What Is the Prepper’s Rule of 3’s and Why Is It So Important?

You will often hear survival prepper and survivalists talk about the “Rule of Three’s” and you may be a bit confused, because there are actually more than one “Rule of Threes” out there. And while both of them were originally designed to help a person in the wilderness, they can also be very helpful to urban dwellers these days who may never venture out into the woods.

Let’s take a look at what the preppers and survivalists are talking about and see why, whichever “Rule of Three’s” you are talking about, it is so critical to survival in an SHTF (Sewage Hits The Fan) scenario.

Rule of Three’s – Outdoor Survival

This “Rule of Three’s” helps you keep focused on your survival priorities in an outdoor life-and-death situation. The rule states that you can live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter (in a hypothermic environment) and 3 minutes without oxygen.

Restating this rule if you find yourself stranded somewhere will help you get your priorities straight. The funny, and tragic, thing about wilderness survival is so often people get hung up on worrying about food and don’t realize that without shelter they will not last the night if it is too cold.

So if you are lost in the woods, food is about the last thing you should be worried about. Yet so many times, guys who are city-dwellers or ‘macho types’ will decide that they will sharpen a stick or, like Rambo, attach their knife to a long staff and go “hunting” instead of setting out to make a shelter.

How does this apply to city dwellers? Well, if you are preparing for a power outage, then preserving the contents of your refrigerator may not be as big of a priority as ensuring that the family can stay warm in sub-zero nights.

Rule of Three’s – Duplication

Said to have come from Native American wisdom, this “Rule of Three’s” says that if something is critical to survival, then you should have three ways of ensuring that you have that base covered.

If you are talking about starting a fire in the wilderness, then you should have, for instance, a lighter, a “Boy Scout Match” (or ferrocerium rod), and also some matches. This way, if one method of fire starting fails, you have two more for backup.

This “Rule of Three’s” goes on to say that if you have three, then you know that you can count on two; if you have two, you know you can count on one; but if you have one, you really have nothing in a worst case scenario.

Both of these “Rules of Three’s” are very true and can save your life. The main thing is that you learn these rules, play out scenarios in your mind, and decide ahead of time what you will do when faced with a crisis.

The crisis you face may be in the wilderness or it could be during a major power outage like the East Coast experienced with Hurricane Katrina or like the Northeast experienced with the power outage of 2003. In each case, millions of people were caught unexpectedly without power for several days.

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