Off-Road Vehicle Recovery and Kids
Many of us have kids, want kids, or know someone with kids, and being off-road enthusiasts, the kids will inevitably be a part of the adventure. Here at GearAmerica, we always stress that safety comes first in any off-road recovery. Adding small kids to the picture can add another element of danger and stress if not properly addressed. We love kids! Let’s keep them busy and safe in any recovery situation!
Have a Plan
Nobody plans to get stuck, slide off a trail, or get into a situation that requires recovery extraction. Having a plan BEFORE the situation arises can be instrumental in keeping kids safe. Young kids can and will panic if they are in situation that they perceive as dangerous or scary. Be straight up with the kids and let them know there may be a situation that requires digging, winching or towing someone out, and its part of life off-road. Nothing to be scared of! Let them know what potential situations can occur, and what tools you have ready to help. Knowing that mom and dad have the right tools for the job and a plan to use them will lessen the anxiety if a recovery is needed on the trip.
Give them a job
Some kids like to be involved when there is work to do. Wanting to help sometimes goes hand-in-hand with getting in the way. This can lead to dangerous situations. This is no fault of your or the kids, but it just happens sometimes. A great way to handle this before it happens is to assign jobs to the kids. For example, show one of the kids where the tow strap is kept, and let them know when the vehicle is stopped and everyone safely exits, their job is to get the tow strap and hand it to you. Maybe the older child’s job is to hold the hand of the younger child and stand clear. Little jobs make the youngsters feel important and builds self-confidence. Remember, mitigating stress and panic in a sticky situation is a huge plus with kids around.
Sometimes kids are too little to have a job, or get it done quick, and are left with nothing to do while the recovery is underway. Always have strategic placement in mind when it comes to the physical location of kids. Keep back more than the length of the longest strap. Stand uphill of the recovery out of harm’s way. If the situation feels like it is becoming too dangerous, designate one person or older child to take the kids on a short walk within sight of the recovery. You’re the adult. Scan the surroundings around the recovery and think about all the possible dangers…and keep the kids out of that zone.
Plan for the plan not to work
Always have a backup plan. Kids will be kids. You’ve assigned a job, talked to them about what could happen, addressed their strategic location, but they are still either too curious or maybe not listening. I know…kids ALWAYS listen, right? Well, when all else fails, occupy their time with a toy, game or find some other fun thing to do. Off-road vehicle recovery may be a good time for the adults with mud and grease in our veins, but kids will have a mind of their own, so be prepared to have all of the best laid plans fall through. It happens.
Remember, It’s all good!
Try these ideas out with the kids. Some will embrace them, other will be a handful. What it all comes down to is safety. Have fun, get stuck, get unstuck. Use common sense. Use high quality GearAmerica gear. It gets countless hours of R&D and testing so we can provide the safest gear for any situation. Ultimately, we are all in this to have fun, which is why we bring our kids on adventures. Let’s show them the fun of being outdoors and the challenges of off-road life!
GearAmerica was founded with kids in mind. That’s why we test all products for safety, and we donate 10% of all purchases to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, so even if you don’t have kids, you are helping them!