Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"
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    Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    Below is a practical and common-sense approach to aquiring perparations for SHTF situations. Many of us need to learn and USE this principal to balance our preparedness supplies.



    Originally posted by member "Cohort"


    It is my opinion that a person should establish a base line of need for their ammunition stockpile. It is easy (and fun) to buy, buy, buy more ammo. However, once a standard amount is on hand, every extra round of ammunition is purchased with preparedness dollars that could be allocated to other valuable and expensive kits, sets, and outfits. We are preparedness folks, not ninjas -- we should plan our ammo the same way we plan our water. What do we need, why do we need it, and how much is enough? All the ammo in the world isn't going to feed your family. As I have done with all of my preps (and surely most of you here have as well), I apply the rule of three to everything, including ammunition.

    1. How much Ammo do I need to live three seconds? The answer is one magazine -- no more, no less. If it ain't gettin' done with that in three seconds, it ain't gettin' done. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three seconds. For myself AND my family.

    2. How much ammo do I need to live three minutes? The answer is probably a couple of mags that could, at the worst case, in three minutes, allow me to remove myself from trouble. Maybe a hundred rounds for my rifle and a dozen for my pistol. I don't stock anymore than that until I have all the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three minutes. For myself AND my family.

    3. How much ammo do I need to live three hours? I think the answer here is probably enough to outfit a standard basic load -- just enough loaded magazines that can be comfortably carried on the body. This means that I add another two hundred rounds to what I have already stockpiled for my rifle and a couple dozen for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three hours. For myself AND my family.

    4. How much ammo do I need to live three days? I think the answer here is that I should plan on being able to refill my basic load at least once. We aren't combat soldiers, so we aren't looking for trouble -- we just need enough (at the three day mark) to top-off our spent magazines. Prudent preparation for unknown future calamity deems another couple hundred rounds for my rifle and another couple dozen rounds for my pistol to be appropriate. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three days. For myself AND my family.

    5. How much ammo do I need to live three weeks? Apply the same logic here as applied to the previous milestones with the emphasis on 'what do I need'? Again, since we aren't combat soldiers, we aren't fighting everyday for that period of time. It seems logical to assume that we may find ourselves in at least one more fight, so to prepare for such an event, stockpiling an additional basic load seems appropriate -- a couple hundred more rounds for my rifle and a couple dozen more rounds for my pistol. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three weeks. For myself AND my family.

    6. How much ammo do I need to live three months? Continuing in the same manner, after three months, there isn't likely to be continuous fighting. If there is, we are no longer preparedness folks, we are soldiers and different logistics issues come into play. For preparedness, stocking our own in advance in order to safely navigate ourselves and our families through unforeseen dramas and hardships, it would not be unwise to have a spare case of ammunition, over and above what has already been stockpiled for the previous milestones. At this stage, one should not only be stocking an additional thousand rounds for your rifle; but should be thinking at least about a spare rifle of the same caliber for back-up (please note, that I specifically waited until this milestone to bring in an additional rifle). It is fun to buy guns, but now is when they become necessary redundancy. I don't stock any more than that until I have all of the air, food, water, and shelter I need for three months. For myself AND my family.

    7. How much ammo do I need to live for a year or more? This is the point at which, for me, the rule of threes ends and a homestead lifestyle takes its place. At this level of societal disruption, it is not realistic to stockpile enough ammunition to live for three years. It is realistic, at this point in the preparation plan, to stockpile the equipment, skills, and raw materials to make ammunition. Don't stock cartridges, stock thousands of bullets, casings, powder, and reloading equipment to allow yourself to survive an indefinite period. Stock spare parts for rifles that will not be readily available. Prepare at this unprecedented level to never be able to go to a 'gun store' again.
    RLTW


    RIP Dale Brehm, Ricardo Barraza KIA 19MAR06
    RIP Pat Tillman KIA 22APR04

    A-2/75 RLTW

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    Sir, remind me NOT to piss you off.

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    V for Vendetta

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    you know i am new to this forum and i know others have far more than i do. and i just collect/gather for future enjoyment. if that doubles as preparedness, that is fine too. your rules of three leave out basic ergonomics. if mobile, how much does 1000 rounds weigh? i have "just in case" sections of my ammo collection with the necessary firearms nearby. this includes a few bricks off 22lr that are easily accessible and quite a few rounds of the natec 223 that has the polymer casing. the natec is super super light and accurate enough to be used for whatever you need. the ar15 or the m16 decision is probably based more on if one needs to survive or be a soldier. (my m16 barrels are pretty short and less accurate, but it sprays bullets pretty fast )

    also by suggestion of a friend i have a special box. this special box is a smaller pelican brief case sized box with a good working 22 handgun, 500 rounds of ammo, 4 loaded magazines, water pur tabs, dry rice, dry beans, p38 can opener, water proof matches, 2 bic lighters, 1 mre, 2 space blankets, swiss army knife/leatherman, some twine, undisclosed cash in lower denominations and some in higher denoms.

    this is not the lightest box in the world but it is easily mobile and can fit in a decent sized back pack if on foot and would be easier concealed in that fashion. the point is is that it has what i feel to be a decent emergency stash for 1 or two people for a few days to a week on the go.

    r

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    Iets look at a recent history lesson - Andrew, some people were cut of for 30
    days. The local Govts. told people to leave because they could not supply h2O - water - food - or protection. This left you with the decision - abandon your home to the looters, or stay and set up a local Militia with your neighbors. Some did some did'nt. Hopefully there is at least one or two neighbors that are x military or police. This is where if your smart, get to know your neighbors. I do, I live in Florida. Have a bug plan, do you know your local U-hall man well enought that he would hold a trailer or truck for you. Have you torn a bill into and told him when shtf he gets the other half.
    Is there a friend you could stay with, if so how long. Do you have a supple of
    gas horded away. I have four 5gal. gerry cans. Do you have a hitch on your car? How many cases of cup of soup do you have? these are just the basics.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction!!!

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    ok i see where this is going and i'm taking the hook, line, and sinker with me.
    this is what i do if SHTF always keep a stock pile of water and mre's ( me i have 60 of each)( i buy in bulk) then make sure u keep at least if not more, 60 mags worth of ammo thats it. keep spare parts for your guns ( remember 2 is 1, 1 is none. live by that and your ok) make friend with neighbor's this way they can learn from you or vis versa. and if all else fails and the shit really REALLY REALLY hit the fan then u load up with your buddys and raid the closes military base and load up on everything you can get and GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE ( REMEMBER WHEN YOUR RAID A BASE YOU NEED THE FOLLOWING GUNS, AMMO, FOOD (MRE), WATER, LARGE TRANSPORT TRUCKS AND A TANK IF YOU CAN MANAGE WITH A FUEL TRUCK) OH AND TRY TO GET THE WATER TRUCKS b/C THEY HAVE A ONBOARD WATER PURIFYING SYSTEM SO YOU CAN GET WATER FROM ANYTHING THEN WHEN YOU RUN OUT.
    FEAR YOUR SHADOW'S B/C I'LL BE THERE WATCHING YOU THROUGH MY CROSS HAIR.

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    For survival cosiderations whether urban or rural the use of caches pre-planned and placed would be a definite consideration in any SHTF preparation.
    As was previously mentioned, you can't carry everything. Heavy items such as ammo, food, water, weapons, clothng would need to be cached in strategic locations.
    If you are in a Hurricane location having supplies stashed with a relative or friend far away inland would be wise.
    If you have a rural location as an escape I would have caches located nearby to avoid theft.
    Operating in an urban area would require safehouses and stashed supplies if you are talking L.A. riots or 4GW activities

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    Not trying to hijack, but I heard of a different "Rule of Threes" as it applies to being in a survival situation:

    You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.


    I can't remember where I heard it, but it's always seemed logical. The 'shelter' one is a little iffy unless you're exposed to extreme cold or something.
    Celebrating 20 years of AK ownership: 1992-2012

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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Zackerly
    Not trying to hijack, but I heard of a different "Rule of Threes" as it applies to being in a survival situation:

    You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.


    I can't remember where I heard it, but it's always seemed logical. The 'shelter' one is a little iffy unless you're exposed to extreme cold or something.

    Many survival courses will emphasize the '3 minutes, 3 days, 3 weeks' scenarios. If you're breathing and mobile, you should be able to improvise some sort of shelter under most conditions. Unless you're soaking wet and unconscious in >50 degree weather, you should be able to last longer than three hours...

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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    I read this thread a week or more ago and have been digesting it a bit. As a new member, I do not want to get on the bad side of anyone. So with that said, I must respectfully disagree with Cohort’s “Rule of Threes.”

    I won’t go through section by section, but I will cover the ones I mostly disagree with.

    1. Quickly after a breakdown in the everyday social expectations it takes about five minutes for the POS (“thugs”, “badguys”, “gangbangers” whatever you want to call them) to start preying on the weak and helpless. They will all most certainly start this as a pair of POS and quickly move to small gangs/gangs. Empirical evidence: Katrina.

    One magazine for three seconds? Eight plus one rounds of .45 in your 1911 or 19+1 round of 9mm XD(m)? Would not that make a HUGE difference? Either way, you should have AT LEAST TWO magazines and so you can perform a tactical reload after you get a lull in the action. Plus the two, or more, may be coming in from different directions. In a SHTF scenario I would have no less than two spares on me (but I do that everyday too).

    Last point of point #1; everyone in my family that is able to, would be equally armed.


    3. While I do not disagree with Cohort here, I would like to add some clarification, IMHO, of what this should be. I think everyone concerned about a SHTF scenario should have some sort of higher capacity pistol or be prepared to carry additional magazines. Figure >=60 round of pistol ammo. At this point you should be armed with both your sidearm and a rifle/shotgun and should be carrying more ammo for the latter.

    4.-7. Should be as much ammo as you can afford to purchase and store. Realistically 99.8% of us here-- myself included-- could not expect to afford the space and funds needed for storing food and water for more than a six months or a year-- both of which go bad over time where ammo, properly stored, can last a lifetime. Plus I also buy "cheap stuff" that I normally do not eat because of the high calorie content and therefore I would never rotate it. Think Spam (1080 Cal per can, <$3) and Chef Boyardee Ravioli (400 Cal per can, <=$1.00).

    Long term, while ammo is heavy, it would still be much easier than moving your reloading equipment, bench, supplies, et al to your new location. Plus ammo can and will be used as a means of currency that you may use for food and other supplies.


    With my points noted above, I also think everyone should have a .22 rifle in their safe along with at least 1,000 rounds for it. I believe a quality air gun and ammo for it would be important for small game as the .22 may not be needed. As for water, look into what you need to safely filter your own.


    /tg

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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim G
    I read this thread a week or more ago and have been digesting it a bit. As a new member, I do not want to get on the bad side of anyone. So with that said, I must respectfully disagree with Cohort’s “Rule of Threes.” ..........
    /tg

    You missed the point and seemingly applied it without knowing it. The rule of threes is only to make you balance what is important to you and in your AO. Which you did by applying the rules to yourself and changing as needed.

    rules of 3s is just a balancing tool.

    For me, i can not fire a full magazine from my rifle, transition to my side arm, and empty said sidearm in less than 3 seconds while taking reasonably aimed shots. Once again though, i applied the rule of 3s and found my comfort balance.

    No use in having 10 tons of ammo and 1 can of beans.
    There are ways of storing food for decades.

    balance is all 'cohort' says.
    "Gold is the money of kings. Silver is the money of gentlemen.? Barter is the money of peasants and debt is the money of slaves."

  13. #12
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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    I agree, balance would be best. No sense in buying 100,000 rounds of such and such ammo only to starve to death with 99,000 rounds left.

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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    A couple things to think about - in an urban area the government either is going to make you move - for your ( Own Good ) in a real or staged emergency. So your limited in what you can do during the move. They probably won't let you take gun's if there providing the transportation so hopefully you have some provisions cashed at a friends home across town or at a near by location if your lucky enough to get away from your helpers. Now what are you going to have in that steamer trunk that you cashed? A couple sleeping bags, clothing, a few water bottles, a radio, riot shotgun, hand gun, extra med. kit. Unfortunately your helpers will probably separate you from your back pack after they ( helped You ) so make sure you will have to have everything your going to need for at least 3 days in you survival trunk. You really don't want to be stuck in a FEMA tent with 3000 new friends surrounded by barb wire.
    The only easy day was yesterday

  15. #14
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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    The original survivor's rule of threes as I learned it applies to the one is none, two is one, have three different sources of everything concept. An old Russian proverb (paraphrased) states "If you want to make sure your pants to stay up you should wear a belt, and suspenders, and buttons on your shirt."

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    Re: Survival Preparation: The "Rule of Threes"

    I don't understand the emphasis on carrying so much ammo. Even in a complete meltdown of a situation, you are never going to need a thousand rounds of ammo, unless you are solidly planted in place, and going no where while being relentlessly attacked. If you are lighting up so many people that you burn through 8 mags in 3 hours, you are doing something incredibly wrong, as you have been fixed by the enemy. Time to leave. Surviving in a SHTF scenario isn't Red Dawn...you aren't going on ops to light up military convoys or defending a firebase here people, you are SURVIVING. That means low profile, conserve resources, and most of all AVOID conflict to keep yourself out of danger.

    And if you are dumb enough: in a scrap where the enemy needs to be assaulted, pinned, flanked, and constantly fired upon...don't you think there are going to be countless weapons and ammunition laying around after you take whatever lame ass objective you targeted? Granted, if you are lone-rangering it into some unknown armed group...bend over, stick your head between your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye...because you are going to be dog food by dinnertime.

 

 
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