If you've ever lived near a popular hiking spot you've no doubt heard reports of search efforts for missing hikers. At Saratoga Spa State Park in upstate New York, environmental educators want to ensure that the children who explore the natural setting don't end up being the focus of one of those news reports. Paul Post of the Troy Record writes about Saratoga Spa's "Hug a Tree" classes, in which kids are taught valuable lessons about what to do when lost in the woods:

"The first thing children should do, if separated from parents or a group, is find a good-sized tree and stay right there until help comes instead of wandering aimlessly, especially after dark when the possibility increases of falling and getting hurt... Using an instructional film, she showed kids how ordinary objects such as a garbage bag, whistle and aluminum foil can make the difference between a happy or tragic ending to such episodes."

Post writes that the class also teaches the value of wearing bright clothing, carrying a pocket mirror, and learning how to make a reflector to assist rescuers. Check out the full piece (linked below) and let us know if you have any of your own survival tips.

Read more at Troy Record

Photo credit: MCarper / Shutterstock