Program 3: Are You a Survivor? Surviving the Texas Outback

Time of program

50 minutes

Program Description

In this program, teens will learn about camping, camping gear, and camp sites in Texas.


Call a local camping store such as REI, Whole Earth Provision Company, Academy, and invite them to give a presentation on "survival skills" related to camping in Texas. Topics might include camping gear, how to use a compass, good locations for camping in Texas, and food and cooking. If a guest presenter is not available to present the program, research the topic and present it yourself, or invite an experienced camper in your community.


Cover a bulletin board with a large, colorful map of the Texas. Create forms for teens to fill out inquiring where they want to visit. Display the completed forms and place a pushpin or sticker on the map for each destination listed. Acquire and display posters from Texas Parks and Wildlife at





Grade (will be attending in the fall):


Zip Code: ____________________________

Where would you want to go on a outdoor vacation in Texas?

______The Coast

______Big Bend National Park

______Guadalupe Mountains National Park

______Lost Maples State Natural Area

Other: ___________________

Additional Activities

How to Use a Compass

Teach compass skills and set up an "urban" adventure. Place teens in small groups and have them use a compass to reach a certain destination near the library. Directions for using a compass may be found at Kjetil Kjernsmo's Illustrated Guide on How to Use a Compass at

How to make GORP (Good Old Raisins and Peanuts)

Packing light is essential when exploring. What is the best thing to bring along that is packed with nutrition and calories for long hours of hiking? GORP! Buy ingredients and have teens combine them and enjoy eating GORP after their compass exercise. A recipe is on GORP: Great Outdoor Recreation Page at

Travel Texas

Search the Internet and request catalogs from Texas travel agencies. Order them at least 6 months in advance to ensure arrival. Display them and let the teens browse through them before and after the program.

Books to Display

  • The Complete Wilderness Training Book: Field Skills for Adventure in the Outdoors by Hugh McManners.
  • The Encyclopedia of Survival Techniques by Alexander Stilwell.
  • Hiking and Backpacking Trails of Texas: Walking, Hiking and Biking Trails for All Ages and Abilities by Mildred J. Little and Mickey Little.
  • Using a Map and Compass by Don Geary.

Books to Booktalk

  • The Best of Outside Magazine: The First 20 Years edited by Edward Abbey.
  • Canyons by Gary Paulsen.
  • Far North by Will Hobbs.


Outside Magazine.
Mariah Media, 400 Market Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501.
Connecting people to the world outdoors.

Texas Parks and Wildlife: The Outdoor Magazine of Texas.
Texas Parks and Wildlife. 4200 Smith School Road Austin, TX 78704.
Articles about every facet of outdoor recreation: fishing, hunting, camping, birding, boating, traveling and more. Information about state parks, environmental issues and events taking place all across the state of Texas.


Destinations: The Best of Texas Parks and Wildlife. (49 minutes)

Web Sites

GORP: Great Outdoor Recreation Page
This site was founded in 1995 by two nature enthusiasts to help people research their desired outdoor destination more easily. GORP has information on exotic trips as well as the "back yard" trips. "Today," according to media metrix, "GORP is the largest and most trafficked Web site dedicated to outdoor recreation and adventure travel." GORP has more than 100,000 pages!

Kjetil Kjernsmo's illustrated guide on How to Use a Compass
Easy to follow exercises on how to use a compass.

Texas Parks and Wildlife
The mission statement of Texas Parks and Wildlife is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Check the "Kid's and Adventure" web pages.


Texas Reading Club 2002 Programming Manual / Read Across Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011