Survival rule of 3’s

For those of you, like me, learned the rule of 3’s years ago. There were only 3 rules of 3. (1) 3minutes without air, (2) 3 days without water, (3) 3 weeks without food.  3 rules of 3. Today there have been 2 additions. So the rule is like this…..(1) 3 minutes without air, (2) 3 hours without shelter, (3) 3 days without water, (4) 3 weeks without food, (5) 3 months without hope/human contact. The additions are justifiable dispite what may have been taught years ago. So lets look at the “rules”.

First…. 3 minutes without air. Pretty simple, keep breathing. LOL  But in the case of drowning or choking, outside assistance is needed. Having yourself and those that you may be traveling with knowing how to render first aid for those situations is probably a good idea. Rescue breathing/CPR as well as the Heimlich maneuver. There is ways to preform the Heimlich on yourself as well. But remember to not bite off more than you can chew. Seems simple till your starving.

Second….3 hours without shelter. One of the newer additions.  Shelter has 2 main parts. first is getting out of the elements, and second is regulating body heat. Shelter may do that in a hot environment, but in the cold, you need a fire. For the heat, dehydration, sunburn and exposure are some risks to consider. A sever sunburn is very painful and debilitating, as well as compromising your immune system. So your open to more illnesses and infections. In the cold, dehydration/exposure are still risks.  Frost bite is another risk, but probably the number 1 killer in cold weather is hypothermia. knowing the signs in yourself and your traveling companions is very important. Its easy to just “man up” and ignore the signs in yourself as well as your traveling companions. It’s human nature to “be tough” and trudge on.  So  educate yourself on the signs as well as the steps to take if it occurs. Back in my scouting days, They would say you could become hypothermic and just walk off a cliff. Hypothermia will first affect your fine motor skills as well as speech. Once it really sets in, it affects your thinking. Thus “walk off a cliff”.

Third…. 3 days without water.  That’s the rule. Like all the rules, They depend. They depend on all factors involved. I know I have been out on planned events and gone through a gallon of water just processing wood. Conservation and efficiency are 2 big factors. Both depend on your knowledge and experience. Much could be said on this and probably will be in another post. But in a survival situation, 72 hours/ 3 days is key. Usually if you get lost, your found within 3 days. So conservation of resources and energy are crucial in the first 3 days. Having knowledge about finding and making water potable is a good idea. But with most water borne illnesses, they take 3 to 7 days to “incubate”. That gives you time for rescue and treatment with modern medicine. But knowledge about water and being equipped to make it potable is another good idea.

Fourth…. 3 weeks without food. Yet another case of “most people that get lost” are found within 3 days. Most survival courses don’t teach how to find food because the risk is to great to eat the wrong thing. Just wait for rescue. Taking into consideration the 3 day rescue, food and water become a judgement call. Both are great ideas to educate yourself on, but the importance drops off with those considerations.

Fifth… 3 months without hope/ human contact. So if you have prepared and educated yourself to survive past week 3, how will you fare at 3 months? This battle starts on day 1. It slowly builds till your breaking point. That one will greatly differ from one person to the next. You never know what your breaking point is till you’ve faced it. I’ve been through my trials and tribulations with reguards to isolation. For me to give first hand advice probably wouldn’t be helpful. LOL. (that’s my private story).  I will say, isolation will mess with your head. At the time of this post, the was a guy that spent 13 months lost at sea. He watched his partner die. He considered “punching out” himself. (suicide) Not much has been said beyond that so far. I will say on my account that staying busy affecting your survival, doing the tasks to maintain life will help. As for my research on the subject, concentrating on seeing family/ loved ones again, as well as meditation, are some recommended steps to take. Other than that, do what you have to do to keep on keeping on.

These rules are a good guideline to prioritizing what you need to concentrate on most in a survival situation. Considering most people are found in the first 3 days, breathing, shelter, and fire are the main elements of survival. Very minimalistic. Water, food and contact are possibilities to be aware of but less of a concern.

This is just the basics and it is up to you to asses your risks and prepare for what ever situation you feel you may encounter. Then prepare for the next step beyond that. Have multiple sources for your research to be prepared for whatever you may encounter.

I hope this was thought provoking and educational. Its always a learning process. So thanks for taking the time to read, like and subscribe, here and my youtube channel.   http://www.youtube.com/user/VACreepinOutdoors

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