Bite Size Bushcraft – Survival Priorities

priorities of survival

Bite Size Bushcraft-Priorities Of Survival.

Whether you are going camping on a site, wild camping, or in a survival situation, you need to prioritise your time. It doesn’t matter whether it is to keep you alive or to make your camping experience more pleasurable, it is good to use this simple system, using the priorities of survival. By using this system and practicing it whenever you are outdoors will make it second nature.

The method of prioritising you time and energy is using the “Rule of Three’s”

Survival Priorities – Rule of Three’s

This is a method of prioritising your time and energy when outdoors based on your physical needs.

  1. Die without oxygen 3 minutes.
  2. Die from hypothermia 3 hours.
  3. Die from dehydration 3 days.
  4. Die from starvation 3 weeks.

From that list we can then prioritise our needs

Survival Priority 1, Oxygen – 3 Minutes.

Okay, lets get the first one out of the way, the need for oxygen. In most cases you will know you need to get oxygen into your lungs. Whether it is due to drowning or toxic gases. However there are a couple of areas you need to be aware of.

  • Accidental Suffocation, If we try and make a shelter by wrapping temporarily in a plastic bivi bag and you are cold it is easy to be tempted to put your head in the bag where it is warm. You can fall asleep and suffocate accidentally.
  • Smoke, be aware of smoke collecting in your shelter. Again you can fall asleep and be overcome by fumes. Never burn rubbish which can give off toxic fumes.

These may be rare occurrences, but you are better being aware.

Survival Priority 2, Shelter.

Lessons in build a shelter

Lessons in shelter building

The primary aim of shelter is to protect us from the elements, whether it is hypothermia (Drop in core body temperature), or Hyperthermia (Rise in core body temperature). You don’t need to build a sophisticated shelter often the simplest of shelters are the best. When planning a shelter think about conserving energy, location and fit for purpose. See our other articles on shelter building.

Survival Priority 3, Water.

In a survival situation water is essential from the earliest opportunity. Although you can live three days without water, you can quickly deteriorate and not be able to do routine tasks. It can take time to find water and purify it and the results can be minimal. So, try and find multiple sources if you need to collect water and there is no abundant supply of water from a stream or spring. See our articles on water collection and purification.

Survival Priority 4, Fire.

Fire is not just something that provides many practical uses but can be a great psychological boost. Having a fire can keep you warm, cook, food, purify water and boost morale. If you don’t have matches or a cigarette lighter you may need to use a ferro-rod and steel. You should also try and learn several ways to light a fire using other methods. For example, fire by friction, using a lens, electric current through wire wool etc.

Survival Priority 5, Food.

blackberries-Foraging For Kids

blackberries-Foraging For Kids

Last but not least, food. You can last quite a while without food, but hunger can play tricks on you mind, reducing morale and be uncomfortable if not painful. One of the first symptoms is lack of energy and general tiredness.

We are used to eating at regular intervals several times a day. To suddenly not have that calorie intake can have a dramatic impact on your body. This is often something that fitter people with low body fat struggle with. After a short time, the body starts using protein for energy and can start breaking down muscle. This can cause aching limbs for some, other it causes pain.

Foraging with kids is fun for everyone and no matter how old you are you learn something new.

I was taught to eat and drink when ever possible. Even a few berries can top up dropping energy supplies. However, it is also good to save some food for a meal if you have a camp or stop for a break. Having a meal is also good psychologically, whether alone or in a group. It gives you an opportunity to stop, review plans by yourself or with others. Even just have a bit of time out.

Practice Makes Permanent

By following these survival priorities, you will put some structure into what you are doing. The says states, “Practice makes perfect.” what is should say is “Practice makes permanent” Keep planning and follow these survival priorities. They will become permanent. Even if you are going for a night or a couple of night camping you should start planning what order you will complete tasks. It will make them become second nature what ever situation you find yourself in. rather than having to start a new routine if you were unfortunate to be in a survival situation.

As you start to make subconscious decisions to plan using this method you will find that is you have developed you observation skills you will notice resources as you follow your plan which will have time and effort for you.

Make It A Game.

Whenyou start taking children camping start making setting up fun, make it and adventure. Teach them the Rule of three’s and the priorites of survival. Ask what they would do next? Set a scenario and they set up camp withing the confines of the scenario. Doing this will make it fun and they will remember. If they are new to camping they will also love it.

One Response to Bite Size Bushcraft – Survival Priorities

  1. Great post! Most kids, I think, are predisposed to like being outdoors. Add in a little adventure and they’re hooked. The problem is that many don’t get the chance as our societies move further and further from the realities of and proximity to Mother Nature. I spend most of my time in the wilderness. By wilderness I mean our nearest neighbor is 8 miles away and my work requires being outdoors. Love it! Thanks for a great blog entry.

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