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The Rule Of Three

June 7, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin


Knowing and adapting to the ‘rule of three’ could make a difference between life and death when making critical decisions in an environment of potential or actual disaster.

The Rule Of Three is a way to help remember a set of priorities to sustain life.

Here’s what I mean…

Generally speaking, you can only survive for…


3 MINUTES Without Air

You have to breathe. Your body needs air/oxygen. Someone who is not breathing has only minutes… So, priority #1.


3 HOURS Without Body Core Temperature

You can survive for three hours without maintaining your core body temperature (getting too cold or too hot outside the thresholds of survivable body core temps). When analyzing deaths of persons lost in the wilderness, most lose their life due to hypothermia (cold) or hyperthermia (overheating).


3 DAYS Without Water

You can survive for three days without water, but that’s about it… maybe a day or few more if you’re lucky. You must stay hydrated. The second leading cause of lost persons death in the wilderness is dehydration.


3 WEEKS Without Food

You might survive for just three weeks without food. Although you may technically survive for several weeks, without enough calories you will quickly become increasingly unable to help yourself out of the situation.

With that said, you might say that SHELTER, WATER, FOOD, is the proper priority order for survive-ability.

Given the variability of a given situation, you might also insert ‘SECURITY’ as #1 (before SHELTER) under certain conditions when there is an immediate threat to life.

So perhaps you might conclude: