Q1) I keep very close track of my children in the wilderness. They have never been lost and I doubt they ever will—and they carry cell phones–so why do they actually need a Buddy Pack?
A1) Keeping close track of your children is no guarantee that they won’t get lost.  And if they do, then what?  Do they remember what you told them to do?  Do you know what they will do?  Are they prepared?
As for cell phones: in the wilderness, they often lack coverage or lose power.  They are not a wise substitute for knowledge, skill, and the right tools. The Buddy Pack, with the help of the Parent Guide, gives your child training, skill practice, and the right tools.

Q2) Why should I buy a Buddy Pack instead of collecting similar items from home or buying them myself?
A2) First of all, these specific items have been very carefully tested and selected because they work for children.  They are easy for a child to use and require very little maintenance.  If you bought them separately you would spend more than the price of the Buddy Pack.
Second, the Reflective Locator Ribbon is our own creation and would be expensive to duplicate.
Third, the Parent Guide and the Picture Card are copyrighted and are critical to the Buddy Pack.  Education, practice, and action all depend on these two items.
If that is not enough reason to buy it, having a Buddy Pack allows (but does not require) your child to:

  1. Develop leadership skills by becoming the Buddy Pack Team Leader among  their outdoor adventure friends,
  2. Develop knowledge of the outdoors by taking a turn writing a monthly message about wilderness skills on the website,
  3. Join the “Courage Club” by demonstrating bravery instead of fear when faced with something scary. (See Home Page for details of these options.)

Q3) Why did you select these specific items for the Buddy Pack?

A3) The Waist Pack: it is specifically designed for Buddy Packs, is easy to use, and comfortable for any age child so they can “forget about it” when they are wearing it and therefore keep it on and available.  It is made of durable fabric and zippers, a quick release buckle, and adjustable waist belt.

  • The Fox 40 Micro Whistle: Many whistles were tried out by children to see which was easiest to blow and made the loudest noise.  This whistle was selected for both reasons.  Some other whistles are probably just as loud, but a child can make the loudest noise with this one because of the shape of the mouthpiece.  Also,
    It is small and flat, with no pressure points
    It has no moving parts to freeze, jam, or deteriorate
    It is flawless, consistent and reliable
    The harder you blow, the louder the sound
    It is easy to blow and cannot be overblown
    Chambers are designed to self-clear when submerged in water
    It will be heard above ambient noise, loud crowds, the roar of engines, breaking waves and thundering gale-force winds
    It is a 3-chamber pealess whistle with a sound power of 110 dB
  • Survive Outdoors Longer (SOL) Emergency Blanket: This blanket is the most advanced emergency blanket available and is meant to be used over and over again.  It is durable and large enough (84” by 56”) for a child to wrap up in.  It:
    Reflects 90% of body heat
    Opens and refolds easily (see Parent Guide for instructions)
    Will not shred and is easy to repair
    Is quiet and won’t crinkle in high winds
    Its high visibility orange and silver make it easy for rescuers to find you
    Survival tips are printed on blanket
  • LifeGear Glow Mini Flashlight: if your first reaction to this flashlight is, “there are lots of flashlights stronger than this,” you’re right.  But this one was chosen because:
    It is easy for a child to turn on
    Includes a long-lasting LED battery
    Has an automatic turn-off switch at 30 minutes
    Has 5 lighting modes, the last of which will burn for 100 hours.
    We have added an elastic wristband to make it easy for the child to always know where it is.
  • 12 oz. Clear PET plastic bottle.  Chosen to fit comfortably in the Pack, and stay centered and balanced.
    Remember that this water bottle is to be kept full and in the Buddy Pack.

Q4) It was mentioned that other items can be added as the child is ready. What are these, and how old does a child have to be to include them in their Pack?

A4) We have a list and options to buy on this website.  We do feel, however, that simplicity and safety are of prime importance in a child’s wilderness survival kit.
A few items we recommend that you could add to your Child’s Buddy Pack are:

  •  A poncho: 
    • Staying dry to maintain body heat and drinking enough water will have a big impact on survival. Using a poncho and the survival blanket together are difficult for a young child to manage.  Have them practice with a poncho (or similar item) and the blanket together, and you will know when your child is ready.
  • Water purification:
    • The simplest water purification method we have found could easily be used with a little practice by a child age 7 or 8.
  • Matches/lighter/fire starters
  • Pocket Knife
    • FYI:  Many organized outdoor programs do not introduce pocket knives and fire-building tools until age 10
  • Rope
  • Compass
  • Signal Mirror

 PLEASE NOTE: Be careful not to overload and over complicate your child’s Buddy Pack.  If you think about it, what they really need is there already.

Q5) How can I make suggestions to help continue improving this wonderful product?

A5) At Buddy Packs, we learn and grow by listening to our customers! We invite your comments, suggestions, and requests. Please use the quick form on the right side of this page or go to our “Contact Us” page and fill out the form.  We will listen and respond to you as soon as possible.