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fire

2 Biggest Mistakes When Building a Fire

From time to time, it happens that you do not devote enough time to set up a fire and this lack of focus and effort will result in issues to keep the fire burning.
A fire survives thanks to the fire triangle (oxygen, heat and fuel): when one of these elements is missing, the fire goes out shortly.

If you’ve collected the right amount of tinder, kindling and well dried fuel wood, all you need to do is to obtain the right balance between air and heat. And now i’ll tell you the secret: you can find the right balance by leaving enough space (but not too much) between the logs.

Mistake #1: The Wood is Too Tight

If you’ve packed the wood too tight, it does not have sufficient oxygen to support the heat, therefore the temperature drops and the fire will go out.

Blowing air would keep your fire burning however it is a very inefficient way of managing your fire.

To correct this problem, try to create more space by pushing away the pieces with a green stick. To avoid completely the problem, make your fire over a green wood grid leaving an air space beneath the burning pieces.

Mistake #2: The Wood is Too Far Apart

If you place the logs too far apart, the heat is lost and the temperature is not sufficient to keep a fire burning.

To fix this issue, add kindling between the fire wood. As the kindling gets fire, put more kindling and then add wood fuel.

Sometimes you start with the appropriate distance but just because the wood is burning, the space will increase. Stoke the fire by moving the remaining wood closer or by adding more fuel.

 

Paying attention to the space between wood fuel before starting a fire and during its lifespan, you’ll avoid to waste your energy to light it again.

Remember: maintaining a fire is lot easier than starting a new one.

 

wigwam

Comfort Inn Shelters

The thought of living in a long term shelter may not bring up an image of comfort, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to live comfortably in a long term shelter. (Pardon the triple negative.)

First, consider which type of shelter you’ll be residing in. Details such as the shape of your shelter will strongly affect how comfortable it will be.

  • “Tee-pee” shelters are ideal for areas with frequent storms, cold weather, and low pressure fronts because they allow you to keep warm with a fire in your shelter, and keep the smoke level high. The catch, however, is that the extra space requires a larger fire (and more fuel) to keep the floor temperature comfortable.
  • “Wig-wams” or shelters with a dome shape have lower ceilings and keep heat closer, but smoke can fill the interior and that’s not safe or comfortable. Some steps can be taken to prevent this from happening, such as having a smoke flap open into the wind and by using smaller logs in a tee-pee shape to keep your fire burning clean and evenly.

Dome shelters are ultimately more comfortable for one person or a group of people. A practical (and cozy) interior focuses on specific areas, including:

Doorways

Doorways that are extended a meter or more away from the shelter allow for two doors. The outside door can be well sealed to preserve interior warmth; and an interior door or flap will further minimize drafts. Also, the space between is a good place to keep muddy or icy shoes.

Fire Pits

An effective fire pit should be approximately 15 centimeters deep at the center, and slope up to floor level. When building a fire on flat ground, a ring of rocks or dirt can help contain coals and ash but this is not necessary with a fire pit and it may reduce the heat you’ll feel at floor level.

Beds

A comfortable bed can be made by creating a rectangle of logs or stakes and filling the inside with pine needles, grass, or dry leaves. The filling should be at least 20 centimeters thick after compression, and this will keep you well insulated from the ground.

The best beds can be built at least 30 centimeters off the floor by pounding stakes into the ground, lashing a frame onto the stakes, and making a solid platform on top of the frame which is covered by the previously described bedding materials, then stuffing the same into the space underneath the platform. The filling underneath does not need to be compressed, but it will hold heat better and lead to a cozy nights’ sleep. (Alternatively, you can use the space underneath your bed for storage.)

Tables & Workbenches

Using the same steps (without the insulation) you can build tables and workbenches for preparing food, storing materials, or working on skills.

Cooking

If you have the choice, cooking is best done over a fire outside, and should always be done over coals or hot rocks instead of flames.

 

 

flames-sml

How To Build A Fire

Building a fire from scratch is a skill most people don’t know how to do, but it is one that could save your life should you find yourself lost in the woods, in the middle of a natural disaster or without power in the middle of winter. Not only will a fire keep you warm but it can also purify your water and cook your food.

Here are a few tips on building a fire as well as a list of items you’ll need:

Fuego

What You Will Need

There are a few different approaches you can take when it comes to building a fire, whichever one you decide to go with, here is what you will need…

  1. Tinder- This is the launching pad for every fire. Tinder is made up of dry sticks, paper, dead grass etc… You should be able to find enought of this lying around any forest floor. You should not need a lot.
  2. Kindling- Once you get your tinder lit you’ll transfer it to your kindling which is just sticks that are bigger than whatever your tinder is. Once your kindling is lit you’ll want to place it under your logs as a coal bed.
  3. Logs/Wood- Obviously logs are large pieces of wood. Make sure they’re dry and you have enough to keep your fire going as long as you’ll need it.
  4. Fire Starter- If you’re prepared then you should have matches or a lighter to start your fire, but should you find yourself in an emergency situation or if you’re resources have been taken from you then you’ll need to find or make a new fire starter. An example of a homemade fire starter can be found here at Ask.com.

Wood

Tip: Be aware of your surroundings when making a fire and always make sure you have a way to put it out quick. Forest fires can happen quickly.

How to Build

Once you have all your resources you will need to build a fire pit. Essentially you just need to dig a small hole that you will set your logs in and surround that with rocks so as to contain the fire.

Now that you have your pit, set your tinder in the middle and your kindling on top of that in a teepee like structure. It is important to have a teepee structure so that oxygen can find its way in to help fuel the fire. At this point you are ready to light the fire with your fire starter. As soon as your tinder and kindling are burning you can begin adding logs to your fire as to grow it and create more heat.

Fire

In a nutshell, that is ow you can create a fire. It isn’t that difficult and all the items you need can be found in the outdoors. Go outside and practice this skill over and over again so that you can get the skill down. Knowing how to build a fire is a skill that could end up saving your life.

Featured images:

By Henry H. Hernandez

Henry Hernandez is an Army veteran and father of two. Henry works for a company that makes underground steel bunkers and storm shelters www.risingsbunkers.com. Henry can be found on Google+.

 

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survival firecraft vaseline cotton balls

Survival Kit Component: Magnesium Stick & Vaseline Cotton Balls

my fire kit - ferrocerium rod and magnesium bar

Fire isn’t more useful than when you find yourself in a survival situation. Perhaps you believe lightning fire won’t be a problem as you always carry a lighter or matches. Lighters run out of fuel, get wet or perhaps stop working. Matches may become useless by staying in your pocket or if exposed to rain, snow or submerged in water. Never depend on matches as your exclusive method of fire starting.

Bring alternative ways of starting a fire like a magnesium stick with a sparker. The magnesium stick is straightforward to use and is great at starting fires even if the tinder is damp because it generates a flame source of over 2500°C. Believe it or not, magnesium stick is my primary fire starter even if i absolutely love primitive methods such as the bow drill.

In order to start a fire you can even use cotton balls which were soaked with petroleum jelly (vaseline). Collect dry tinder, break up the cotton ball somewhat, and put close to the tinder. Hold the magnesium fire starter stick block in one hand and the knife in the other. Scrape small shavings off along one side over the cotton ball. The scraping puts small particles of magnesium on the cotton ball.

petroleum jelly (vaseline) cotton balls on fireUsing the striker strip and the back of a fixed bladed knife apply pressure and push the knife blade along the striker toward the cotton ball. One or two sparks will ignite the cotton. A 2×2 cm ball will burn 5 to 10 minutes, long enough to ignite even a damp tinder.

Never use the back of a folding knife blade unless it has a locking mechanism. The blade can fold up on your fingers.

Remember: it’s essential to train with the magnesium stick wherever possible so during a real life emergency, you’ll start a fire faster.

fire making methods

6 Fire Making Categories

There are numerous ways to light a fire but you can categorize them in 6 classes.

1. Fire By Friction

Friction methods create fire rubbing linearly or rotationally a surface against another surface.

Fire Plow

In this method a stick is rapidly rubbed against the groove of a long piece of wood to produce hot dust. Then the hot dust is transferred to the tinder, and blowed until it ignites.

Fire Saw

The fire saw method produces friction by using a piece of wood as a saw over an other piece.

Fire Thong

A strong piece of wood is kept in position with your foot, and a narrow thong of cane or other appropriate material is looped around it. The friction is generated by pulling the ends of the thong alternately so that it is sawn across the stick or post producing a fine hot dust.

Hand Drill

The hand drill method requires a thin stick to be quickly rotated with the hands against a fire board. The fire board is simply a flat piece of wood with a notch. The prolonged rotation combined with downward pressure generates a black hot dust in the nick of the fire board. The dust is properly transferred on a tinder nest and blown gradually until a flame starts.

Strap Drill

To make the hand drill method easier you can add more pressure by looping cordage between two thumbs and over the top of the fire drill

Bow Drill

The bow drill method uses a bow to rotate a spindle against a fire board. The Bow drill requires less effort because the bow transforms the linear movement of your arm in a powerful rotation, and with the free hand you can apply much more pressure downward.

Fire Pump

A fire pump is enhancement of the bow drill. A rope is coiled around the spindle to create friction on a fire board.

 

2. Fire By Compression

This methods uses the heat of compression to ignite a tinder. In modern days, the same principle has been used to develop the Diesel engine.

Fire piston

A fire piston is a device composed by a tube with one sealed end and a piston that can run inside the tube. The piston has a small depression where the tinder is placed. When the piston is swiftly pushed into the tube, the air is violently compressed igniting the tinder.

 

3. Fire By Percussion

Percussion is a kind of friction that happens in an instant.

Flint & Steel

Flint is a family of very hard rocks (8 on the Mohs hardness scale). When a flint is stricken against a piece of steel (5-6.5 hardness), it peels a tiny piece of steel off and ignite it.

Ferrocerium rod fire starters

This method is definitely the modern version of the Flint & Steel method. The flint is replaced by a hard scraper while the steel is replaced by a ferrocerium rod. Ferrocerium consists of an alloy containing Cerium, Lanthanum, Iron, Magnesium, Praseodymium and Neodymium. When it’s scraped it produce very hot (1650 °C) sparks.

 

4. Fire By Sun

This class of methods employs a condensing reflector to focus sun’s rays to a single point, producing an intense heat. The condensing reflector can be:

  • a lens (solid or liquid filled) such as magnifying lenses, a plastic bag filled with water or a very clear piece of ice.
  • a concave mirror such as a pop can bottom

5. Fire By Electricity

Electric Resistance

This method employs electricity on an object with electric resistance. When the object is red hot it ignites the tinder.

Spark

Electricity is used to generate a spark to ignite a gas or a fluid.

 

6. Fire By Chemical Reaction

There are few ways to produce fire by chemical reaction:

  • potassium permanganate and glycerin (few drops of water can accelerate the reaction)
  • acetone, sulfuric acid and potassium permanganate
  • sodium chlorate, sugar and sulfuric acid
  • ammonium nitrate, zinc and hydrochloric acid

Modern Mixed Methods

Modern fire methods as matches o lighters fall in more than a class (friction/percussion and chemical classes). Matches are small piece of woods coated with chemicals and ignited by friction. Lighters employ ferrocerium or electricity to spark butane or gasoline fuel.

 

 

survival skille: start a fire

Steps to Make a Fire

Knowing how to start a fire is essential for cooking and keeping warm while exploring the great outdoors.

There are basically two types of fires that campers may build:

  • One type, the tepee fire, is used for cooking food.
  • The other type, the crisscross fire, is best for generating warmth and gathering around for merriment and song.

The steps for both types of fire are the same with the exception of how the logs are positioned once the fire is started.

Remember that fire safety is of utmost importance when building a campfire or a fire in the wilderness. Fires may smolder for days and then burst into huge forest fires that destroy land, homes and even entire neighborhoods – not to mention the potential in loss of life. Fire safety is covered in the last section of the article. Ensure to practice fire safety when building as well as extinguishing an outdoor fire.

As the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts teach young campers, you should always “Leave No Trace” of your fire or even that you have been in the area. Practice fire safety and be kind to Mother Earth when camping and using fire outdoors.

Items You Will Need to Build a Fire

To build a fire, you will need an ignition mechanism, such as a lighter or a wooden match, of course. When exploring the wilderness, wooden matches are great because once you have ignited the fire, you can simply throw the wooden match into the flame to dispose of it.

In addition to an ignition mechanism, you will need:

  • Tinder – Dry pine needles, dried leaves, small twigs and dried bark
  • Kindling – Small sticks around 2.5 centimeters in diameter or smaller
  • Firewood – Larger logs that will provide fuel for the fire
  • Shovel or a Digging Stick
  • Bucket with water. Or if you do not have water near your fire, collect dirt and sand.
  • (Optional) Rocks and stones – to create a fire ring

A fire extinguisher is also a good idea. However, in most cases one will not be available while you are in the wilderness. Make sure to have a bucket of water or dirt handy, though.

Do not use green or fresh cut wood. Green and freshly cut wood will smoke excessively and will not burn well. Select firewood that is dry and approximately 7 to 15 centimeters in diameter. Logs should be no longer than 50 centimeters  in length.

Clear an area of land of any debris, leaves and flammable materials. The best place to build a fire is on a spot of dirt or sand. Make sure there are no tree branches over the fire location.

How To Start a Fire In 10 Easy Steps

  1. Dig a shallow pit 10-15 centimeters deep and 1 meter across.
  2. Arrange the rocks and stones in a circle around the pit to create a fire ring. The fire ring will contain the fire and prevent the fire from spreading into the surrounding grass or ground cover.
  3. Gather the tinder, kindling and firewood and stack into three easy to reach piles near the fire ring. Make sure to keep each of the three types of fuel separate for easy access.
  4. Place a small amount of tinder in the center of the fire ring. A couple of handfuls of tinder, loosely placed in the center of the ring, will do.
  5. Light the tinder with the ignition mechanism (a lighter or wooden match). Position your body with your back blocking the wind while lighting the tinder. If using a wooden match, toss the matchstick onto the small fire.
  6. Slowly pile more tinder onto the fire. Blow on the fire, if needed, to get the tinder to catch the flame.
  7. Slowly add the smaller pieces of kindling to the fire once the tinder is burning. Make sure to keep the kindling pieces close together so that they, too, will catch the flame. Leave small spaces for air to pass through. Do not pack kindling on too fast and do not overload the tinder with kindling pieces. This will extinguish the small fire.
  8. Slowly add larger pieces of kindling to the fire. Soon, the fire will be burning with a visible flame. Once the flame is visible, you may begin to add firewood.
  9. For a teepee fire, build a teepee structure around the burning kindling pile. For a crisscross fire, begin to add the firewood in a crisscross pattern over the burning kindling pile. For the crisscross fire, add one log at a time so that the firewood does not smother the kindling fire.
  10. Add firewood as needed to keep the fire fueled.

Extinguishing the Fire

When you are finished with the fire, you need to take measures to extinguish the fire. Never assume the fire will go out on its own and never, ever leave the fire unattended.

  1. Allow the fire to burn down. If you cannot wait for the fire to burn all of the fuel, douse the fire with buckets of water. Soak any logs that have not burned.
  2. Place your hand where the fire used to be. If there is any warmth whatsoever, continue to douse the spot with water. Touch any partially burned logs to ensure that the fire is not still burning.
  3. Rake the ashes inside the fire ring to ensure the fire is completely out. Again, place your hand on the ground where the fire once was to ensure that the fire is completely out.
  4. Disassemble the fire ring and move the rocks back to their original location. Scatter the ashes and make sure the area looks the same as when you first arrived. Remember, Leave No Trace.

Outdoor Fire Safety

There are a few rules to remember when building a campfire or any type of fire out of doors.

  •  Never build a fire too close to shelters, tents, sleeping bags or anything else that may ignite. This includes overhead branches. Build the fire in a clearing with a dirt or sand floor far away from tents, blankets, clothing or other flammable items.
  • Never use flammable liquids, such as gasoline or lighter fluid, to start an outdoor fire.
  • Keep the fire small. Piling on too many logs may allow the fire to quickly get out of control.

Campfires are a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. Use good practice and common sense to ensure that you and everyone around you are safe when enjoying an outdoor fire.

 


firecraft: embers, survival  fire

A Fire Starting Primer for the Backcountry

A fire is a critical element in any backcountry survival situation. Should you find yourself in any such circumstance where your safety and survival is dependant on getting a fire going, are you ready and prepared to get the job done? Before heading out for adventures this question has to be addressed. It is always best to be prepared and trained before you find yourself in the bad situation. Take the time to spark up a few practice fires and pack the needed fire supplies before entering the wilderness.

What to Pack, and Where to Pack It

Any wilderness travel should include:

  • a knife or multi-tool,
  • extra food
  • water,
  • extra layers – including a hat and gloves,
  • navigation device such as map and compass or GPS – ideally both,
  • flashlight,
  • space bag,
  • signally device
  • fire starter with a lighter or waterproofed matches.

One thing many wilderness travelers fail to think of is where they pack all this gear. It is too easy to pack it, but then keep it in a dry bag or off the body. It is critical that many of these essentials be kept on the body in the case that if separated from a raft/canoe or method of transport you have the needed supplies. Obviously, any fire starter like Vaseline soaked cotton balls, or magnesium blocks and shavings should be kept in a baggy, then in a pocket.

Start the Fire

Your fire should adhere to the age-old adage of  location, location, location. Anticipate any condition that could occur that would impede the fire’s burn. Examples include:

  • wind tunnel areas in caves,
  • under snow-covered trees, or
  • in exposed areas where heavy rain fall may occur.

Next, dig a small pit and begin collecting small dry twigs, spruce or pinecones and leaves. Spruce and pinecones are some of the best natural fire starter you can use. If no cones are on the ground, find conifers and scrape off any pitch or gum seeping from the bark. Smear the pitch over small twigs. If you can only find green branches, strip off the bark and cut them in half to expose the inner tissues of the wood.

Stack the twigs into a teepee shape and place the spruce cones or fire starter material into the center. Light the starter and let the flames push upward, lighting the teepee. Be prepared with slightly larger twigs and branches, and place them in the conical teepee shape over the flames. It is important not to add too much to the fire as the flames could get smothered out.

As the fire gains strength, begin adding larger pieces of wood. Let the large pieces burn down so the dug out pit has a consistent pile of glowing coals. These coals emit the maximum amount of heat, necessary for survival.

Keep It Going

The coals provide the heat, and the flames provide the needed signal for any potential aircraft searching for you in a lost/survival situation. During prime search times, gather green conifer boughs and place them onto the fire. These create tremendous amounts of smoke that billows up, providing a good visual indicator of your location.

When you find yourself in any situation like this, keep calm, maintain a positive mental outlook and use your practiced fire starting skills to keep you warm, safe and alive.


 

The Importance of Fire for Survival

6 Reasons to Learn Fire Making Skills

Fire, what a magical thing. It pulled man out of the primordial mist, and it can keep your butt alive when things go south in the 21st century. Fire making is arguably the most important survival skill you can learn.

Warmth

Most people who die in a survival situation die from complications of hypothermia. Hypothermia is where you body temperature drops far enough that it can no longer keep itself warm. You then get all kinds of bad stuff happening to you, including hallucinations.

The famous rule of threes says you can live for three hours without shelter. Shelter keeps your body warm and fire can be your shelter. If you get a good fire going you can warm yourself back up and stay warm in just about any weather.

Cooking /Purification

Fire also lets you cook any critters you might be lucky enough to catch. Eating raw meat is no picnic. Fresh meat roasted on an open fire can have a calming effect on someone who is lost or misplaced.

Fire can also purify your water by boiling it. All kinds of little bugs live in wild water and getting one of them is bad news while you are trying to survive.

Protection

Wild animals do not like fire or smoke and will tend to avoid them. Many people are afraid of the woods, it is even worse at night. A fire gives a sense of security and protection that people can cling to when they are in a scary place. The peace of mind you get from having a fire going is worth a lot in a survival situation.

Signalling

Fires are also very good for signalling your position with smoke so searchers can find you. The old accepted practice was to start three fires in a triangular formation so searchers would know what to look for. This has proven to be a lot of extra work running between three fires not to mention having to collect three times the amount of wood.

Nowadays a single smoky fire should suffice to signal anyone who is looking for you.

Toolmaking

Assuming that you are without any tool (knife, hatchet), it is easy to use your fire as a tool or as a tool-maker. A few examples are listed here:

  • straighten arrow shafts
  • burning containers using coals
  • shaping wood, bone and even stone
  • hardening and densifying the points of wooden weapons and tools

Sense of well being

Have you ever sat by a fire and just stared at the flames? The sense of peace and tranquillity that usually come from this practice is a useful thing when you are lost and panicked. Fire has a calming nature to a panicked mind.

Staying calm and keeping your head is probably the most important thing to remember in a survival situation. Right behind that will be getting yourself a fire started. Learn and practice several ways to make a fire and you will have a good chance at keeping yourself alive in the woods.


 

survival skills: rule of three

Prioritizing Survival Needs Using the Rule Of 3

Life must be prioritized and priorities are never more important than when you are in a survival situation. Decisions have to make quickly and they must be the right decisions. To prevent panic and to keep from making the wrong decisions you need to prepare and prioritize.

The Most Commonly Accepted Survival Rule Of 3

You Cannot Survive:

  • Longer Than Three Minutes Without Air
  • Longer Than Three Hours Without Shelter
  • Longer Than Three Days Without Water
  • Longer Than Three Weeks Without Food

Three minutes without air is accurate. However, there have been cases where people have survived longer than three weeks without food and longer than three days without water.

Shelter is subjective; it can be a hollow spot under a log or burying yourself in a pile of leaves. A lot depends on what you call shelter.

Remember your priorities: you must escape the vehicle within three minutes if submerged, or find the shore if dumped out of your canoe in the middle of the rapids. You need air and it is your first priority.

Begin Prioritizing Survival Needs Using the Rule Of 3

Assume for a moment that you have plenty of air, so your next priority is shelter and water. The reason you need to focus on shelter first is you will become weaker from lack of water and calories. Therefore, build your shelter first. Keep in mind this must happen within a matter of hours. You must also soon be hydrated, it will help keep you warm at night and hydration will keep your energy level high enough to forage for food.

If you became lost on a day hike, for example you probably have a water bottle to get you through the night. It typically takes rescue operations 72 hours to find you or be close to finding you. Your pack should have:

  • a knife to help you in building a shelter,
  • fire starting tools,
  • water purification tablets or 2% liquid iodine for water purification,
  • protein bars,
  • a full quart canteen or water bottle. The average person requires 4 liters of water a day for drinking and hygiene.

For now, your priority is shelter and fire to survive the night. Get a fire started for your comfort and moral. Fire is needed to signal rescue personnel, as well. If you are lost, stay put. If you knew how to get out you would not be lost, so wandering around lost is dangerous and makes it harder for rescue personnel to find you.

If you are hiking to a campsite, you may have a tent or canvas. If you do not have any type of shelter material in your pack you need to put a shelter together using what nature provides. The ground next to a fallen log can be scooped out. Pick the south side if you are in a cool climate. Prop pine boughs and saplings against the log and ground. If you do not have a knife or small ax or hatchet you will have to break the limbs. If you have to break limbs use dead ones, live saplings will bend but not break easily.

Leave one side open; the opening will face along the log and not away from it. Build your fire close to the entrance but not inside. You will be overcome with smoke if it is too close. If you have rain gear or a poncho set the gear so it collects the morning dew. Dew is simply the condensation of air that has been heated by the sun during the day. Once the air cools down it allows moisture to settle on surfaces typically, in the very early hours. The moisture will collect on foliage and your poncho. Create depressions in the poncho for water to pool. Begin the process of gathering water regardless of your current supply. You can never have enough water.

Start another fire in a clearing if you are in the deep woods. The fire can be spotted from the air and ground. Do not wander at night but stay in the shelter and maintain the fire.

In the morning, consume the water from dew and save what water you may have brought with you. Work on enhancing your shelter and begin looking for a stream, natural ground springs or fissures in rock faces that seep water.

Gather pine cones and place in the fire to split open for the pine nuts and if you find a stream look for fish. Other animals will need water so there will be game trails. Set snares or wait for rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys and other game to come by. Spear or stone the game.

If you do not panic and begin running in circles you will survive. Stay calm and rely on your common sense.

 

Remember prioritizing survival needs using the rule of 3.

 


Survival Skills Four Fundamental Elements

The Four Basic Survival Elements

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.