Lets get back to survival basics for a minute. It is sometimes helpful to re-group, to take a step back, and look at the big picture. You may be surprised in that sometimes you’ll get a new idea or perspective which will help you become better prepared than you already were…


Basic Survival Priorities

Other than the air you breathe (certainly a priority),
Basic survival priorities include Water, Food, Fire, and Shelter.



On average, you will probably die soon after 3 to 5 days without consuming any H2O (from drinking water directly or contained within food and/or other liquid drink) depending on the specific conditions and environment that you are in. Yes, it’s true. Look it up.

Human beings are made up of about 60% water. We sweat out about 2 cups water per day. We lose 1 cup per day from exhaling and we eliminate about 6 cups of it. Your life depends on daily replenishment of water.

Depending on your weight, physical activity, and your environment, the human body needs nearly 1 gallon of water per day.

From a survival and preparedness standpoint, think of your water supply for the short term and for the long term. Short term storage is easily obtainable, and a stored supply of water can be managed for short term needs in containers or barrels of various sizes. When you start to think long term however, then the real solution is having a plentiful source available to you (other than storage). A nearby river, stream, spring, lake, a well (with appropriate means to pump). A means to purify the water. A filter, boiling, etc.

Remember… water is heavy. About 8 pounds per gallon. Consider how you are going to haul it from one place to another. A wagon. Anything with wheels…

Can you imagine a long term outage whereby the municipal water pressure drops to zero? Especially in a city or densely populated area?



There are many factors that determine how long a human can survive without food. In general, the human body cannot survive for long beyond about 30 days without food, assuming that you have water to drink. You will be desperate well before that time though (within a day?!) and once your body weakens, it will become very difficult to procure it.

It is NOT difficult to build up at least a 30 day supply of food storage. Simply buy a few more items of the foods that you normally eat, each time you visit the grocery store. I recommend at least a 30 day minimum (because it’s an easy goal to accomplish), but encourage you to store much more than that afterwards.

Keep food storage in your home, your vehicle, your place of work, and your BOL (bug out location). As they say, don’t keep all your eggs in one basket, so it’s best not to store everything that you have all in one place (or all in the same pantry).

General rule: Store what you eat and eat what you store. This will facilitate more effective food rotation.

Food storage is a short term solution. This is your first goal. But to take it to the next level, if your storage runs out, you will need the ability to get more. Grow your own. Know how to do that. Practice now. Learn other ways to get food including foraging for wild food which may be right under your nose. Hunting, fishing, trapping, etc. Plan now.



The world changed when we ‘discovered’ fire. It will provide heat, light, cooking, and boiling of water. All three of these are crucial aspects to your survival.

Have plenty of means to make fire. Store matches, lighters, magnesium fire-starters, etc. Keep these things in your home, vehicle, or any other kit and location.

Practice fire building. Know how to make a fire when it’s wet outside. Learn about kindling, tinder, methods of making fire. Do you have the tools to cook over a fire? To boil water for safe drinking? Could you do it with what you have in your vehicle kit? Your bugout bag?



The human needs shelter from the elements. The cold, the heat, the sun, the wind, the rain, etc.

While I presume that everyone reading this has a shelter (your home or apartment), consider the ramifications if you lost it. A fire, severe weather event, eviction? What would you do and where would you go? Have a plan ahead of time.

Always keep some form of make-shift shelter in your kits, your vehicle, etc. Even a Mylar emergency blanket will serve as a temporary shelter. A tarp, a tent, even a blanket. It might be helpful to know how to build a few styles of shelter if caught out of doors. Keep rope, cord or paracord to help with lashing something together.


This has been a simple reminder of some of the basics for survival. Think about each one of them, and think of them in the context of various scenarios. This will help you come up with solutions for better preparedness.

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