ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Sports and Recreation»
  • Hiking & Camping

Survival: Rule of Three 3 - Air, Food and Water

Updated on December 31, 2016

The Rules of 3 in Survival

In survival, there are many sets of the "rules of three." These rules help you prioritize and they help you prepare. The best thing about the various rules of three is that they make it easier to remember the rules! There are a couple rules of three but I will be discussing two specific ones:

  • Air, Water, and Food
  • Sources of Necessities

These two rules of three are very important to remember. They are not explicit in their definitions, but they were made as easy to remember guidelines.

Rule of 3: Air, Water, and Food:

The Rule: A human cannot live three minutes without air, three days without water, or three weeks without food.

3 Minutes without Oxygen, 3 Days without Water, and 3 Weeks without Food

Once again, these rules are not explicit and there is documented evidence that people have survived past the above outlined times, but this guideline gives you a clean cut understanding of things to avoid. It is easy to remember, and it should be well heeded.

If you keep these guidelines in mind and are able to apply them, then you should be able to come out of any situation fine. For example: if you are trapped in the woods, then by the end of day two you should definitely be thinking about finding water. If you have these three rules committed to memory then you will know this, and be able to better prioritize. Instead of trying to hunt for food, you can realize that you should instead be searching for water.

Some might ask why these rules should be followed if people have survived beyond these supposed guidelines. To them I would say, why approach the absolute maximum? The people that have survived past the above mentioned guidelines were most likely in superior physical condition compared to the average person, and why push the limits? It is far better to be conservative with estimates than careless.

Expanded Version: Humans cannot survive without the following:

  • 3 Minutes without air
  • 3 hours without shelter
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food
  • 3 months without hope

This version is meant to be applied in very harsh conditions like the arctic or the desert. In those conditions shelter should be very high on your list to avoid hypothermia or dehydration. The desert sun combined with the wind can dehydrate you in very little time!

Rule of 3: Sources for Necessities

The Rule: You should always have three sources of your necessities. You should have three sources of food, three sources of water, and three sources for warmth.

Sources Of Necessities:

This rule is a great one that can be scaled into nearly every facet of life. It is important to have redundancy or else you risk being without your necessities. Other aspects of life that this can be applied to are: have three ways family can contact you (cell phone, email, work phone), have three sources of access to money (Cash, Debit, Credit), have three sources of transportation (Car, Public, Bicycle), and so on.

Two is one, one is none.

Others might better remember this rule as "two is one, one in none."

As you can see this can be a very reliable way of operating as there are fewer times where none of your options are available to you. This rule was used by Indian tribes for hundreds of years to preserve their lives. They made sure they were located close to three sources of food and three sources of water. If you can find a way to apply these principles in as many aspects of life as possible, you will find that you will often not be disadvantaged because of an unforeseen event.

A few simple steps can lead you a long way to being better prepared for any situation. Yes, redundancy can be expensive, but here are some tips for prepping on a budget. The great thing about these principles is that they are versatile. You don't need to plan for each specific set back you may run into, instead, you offer yourself a three fold redundancy that allows you to take on most any situations. Big deal if your credit card stops working, you can use your debit card. If you lost your debit card, again, no big deal, use your cash.

Making Char Cloth:

Quiz: How Redundant Are You?

Rate Your Survival Redundancy

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jeff Martin1 profile image

      Jeffery Martin 10 months ago from Fort Worth

      Excellent explanation of the three basic rules of survival.

      I think many people, that are into prepping, have seen one too many prepping shows on t.v.; and tend to overlook the basics.

    • debris profile image
      Author

      debris 8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Jane!

      The number 3 is very important. Also in photography I believe they have the rule of thirds (I'm not a photographer but I try). Basically, you try to get the main subject of your image to fall at the 1/3 line or 2/3 line rather than the typical and boring 1/2 line. It's like splitting your lens into thirds and then taking the picture. I've looked at sunsets photos that follow this rule, and then I've looked at ones that didn't and nearly always I preferred the one that followed the rule. I'm not sure if it is a predisposed bias since I've learned of the rule, but I suppose I'll never know that truth.

      Sincerely,

      Debris

      http://twitter.com/iamdebris

    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 8 years ago from Oregon

      Very helpful and well said. I was reminded of the aesthetic principle of threes as well; photographers try to incorporate three main items into a picture (as opposed to an even number or too many), and writers often use the rhythmic repetition of threes for emphasis, such as Churchill's "Never give in. Never give in. Never give in!"

    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Excellent principle! A good addition would be 3 sources of income ;)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)