basic survival needs

Food, water, shelter and first aid are the four core survival needs that should be prioritized in an SHTF or bug out scenario. While other items should also be considered when planning for such situations as well. It’s crucial that you recognize these five items to maintain physical wellbeing in the face of disaster.

Always have an emergency survival kit ready, including food and water as well as other tools like flashlights and blankets in case of an unexpected event.


Water is a clear, colorless chemical substance found everywhere on Earth, composed of billions of molecules of oxygen and hydrogen held together by strong covalent bonds. Water flows as liquid in rivers, streams and oceans; freezes at the North and South Poles; and exists as water vapor in the atmosphere (water vapor). All living things require water for survival – humans only survive several days without drinking enough to remain hydrated enough to avoid dehydration.

Water fills the cells of living organisms and helps them maintain important shapes on a molecular level. As the universal solvent, it carries many chemicals throughout our bodies – essential for respiration as it provides oxygen to breathe and medication to its target sites in our bodies. Furthermore, it serves as part of biological membranes as it transmits chemical signals between different parts of cells and their environment.

Water’s simple structure also makes it an excellent conductor of electricity and its electrochemical energy storage and signal transduction are critical functions in cells for maintaining life; such processes help facilitate muscle contraction, communication between organs and digestion of nutrients.

Water is one of the five essential survival items. Most people automatically think of water first when considering what they require to stay alive – likely influenced by shows such as Man vs Wild and Survivor Man where Bear Grylls discusses what he considers essential elements needed by all individuals to sustain life.

The Rule of 3s is an effective way for individuals to remember which priorities must be prioritized in a survival situation. According to its principles, humans have only three seconds without oxygen, three hours without shelter and three days without water; though other needs such as sexual intimacy, emotional support or sense of belonging could potentially contribute to survival but these do not require immediate physical sustenance.


Food is of vital importance in any survival situation; without oxygen for three minutes but only three hours without shelter and weeks or even days without water, you will perish quickly without it. Your primary focus should be to ensure these essential needs are fulfilled before considering anything else.

Food is vital to survival, and when buying in bulk it should be easily stored and at an economical price. Rice, beans and grains make ideal survival foods. They have long shelf lives while providing plenty of nutrition while remaining relatively inexpensive when purchased as needed.

Even though it may not seem essential, getting enough sleep should also be seen as a basic survival need. Without enough shuteye, thinking clearly becomes challenging and meeting other necessities may become impossible. Not getting enough rest may also pose serious health risks – adequate rest ensures a properly functioning nervous system and allows the body to carry out necessary functions that ensure survival.


Shelter is an essential survival need, providing protection from the elements while offering privacy and security for residents. A shelter may also protect individuals from predators or other wild animals that pose danger – shelter should always be sought out during emergencies such as homeless shelters, bomb shelters or animal refuges.

Survival situations call for shelter to protect individuals against extreme temperatures and weather conditions, including scorching sun rays and prolonged precipitation, wind gusts, snowfall or any other factors which could potentially cause injury or death. A lean-to or A-frame structure is often sufficient for accommodating one to four individuals within its confines.

Shelter can offer comfort in the wilderness and serve as an antidote against panic, providing a sense of place and safety from exposure. However, in order to be truly useful during an emergency situation it requires many hours of practice in creating one that both comfortable and functional in an instantaneous situation.

Maintaining the appropriate equipment is paramount, but knowing how to utilize those tools correctly is equally vital. Therefore, practicing using your gear before an emergency situation arises will ensure you will be fully prepared when the time comes.

If you’re in search of an easy survival shelter solution, a debris shelter might be just what’s needed. Make sure the ground is cushioned with warmth from leaves or pine needles, while being as dry as possible to avoid water seepage. Camp close to any bodies of water as they could flood and become deadly hazards if too close.

Another shelter option is a simple tarp secured to a rock or tree with cordage, providing easy construction that can accommodate two people comfortably. Tarps also double as sleeping bags while camping, making them essential additions to your survival kit as an emergency backup option when there are none other.

First Aid

Survivalists who spend time outdoors should know how to administer basic first aid if injuries do arise, from sprained ankles to burns from campfires; it’s crucial that they can take care in taking care of themselves and fellow adventurers as needed. First aid may also become necessary if someone becomes seriously hurt or sick during an adventure.

First aid’s goal is to save lives by providing basic medical attention for an ill or injured individual until professional medical help arrives. This could involve anything from treating minor wounds to helping save someone in a medical emergency – all the way down to staying calm until help arrives.

First aid comes in various forms and requires different levels of training or certification for certain professions, with aquatic first aid being tailored towards lifeguards or professional mariners, while battlefield first aid specializes in meeting the specific needs of those engaged in conflict situations.

People must understand the five basic survival needs so they are prepared in case of emergency situations in the wilderness. Though impossible to carry all essential supplies with them at all times, knowing which priorities will make a significant difference if something goes amiss – and increase your chance of making it out alive! For more outdoor survival advice and tips check out Les Stroud and Bear Grylls’ Man vs Wild and Survivor Man episodes!

Related Post