By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper
It’s summer time! School is out, you may have time off work, and everything just feels a bit more relaxed without the usual hustle and bustle. Now is the time to really give your kids something to write about in the inevitable “What I Did Last Summer” essay when school starts back up.
Bonus! It’s also the perfect time of year to brush up on some of your skills with prepper summer vacation activities. Not only is it a fun way to pass the time, most of these activities are frugal too.
Here’s a list of the best prepper summer vacation activities!
- Go camping. This time of year, you won’t have to worry about getting too cold at night. Put down your devices and go stay somewhere wild and wonderful to camp with your family. Be sure to practice all of the necessary safety precautions at your destination. (This book is a guide to freebie places to camp all across the country.)
- Cook outdoors. Go beyond the barbecue and try a sun oven or cooking over a campfire.
- Go hiking. Take the family out for an all-day adventure. This is a great time to put on your bug out bags and test them. Are they too heavy? Do you have everything you need in them?
- Take a class. There are lots of weekend classes in the summer. Get certified in First Aid or Wilderness Survival. Learn a new skill like sewing or home preservation.
- Grow your own food. Even if you live in the city, you can use a teeny patio or balcony to grow at least some of your own food. This is a skill that could serve you very well one day.
- Pick survival-themed beach books. Even if you’re headed to the beach, you don’t have to leave prepping completely behind. Pick up an awesome piece of prepper fiction to enjoy while you’re lying by the water. (I am a huge fan of this series for grown-ups and here’s a list of some of my daughters’ favorite books through their childhoods.)
- Send the kids to a summer camp. But not just any summer camp! Pick one in which they’ll be spending lots of time doing outdoor activities, many of which are the precursor to serious survival skills. Some programs to look for are archery, marksmanship, hiking, fishing, outdoor skills, swimming, and cooking.
- Go fishing. Hang up your shingle and head out. Fishing is a great skill for preppers. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, you are learning two very valuable skills: acquiring food and cleaning the fish. Bonus points if you cook your catch over an open fire.
- Learn to preserve food. If you don’t yet know how to can or dehydrate food, summer is the perfect time to learn, when produce is abundant. Hit the farmer’s market and grab a bushel of something delicious. Then go home and put it up to enjoy throughout the winter. (Here are some tips for water bath canning, pressure canning, and dehydrating.) My kids were always very proud to serve jam that they had made and preserved themselves to guests, and they also loved giving homemade jam as holiday presents.
- Go shooting. If your family enjoys firearms, summer is a great time to brush up on your skills. You can go to a range, or even better, go to a place with simulations so that you can really up your personal defense game. Even paintball can be a fun way to improve your skills.
- Hit some secondhand sales. One of our very favorite activities is getting up on a weekend morning and heading out with a thermos of coffee in hand. We go to yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, and thrift stores and come home loaded with treasures for only a few dollars. The stuff you find will often be of very high quality for a fraction of the price of newer, lesser quality goods. As well, if you purchase from an estate sale, you can often find extremely useful things like tools and kitchen devices.
- Go foraging. This is a great way to teach kids about edible plants. Grab a good local guidebook with high-quality pictures and head out to the woods with a basket. Then, come home and prepare your finds together in a delicious foraged feast.
Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list, and all of the caveats apply. (Don’t eat poison stuff, don’t drown in the river, don’t leave food in your tent and get eaten by a bear, and if you do, please don’t blame me for suggesting you go foraging, swimming or camping.)
One of the most important things is to put down the devices, get away from the screens, and go outside. Spend some time in nature and some time away from your normal responsibilities. Really connect with one another and take a break from the demands of our normal lives.
What are some other good, family-friendly activities that build skills while being fun? What are your summer plans?
About the author:
Daisy Luther is a single mom who lives in a small village in the mountains of Northern California, where she homeschools her youngest daughter and raises veggies, chickens, and a motley assortment of dogs and cats. She is a best-selling author who has written several books, including The Organic Canner, The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. Daisy is a prolific blogger who has been widely republished throughout alternative media. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health, self-reliance, personal liberty, and preparedness. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.