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Survival Rule of Three: Essential Outdoors Guide

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Welcome to our super short guide on the Survival Rule of Three. The rule of three is a way to remember the proper priorities in survival situations. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or simply being prepared. Understanding this rule will help you make better decisions and can save your life.

The Rule of Three:

A lost hiker building a survival shelter

Every survival situation is different but the order of priorities is almost always the same. Air, shelter, water, then food. For us, the biggest takeaway should be how important shelter and water are. If the weather and environment aren’t in your favor finding safe shelter can be critically important right away. The other thing is that you have a lot longer to find food than you might think.

Key Takeaways

The Top 7 Survival Priorities

In a wilderness survival situation time and resources are limited. By prioritizing your actions you increase your chances of staying safe and surviving. In our research, we have identified seven key survival priorities. These should guide your decision-making and actions in an emergency:

  1. A Positive Mental Attitude: Maintaining a positive mindset is essential in survival situations. It helps you stay focused, make rational decisions, and overcome challenges. It is hard to overstate how important the mental aspect is to survival.
  2. Shelter: Even if you can expect a quick rescue, shelter needs to be your first priority. It provides protection from extreme weather conditions and helps regulate body temperature. It also offers a safe haven which will help keep up your mental attitude.
  3. Water: Hydration is critically vital for our bodies and dehydration sets in very quickly. Finding a safe and reliable water source is essential for survival.
  4. Warmth: Maintaining body temperature is crucial in a survival situation. This is especially true in cold environments, but there are dangers to overheating too. The importance of this will depend a bit on the environment and weather but don’t overlook its importance. The weather changes, and nights get cold, even in moderate environments.
  5. First Aid: Addressing injuries promptly is crucial for our well-being. You should always have first aid supplies wherever you are. Check out our guides for putting together DIY first aid kits for camping, and for hiking.
  6. Signals: Unless you’re planning on living in the wilds forever you will want a way to signal for help. Use signal mirrors, whistles, or whatever you can find to attract attention. Hanging strips of reflective cloth and making a smokey (but safe) fire are great options. Prioritize creating visible signals in open areas to maximize visibility.
  7. Food: While food is essential for long-term survival, it is a lower priority in short-term survival situations. Focus on satisfying your immediate needs for air, shelter, water, and warmth before seeking out food sources. Keep in mind that our bodies can survive for weeks without food.

The Power of a Positive Attitude

A positive attitude is not just a mindset; it is a survival strategy. Like many things in life, survival is as much mental as it is anything else. Keeping our spirits up helps us face adversity head-on and make the most of our resources. By keeping our spirits high and maintaining a positive outlook, we can conquer even the most daunting of circumstances.

By embracing a positive attitude, developing a survival mindset, and cultivating mental preparedness, we equip ourselves with the tools to overcome challenges and thrive in emergencies. Remember, in the face of adversity, our mindset can be the difference between succumbing to fear and rising above it. Stay positive, stay focused, and stay prepared.

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Before You Go …

Hopefully, you now have a pretty thorough understanding of the rule of three for survival. Before you take off we would like to recommend checking out this article on Fall Hiking Safety. A lot of what we cover in that article would be helpful knowledge if you are ever in a survival situation.

Thanks for reading, we hope you learned something new. If you did please take a moment to share this with your friends. We are new and this helps us a lot. In the meantime, stay safe and we will see you out there.

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By Summer and Bill

Photo of Summer and Bill

Summer and Bill are the dynamic duo behind, a blog dedicated to inspiring others to explore the great outdoors. With a combined lifetime of experience traveling and adventuring across America, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. From hiking to camping, kayaking to travel, Summer and Bill are passionate about helping others discover the beauty of the natural world.

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