In a survival situation, you have to assess your surroundings and deal with the most immediate problem first. For example, if the weather is worsening, it’s time to construct a shelter or build a fire. On the other hand, if the weather is agreeable, but you are low on potable water, then it’s time to collect more water.
We can inform our decision-making process in survival scenarios by following survival rules. An essential survival rule is
“the rule of threes.” The rule of three as it pertains to survival contains the following guidelines:
If you are interested in how to make the best decisions possible during an intense survival scenario, keep reading to learn more about the rule of three, as well as other survival rules and priorities.
The rule of three for survival helps highlight what priorities we should worry about first in the case of SHTF. Obviously, clean air is first on the list. For example, in a house fire, your priority is to evacuate and get to a place with clean, breathable air. You won’t be trying to collect emergency food buckets if you asphyxiate from the smoke in three minutes.
Next is a safe shelter. Proper shelters insulate us from insects, wild animals, and, most importantly, harsh weather. In survival scenarios, exposure to extreme weather can cause injury or, worse, death. Falling ill from too much sun exposure during a heat wave or going hypothermic in the winter can knock us out quicker than going days without water.
If you have clean air and a safe shelter, the next thing you should worry about is water. Prepping water for survival scenarios is extremely important. On the other hand, if you are on the go, you will have to find new water sources. In this case, we always recommend having at least two water treatment strategies, depending on the scenario.
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Out of all the survival priorities, you can survive the longest without food. Therefore, you can worry about food once you construct or secure a shelter and a good water source. If you are bugging out and living out of your bug-out bag, bringing food with you will be critical. Backpacking food storage solutions are perfect for eating on the go.
You Can Survive…
● With severe bleeding
● In icy water
● Without breathing
● With cardiac arrest
● Exposed to extreme heat
● Exposed to extreme cold
● Without adequate drinking water
● Without an adequate food source
Clean air, shelter, water, and food take top priority during survival situations. However, once you have a handle on those, it’s crucial to consider other important survival priorities.
Building a shelter is an effective strategy for providing warmth and maintaining a safe body temperature. Having proper clothing for the local climate is another critical survival rule. But the most important is fire.
Fires are essential to survival. For example, fire can help keep you warm, dry wet clothes, treat water, melt snow for drinking water, signal rescuers, produce light, heat food and drink, and boost morale.
In an ideal world, your survival kit will have multiple tools for making a fire—for example, flint and a box of matches. But you can also start a fire without matches and can find alternate heat sources.
Administering first aid to yourself or to another person in your survival group is inevitable. Being prepared with a fully stocked first aid kit and adequate first aid training and knowledge will take you far in a survival scenario.
When caring for an injured person, it’s important to remember
the ABCDs of survival.
Some survival experts argue that it only takes three seconds to make a poor decision. That is why staying calm and assessing your situation is critical. Maintaining a positive attitude is part of making smart decisions in a survival scenario.
Assessing and fixing problems with an optimistic mindset focused on finding a solution instead of dwelling on the problem can be hard to accomplish in a stressful survival situation. The acronym S.T.O.P. helps teach this concept.
But remember, survival is a state of mind. And part of that mindset is staying focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, not the darkness surrounding you.
A commitment to live, refusal to give up, and positive mindset significantly increase the chances of survival.
Signaling is not as essential as clean air, shelter, water, or food. With that being said, you never know when the next time to signal for help will come. That is why you should be ready to signal for help at any given moment.
Having multiple ways to signal for help while you are
survival camping should be one of your priorities.
If SHTF and you are thrown into a survival situation, you can guarantee that life will transform into a much more complex scenario than you’re probably accustomed to. Injuries may worsen, and you might be in pain. And even if you haven’t been injured, your worries and anxieties about survival may increase.
Most survivors of dire situations report that nighttime was when they felt the saddest and most unmotivated. When you find yourself at a low point, you have to find a way to boost your morale and stay motivated.
One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set goals and accomplish survival tasks. When defining goals you want to accomplish, we recommend you use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.
For example, an ill-defined goal could be, “I want to collect and treat water today.” On the other hand, a S.M.A.R.T. goal during a survival scenario could be, “I want to collect and treat one gallon of water before the sun goes down.”
Visualize accomplishing tasks and fulfilling your basic survival necessities. You can enrich your visualizations by focusing on your five senses. Proper visualization will help you strengthen your motivations for accomplishing your goals.
Mindfulness is an excellent coping strategy. Focusing on the moment and purposely paying attention to the details of your situation will help you survive.
Inspiring mantras or mottos can be an essential source of strength in dire situations. Short and personal mantras will help empower you and keep your mind occupied positively. Some mantras we've employed in the past include:
Every survival situation is different. That is why the survival rules and priorities we presented should be used as guidelines. It will be up to you to assess the situation and use common sense to determine what you or your survival group should prioritize to survive.
However, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend prioritizing based on what’s most important: