The Rule of 3

It has often been said that 3 is the magic number and when it comes to survival then it’s certainly worth keeping in mind.

The Rule of 3 states that you cannot survive:

  • 3 seconds without spirit and hope
  • 3 minutes without breathable air
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme conditions
  • 3 days without drinkable water
  • 3 weeks without food
  • 3 months without companionship or love

There won’t be many of us that have had to experience going without any of these especially air, shelter, water and food.

If you are a climber or mountain hiker than you’ll know otherwise and it doesn’t have to be K2 to test the rule of 3 out, it might be Snowdon.

As a family we were really caught out in some terrible weather in North Wales (a blizzard at the top of Snowdon) and without adequate clothing and shelter we had to move fast to save ourselves from being frozen, literally. When your body temperature drops, you start to shut down.

The pandemic might have tested the last rule of 3 as many people have been without companionship and love for much longer than 3 months. Although important, we can survive beyond that as lots of people have shown.

Okay, they are not set in stone but the rule of 3 can be helpful when we are lost in the fog of a crisis as they help to keep our priorities clear and keep our mind on knowing what’s possible.

The next time you are off grid and say you are starving, remind yourself that you will survive…well, for 3 weeks anyway and supposing you have water and shelter too!

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