Basic Survival Needs: The 5 Most Important Things To Live

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 05/09/2024

Today, I’ve got something really interesting to share…

A Deep Thought Experiment On Our Basic Survival Needs…

Because if we strip away all the BS…

What does a human being really need to survive?

  • Not taking into account what makes us comfortable.
  • Ignoring the discussion of avoiding injuries or disease.
  • Not figuring out what it takes to thrive.

At the end of the day, what are the basic human needs to avoid premature death?

TOPICS IN THIS ARTICLE…    ↓(click to jump)
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The Very Basics To Life

Oxygen, water, food, shelter, self-defense...that’s it.

If you plan for and meet these 5 survival needs, you can reasonably survive any scenario.

It may not be pretty, life might not be “worth” living, and you might have psychological issues.

But your immediate physical needs will be met, and you can survive.

This thought exercise is worth doing because sometimes getting prepared can become overwhelming…especially for those new to prepping.

When you research all the survival products and information available, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and confused about where to begin.

Unfortunately…for many, this equates to throwing in the towel and giving up.

They find it easier to convince themselves that “SHTF will never happen” instead of being ready “just in case IT does.”

↓ The Surprising Reason People Live A Fragile Life

So, if you are considering survival options…where should you start?

What should your human survival needs be?

Let’s start with the basics…

↓ You ONLY Need These 5 Things to Survive

1. Survival Priority = Oxygen

The good news is there’s not much you need to do to prepare for this one.

Even in a TEOTWAWKI survival scenario, there will likely still be abundant oxygen, and if not…we are all screwed anyway.

The two big exceptions are nuclear fallout and highly contagious airborne diseases, where the air is deadly to breathe.

So, for these scenarios, get a gas mask, stay indoors, and avoid unnecessary interactions with others.

First basic survival need, done.

2. Survival Priority 2 = Water

Ok, this one is really important.

We need lots of water and a constant procurement of more for the long haul.

But let’s try to keep things simple…you have two basic choices for water acquisition.

Ideally, you want to plan for both but to start, pick one and ensure you do it right.

So, decide which option is best for you (factoring in location, family size, etc.) and then take meaningful action to plan a procurement strategy.

Humans need to consume about Half a Gallon of water per day to avoid the onset of dehydration.

Assuming the taps go completely dry, you have a water plan.

You also should consider adding a rainwater collection system if you plan to store water.

That way, you can continuously replenish your water stock every time it rains.

Just pray it rains often enough to offset your usage over time.

Without a solid water procurement plan before SHTF, you’re putting your survival in the hands of hope, fate, and dumb luck—not smart.

3. Survival Priority = Food

Sure…you can go quite a while without food, but at some point, you need to replace the calories you expend to avoid starvation.

You can even go severely calorie-negative for weeks (or even months).

But eventually, math wins (calories in vs. calories out), and you’ll need to find a balance.

Let’s try to keep this one simple as well.

The way I see it, you have 2 basic choices.

To be honest, you should do both of these.

Stockpile food supplies won’t last forever without systematic replenishment.

Without a decent-sized initial food stock, it will be difficult to transition between growing seasons and lean times.

Having a food plan is critical before SHTF…

I cannot imagine someone surviving very long improvising after SHTF on food procurement, and handouts will not be likely.

4. Survival Priority = Shelter

Even if it gets really cold, you can survive the elements with a decent shelter to keep wind and rain off of you.

You also want to have some basic fuel stockpiled (firewood) and ration it smartly so you can stay warm even on the most frigid nights.

So, any basic (non-leaky) shelter will do that job.

A home, cabin, RV, tent, or even a cave can suffice.

Ensuring you have a main shelter and a backup survival shelter is about all you can do for this need.

Worst case, you might be able to find abandoned shelters if you have to leave your primary one.

If you reside somewhere where trees are abundant (and the population density is not extremely high), you can chop them down as needed.

If not, you might want to start building your firewood stockpile or bug out to a location with abundant trees.

I CAN imagine someone improvising their shelter plans.

At least more so than food and water.

I’m not suggesting you should improvise your shelter plans; just that I can envision surviving with some pretty basic shelter setups for a very long time if push comes to shove.

5. Survival Priority = Self-Defense

When humans are desperate, we will default to a dog-eat-dog mentality.

If you have no defensive weapons, gear, or skills, you will be at the mercy of those with a killer instinct.

So, you need a self-defense plan.

You have many choices in this realm of survival; in my opinion, you can never have too many self-defense skills.

To keep things simple…I suggest starting with firearms and ammo.

Get a survival gun and store ammo for it.

Oh…and learn how to use it.

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

Survival Needs & Prepping 101

So that’s how you start. With the basic survival needs of the body first.

  1. Invest in a quality civilian gas mask.
  2. Figure out your best water procurement option and implement it.
  3. Invest in your food stockpiling plan and implement it.
  4. Ensure you have a decent shelter (preferably with firewood available).
  5. Get a gun and stock ammo for it.

Congratulations…you are probably more prepared than 99% of your fellow Americans.

By the way, I’m not against advanced survival skills such as survival radio communications, off-grid power generation techniques, caching supplies, and survival bunkers.

They are all worth learning in due time.

But they are the “thrive” part of survival needs, which you should only start working on after you accomplish the “survive” part of your basic survival needs.

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