Breakdown of Survival Situations

Categorization of Survival Situations by Length

99% of Survival Situations are over in the Short-Term

Survival Lean-to with a Plastic Front

We are often asked at BWI how we Breakdown or Categorize Survival Situations. We have used this breakdown for over 2 Decades and believe it the most appropriate in use. Survival Situations in the Modern World can be Broken Down into 3 Groups; Short-Term Survival Situations (1 to 4 Days), Medium-Term Survival Situations (4 to 40 Days), & Long-Term Survival Situations (40 Days Plus).

99% of Survival Situations are over in the Short-Term, while most others end during the Medium-Term. Survival Situation more than 10-Days long are very rare. These can be caused either by rescue or the death of the individuals involved. Either way training and the choice of equipment should concentrate on getting an individual or group stranded in the wilderness through those 1st Few Days and them giving them the Knowledge they need to Survive through the Medium-Term.

Modern Wilderness Survival in general does not delve into Long-Term Survival Techniques (40 Days Plus), we leave that to the practisers of primitive technology to discuss. It must be remembered survival for periods of over 40 days are almost always a lifestyle choice or the result of a specific decision to live in the 'wilderness'. In the Wilderness Individuals Rarely Survive over the Long-Term without the Support of an Extended Family Group. Read about Christopher McCandless attempt to survive alone in Alaska and his legacy in the survival training community. It will be Basic Wilderness Survival Skills which allow us to Survive, not the ability to brain tan, make baskets or even light a fire by friction.

Survival Resources

Article by (, Updated 6th March 2016)
Chief Instructor of the Boreal Wilderness Institute