This Information Could Save Your Life or the Lives of Those You Love
Often when people think of survival they think about food. This is only natural as most people associate survival with starving I know I used to for a long time.
However the truth of the matter is that other matters are far more important. Today we will talk about the Rule of Threes and not to keep you waiting here it is.
As a general guideline a person can live:
- 3 minutes without air.
- 3 hours without shelter.
- 3 days without water.
- 3 weeks without food.
- 3 months without hope.
Sometimes people will add 3 seconds without thinking but this is usually more for humor. I think what this means is to use your common sense and to be blunt not do anything stupid.
Now lets take a look at each of those statements.
3 minutes without air
This statement is pretty self explanatory. Though I myself can barely hold my breath for over a minute several people can do more. I’m not saying that people will stay conscious for at least three minutes but they should be able to recover if they can start breathing again within that time frame.
3 hours without shelter
This is a big one and tragically it is often the most overlooked. Hypothermia is a result of a loss of shelter. Winter temperatures often plunge below zero in the northern states. Without proper protection hypothermia will set in and cause a person’s body to shut down. Literally making the freeze to death.
In general three hours is the limit for someone to be exposed to the cold, although this number can change drastically with lower temperatures, if the person is wet, or if the person is wearing far too little clothing.
In times of cold it is important to create a shelter even something as small as a fire can radiant enough heat to keep a person alive. With more training a person can construct shelters to keep them alive in cold environments such as a bivvy made from tree bark and braches.
While freezing is one factor another factor is heatstroke and heat illness. A person can easily become overheated in the Southern states particularly those with desert like conditions.
Often it is best to get out of the sun seek shade and sleep until the night. That way one can travel during the dark when it is colder and sleep in the daytime when it is warmer.
Cody Lundin even devotes an entire book to the subject titled 98.6 Degrees The Art of Keeping Your Butt Alive.
(he uses a three letter word instead of butt for the shock value but I like to refrain from vulgar language)
3 days without water
This one is pretty basic and like air if you’re not getting enough you tend to know. However water can be dangerous if collected from poor sources. It should be boiled and treated with chlorine tablets anytime you find it in the wilderness.
New advancements in water filters have given water filters the ability to treat water to keep it safe for consumption. These new filters can fit easily in a small pack. Katadyn has a high quality line of water filters.
3 weeks without food
One can live a long time without food if needed provided they weren’t already malnourished. However being shipwrecked or in an unforeseen situation it is entirely plausible. I keep a well stocked pantry in my home in the event of infrastructure collapse and an emergency food bar in my backpack.
3 months without hope
Without hope life is tough. It is amazing what people can and have survived. I think this one is more of a guess than all the others but I do believe it still has merit.
These are basic ideas, different situations must be treated differently. Remember to always keep your head.
As Douglas Adams would say, don’t panic