Almost everyone who is into bushcraft and the outdoors knows the Rule of 3's when it comes to survival. Basically the rule of 3's state that you can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without proper shelter in the cold or heat, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without any food. I take the rule of 3's a bit farther.
Whenever I am in the woods... whether it be a day hike a couple of minutes away from my house or a week long trip in the Adirondacks, I follow my own rule of three which is always carry three of each essential item. The following is my own personal "Rule of 3's" each followed by what I have been working on or carry in my kit.
Always carry 3 ways to start a fire.
I carry Strike anywhere matches, A "bic" lighter and a magnesium fire starter.
Always carry a tarp and know 3 ways to set it up.
I carry either a homemade 8x8 tarp or a 8x10 poly tarp.
Always carry at least 3 pieces of rope or cordage and know at least 3 basic knots.
The three I use the most in the woods are a Bowline, Square knot and Tautline Hitch
Know at least 3 ways to find direction.
Learn how to use a Map and Compass, Stick and shadow method or how to navigate by the stars.
Know 3 ways to find food.
Pick a plant like the Cattail and learn how to prepare it, know how to make a basic trap and carry a small fishing kit.
Always carry 3 cutting tools.
I carry a full tang sheath knife, a swiss army knife and a small tomahawk.
Know and carry at least 3 ways to purify and gather water.
Carry a metal container to boil it in, carry a filter, carry a plastic sheet for a solar still or a bandana to collect dew in the mornings.
Carry at least 3 light sources.
I carry a small LED flashlight, a couple of candles and 2 lightsticks.
Everything I carry fits into a daypack or shoulder bag, It's always ready to grab and go hit the woods. On longer trips I'll add a tent, stove\cooking kit and a blanket or sleeping bag but my basic kit rarely ever changes.