We can learn priorities from fiction. Take, for instance, characters in fantasy movies and novels.
What? No! Not possible! That’s purely for entertainment. There’s not really anything of substance we can learn from that. Or can we?
Let’s take a look at the Rule of Five. You can survive: 5 minutes without air, 5 hours without shelter, 5 days without water, 5 weeks without food, 5 months without community.
This isn’t hard and fast. Some call it the Rule of Three rather than five. There are cases where people have survived long past these numbers in some situations. At the same time, while you MAY be able to survive for 5 weeks without food, you probably will be suffering abject misery long before that.
All of that is beyond the point. The point is a generalized order of operation to take care of your necessities.
This post will focus mainly on shelter.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a roof over your head. If you’re out in the cold, you have to have a coat to shelter your skin and body. If you’re still cold, you may need to supplement that with other sources of heat, like a fire or another person to share body heat with. If you’re wet, you have to shelter yourself by getting dry.
What does this have anything to do with fantasy characters?
Have you ever seen a fantasy movie where no characters wore any cloaks?
Do none of them ever build fires?
If they’re wandering around in the wilderness questing or adventuring, do they plop down wherever to sleep without any regard for shelter?
No. They always considered their need for shelter, both over their heads and more directly over their bodies.
Think of the Fellowship of the Ring clutching their cloaks tight about themselves as they tried to make their way through the Pass of Caradhras, or the Rohirrim huddling in their cloaks around their fires as they prepared to ride to the aid of Gondor.
If it’s hot, a character opens up their cloak, or rolls it to carry it on their back like a pack.
When night comes, they make a camp and close their cloaks like it’s some kind of snuggie. In some books they seek caves.
In others, they crawl under bushes to sleep. In many, they erect a tent or a temporary shelter of sticks.
But cloaks aren’t applicable to modern day unless you’re a cosplayer. Right?
Not necessarily true.
Long ago, I took some blanket material and sewed it into a cloak. Being young and economically stupid, I didn’t have enough money to always pay for great heating but I absolutely had video game consoles and one of the best VCRs.
I’d sit on my couch in a cold room eating ramen and playing Final Fantasy, or watching Willow, or reading books like the Belgariad, wrapped in my cloak instead of a blanket. I didn’t need to pay extra for better heating. I was perfectly warm and comfortable.
The best part, when I had to get up, the cloak didn’t fall off like a blanket would. It was the perfect snuggie for a cold apartment.
When I made the cloak, my friends laughed at me. However, having seen it in use in movies and games and novels, I knew it was absolutely applicable to modern day. After they saw how it could be used, they stopped laughing. In fact, some of them got jealous and wanted one for themselves.
So, how can you apply this?
You might not have a cloak, or even want one. Again, that’s not really the point of this post. The point is, learn what you can from sources that most people would dismiss.
The next time you dive into a fantasy movie or novel, watch the characters with a slightly different slant. Comment below and tell everyone what you notice. Do they prioritize according to the Rule of Five?
Do you prioritize that way? If you want to try it out in a fun way, a quick google search will give you plenty of free patterns to easily make a cloak of your own, like this video from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO1OXeoTGJk
Think on how you’d want to shelter your body. Make or purchase something with this in mind. You never know, maybe you do need your own personal prepper snuggie after all, even if your friends laugh and call it a fantasy cloak.