• Nearly 80% of parents think outdoor skills are dying out
  • Despite wanting to teach their children, 48% of parents lack confidence to teach kids basic outdoor skills including map reading
  • Vauxhall challenged James Cracknell and family to go back to basics and rediscover the UK’s top lost skills with the new Combo Life

In an age where children spend more time roaming their screens than the outside world, over 50% of parents say their children have no outdoor skills, according to new research from Vauxhall Motors. The research was conducted by One Poll in September 2018, surveying 2,000 parents of children 0-13 years old in the UK.

Lighting a fire and map reading were some of the highest-rated outdoor activities that parents said their children didn’t know, and while parents claim they think it’s important to teach their kids these skills, almost half admit they wouldn’t feel confident teaching them the basics including reading a map or identifying a flower. Indeed, nearly 60% admit they’d turn to the internet to show them the basics, and 32% would rely on their grandparents to show them what to do.

The top ten outdoor skills parents feel are dying out:

  • Map Reading
  • Reading a compass
  • Identifying flowers
  • Lighting a campfire
  • Bird watching
  • Foraging
  • Putting up a tent
  • Tying a knot
  • Fishing
  • Toasting marshmallows

To inspire families to rediscover these dying skills, Vauxhall has teamed up with adventurer and Olympian James Cracknell to encourage parents to get their kids roaming for real and reignite their passion for the outdoors – just in time for the half term.

James and his two children, Kiki (9) and Trixie (7), put down their tablets and took to the Great British outdoors to try their hand at some of the nation’s top lost skills, and to help, we gave them our brand new versatile and practical vehicle, the Combo Life, perfect for getting out & about with the family.

Speaking about their adventure, James said: “We all lead such busy lives, and for us as a family it’s really important to get outside for some quality time together, whether it’s jumping in the car for a Sunday adventure in the country or a weekend away at our house in North Devon. It’s been great to explore more of the outdoors with my girls, and showing them a few skills has shown them how much fun you can have when you go back to basics.”

James Cracknell has also come up with his own ‘how-to tips’ for some easy outdoor activities with the family… for instance, here’s how you can light your own real campfire outside:

  • Choose an area away from overhanging trees or bushes, and make sure you don’t let the fire get too big.
  • Collect your firewood – grab a mixture of small sticks or leaves (known as tinder) for the base, and bigger, dry sticks (kindling) for the top
  • Arrange your kindling over a base of the dry leaves/sticks
  • Light your fire. This is one for the parents (with children’s supervision!). Grab your matches or a spark to light the tinder. Be careful – the flames get very hot
  • Now you’ve got your fire burning, it’s time to toast your marshmallows. Enjoy with a hot chocolate for the perfect campfire experience.

Across the nation, families are eager to head to the great outdoors and set up camp, with ‘putting up a tent’ one the highest rated skills parents want their children to learn. Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons, the Pennines or the Peak District are the perfect place to pitch up - there is an abundance of scenic countryside in the UK to pitch up camp and enjoy the great outdoors.

With 64% of families opting to jump in the car for a family day out, the new Combo Life comes with an abundance of storage, ample boot space, high levels of safety equipment and enough room for the whole family, as well as the state of the art touchscreen infotainment system (including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™) making it the perfect partner for a family weekend away.

For more about the new Combo Life come along to our Wrexham showroom and have a prod!