My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

Family Camping Survival Skills

On Labor Day weekend, 2007 we went to Wellesley Island State Park for family camping. I believe Wellesley is the second largest of the 1000 islands in upstate NY. As their site says “Wellesley Island State Park has the largest camping complex in the Thousand Islands region. Secluded wilderness sites nestled along the banks of the St. Lawrence River are accessible only by foot or boat. For the less rugged camper, there are regular tent/trailer sites and a cabin colony, including facilities for group camping and twelve vacation rentals, which will enable you to enjoy the sunset from the porch of a fully outfitted cottage.”

We did a family camping weekend so we dragged along our camper and the three kids my wife and I had the canoe strapped to the top of the truck as well. Wellesley Island is one of my favorite family camping spots. As a child growing up in Upstate NY we spent the weekend summers traveling around the eastern United States. In fact I am told that I was tent camping at 2 weeks old at Wellesley Island with my parents and 4 brothers and did that for many years before we got our first pop-up camper.

It was a great four day weekend. We canoed, fished from the canoe and shore, swam, hiked, hung out with friends, played ball and had a great time. Even though my wife isn’t into survival skills as I am, the kids and I still practice a lot of survival skills. The funny thing is that simply taking three kids 11, 9 and 4 for a four day camping weekend can be a form of survival in itself. I see that many people post on the web looking for things to do with kids while family camping. On the following pages you can see some great ideas. Besides some of the things we did that are “Normal” family camping things to do, we also made pine needle tea, made our own edible plant walk through the nature center, practiced fire making and material gathering skills, tried out a couple different MRE’s, made spoons and bowls with coals from the fire with our Staghorn Sumac straws and last but not least the kids and I learned how to unclog a clogged camper toilet.

While on the edible plant walk and while fishing, hiking and playing we saw several plants including; Live forever, St Johns Wart, Wood sorrel, Sheep Sorrel, Dandelion, Cattails, Clover, Lambs Quarters, Burdock, Plantain, Garlic Mustard, Jewel Weed, Poison Ivy, Mullein, Nettles, Ferns, Wild Carrot and I’m sure much more. I had my Petersons Edible Wild Plant guide book with me, but of course I left the camera at the camper on the plant walk. So much for being a preparedness expert.

The bottom line is that survival skills can be many things from making a fire to simply keeping kids safe and happy while camping and I am always working on learning, improving and passing on my survival skills.

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We made bowls and spoons with coals
We made bowls and spoons with coals
Cedar Bark Tinder
Cedar Bark Tinder
Various survival fire starters
Various survival fire starters
Gill over the ground or ground ivy
Gill over the ground or ground ivy
White pine branch for pine needle tea
White pine branch for pine needle tea
Various fire starting ideas
Various fire starting ideas
Canoe fishing with the kids
Canoe fishing with the kids
Bringing friends family camping
Bringing friends family camping
Playing with rope while family camping
Playing with rope while family camping

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August 2012:
Hurricane Season Prediction for 2012

April 2012:
How much water is enough?

October 2011:
New ion Flashlight Firestarter

October 2011:
Mushroom Walk & Cooking Experiment

September 2011:
More Favorite Plants on Facebook

July 2011:
Facebook Giveaway: Photo Contest

June 2011:
Facebook Giveaway: Your Survival Kit

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Facebook Knot Tying Contest & Giveaway

February 2011:
Kevin Estella Survival Primer Slideslow

February 2011:
Camping Survival YouTube Video Blogs

January 2011:
Edible Plants on Facebook Part II

January 2011:
Kevin Estela Product Demonstrations II

August 2010:
Edible Plants on Facebook

June 2010:
Kevin Estela Product Demonstrations

May 2010:
Scout Challenge - Troop 35 Columbia, PA

May 2010:
Scout Challenge - Pack 201 Killeen Texas

May 2010:
Scout Challenge - Troop 179 Kansas City

March 2010:
Facebook Fans Favorite Survival Tools

February 2009:
Five great survival skill presentations

January 2009:
Winter Camping

August 2008:
MRE, Meals Ready To Eat Dissection

July 2008:
Wild edible plant school III

Spring 2008:
Some Recent Backpacking Trips

May 2008:
Aurora Magnesium Fire Starter Video

March 2008:
Hybrid Solar Oven Cooker Demo

January 2008:
Winter Survival Camping

September 2007:
Family Camping Survival Skills

July 2007:
Edible Plant Survival Project

April 2007:
Survival Skills for Kids

February 2007:
Winter Camping Trip

August 2006:
Edible Plant Survival

July 2007:
Survival Presentation to the Kids

July 2005:
Wilderness Survival Skills School

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