The subject of survival can be an overwhelming topic, especially if you haven't had much time in the saddle. But that wasn't always the case. Years ago, this country was well acquainted with survival skills. Only in the last several decades did life get so easy, and technology so advanced that people developed a false sense of security, forsaking the old school skills of their ancestors.
Sadly, tragedy can strike anyone at anytime as can be witnessed on any news channel and although life will happen regardless of your state of preparedness, it's your preparation that can keep those events from becoming tragic. Now is the time to use advances in technology to augment, rather than replace your survival skills. With the introduction of the Internet, your available knowledge as well as quality of gear has skyrocketed.
The downside of this explosion of opportunity is the resulting confusion for the newbie. If you're a beginner, or even if you've done a little preparing, you'll need to organize yourself mentally and physically so you can cut through the hype while at the same time leaving nothing over looked. The best place to start is with the Rule of 3.
Although the survival community refers to a rule of 3; you can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without securing your body's core temperature, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, for our purposes, we are referring to the rule of 3s on stability. The number 3 is significant to everything on this planet as any form of stability requires at least 3 points of contact. Think of a tripod. Though it's possible for anything having less than 3 points of contact to achieve balance for a limited time, that balance would be anything but stable.
Even as tangible objects must have 3 points of contact to be stable in our world, so must the in-tangible have a minimum of 3 points of contact to remain stable in the world of existence. Let's try time. Reduced to its most basic elements, there are PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. There are no more. Without any one of these three, time as we know it would cease to exist. This is called, IRREDUCIBLE COMPLEXITY BASED ON THE RULE OF THREE. It can be applied to anything. By applying the concept to any word, you can gain a firm grasp on its real-world use for your purposes.
Though your chosen words for elements may vary from the next person's, depending on the path you're taking, they are only representative of the underlying concept of their reducible complexity of your chosen subject. You'll know you've reached irreducible complexity when the object of discussion ceases its designated function if any one of the 3 basic elements were to be removed, as the elements of Irreducible Complexity are;- Reduction to its Most Basic Level, Unique and Individual Components, Inter-dependence of Components for Function and Stability.
TICBOTROT (The Irreducible Complexity Based On The Rule Of Threes)of Possessions, for example is; Life, Liberty, Pursuit of happiness (i.e. land/sea/air space ownership). There are no more. These are the only things in existence which a human can truly own. Anything else will fall into one of these categories, though most people think only of things produced from the earth when referring to "possessions". In turn, each category can be subdivided into private, public and corporate or "limited group".
Your life, your freedom and your land are most fragile and most precious as they can all be taken away. They come at a high price as all through history people have had to fight to keep them. That's why they are constitutionally protected.
That protection is to be ensured by a stable government made up of 3 unique and individual elements, which also cannot function with one or more of its 3 elements removed. This was not an accident. The framers of the Constitution understood and used the concept of TICBOTROT as a means to ensure the survival and stability of your freedoms.
TICBOTROT of survival is; knowledge, skills and equipment. Luck has nothing to do with survival directly. Luck, or chance is one leg of "Odds" and has been proved mathematically to exist 33% of the time; TICBOTROT of Odds - Assured, Chance, No Chance. What we call Luck is nothing more than a hope that we fall on the favorable side of unknown variables of unknown events. To rely on it guarantees "Bad Luck" or a failure rate of 66% overall. Not good odds in a survival situation.
The more you prepare (or more precisely), the more variables you take into account in your preparations, the higher on the scale you move from the direction of "no chance" toward "assured". You are putting "Luck" on your side.
Unfortunately, odds always suffer proportionately to an increase of unknown variables. For that reason, those seasoned in survival never cease looking to increase their knowledge in an effort to eliminate as many unknown variables as possible.
To increase your odds of survival, you must begin with its elements of knowledge, skill and equipment with regard to the requirements of life on this planet; TICBOTROT of Life is; respiration, growth and consumption. For our purposes, we will call these; air, automated function, and life support, (not to be confused with "artificial life support" used when automated functions break down; i.e. TICBOTROT of medicine. Subject of another discussion).
Unless you frequent atmospheres outside of normal everyday life or have a medical condition of some sort, chances are likely that you'll begin with your preparations in the area of Life Support.
TICBOTROT of Life Support -Food, Water, Core Temperature.
Food, Water, and Core Temperaturecan be further subdivided as follows;
Food: Animal, Insect, Plant
- Animals - Hunting, Trapping, Fishing;
- Insects - In or on the ground, in or on plants, in or on animals
- Plant - Roots, Main Body (Stalks/Leaves), Fruit/Flower
Water: Pooled, Traveling, Extracted
- Pooled - Puddles, Ponds, Lakes
- Traveling - Melts, Streams, Precipitation
- Extracted - Earth, Plants, Air
Core Temperature: Fire, Clothing, Shelter
- Fire - Passive, Primitive, Commercial Firestarters
- Clothing - Plant, Animal, Synthetic
- Shelter - Natural, Field Constructed, Commercially Produced
Once you've created a list like this, you can create as many sub-categories as you like according to your knowledge and skills. For example, when you are first learning, Fire - Primitive would only contain a couple of primitive methods of fire making. Then, as your knowledge and skills increase Fire - Primitive would have 3 sub-categories; compression, friction, percussion.
Creating an exhaustive list like this is a good way to test the limits of your knowledge as well as give you a clear indication of areas that may need a little attention.
Eventually, your experience will cause you to add more depth to each category, especially in survival situations of any duration. For example; Food - Animal, Insect, Plant, in survival situations of any duration may not be enough as more people are added to the situation. Remember that they also will be competing for available food. As adding duration and/or people to a survival situation would necessarily increase the unknown variables thereby decreasing your odds, so must you plan for that set of variables to maintain your odds of survival.
Food - Animal, Insect, Plant will become a sub-category of Food - Gathered. Food-Gathered will be only one sub-categoryof 3 basic legs: Food - Stored, Grown, Gathered.
Using your list as a guide, you can eliminate (through practice) much of what would have been "unexpected surprises". You will be better equipped to handle a survival situation as you'll be sure of what you know and not what you only thought you knew. This can make all the difference, because, in the world of survival, 2nd Place is dead.