This is one of the most common questions people ask me in Path of Exile. How much Life do I need? The answer is that it varies. I will be breaking down different builds and how much life they each should have. I will assume that you are starting in a completely new league and do not have GG gear yet.
Generally, I try to have 3500-4000 life when starting dried lake farming. 3000 life is cutting it and will take some extra micromanagement to stay alive with. Melee builds will always be in the front lines taking damage continuously. With this life estimate, I am assuming you have some sort of defensive mechanic such as Life Leech. If you do not, you strictly need to have at-least 400 life. You should always be farming Dried Lake till level 70+. Maps are much more challenging and Dried Lake provides more experience than maps do. When starting maps with a Melee Build I would have 4000-5000 life minimum. Once you hit 5000 you are relatively safe because at that point, you usually have some endgame defensive mechanics like Lightning Coil, Block, or Armor.
I always like to say Ranged has the most powerful defensive mechanic in the game. It lets you deal damage for afar lessening the chances of getting hit yourself. This is why I would say to start farming dried lake at around 3000-3500 life. I personally have around 2500 life when I start but I do micromanage a little. When starting maps you should have around 3500-4000 life. More is always better but at that point, damage may be a better investment.
I hope this article helps you. “How much life do I need” is such a common question that I feel this information needs to be put out somewhere.