Being able to make your own shelter, light a fire, prepare water for drinking and find something to eat are the basic skills of life. When people develop these skills they feel more at home upon the Earth and good in themselves; they have self-esteem, a certain ‘I can take care of myself’ attitude. Learning survival skills can also be very humbling when, for example, you have to kill another animal to survive.
Survival skills put us in touch with the forces of nature. When we are close to nature we can appreciate the powers of the elements and our own ability to live amongst them. Slashing rain and buffeting winds are far more real when experienced from a rain-tight and cosy shelter -or even a leaky and cold one!- that we have built ourselves.
This chapter is not meant to turn you into a Ray Mears or Bear Grylls over a weekend. It contains playful activities that introduce and put into practice some of the fundamental elements of survival skills, namely shelter building, fire making, finding and preparing water, and knowing what you can eat.