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Fulfilling the Three Basics for Survival At its most basic core, survival in the wilderness comes down to fulfilling three essential needs of the human body—food, water, and shelter. The physical location of where an individual gets thrust into a survival situation will vary greatly, and the direct needs of those individuals will therefore be as varied as the environments that they find themselves in.

Food Yet still, ultimately in stable outdoor survival conditions, a person matching wits with the wild will be able to survive so long as they are able to fulfill those three basic needs of food, water, and shelter. The first of these, obtaining food, is one of the easier necessities to fulfill thanks to the bounty of the earth. In almost any outdoor environment there will be items suitable for human consumption, so long as the person in survival mode is willing to eat it. As always, the best way to survive an unexpected stay in the outdoors is to plan for the possibility. To be fully prepared to survive the situation, a person who knows they will be venturing in an area and thus has the potential to be thrown into a survival situation should study and know the eatable plants in the area they will be moving through. The requirement of food and fuel for the body can be easily filled if a person knows which plants can be eaten and which ones should be avoided.

Water The second on the list of survival requirements, but first on the list of necessity, is for a person in a survival situation to find a source of drinkable water. Finding water can very literally be the difference in living and dying in the wild, but rushing into a vat of bacteria filled water can be equally as harmful for the survivalist. Therefore, finding water turns to finding clean water, or drinkable water so as to avoid sickness or poisoning. Clean water can be either found or created in several ways. One of the first ways to find clean and purified water is to locate a spring fed by subsurface water. Subsurface water has been purified through natural processes of traveling through rock soil and sand. Finding a spring of water in the ground that is fed by subsurface water is one of the best sources for survival water because it is a constant source of renewable water. If such as spring cannot be found, there are other ways in which to procure water for survival.


Rivers, streams, and lakes are all sources of water that can be treated and purified for consumption. Boiling water before consuming it is the best way to purify such groundwater and can be done with a container and a small fire.

Shelter Shelter is the last important necessity to survival. As a part of shelter, the ability to start and feed a fire may be critical to survival for those in colder climates especially. Building a shelter is a relatively easy task as almost any material can be used to make a lean-to or other temporary type structure. By knowing how to fulfill these three basic needs of the human body, one will be able to increase their likelihood of successfully enduring an unexpected survival situation in the wild.


Fulfilling the Three Basics for Survival