Survival Skills

Timing: At least 1 ½ hours required (longer sessions preferred)
Age range: Recommended ages 8+

Available Sites: Bedfont Lakes Country Park
Group size: 15-20 pupils per session

Bedfont Lakes Survival Skills - Shelter buidlingAim

To encourage pupils to think about the basic human needs and teach skills on how these needs can be fulfilled in the outdoor environment. Many of the skills learnt (particularly those within the emergency procedures section) will be transferable to non-outdoor situations, so are important life skills.

Activity Description

Learn basic skills for survival in the wilderness. Topics covered can include:

  • Marshmallow toastingThe Countryside Code
  • Emergency procedures and basic equipment
  • Finding your way with and without a compass
  • Finding water and purifying it
  • Shelter building
  • Finding food
  • Fire theory
  • Team building activities


Pick and choose which activities you would like to fit your timescale and group ability. For example, if your group has only 1 ½  hours (e.g. Scout association groups) there would be time for only a couple of topics (e.g. finding food and shelter building).  A full day (or two) would be required to cover all the topics. Some activities may be too advanced for younger individuals (e.g. Finding your way with a compass).

Please speak to the Education Ranger to discuss your requirements and timescale. We will then devise a suitable programme of activities.

National Curriculum Links

Dependent on activities chosen.

Related Activities

  • Orienteering

Follow up

  • Pupils could be given a survival challenge within a wild area and their new found skills could be assessed.

Health and Safety

Teachers/leaders should consider the following when they write their risk assessment and during supervision:

  • Dehydration and weather related conditions: bring plenty of water and appropriate clothing.
  • Scratches, bites and stings: wear long sleeved clothing and trousers and appropriate footwear. Be prepared to get a bit muddy.
  • Allergy from contact with wild foods (e.g. nuts)
  • Injury from unstable shelters (shelter building)
  • Fire risk: On occasions it may be possible for the group to toast marshmallows over a small fire – please discuss this with the Education Ranger.


For more information on Heath and Safety during group visits please see here

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