First Aid For Kids In Emergencies

First Aid For Kids, Essential Skills

First Aid For Kids

First Aid For Kids, Essential Skills

First Aid For Kids, Essential Skills


It doesn’t matter whether your child takes part in bushcraft activities, enjoys nature, being outdoors or any other activities, your child needs to know what to do in an emergency. First Aid for Kids is Essential. I don’t believe you can start to early teaching you child, what action they can and should take in an emergency and basic first aid.

It is a shame that this isn’t covered within the National Curricullum in schools. First Aid for Kids is a set of skills that not only benefits the child. They can be beneficial to friends, family even the general public in general

Getting Started with First Aid For Kids

There are a variety of areas you need to start teaching your child about.

  • Telephone, at an early age children need to know how to use a telephone. This doesn’t mean they need a telephone just how to use it. Firstly learning an emergency contact number for someone they can call at any time. Even if they get lost in town. Secondly Calling Emergency Services.
  • First Aid Skills. All first aid needs to be taught at a time that is age appropriate. This varies from child to child but can be started from about 5 to 6 years old. Starting with safety for themselves and the casualty, getting help, cuts and cleaning wounds and reassuring a casualty.

Moving on from this varies from child to child. But once they get to grips with on item they can move on to the next. It starts with very simple task that can the be built on.

You can get a free teach your child their emergency phone number download here.

First Aid For Kids Emergency Phone Number

First Aid For Kids Downloads.

Bushcraft For Kids

First Aid For Kids is important. You can’t start learning to early.

Many skills they can learn like reassuring a casualty children generally pick up very quickly, especially when you tell them they can talk to someone about anything. Just keep them talking. It is a good skill for children to learn for life in general as they learn to build conversations, as they learn about open and closed questions.

A great way to do this is through games.

  1. Yes/No Game. the child has to make you or each other say, yes or no by asking question.
  2. A reversal of the Yes/No Game. Choose a topic and the child has to ask questions. But they cant be answered “Yes” or “No”

As they child get older they can go on courses or parents can go on regular courses and pass the knowledge on to the child in bite size segments. When the child is old enough and is at a level to do a full course it can be done by all the family together. Alternatively Scouting groups run a badge scheme that offers an incremental system that is age appropriate. This system starts with the basics and move onto more advanced First Aid techniques. This scheme also covers outdoor First Aid including Hyperthermia and Hypothermia.

There is more information about this else where on Bushcraft For Kids

Tics, Protect Your Children

Deer Tic

Tics, Protect Your Children

I spend my time telling parents and people who work with children to encourage them to spend time outdoors. A lot is reassuring people that being outdoors in nature and having fun is safe. We live in a world where we are told don’t do this or that it is dangerous or not safe. In the United Kingdom we are very lucky, it is relatively safe and we don’t have a problem on the scale of the mosquito and malaria in the tropic. However we have a growing problem which can have long term problems for victims. The problem comes from Tics.

Tics A Growing Problem

People who know me will be saying, here he goes again, Tics. Yes I am going to talk about them as I do every year. It is a problem and it is one that isn’t going away. The problem isn’t the bite its self it is the diseases they can carry; Lyme Disease and its close relatives. It is a disease that can be debilitating and have effects that can remain with a sufferer for the rest of their lives. The number of confirmed cases in the UK has increased from 346 in 2003 to almost 1000 in 2015, it is a problem that is going getting worse. Although it is a growing problem and is starting to get more publicity with warning in the media each year, I am surprised at how many people are not aware or don’t see it as a big issue.

I was on a first aid course which was done through the scouting organisation where I volunteer. There was a mention of wasp stings and snake bites (Which are not a huge threat except for allergic reactions), I brought up Tics and the potential of contracting Lyme disease. The only people aware of the issue was the volunteers I worked with and that included the instructor. I find that a frightening scenario. So for people who know me who are saying here goes Castle, talking about Tics and Lyme disease, I have one thing to say, “Spread the word.”

What are Tics?

Tics are a small invertebrates that feed on blood to get the necessary protein they need for their eggs to develop. In the UK it is known that Lymes disease is carried by three types of Tics.

Ixodes ricinus -Deer/sheep Tic

Deer Tic

Male Deer Tic (Left)
Female Deer Tic (Right)

Feeds primarily on sheep and deer.

Ixodes hexagonus – the hedgehog tick

hedgehog Tic

hedgehog Tic

Ixodes canisuga – the fox or English dog tick.

English Dog Fox tic

English Dog Fox tic

Also feeds on other small mammals.

The problem is they are not bothered if it is a human that brush past them, they are willing to hitch a lift and make them their host to provide a nice meal of fresh blood. They all can carry Lyme disease.

Why Are Tics Found?

In the UK Tics can be found all over the country. They like to live on long grass woods and moorland, some are more prolific in the dens/nest of their host eg, foxes, badges and hedgehogs. You are less likely to find them in overgrown gardens in urban areas, however as more animals e.g. foxes and Hedgehogs migrate into urban areas the chances of infection will increase.

The NHS website lists these areas as greater risk.


  • the New Forest and other rural areas of Hampshire
  • the South Downs
  • parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire
  • parts of Surrey and West Sussex
  • Thetford Forest in Norfolk
  • the Lake District
  • the North York Moors
  • the Scottish Highlands

The problem is the full extent of the problem is not fully understood and the infection is likely to be a much bigger problem than is documented at the moment. People are now being recommended to take precautions regarding Tics at some events like Delamere Forest where a Park run is held.

How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed After A Tic Bite.

The most frequently quoted symptom of Lyme disease is the “Bulls Eye Mark” If one of these is seen after a Tic Bite you should got to see a doctor. This isn’t necessary to be infected with Lyme disease, it doesn’t show on every one. Here are a couple of examples of Bull Eye Marks and if seen seek advice from a doctor.

Bulls Eye mark from Tic bite

An example of the Bulls Eye Mark from Lymes Disease Tic Bite

Tic bite Bulls Eye mark

An example of the Bulls Eye Mark from Lymes Disease Tic Bite

Other symptoms may take several days or over a week to show. If after spending time outdoors in the countryside, especially if there was long grass, you was brushing past/through undergrowth or you sat on the ground. The other thing to look out for is insect bites. If you find a Tic remove it or take note of any unidentified insect bites you find. The first symptoms you should be aware of it flu like symptoms, these may include tiredness (fatigue), muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, a high temperature (fever), chills and neck stiffness.  it is easy to over look this as a cold. After being in the countryside where you know tics are present be aware to these symptoms.

Other symptoms that may not show for a few weeks are:

  • unexplained headaches and neck stiffness,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • facial palsy (tremors or immobility),
  • arthralgia (joint pain),
  • heart palpitations,
  • dizziness.

Get Medical Advice.

If you start with any of these symptoms within a few weeks of going into the countryside, visit your doctor and explain the circumstance. This may seem a little like over kill, but it is very important you get diagnosed at the earliest possible time. This is because early intervention can mean the difference between successful treatment and management of the condition. If this doesn’t happen the consequences can be devastating for the individual for years to come.

the symptoms of Lyme disease can be devastating, so all precautions should be taken to prevent Tic bites. But don’t let it scare you from enjoying nature and your time in the countryside.

Preventing Tic Bites.

  • Habitat: Remember Tics live in wooded, grassy, and brushy areas.  Tics like moist, humid environments.  So ensure these areas of your body are protected, cover yourself, long sleeves and trousers. Trousers can be tucked into socks or gaiters worn. Especially  when in woody, grassy and bushy areas
  • Direction: Walk in the middle of trails/paths to avoid contact with undergrowth and with Tics.
  • Clothes: Wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and trouser, you can tuck your trouser bottoms into your socks or wear gaiters. When you return home or camp, get into the habit of checking for insect bites at the earliest convenient time. When camping out change into clothes for night time when possible. If you like to wear out door clothes for sleep outdoors keep a dry set for nights.
  • Hair: Cover, braid, or tie up long hair, and consider wearing a hat.
  • Body: Remember to check for Tics when you can. Especially in hidden areas like under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, on the back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, around the waist and around your buttocks.

Insect Repellent.

There are some insect repellents that are recommended to stop Tic bites. These are generally Deet. Deet is used as an insect repellent and is found in varying concentrations in various products. Many people use it when in areas with lots of mosquitos. Since it was started being used after the Second World War it has been shrouded with controversy. There has been concerns raised that it can cause Cancer.

Dr James Logan, senior lecturer in medical entomology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has stated that the evidence that Deet is unsafe is insufficient. He also recommends that it is used in concentrations of 20% to 50%. Insect repellents lower than this may leave people at risk from insects. I have used high concentrated Deet in the past and I recommend that if you decide to use it you read the instructions carefully. I have seen it melt certain clothing, it is recommended it is washed off prior to sleep. That might be good advice. I believe in using Deet, but I say you should always follow the advice/instruction given with the product you purchases.

Deet – Insect Repellent.

With regards to Deet working against Tics I suggest you don’t use it alone. Don’t think because you are using Deet you wont get bitten.

Ray Mears has written about his experiences of dealing with Lymes disease he contacted after being bitten by a Tic. He said he was that ill he contemplated suicide. Bearing in mind it can be with you for life if not treated at a very early stage, it says to me it is not something to take the risk of being a sufferer.

Children and Tics.

I regularly work with children and you should always get them to check and report any insect bite. Educate them about tics and what they look like. If I know or think a child has been bitten by a Tic I would tell the parent and recommend they visit the doctor to have the child checked out. With children especially, it is better to be safe than sorry.


In The UK We Don’t Have The Problems There Are In Other Areas Of The World. Take Precautions, Take Care And Have Fun




Bushcraft Knots, How To Tie Clove Hitch, Timber Hitch And Tripod Lashing

Clove Hitch

Bushcraft Knots Clove Hitch, Timber Hitch and Tripod Lashing

Bushcraft Knots

The term “Bushcraft Knots” is a title I have creates. It is to label some knots that can be used in bushcraft and survival skills. There is no specific set of knots that fit this category. The Clove hitch and Timber Hitch are easy to tie and useful to fasten rope or cordage to something temporarily. They use friction to keep tight so if you use finished wood like in the videos you will find they sometimes slip. That doesn’t mean you haven’t tied the knot correctly it is just that the wood is so smooth there is not a lot of friction.

These are two good bushcraft knots to teach children because they are quite easy, especially the Timber Hitch. When tying a clove Hitch you will find an explanation on the net how to tie the knot making loops. This is “easier”, but  can cause problems. If someone needs to tie the knot, and the loops can’t slip over the end, the knot can’t be tied. So a little more practice to tie the Clove Hitch using this method means you can tie it in any situation.

These bushcraft knots are useful to start building Bushcraft Shelters, dens and equipment and tools around your camp


After watching these videos please subscribe to the Bushcraft For Kids YouTube channel here

Clove Hitch

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Timber Hitch


Tripod Lashing

Den Building, Basic Bushcraft Shelters For Kids

Clove Hitch

Den Building, Basic Bushcraft For Kids

When I think back to my childhood den building was something I loved to do. Whether it was permanent dens in trees or hidden away, or temporary dens that lasted a few hours of fun. The main thing I remember is the fun, sometimes it would be cowboys and Indians others, Robinson Crusoe, living out tales or adventure and fun. Other times I would be a spy building a hide to watch my quarry. As time went by these developed into more substantial structures made to keep my friends and I dry and warm whilst we tried to stay outdoors in all weathers.

When I mention we are going to den building or shelters the reaction is always the same, excitement and smiles. If you aren’t confident being outdoors you can start at home either indoors or in the garden and start using cardboard boxes. if you decide to start with cardboard boxes make sure you check the weather. There is nothing worse than cleaning up soggy cardboard and watching your hard work slowly collapse into a soggy mess.

Uses of Den Building/Bushcraft Shelters.

When you build your first shelter it is likely just to be a fun thing to do with your children. When you have finished you will see your children’s imagination come alive, whether they are pirates, marooned men like Robinson Crusoe, Cowboys and Indians, playing with teddy bears and dolls, or what ever the latest television show is about. The point is they get a chance to be outside getting fresh air and having fun whilst using their imagination.

When children are a little older they may be interested in watch wildlife, nature, bushcraft, fishing or some other outdoor activity. Making a simple shelter and camouflaging it can be fun and either keep you dry or out of the sun depending on the weather. In the UK you are likely to have to do both within the space of a day or even a few hours. When you set out bear in mind the colour of the Tarp you are using. Even if you camouflage it orange or fluorescent yellow will still stand out.

The final activity you might like to do with your child is sleep out. Whether it is in your shelter or under the stars, it will be something your child will never forget. I believe every child should experience sleeping out under the stars with their parents at least once. It doesn’t matter where you do it, it can be in the garden or further afield and part of a bigger adventure. What ever you decide to do it will be a memorable time for everyone. Starting in the garden can be good for your first attempt then if it rains or you have any other reason you can retreat indoors.

Being Prepared For Den Building.

The best option is to purchase a few basic items. This will allow you to build a more substantial den/shelter. You can then re-use your den building equipment again and again. You can take it with you to the beach or park and have fun den building anywhere. You could start with a piece of plastic (A Tarp) and a length of Paracord. you would be amazed at the variety of shelters you can make with these two items and a couple of trees. But with a few more items you can do a lot more and learn a few skills along the way.

Here is what you will need for your den building experience:

  1. A piece of plastic, or a “Tarp”;
  2. Paracord;
  3. 6 long pieces of wood, log broom handles are suitable;
  4. Dozen tent pegs.

Remember: When you are building this shelter the size of tarp and the lengths of wood determine the size. Using Broom handles will make your den quite low to the ground, but suitable for young children.

Den building is fun and exciting and gives parents a chance to learn and share with their children. The skills taught here will also give you some basic bushcraft skills you can the develop further and build shelters in the woods.

Den Building Skills.

When you are building a den or a bushcraft shelter you are likely at some point going to need some or all these skills. They are all quite simple and will come in useful when you practice other bushcraft skills with children.

Don’t let these names scare you they are easy to learn with a little practice you will have your “Bushcraft Kid” helping you with these.

Here are some links to get what you need to build shelters and dens with your children. Whether it is in the garden or somewhere further afield in a park or local woodlands.

Clove Hitch

Clove Hitch

Remember  At least two poles are needed for den building, unless you have two conveniently spaced trees. you can use broom handles. Or an alternative more sturdy method using 6  broom handles.

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For some simple simple ideas for shelters visit Basic Den Designs.

If you decide to use Cardboard you can use the Basic Den Designs, but it is best to let the children use their imagination and you to be the chief labourer adding some knotting and lashing skills.

Basic Survival Shelters And Dens Designs For Bushcraft, Survival And Family Fun

Double Sided Lean to Survival Shelters and Dens
Lean To Style Survival shelters and dens

Lean To Style Survival shelters and dens

Basic Designs For Survival Shelters and Dens.

Once you have learnt Clove Hitch, Timber Hitch and Tripod Lash you can create numerous designs for survival shelters and dens. Whilst you and you child are learning these basic knots you can still have fun designing you den. You can start with a blanket and a couple of chairs or even cardboard boxes. Children are amazing when they are encouraged to use their imagination and build. Depending on you and your child’s confidence and if you plan taking your adventure outdoors you can give various guidelines. Six year olds understand that if you get wet and, or cold you can become ill or die. So challenging your child to think about keeping dry and how you will keep warm are good issues to start of with.

Uses And Issues Surrounding Survival Shelters And Dens.

Here are a few discussion points.

  • Why do Homeless people sleep out doors?
  • What do they use to keep warm?
  • Why do they use cardboard boxes
  • Can we help in anyway?
  • What is hyperthermia and hypothermia?
  • What types of slopes are Best?
  • Will the roof hold water or will it drain off?
  • Is the roof strong enough?
  • Will the survival shelter and den design blow away?
  • How can you fasten it down?
  • What can Survival shelters be used for?

The final question is good to ask children you might be surprised at the replies. There are the obvious sleeping under, play, keeping dry and warm when outside at the beach or park, or using it as a hide to watch and or photograph local wildlife. The list goes on and on.

Building shelters can help you look at various issues from design, social problems, outdoor skills uses of Survival shelters and dens.

Double Sided Lean to Survival Shelters and Dens

Double Sided Lean to Survival Shelters and Dens

Below are some sketches of some basic shelters. These shown are using a “Tarp” and poles. You can buy poles specifically for making a bivi, survival shelter or den. Alternatively you can make some from brush handles or branches you find in the wild. There will be another post showing some techniques for making survival shelters.

Lean To Style Survival shelters and dens

Lean To Style Survival shelters and dens

When designing the shelter you need to think about whether you will need a crosspole to help support the tarp or whether a taut piece of Paracord will do the job. You will also need to think about where the guy ropes will go. Guy ropes will serve two purposes.

  1. Giving strength to your structure, or keeping a piece of Paracord taut to support your tarp.
  2. To hold your survival shelter and Den in one place if you experience wind.



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Bushcraft Survival Shelters And Dens

Bushcraft Survival Shelters And Dens

When you start building dens and shelters, it is best to start simple. Remember there is no right or wrong when you start with your child.Imagination is important when starting out. They may want to be pirates, in a space ship or their favourite T.V. Survivalist. It gives you time to have fun and learn with your child to talk and laugh together. Bushcraft skills are great because you get to be with your children and not have modern day distractions.