The 5 Basic Needs of a Survival Situation


Knowing The 5 Basic Needs Will help Keep You Alive!

There are five basic needs that every person in a survival situation should address that are key to getting you through safely through the situation and returned to your family.  Knowing these needs and anticipating what you will have to do to meet these 5 basic needs should be what you focus on most.  As a former Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (S.E.R.E.) Instructor for the USAF, I heard and taught these 5 basic needs over and over again.  When many people think of being in a wilderness survival situation they think of Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!  But in reality the basic needs you have in the forest reflect many of the same needs you have in everyday life.  Although it could all seem overwhelming, if you get down to the basics it is really pretty simple.  It’s as simple as doing what it takes to maintain your core body temperature, hydration and energy levels and either attempting to get the attention of rescue personnel or walking out and affecting your own rescue while doing everything possible to avoid getting injured and making the situation worse.

I bring this up because all to often I see great actions shots in “Reality” Survival TV shows that frequently overlook the safety and avoid getting injured portions of this simple equation.  Killing alligators and running through the jungle or swinging from tree tops makes Awesome TV!  I love watching Man vs Wild and Dual Survival, etc.  I watch them with great interest myself, but I think it is important to be able to separate good TV from good survival advice.  And understand that some of the stuff they do is for ratings and not education of the audience.  For additional guidance  on How To Prioritize Your Actions In A Wilderness Survival Situation click here to download my Free Mini-EBook.

In No Particular Order The 5 Basic Needs Are:

Personal protection (maintaining a 98.6 core body temperature)

– Clothing

– Fire

– Shelter


– Water

– Food


– First aid

– Hygiene


– Walking out

– Navigation


– By electronic means, radio, beacon, etc

– Ground to air signals

Every one of the five basic needs could be more important than the other depending on the time or circumstances.  But all will play a role in your ultimate recovery.

Have You Ever Found Yourself In A Survival Situation? If So Were You Able To Meet Your 5 Basic Needs? Tell Us All About It In The Comments Below!

Below is a short YouTube video done by the BBC on the USAF SERE School if you are unfamiliar with what it is or what they teach.

Click here to watch on YouTube if you don’t have Flash:


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Last but not least, if you are a shooter you may also want to Click This Link, that will take you to a page that provides FREE plans for building an awesome Portable Shooting Bench from one single sheet of plywood.  Or if you are an outdoorsman and you spend time in the wilderness you may also want to Click On This Link, to go to a page where you can download my FREE mini-ebook that describes all of the most important steps needed to affect your rescue if you were lost in the wilderness.

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