In survival, prioritization is key; use the Rule of Three to get started. 

The Rule of Three has been talked about extensively in survival books, forums, and videos as of late, and for good reason. New preppers often ponder over the order in which survival supplies should be acquired, and the Rule of Three helps to take some of the guesswork out of the process. While there are several variations of the rule circulating around the web today, they all aim to provide a guideline for prioritizing your preps in a simple and practical way.

The Rule of Three

A human being can survive:

  • Three weeks without food
  • Three days without water
  • Three hours without shelter
  • Three minutes without air
  • Three seconds without HOPE

Three weeks without food:

The exact length of time a human can survive without food is often debated by scientists and can vary greatly from person to person. Therefore, the three week time limit is merely a guideline and should not be taken as nutritional advice. While securing food preps should certainly be a priority, most humans can survive quite a long time without them.

Three days without water:

Again, three days is simply a guideline and I certainly don’t suggest going this long without hydration. However, if faced with a survival situation there are more immediate concerns.

Three hours without shelter:

In many cases, humans can indeed survive a lot longer than three hours without shelter, if conditions are good. However, in freezing temperatures you can suffer from frostbite and fatal hypothermia within mere hours.

Three minutes without air:

The human body depends upon the free flow of oxygenated air in order to function properly. If breathing is constricted, you will like be rendered unconscious well before the three minute mark. After several minutes without air, cells begin to die and you will likely begin to suffer irreparable brain damage.

Three seconds without hope:

Okay, you aren’t going to simply drop dead after three seconds of hopelessness. However, hope is the single most powerful driving force in supporting your will to survive. Without hope, actions taken are rendered meaningless and you can be propelled into a state of inaction which will eventually kill you. Having tools and knowledge provides the hope that you can and will make it, and all of your subsequent actions are based on that hope.

Use the Rule of Three as a guideline to prioritizing your preps, beginning with the most pressing concerns and working down the list. Preparing in and of itself provides hope, and without hope you will not survive. Having air to breath means avoiding unnecessarily dangerous situations (i.e. river crossings) which can result in drowning or suffocation. If you find yourself in inclement weather, immediately secure shelter to avoid freezing to death. Within three days, ensure you’ve acquired clean drinking water, and then search for food.

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