If you find yourself in a survival situation where you’re cut off from help for any prolonged period with limited resources, don’t panic. Your first move is sorting the four basic survival elements:
- Shelter. A shelter is built to offer protection from weather conditions and from high temperature or cold temperatures (depending on when/where you’re). Hypothermia and hyperthermia are 2 of the greatest hazards in a survival situation. An appropriate shelter can protect you against these situations. For instance: in cold weather, the shelter insulate you from the cold while in the hot months, your objective is to stay shaded from sun’s rays.
- Water. Water is the most crucial source of nourishment for the human body. Having an adequate quantity of water along with a shelter, you can easily survive for weeks.
- Fire. Fire gives you heat and light, purifies water, makes the meat edible, it allows you to build tools and finally you can use fire to make signals.
- Food. If you’re in good shape, you can go for up 3 weeks without food. Your objective in a wilderness survival situation is to be found in a short amount of time, so typically you will be found well before food becomes a survival problem. Obtaining food includes knowledge of edible plants, tracking, stalking, trapping, hunting and fishing.
Do you have to be concerned first about fire, shelter, water or food? To determine in what sequence you must deal with the basic priorities of survival, you should use the survival rule of 3:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
- 3 months without hope
Remember: the survival rule of 3 is just a mnemonic aid, you’ve to adapt it to your specific situation.
2 final tips:
- Assemble your survival kit using the four basic survival elements as your compass.
- Learn and practice few basic techniques for each of the four basic survival elements: shelter, water, fire and food.