Threes of Survival

Survival situations may be rare but they happen.  When they do you need to be ready for them as it can me the difference between life and death.  One of the first things to consider in a survival situation is prioritization.  Priorities in a survival situation are what ensures that you are able to live.

As a guide for prioritization in survival situation the Rule of Threes was created.   Each one of these rules comes from research and experience to provide the best chance of survival.

You can survive

  • 3 Minutes Without Air
  • 3 Hours Without Shelter
  • 3 Days Without Water
  • 3 Weeks Without Food

3 Minutes Without Air

The average human can survive three minutes without air before they die.  For some humans, they can survive slightly longer than 3 minutes but only if given proper emergency medical attention.  In 3 minutes you can also die from freezing water.  In every case your first priority should be assuring the ability to breathe.

3 Hours Without Shelter

Harsh conditions can put a lot of stress on the human body and mind whether or not you are in a survival situation.  In a survival situation, it becomes increasingly important to find shelter.  The elements and conditions can make survival for more than three hours impossible.

For example, you might find that the climate is perfectly okay during the day but as soon as the sun starts to drop, the temperature goes with it.  In a lot of cases finding some place to get you out of the elements should be a top priority.  Shelter comes in a variety of different forms.

Shelter can come in various different forms.  From a cave, to an overhang, to a debris shelter.  Anything that can help protect you from the outdoors is what you are looking for.

3 Days Without Water

Our bodies use water to help keep itself functioning properly.  A lot of people are surprised when they learn that such a basic substance as water is actually partially responsible for the release of certain natural chemicals in the body.  Proper water consumption also helps us to keep cool, function properly, and helps to energize our minds/muscles/body.

Before being in a survival situation whether you are out backpacking or in your own house, you should make sure that you have a way to get water.  Depending on the specific circumstances of a survival situation you will likely find yourself needing a clean source of water.  One way to get that is to have water stockpiled.

If you are out in the wilderness stockpiling water is not usually an option, though.  Either way, stockpiling will only last you for so long.  Having water purification methods helps to ensure you will be hydrated for the duration of the incident.  One technique that I have been taught, and taught others, is boiling water with wood and rocks.  This method works really well for most circumstances.

Remember, that different circumstances will affect how much water you will need.  For example, extreme weather, increased exercise, and stress will all increase the amount of water you will need.

I suggest you read more and train in the proper purification of water.  Only a day or two of basic training in water purification can start the development of skills that can save your life.

3 Weeks Without Food

You can live for 3 weeks without food.  You probably shouldn’t go three weeks without food, it should be a priority during a survival situation.  As most of us know, food keeps us energized.  Our body uses the various nutrients and contents from food to help work.  The more food that you have, the better you will be able to handle a survival situation.

That all being said, you can go a lot longer without food than you can without any of the items on this list.  Typically, food will be your last priority during a survival situation.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep food in your mind as you work on your other priorities.  If you come across a chance to collect berries, hunt an animal, or otherwise gather food, do it.

There are a wide variety of ways to get food in the wilderness.  I have personally taken a class in foraging (still not that knowledgeable on it so I have several books), game processing, and trap making.  I am also knowledgeable in how to use a bow and a rifle.

Shifting Priorities

Do not let yourself get set on a certain set of priorities during a survival situation.  You may need to shift your priorities depending on the events that you come across.  For example, if you already have water, you might want to focus on food temporarily.  If you have shelter, you might want to move onto water.

While I don’t consider myself a prepper per say, I do believe it doesn’t hurt to have the knowledge needed to survive if the shit hits the fan as they say.  Plus most of this is fun to learn.  I enjoy spending time out in the wilderness if I can.  By reading this article you are doing the first step in preparing yourself for survival.  You are educating yourself.

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