# How long can I go without exhaustion on 10 days' rations? [duplicate]

The rules for exhaustion from starvation are given in the basic rules (and PHB) as:

A character needs one pound of food per day and can make food last longer by subsisting on half rations. Eating half a pound of food in a day counts as half a day without food.

A character can go without food for a number of days equal to 3 + his or her Constitution modifier (minimum 1). At the end of each day beyond that limit, a character automatically suffers one level of exhaustion. A normal day of eating resets the count of days without food to zero.

The second paragraph strikes me as odd, because it seems to imply that a creature with a reasonable Constitution modifier can make their rations last longer by alternately starving themselves for several days and then eating a full day's rations.1 Perhaps there are more elaborate strategies that might last even longer.

So, given the above rules and assuming I have a Constitution modifier of +0, what is the longest I can go on 10 days' rations without taking a level of exhaustion from lack of food, and what is the rationing strategy to achieve this? Assume that I have no other food source besides these rations, but my other needs (e.g. thirst) are taken care of, so making these rations last is my only concern.

1 On the other hand, maybe this isn't so odd, given that in real life, humans are evolved for survival in conditions of alternating feast and famine.

# 43 days

Assuming your logic is correct which it certainly seems to be by RAW. (And is discussed in this question)

### Starve and Feast

The optimal rationing strategy would be to starve yourself for 3 days and then eat a full ration, resetting your count to zero. This is a cycle of 4 days. Multiply by 10 rations is 40 days and you have a days without food count of 0. Meaning you can survive 3 more days. At the end of the 44th day you will suffer exhaustion without additional food.

### Half Rations

Any day you use half rations simply reduces the number of times you can reset your count by eating a full ration. Effectively costing you 3 days and only gaining 1/2 a day.

• Ok, this seems to show that the starve and feast strategy is in fact the optimal one, which makes my question a duplicate. – Ryan Thompson Nov 13 '18 at 5:03