What is the Survival Rule Of Two? Why is it important?
If you are reading this in the anticipation of learning about the traditional Air, Water, Food then you are in the wrong place. However, this is a different rule, and depending on the context, it can mean the difference in a survival situation.
You’re probably pretty intrigued now, right? . . .
What is the rule of two?
At its most basic fundamental level the rule is: Take at least two of every essential item when there is a moderate to high risk of being involved in a survival situation.
Now, this depends on the products, and the context.
Looking firstly at the context . . . If you are out at night, you should have two flashlights. Why? Because, if one fails you have a backup. Without a light in the dark you dramatically increase your chances creating a survival situation.
In that context a flashlight is an essential item. There will be other essentials too, but a flashlight (torch) is a good example to start off with. There is no set number of items that you need to include, it all depends on the situation, also what you are doing, and for how long.
Time is an important thing to consider, as this is potentially critical to how many products you need to apply the rule to.
If you are going away for a few hours on a trek you aren’t going to want to take masses of duplicated items because that’s really impractical. There will be some essentials such as water and potentially clothing depending on the conditions, but really you won’t need much. However, longer trips where you are going to be out for 24 hours and up you are likely to need more items replicated. Things like lights, water bottles, knives, paracord, and whatever else you need for your trip.
Do Not duplicate!
This is a really important part of the rule. You do not want to duplicate products like-for-like. By that we mean if for example you are using a Petzl Nao headlamp and it were to fail (we are in no way saying it will) then you wouldn’t want to carry another exactly the same. Why? Because the reason it could have failed could be a build/design fault which would render your back-up headlamp also useless. Instead you should look at carrying the Petzl Nao with something like the Olight H25 Wave. They are similar power outputs but use different power systems, and have very different design traits. Therefore, you get a headlamp that should still work, and it’ll actually work out cheaper for you!
This ‘Do Not Duplicate’ sub-rule should be applied across the range of products you are looking at taking with you using the ‘Rule of Two’ system.
Below we’ve included some examples so you can get a feel for what we mean. These are just examples as it is important that you put the items into context. Lay out all of the kit you are going to (or looking at taking) take, then decide which will be most important should things go south!
Knives – A Fallkniven F1 as a primary with the Mora Kansbol as a backup.
Lighting – A Nitecore MH20 as a primary with the Fenix HL15 as a backup. These two are a good pairing option because they give you the user a different type of light. One being hands free and the other not gives great flexibility!
Fire Starters – The Vargo Ultimate Fire Starter contains a Ferro rod, striker and bellows. A fantastic primary fire starter with the classic LMF Swedish Fire Steel as a trusty backup.