Three Hours without Shelter
I know many of you will be saying that this can’t be correct. I go out for more than 3 hours at a time and I don’t need a shelter to survive.
Once again, the rules of 3 are not an exact time period to measure your survival or death and are only a general guide to help focus on our priorities in a survival situation. Furthermore, the rules of 3’s are for survival situations and not everyday life; therefore, they are based on the worse case scenarios such as being dumped into freezing cold water drenching your clothing or somehow being stuck in the middle of the desert naked.
Once you understand that your clothing is part of your shelter and that the rule of 3’s is based on the worse case scenarios then things start to come into perspective. Did you know that in survival situations (worldwide) more people die of Hypothermia and Hyperthermia than any other preventable cause?
Where you are will make a big difference to the type of shelter you will need. Do you need the cooling effects of shade to protect you from the harsh hot sun or do you need help maintaining your body warmth in the freezing cold snow?
However, in both situations you need to remember that this is a survival situation and that you do not know how long you will be out here and that you only have limited resources. For this reason, you should look as making your shelter as effectively and efficiently as possible.
If you have resources that are effective and efficient to use, then by all means put them into use. An example of this could be a tarp or tent in your backpack. This will provide far better protection than a rough and ready natural shelter and can be bolstered up with natural materials if needed.
If you don’t have resources such as this then you need to keep your shelter as easy to make and construct as possible while it still maintaining its effectiveness. Some examples of efficient but effective shelters is the shade of a large tree during a hot day or the warmth of a fire during a cold night. The fire will also provide light, cooking, water purification and signalling for rescue.
Also think a head, what you need shelter for now may change in a few hours. An example of this is the dessert where you need shade from the hot sun during the day, but you will need warmth during the cold nights. Can you build a shelter that will provide you both?
Some other common, effective, and efficient survival shelters are debris huts. This is where a small A frame is made normally by sticking a log in a low fork of a tree and then placing branches and then leaves and other vegetation over the A frame to trap in your body heat and keep water and cold wind out.
The next time you are out in the bush I strongly recommend that you have a look around and identify what you would need shelter from if the worse was to happen and how you could best achieve that. Having some sort of a plan would be very useful if it ever comes to being in a survival situation.
As always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back so someone comes looking for you if the worst was to happen.
*When using natural shelters, they can be very hard for rescue parties to spot. Leave high visibility items outside of your shelter for your rescue party to see.