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10 Ways to Engage Teens in Bushcraft & Survival

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

If you're a parent looking to get your teens interested in bushcraft and survival skills or a teacher looking to lead an outdoor education programme for your teenage students, you've come to the right place. Learning bushcraft and survival skills is valuable and lots of fun, especially for teens. In this post, we'll give you 10 ways to engage teens in this exciting and challenging outdoor discipline.

1. Start Small

Don't expect your teens to be expert woodsmen right away. Start with small and achievable goals, such as building a simple shelter or starting a fire with flint and steel. As they gain confidence and experience, they'll be more eager to take on bigger challenges.

2. Make it Fun

Bushcraft and survival skills can be serious business, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. Make it fun by incorporating games, challenges, and friendly competitions. Your teens will be more likely to stay engaged if they're having a good time.

3. Involve their Friends

Teens are social creatures, so why not involve their friends in your bushcraft and survival activities? Plan group outings and challenges, and encourage your teens to invite their friends along. They'll be more likely to stay interested if they're doing it with their peers.

4. Use Technology

Technology isn't always the enemy of outdoor activities. In fact, there are many apps and websites that can enhance your bushcraft and survival experience. Use apps like iNaturalist to identify plants and animals, or websites like Bushcraft USA to find new ideas and techniques.

5. Provide the Right Gear

Having the right gear can make all the difference in your teens' enjoyment of bushcraft and survival. Invest in some quality equipment like durable backpacks, reliable knives, and sturdy tents. Your teens will appreciate having gear they can rely on, and it will make the experience more enjoyable.

6. Emphasise Safety

Bushcraft and survival can be dangerous activities, so safety should always be a top priority. Teach your teens basic safety skills like how to start a fire safely, how to identify and avoid poisonous plants and animals, and how to purify water. Make sure they understand the importance of safety and are equipped with the right gear.

7. Incorporate Local History and Culture

Teach your teens about the history and culture of the area you're exploring. Incorporate local stories, folklore, and traditions into your activities. Your teens will have a greater appreciation for the outdoors if they understand its significance in the larger context.

8. Encourage Creativity

Bushcraft and survival skills require a lot of creativity and problem-solving. Encourage your teens to think outside the box and come up with their own ideas and solutions. This will not only keep them engaged but also help them develop critical thinking skills.

9. Set Goals and Track Progress

Setting goals and tracking progress is a great way to stay motivated and engaged. Encourage your teens to set their own goals and help them track their progress over time. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and help them stay invested in the activity.

10. Keep it Varied

Finally, don't be afraid to mix things up. Try different activities and challenges to keep things fresh and interesting. You don't want your teens to get bored, so switch it up from time to time.

There you have it, folks! 10 ways to engage your teens in bushcraft and survival. Remember to start small, make it fun, involve their friends, use technology, provide the right gear, emphasise safety, incorporate local history and culture, encourage creativity, set goals and track progress, and keep it varied. Happy exploring!


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