Urban Survival: How to Manage Difficult Times in the City

Following the Rule of Threes is the key to modern-day urban survival.

| January 2013

In Ragnar’s Urban Survival (Paladin Press, 2000), America's leading survival author, Ragnar Benson, debunks the myth that the only way to survive is to stock a retreat in the mountains. He tells urban dwellers how to find water, trap and butcher game, preserve food, position a retreat for maximum safety and barter with other survivors. Ragnar gives you the solid information you will need to make it if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality. In this excerpt from chapter 1, “Basic Survival Philosphy,” learn all about the Rule of Threes.   

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: Ragnar’s Urban Survival.

“When it is extremely important that your pants stay up, use both a belt and suspenders, along with buttons on your shirttails,” a Russian proverb says. This basic homily echoes the Golden Rule of Survival, known as the Rule of Threes.

The Pacific Northwest Nez Percé Indians probably deserve the most thanks for refining this rule into a genuinely workable survival plan. Most likely this plan became part of their culture in about 1730 with arrival of their first horses. The Nez Percé were the only tribe of North American Indians who learned to selectively breed their stock, leading to development of the famous Appaloosa warhorse.

The Nez Percé were unique in several other regards. They were the only tribe that did not routinely starve every winter. They had a lifesaving survival plan that soon became an integral part of their culture.

It was a model of simplicity, explaining in large part its great success. The Nez Percé discovered that for everything really, truly important to life, three separate and distinct methods of supply must be developed. As it evolved through the years, this Rule of Threes proved to be extremely wise. Obviously the Nez Percé applied this rule to their life in the country, but experienced city survivors have found that it works equally well for them.

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