Rule of Three

A simple list of survival times in extremes.

3 minutes without air (Toxic atmosphere, choking)
3 hours without shelter (Too cold, hot, wet, windy, dusty, CBRN)
3 days without water (Water fit to drink)
3 weeks without food. (Continuous weeks)

There it stops.
So what good is it?
Basically all it does is make you work hard to keep an absolute minimum amount of supplies together.
For example.

  1. No air?
    I’m guessing they are talking about being trapped in a toxic environment.
    I am pretty certain I won’t be able to hold my breath for 3 minutes.
    No stores needed except for perhaps a universal type of respirator.
  2. No Shelter?
    In winter or extremes i.e. heat, cold, wet, windy, CBRN, getting under cover is a must.
    Hypothermia  starts when your core temperature drops under 35.0°C (95°F)
    Hyperthermia starts when your core temperature rises above  37.5°C (100°F)
    Even personal security comes into play.
  3. No water?
    Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, weakness, and a darkening of the urine.
    2 liters of water per person per day for 3 days, 6 liters absolute minimum is needed in a temperate climate like the UK.
    Personally I think that’s no where near enough and I’m storing 6 liters per person per day.
    For information, here is a simple Urine Colour Chart,
  4. No food?
    A self imposed one day without food causes a change to a person.
    The ability to think, mood swings, the ability to work, insomnia, fatigue, hyperactivity, irritability, apathy, and unresponsiveness (stupor) may occur eventually.
    You will not be able to keep your internal temperature regulated.
    Yet this isn’t anything like an absolute as no food affects all individuals differently.

How does all this apply to long term survival.
First just what is long term in survival or prepping terms?

The survivalist in me looks for surviving day to day.
Long term for me is probably the next meal, the next day.
My total plan is to survive long enough for someone to come and save me.
I carry little, forage or scavenge what I need, and will probably be on the move the whole time.
Thus the rule of threes is vitally important to me

Preppers on the other hand are thinking weeks, months, if not years ahead.
They stockpile supplies, tools, in fact anything they will need to outlast whatever crisis hits.
They look long term which could include rebuilding a society when whatever happened finishes.
Unless they are forced onto the road, the rule of threes will have little significance to them.

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