Holistic Survival
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Survival in the Wilderness – the Rule of Threes

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HolisticSurvival.comWhen it comes down to survival in the wilderness, knowledge is more important than being the baddest hombre on the block. The ability to automatically categorize and prioritize actions to take when the chips are down is one that seems almost genetic in Native American culture, knowledge which has held up admirably under modern day survival research.

For example, have you heard of the Rule of Threes? This simple but critical bit of knowledge about survival in the wilderness can be expressed as the following:

1. You survive 3 hours without maintaining your core body temperature.
2. You can survive 3 days without water.
3. You can survive 3 weeks without food.

The Rule of Threes tells you the exact order of priority with which you should approach survival in the wilderness. Before anything else, you must raise (or lower) your body temperature if it has gotten too far out of whack due to extreme cold or heat. This is an absolute priority because, without it, you’ll be dead or comatose within short order.

Having stabilized your body temperature by whatever means necessary, you can relax slightly knowing you can survive three full days without water, though procuring a safe, reliable source is next on your list of basic priorities. Finally, the Rule of Threes decrees that you have three full weeks to find food. We suggest you don’t wait that long. You’ll start feeling intensely hungry and weak long before that.

There is one caveat we should add to the above list of priorities. If you are in immediate physical danger, obviously you should take steps to mitigate that before proceeding to the Rule of Threes. If bullets are flying all around your head or a rabid grizzly is nipping at your heels as you scamper up a tree, these matters will have to be dealt with before you begin on anything else. After all, a bullet to the brainpan or gnawing by a high level predator can kill you in much less time than three hours.

The Rule of Threes is a simple wilderness survival technique that any camper or survivalist should know when facing Mother Nature. Knowledge is power that can keep panic at bay and keep you alive another day.

The Holistic Survival Team


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