Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70

Chapter 3

Survival Planning and Survival Kits

A survival plan is dependent on three separate but intertwined parts to be successful: planning, preparation, and practice.

Survival planning is nothing more than realizing something could happen that would put you in a survival situation and, with that in mind, taking steps to increase your chances of survival. It can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime, so remember: failure to plan is a plan to fail. Plans are based on evasion and recovery (E&R) considerations and the availability of resupply or emergency bundles. You must take into consideration the mission duration and the distance to friendly lines; the environment, to include the terrain and weather and possible changes in the weather during a protracted mission; and the platform you will be operating with, such as an aircraft, a multipurpose vehicle, or perhaps just a rucksack. Planning also entails looking at those E&R routes and knowing by memory the major geographical features in case your map and compass are lost. You can use classified and unclassified sources such as the Internet, encyclopedias, and geographic magazines to assist you in planning.

Preparation means preparing yourself and your survival kit for those contingencies that you have in your plan. A plan without any preparation is just a piece of paper. It will not keep you alive. Prepare yourself by making sure your immunizations and dental work are up-to-date. Prepare your uniform by having the newest uniform for emergencies. It will have the most infrared-defeating capabilities possible. You can have signal devices and snare wire sewn into it ahead of time. Break in your boots and make sure that the boots have good soles and water-repellent properties. Study the area, climate, terrain, and indigenous methods of food and water procurement. You should continuously assess data, even after the plan is made, to update the plan as necessary and give you the greatest possible chance of survival. Another example of preparation is finding the emergency exits on an aircraft when you board it for a flight. Practice those things that you have planned with the items in your survival kit. Checking ensures that items work and that you know how to use them. Build a fire in the rain so you know that when it is critical to get warm, you can do it. Review the medical items in your kit and have instructions printed on their use so that even in times of stress, you will not make life-threatening errors.

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All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
Appearance of these materials here does not constitute or represent endorsement by is not responsible for inaccurate or outdated information provided by the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70.

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