If you’re a prepper parent, allow me to take a wild guess: you’re afraid that, when they grow up, your kids will eventually stop preparing for emergency and SHTF situations. You’re worried they’ll eventually forget all the valuable lessons you’ve taught them and put their lives in danger.
Let’s look at this from their own perspective. After years of prepping, if they’ll be fortunate enough not to have anything bad happen to them, they might think survival and preparedness are just hobbies. So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen? How can you get them to maintain their habits 5, 10 or even 15 years from now?
One word: hiking.
If you can get them to like and adopt this hobby, they’ll not only learn to love nature but they’ll also learn some invaluable lessons with direct application to prepping. In fact, they don’t even need to know about survival until after you’ve taken them on a couple of hikes. Once you plant the seed, it’ll be much easier to convince them to prepare.
Let me share with you a few of the lessons they’re likely to learn after their first hike…
Lesson #1: It’s not just about the goal, it’s also about the journey.
This has direct application to prepping because one can spend years doing it before anything bad happens to them. They’ll learn to stop and smell the roses instead of just thinking about how hard it is to climb for hours on end or cry because they can’t check their Facebook.
In a goal-oriented society, it’ll be easy for them to get lost chasing wild dreams, only to wake up 40 years later no richer than they are now. Don’t get me wrong, I love high-achievers and hard-workers but it makes little sense to live your life under constant stress and ignore everything else around us. It’s all about the journey.
Lesson #2: They need to stop taking things for granted and appreciate what they have.
Water… food… medicine… people killed and died in the past to get them but we can buy them at the push of a button. Until there’s a national or global economic collapse, that is; then we’re back to square one, fighting to survive.
Hiking will teach your children that if all they have is a bottle of water and a sandwich, that’s all they’re going to get. They’ll learn to live frugally for a day or two because in an economic collapse, frugality will be the norm.
I still remember Christmas under communist Romania… I was less than 10 years old and I’d only get to eat oranges during that time because of economic restrictions. To this day I associate Christmas with oranges…
Lesson #3: They need to be prepared when they’re away from home.
Once you take them hiking once or twice, they’ll find out that even the smallest item in their backpack could be crucial. They’ll also learn that two is one and one is none and start applying to in their prepping endeavors.
They’ll also learn that when they run out of something, they can’t just get some from someone else because they may not want to spare any.
The Provident Prepper: a common-sense guide to preparing for emergencies
by Kylene & Jonathan Jones
No one knows when a storm will hit or an economic disaster take place. Protect your family by being prepared for things like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, and civil unrest. The Provident Prepper is an easy-to-use guide without doom and gloom.
Lesson #4: They can’t go back, they need to persevere and stay on their path.
Prepping is exactly the same. They can always find reasons to abandon the race. They might think it’s hard or useless but what hiking will teach them is that hard work always pays off.
There was a famous study called the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment that proved kids who chose delayed over instant gratification grew up to become more successful. Delayed gratification is something I too learned from a young age, which is why I always had good grades in school, became good at my job and now I’m doing fairly well with my blog.
Hiking works the same way because they can’t turn around at the first sign of hunger or thirst; they’ll have to stay on the path until they reach the summit. They’ll also learn that whining and complaining don’t work.
Lesson #5: They can’t do it alone.
Sure, there are plenty of lone wolf preppers out there but, for the rest of us, things don’t work that way. We need each other to survive and that’s exactly what hiking teaches us: to be team players and help each-other out.
Lesson #6: It’s OK to get lost.
Well, it can happen. And that’s a perfect time to learn not to freak out but be cerebral and figure out what to do. Whether or not you did it on purpose, getting lost is a fantastic opportunity for them to know what to do in this situation.
This is a valuable lesson: no matter how well prepared you are, you can always get into trouble due to unexpected circumstances.
Learn more: Safest Ways To Get Water When You’re Lost
Kids can learn a lot from hiking
Once your kids learn these 6 valuable lessons, they’re well on their way to becoming good preppers. If you’re not sure how to tell them it’s time to prep, hiking is a fantastic way to get started. They’ll have to get hiking boots, tents, backpacks, a first aid kit and other supplies and then they’ll have them in case of an emergency.
Instead of telling your kids how important prepping is and forcing them to do it “because they have to”, it’s much better to take them hiking, see their reactions and, who knows, they might just get hooked.
Do you go hiking? Any tips to share with us in the comments?