Let your kids learn to love the great outdoors on one of these exciting survival courses

Have you exhausted the list of outdoor family activities during the pandemic? So why not take the gang on a survival course when the restrictions are lifted?

With spring fast approaching, outdoor centers are offering bushcraft adventures suitable for everyone, from shy little ones to budding grandparents.

If you are a fan of his TV shows, test your mettle to graduate from the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. There are three 24 hour family survival courses – at the Brecon Beacons, Dartmoor and the South Downs.

Back to the Wild: Crossing a River at Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Back to the Wild: Crossing a River at Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Don’t worry, you won’t be tasked with drinking your own urine or sleeping in a camel’s carcass. But Bear’s team will show you how to cross rivers, track an animal, hone your knife skills while you cook a rabbit for dinner, and scavenge for materials to build a shelter where you’ll sleep before waking up early and early to find your way. base. Classes start from £219 per person (beagryllssurvivalacademy.com).

At a weekend wild wood bushcraft course in Sussex, you will learn how to purify the water of the river and identify the traces of fauna. As night falls, watch the mesmerizing glow of a campfire instead of the TV and get cozy in your sleeping bag for a night under the stars.

This course is independent, so don’t forget to pack a few easy-to-cook meals in your backpack (plus a toilet roll for the pit latrine). Two-day breaks cost £110 per person (wildwoodbushcraft.com).

It’s not quite Tom Hanks in the hit movie Castaway, but find out how to get out of a crisis with the Coastal Survival School. Here every member of the family can play castaway on a stretch of beach along the Jurassic Coast in West Dorset. Learn how to create a rescue signal and make your way along the shore to safety.

Experienced guides will show you what the English Channel has to offer, from sea kale to plump mussels. They will also cover how to stay mentally strong in the event of an abandonment, so that you can make confident decisions. The two-day course, with one night camping on the beach, costs £138 pp (coastalsurvival.com).

For those who don’t feel like sleeping in a tent or makeshift shelter, head to 7th Rise. This quirky bushcraft school near Truro in Cornwall was started by outdoor enthusiast and TV presenter Thom Hunt.

A mother and daughter learn how to start a fire at 7th Rise near Truro in Cornwall

A mother and daughter learn how to start a fire at 7th Rise near Truro in Cornwall

Thom describes survival classes as “the ultimate family-bonding experience, as everyone enjoys the satisfaction of completing a task together.” Adventurers are tested even before they arrive at 7th climb, because the isolated place takes a little time to find. After crossing three fields, up a steep track and through an ancient oak forest, you will find Penperth, a delightfully renovated blacksmith’s house which serves as a camp. There is also a tree house and a converted shed if you are looking for a more offbeat place to sleep.

Lessons include how to slaughter a freshly caught deer, enjoy a delicious fire-roasted dinner with a spoon you carved earlier in the day, and canoeing the Fal River in front of the chalet. Fully catered weekends cost £315 pp (7thrise.co.uk). The Outdoor Educational Association, Field Studies Council, encourages everyone to leave tech at home before venturing into one of its three-day courses. Andy Pratt, who runs the FSC base in Somerset – a picturesque Tudor mansion on the edge of Exmoor – describes the courses as “the ultimate cure for lockdown boredom”.

He adds: ‘Learning a few survival skills, even if it’s as simple as cooking over an open fire, brings a sense of adventure and excitement and, let’s face it, isn’t that what it’s all about? the world is craving after months of home schooling!’ Prices start from £144 per person (field-studies-council.org).

The Family Foraging Kitchen is offering free classes to low-income families on the Rame Peninsula, pictured

The Family Foraging Kitchen is offering free classes to low-income families on the Rame Peninsula, pictured

If you’re short on time and money, head to the beautiful Rame Peninsula in Cornwall.

The Family foraging kitchen (familyforagingkitchen.co.uk) offers free classes for low-income families, otherwise it’s just £25 per adult while children and grandparents are free.

Collect seaweed from the beach on a coastal walk and learn how to cook it or grab a handful of dandelion greens to make a surprisingly delicious salad.

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