The Survival Rule of 3s: You Can Survive for Three Weeks without Food

  • Posted on May 10, 2017

The doomsday has now officially come and gone, but your prep is far from over. In fact, our earlier doomsday prep has only gotten us so far. There is still a lot to do. Now it’s time to finally figure out what you and your fellow doomsday preppers are going to do about food. Everyone is breathing (three minutes without air), everyone has a place to sleep (three hours without shelter), you have a source of potable and utility water (three days without water).
No doubt you have been scavenging food here and there throughout the previous stages of doomsday preparation, but now it is time to seriously consider how your camp is going to fill your bellies (three weeks without food).
Many doomsday preppers find that food is one of the first things they are concerned about when starting out. After all, you probably have some pretty crystal clear memories of walking through the basements and storehouses of those who came before you. You may remember five-gallon buckets of 25 year old raw honey in your in-laws’ house or maybe some tin cans of wheat or rice in your grandparents’ basement. Food storage is actually one of the most conspicuous and visible aspects of doomsday prep, which is probably why it is one of the most advertised and sought after steps.
Food is certainly important, but hopefully this series on surviving the apocalypse and doomsday preparation has placed food security into a larger and more balanced perspective.

Food Security before the End Arrives

Increased public awareness of the fragility of society and the ever-increasing likelihood that something catastrophic can (and may very well) take place has given rise to any number of doomsday prep profiteering. Modern prepper suppliers are taking every advantage in the newly created markets and while many may deserve the benefit of the doubt, rest assured that many “wholesale” or “boutique” prep supply operations are only out to make a quick dollar by taking advantage of inexperienced members of the doomsday prepper community.
It is up to the well-seasoned and experienced to help avoid some of the newbie pitfalls. What follows are a few guidelines that may help you prepare for the end before the end in an economic and smart manner.

Budget and Plan

First, consider your budget and plan ahead. Way ahead. Now, don’t read this and assume that you have to immediately buy a three year supply of canned yams tomorrow. No. When planning way ahead you should understand that doomsday prep is NOT a marathon. You need to be smart.
Begin by reviewing your expenditures and carve out a modest budget to spend on food security (remember that this budget is likely going to be built up parallel to and concurrently with your other doomsday prep initiatives like radios, emergency medical supplies, mobile living and fuel). Start with a modest goal of prepping a three-day emergency food rations for each member of your doomsday camp. Include non-perishable, portable, rations. Avoid overpriced rations like MREs and instead invest in an affordable vacuum sealer and create your own rations. A basic kit can contain a few each of beef and chicken bouillon cubes, a tablespoon of salt and pepper, a few spoonfuls of peanut butter, some dry crackers, and drink powders (coffee, kool-aid, lemonade, tea, etc) as well as creamers. Place a few cans of tuna, some dry pasta, dry meats, and whatever else sounds good.
You can look around for great tutorials on this front so we won’t spend a lot of time here and now. Just remember that the goal is not to break the bank in the first month of doomsday prep. Slow and steady in this case wins the apocalypse.

Shelf Life and Nutrition

Once you feel you can get through a few days of chaos, expand your doomsday food prep to include long shelf-life products such as wheat, rice, pasta, etc. This is where you can disregard some of the warnings above about weight and space. The point is now to make sure you have the essential nutrients and vital vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. Again, there are myriad and high-quality guides to get you started on this front. Check your local community for emergency preparation groups, resources (private and yes, some government) programs) can provide guidance on how to prioritize your efforts.


Before moving on to discuss food security while doomsday is happening, and the day of preparation is past, you should make sure that you understand and have a plan for rotating your storage and stock. One of the significant wastes in doomsday prep (and one that outsiders love to hate) is the potential for waste. How many people do you know that zealously rushed out and bought a garage full of boutique food storage only to have it all expire or waste away five or ten years down the road and end up in the landfill? Be smart.
Once you spend your money, use what you have. It will help you to become acclimated to cooking on a budget and ration and it will help train your palate. You may even learn something about how to personalize your food plan to your tastes and preferences while still holding true to your doomsday prep mindset.

During and After Doomsday

So once doomsday comes, you may or may not be in the safety of your survivalist camp. You may or may not have immediate access to the months of stock. Even if you are relatively close to where you want to end up, any number of misfortunes can come between you and your goal. Next time we are going to deeply review how food safety works in the immediate aftermath of catastrophe and how you can use the several days or months time bought with your pre-doomsday prep to set yourself up for long-term success.
Until next time, remember to plan, stick to it, and don’t get discouraged. Any step toward a more secure future is a step worth taking.

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