Rule of 3 for Survival


(Modern – According to the Rule of 3, which do you need to get first when stranded in a harsh environment?

  • Water
  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Signals

ANSWER: Shelter. Here’s why…

In the survival world, the rule of three is one of the first pieces of knowledge that everyone should memorize. Knowing the rule will help you prioritize your needs in an emergency situation — and keep you from making potentially fatal mistakes.

It doesn’t matter what kind of emergency you’re facing; the rule of three will help ensure your survival in any situation. So what is the rule of three?

In the following video, City Prepping breaks down the rule of three, and explains how it can be used in any survival scenario:

According to the rule of three, you can survive up to:

  • Three minutes with no air.
  • Three hours with no shelter.
  • Three days with no water.
  • Three weeks with no food.
  • Three months with no hope.

Survival Essential #1: Air

Oxygen is the most important factor in survival. Without breathable air, death will occur in as little as three minutes. Seconds count in an environment without air, such as a structure fire where a building is quickly filling with smoke, or underwater. In smoke, a wet cloth can serve as a makeshift filter to breathe through in a pinch, but you’ll still need to find a source of fresh air quickly. If you’re underwater, you will need to quickly reach the surface or find a pocket of air (in a sinking ship, for example).

Survival Essential #2: Shelter

Once you’ve located breathable air, the next thing to prioritize is shelter. The human body cannot withstand the elements of nature on its own. Temperature changes, bad weather, and even the wind can all prove deadly without a way to protect your body.

Survival Essential #3: Water

The next priority is water. Your vital organs depend on water to function properly, and without it, they begin to shut down. Finding drinkable water to keep the body functioning is important. At the onset of an emergency, you may want to fill bathtubs and sinks with water to have a backup in case the utilities become disrupted for days or even weeks.

Survival Essential #4: Food

After the previous three items have been taken care of, then it’s time to focus on finding food. The body can last significantly longer without food than it can water, but providing the nutrients to keep it functioning will be necessary. This is why survivalists stockpile food rations. If the supply chain fails and grocery stores run dry, you’ll still need to be able to eat.

Survival Essential #5: Hope

The last item in the rule of three is hope. The rule is three months without hope, but this can vary based on the individual and their level of grit. Losing hope will crush your spirit and make finding the motivation to survive difficult. This is exactly why so many preppers work on developing the “survival mindset” prior to facing a disaster. If you’ve ever watched a survival show such as Alone, more often than not, the contestants quit because their minds give out before their bodies do.

Memorizing the rule of three can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. It will give you the clarity required to focus on one task at a time, in the correct order of priority.

For more information on how to maintain hope in a survival situation, click here.

~Here’s to Your Survival!

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