Rule of Threes (3)

When taking excursions into the wilderness, our survival school teaches the idiom “Rule of Threes” to remind our students how to order their priorities:

• You can survive three (3) minutes with severe bleeding or in icy water.
• You can survive three (3) hours without shelter to control heat loss
• You can survive three (3) days without water
• You can survive three (3) weeks without food
• You can survive three (3) months without hope

The first priority after finding yourself lost in the wilderness is first aid. Look after any severe bleeding or conditions that would put you into shock. You will only survive for minutes if you are bleeding out or have any other condition that could put you into shock.

Once you’ve taken care of first aid for yourself and others, you need to determine if the outside conditions will lead to heat loss.  First, consider your clothing, then put together a shelter to protect against the elements. Building a fire is an important part of this “Rule of Threes” as you may also need a fire to warm your core body temperature.

Once first aid and shelter are taken care of, you need to start thinking about water. Without water (even for just one day) you will start to become sluggish and disoriented.

We can go a long time without food. Usually, it is not important for survival during the first week. However, without food, we become sluggish and have more difficulty when trying to reason. Having food can also motivate your spirit and increase your will to survive.

Finally, the will to survive is the most important asset you can lose in the wilderness. The will to survive, then along with the knowledge of what to do and having practiced skills can keep you alive long past the critical 72 hours that search and rescue would expect to find you. However, even with the knowledge and skills, after 3 months people can lose hope and their will to survive vanishes. Humans are social animals; even the most introverted need companionship. We can’t survive without at least the hope of reconnecting.

Trail Blazer Survival School can help you learn and practice the wilderness survival skills you need and teach you how to increase your chances of being found should you become lost in the wilderness. Click Here to Learn More!