Skip to next element

Brandon Currin



We've all heard of the 3 rules of survival, the 5 C's of survival, and the lengthier version, the 10 C's of survival. Some may know the widely-used military acronym S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L. as well.

For me, these versions are either missing some major survival components, or are just an antiquated acronym that needs a major update.

The Survival 13 was developed by myself as a training tool to remember EVERYTHING necessary to survive another day in ANY environment. These were also put into order of importance for ME, and as you read, perhaps you will agree with my assessment on why.

1. Sharp Edge - Blades of some type were the first tools ever invented by man, and for good reason. A blade is the most essential piece of gear, and it’s also the most versatile. Once humans figured out how to make these tools by knapping stone, they developed these tools for cutting, chopping, scraping, hunting, and digging. Your knife is your most trusted tool and should be treated as such with proper maintenance.




2. Skills - Without skills to survive, you simply will NOT survive. Using your knowledge, tactics, and training, you will have a greater chance of success when challenged by the outdoors.

3. Sip - Sip, swig, drink....whatever you want to call it, you are going to need to find a water source -- and quickly once you find yourself in a survival scenario. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.




4. Spark - Some way to create a spark or an ember to first get a small fire going is essential for boiling your water for purification as well as for cooking meals.

5. Sustainable Fuel - A seemingly obvious next step, you will need some form of fuel -- kindling, tinder, or chopped wood -- to keep your fire burning past the initial spark phase.

6. Sustenance - Plants & vegetables will keep you alive, but fish and other meat will keep you healthy and strong. Your survival skills in this area need to be practiced often. You must try to eat as often as possible to sustain the calories, fat, electrolytes, sugars, sodium, protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients your body needs.

7. Shelter - Also known as cover, refuge, asylum, etc. You are going to need protection from the elements if you want to stay warm and dry. Mother nature does not care about you, so you must either find or build something as soon as possible. Also, your shelter provides you with a safer place to shield you from potential predators, as well as a place to rest.



8. Sleep - This one is usually missing from the other "rules of survival" for some reason. Rest is absolutely necessary. All living mammals need sleep to "recharge" their bodies. It is believed that a person cannot live without sleep for more than 3 weeks.

9. Shroud - Especially in colder environments, some form of clothing should be worn for insulation and protection against the elements. If you get cold, it takes a long time to find warmth again, even a few feet from a fire. Also, in tropical environments where the rain can last for days at a time, some clothing to keep you dry is essential to maintain a good state of mind. You will go crazy if your body is shaking so badly that you cannot sleep.

10. String - Also known as cordage, rope, bankline, vines, etc. Carry 550 cord when possible, or make your own with what is available in your surroundings. This is a useful tool in building a shelter, trapping food, fishing, making clothes, etc.




11. Storage Vessel - Some sort of cup or container is essential to boil water, carry water to camp, cook food, etc. Stainless steel is preferred, but a piece of bamboo will certainly do the trick!

12. Self Defense - Whether you want to admit it or not, the world is full of bad people. In a SHTF situation, if you have something that someone else needs to survive, there will be a fight. In addition, when the lions, tigers, and bears smell something good you have caught, you better be prepared to ward them off. Anything from a spear to large throwing stones have been known to be effective; just know you will need something eventually.

13. State of Mind - This one was placed last simply because it can be moved around to different places on the Survival 13, and is different for everyone. Some people can last days in the wilderness, while others can thrive on very little for years! A positive mental attitude is important, as is awareness. Be aware of your surroundings and any potential threats that may be looming nearby. Without a keen sense of awareness and a positive mental attitude, you most likely will not be able to withstand the trials ahead of you when you are faced with tasks such as finding your own food, building your own shelter, and cutting enough wood each day to keep you warm at night. Remember to stay positive and never give up.




As a guy who works in the field of survival full-time, I see some of the best gear available, and hear stories from those who have had gear fail. We test each piece of equipment and make sure they will be essential in the field for everyday use, or for a survival situation. Some gear never makes it past the litmus test for approval, and ends up in the trash or in a box full of useless other items. Others make the cut for future BattlBox missions. Occasionally, we find a product that just needs a little more work, so we will take it into product development for release when it is ready. As a subscriber of BattlBox, you can expect to receive quality, battl-tested gear monthly that will be centered around a different themed survival situation each month. To find out more, visit

Share on:

Load Scripts