The world is changing. And Trackers is teaching your kids how to survive and thrive in it. Here are some wilderness survival tips on how to keep your kids and family healthy during these hot days of summer (both in the wilds and the city).

july-2014_20Shelter: Dress For Success

White or light colors reflect heat while dark colors absorb it. So, lighter colors will keep you cooler. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat will also help protect your face and neck (although you should still remember sunscreen in these places).

Shelter: Seek the Shade

Tracking animals teaches us how to handle extreme weather. Our forest friends follow the “Principle of Extremes”. When it’s wet, they seek the dry. When it’s cold, they seek the warm. And, during the hottest part of the day, the deer know how to find the breezy shade, chewing the cud they foraged in the earlier, cooler dawn. Likewise, families can focus their outdoor time on the cooler mornings and evenings during the longer days of summer, while seeking forest shade during the hotter parts.

Water: Drink a Lot and Often

Staying hydrated is essential to beating the heat. Always have a water bottle. Empty it by drinking and refill it several times a day. Sports drinks, soda, and coffee (sorry parents) is not a replacement for pure, clean water. Get your child excited about drinking water (I’m sure many parents can think of applicable games from their college days). A child needs to consume several large water bottles each day to stay healthy and happy.

july-2014_3Food: Eat Cool Foods and Fruits

The right foods can cool you down and be a healthy snack. Take advantage of the tasty berries, fruits and veggies of the season. They not only hydrate you with their high water content, but they offer great nutrition. Smaller, more frequent meals also helps.

Remember: Sunscreen

Sunscreen not only prevents short-term burns, it also protects the long-term health of your skin. It should be applied consistently throughout the day, as even “full-day” sunscreens will wear off. Watch kids to make sure they apply the sunscreen evenly and everywhere needed (especially younger children). Remind them, sunscreen is a form of shelter.

Survival is the Game

Make every journey out of doors a lesson in wilderness survival. At Trackers survival skills are actually thrival skills, so keep it fun and about developing resilience in all weather. Imagine you’re traveling across a desert, in the jungle or even on an alien planet. How would you prepare and what would you take with you?

All these tips apply to packing for summer camp (cause it’s like an alien planet). Send them with sunscreen already applied with more to reapply, clothes for the weather, a good sized water bottle (pre-hydrate them too), and a thoughtfulness to seek the shade.

With the right preparation, kids can weather any weather. So enjoy the nature and the summer sun with a focus on staying healthy.