost too, since it saves your voice, and it’s easy to pack. We also have a basic first aid kit as well. I carry a cell phone too, in case of emergency, but be aware that it won’t work everywhere.
Woods-Wise Skills: Get Ready for the Weather
Weather varies widely across the continent. In some places, sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle are mandatory accessories for much of the year, while in others, it’s important to dress in layers and be aware of wind chill. In our region, rain pants are a must if you’re going to sit on damp logs. Help your child understand what to wear, when, and why. If she doesn’t like wearing appropriate gear, allow her to experience being wet and cold on a well-supervised outing, as long as it isn’t for too long. Kids who are indoors a lot don’t always know what wet and cold feels like, so they don’t like to wear appropriate clothing. Experiencing it for themselves helps them make better clothing choices in the future. Model clothing choices by wearing appropriate clothing yourself!