After taking the initiative to teach your little guy or gal responsibility by introducing him or her to shooting, your next step can be teaching independence. Give your child 1 item to be responsible for – his or her very own range bag
Below are 10 “must haves” for your little one’s range bag.
Every child needs hearing protection on the range. It would be simple to throw a pair of foam earplugs into your child’s range bag, but those aren’t sufficient protection from the percussion generated by most firearms. LG and I recommend investing in a good set of shooting muffs for your youngster.
We appreciate muffs that have electronics/speakers in them, so when we’re giving instruction, the children can hear what is being said.
If you do buy shooting muffs with electronics, teach your child the responsibility of turning the hearing protection off when it is returned to the range bag. Always have an extra set of batteries in your child’s shooting bag, just in case “someone” left the muffs on and the batteries drained.
An inexpensive multi-tool can make your child feel important as he or she uses it to install new batteries into the muffs. It will also come in handy for removing staples from targets and other important range chores.
Every child needs eye protection when participating in shooting sports. Look into something that fits your kiddo’s head, is fog proof and has a carrying case for protection. Even if you buy an inexpensive pair, try to teach your child to care for the lenses, so they don’t get scratched. In fact, you might want to pick up a special cleaning cloth or some lens wipes.
A hat is helpful in blocking the sun from obscuring a shooter’s view of the target. It will also protect your child’s skin from dangerous sunburn, and keep unruly hair out of their eyes. A hat can block flying cartridge cases, too.
Speaking of dangerous sunburns, you should always keep sunscreen in your range bag, and it’s a good idea to teach your child to use it as well. Put sunscreen in their range bags and remind them to put it on before they shoot. Look for a high SPF type that is not sticky, and won’t drip if they sweat.
Nothing ruins a day at the range faster than being attacked by mosquitos. Add bug spray to your child’s range bag.
Did someone say lunch? It seems another angry interferer at the range can be a hungry belly. We don’t recommend eating while you are shooting, but if your child has an all-day shoot, or gets a break, he or she may want to eat a quick snack to keep blood sugar levels up. See below. Step away from the firing line and see the tip below.
Before allowing your youngster to eat a snack,clean his or her hands of gunpowder residue with a sanitizing wipe. The cloths also come in handy for wiping sweat and even gunpowder off your child’s face. You can purchase special wipes for range use, that concentrate on getting the lead off.
A water bottle is important any day of the week, even if you’re not at the range. However, hydration on a hot day can keep your child’s eyes focusing on the target and reduce fatigue. Always remember to pack a water bottle.
Depending on your child’s age, you may add ammunition, targets, staple guns and other items to the range bag. You know your child better than anyone else, so you can be the judge of what is included. No matter what, LG and I ask that you keep safety at the forefront.
The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women. View all posts by The WON
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