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Nature Near You highlights backyard survival

By Staff | Jun 11, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Educators challenged Nature Near You participants to spend a weekend camping in their backyards.

The 10th week of Nature Near You, the Sanibel Sea School’s e-newsletter, featured backyard activities to learn about survival skills.

Through emails delivered at 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Nature Near You participants learned about essential tools and skills that can be used in survival situations, such as solar stills and shelter building. Understanding how to protect yourself by finding essential resources, such as water and shelter, is vital in any survival scenario. Participants went on an adventure imagining they were stranded in their backyards and learned how to adapt and survive.

Fresh water is the most important resource a person needs for survival. There are many different ways to find and purify water in the wilderness, but we chose to take a closer look at a backyard friendly method. On May 25, participants learned how to build a solar still, which is a contraption that uses the sun’s rays and condensation to collect water.

“It is important to note that solar stills only collect a small amount of water over time,” Marine Science Educator Sam Galindo said, recommending finding a more dependable source in a survival situation.

Shelter is one of the main basic needs that humans and other animals need to survive. On May 27, participants learned all about shelter building, the different types of wilderness shelters you can build, and why it is so important to have a place to retreat from the elements. Educators shared some essential characteristics to build successful shelters, such as having a dry flat ground or finding a location that is not directly under precarious tree limbs. Marine Science Educator Sam Lucas challenged participants to build their own tepee shelter in their backyard – using only natural materials.

On May 29, it was time to put our survival skills to the test by taking the Sanibel Sea School survival challenge. The challenge built upon the knowledge participants gained over the week and harnessed critical thinking skills to make decisions about specific items during a survival situation. After, it was time for a little fun, so in the spirit of “backyard survival” participants were encouraged to get out over the weekend and camp in their backyards.

While we hope to never find ourselves in a survival situation, it is always a good idea to know a few basic survival skills. It is important to at least know what resources are needed and understand a few different methods to acquire those resources. It was fun to use our imaginations and play around with different scenarios to learn our new skills.

Nature Near You will continue once weekly through June and be delivered via email.

To join the mailing list, email info@sanibelseaschool.org.

The content can also be accessed at www.sanibelseaschool.org/nature-near-you.

Nature Near You is the Sanibel Sea School’s offering for the community. To help support its efforts, visit www.sanibelseaschool.org/support-the-cause or email info@sanibelseaschool.org for information.

Part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation family, the Sanibel Sea School’s mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.