Editor’s Note: Being prepared is about considering – and planning for – different scenarios. All may not come to fruition, some may. It’s a bit of a crap shoot.
In this two-part series, Rob looks at the two options available should a major event occur. Scenarios we witness even to this day: A collapse of the normal socioeconomic society.
We see this right now in much of the Middle East, with the recent collapse in Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Closer to home, we see tears in this social fabric in Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina.
So, do you develop ad hoc social groups – such as the early colonial explorers who believed in strength in numbers? Or you favor the self-sufficient lone individualist such as the Mountain Men of western US fame?
There are some preppers who have plans in place to be a “lone wolf” should the SHTF. These people feel that they have all the skills, supplies and knowledge to be able to survive any situation on their own with no help from anyone else.
There are other preppers who believe that the only way survival over an extended period of unrest is by being part of a group of survivors all working together to do what has to be done. If you are bugging out to a pre-planned bug out retreat or even bugging in and using your current location as a base camp – do you have all you need to survive? Do you have all the survival skills, building skills, hunting skills etc to provide all you will need to survive?
Making the decision to go it alone or be part of a survival group can be tricky. There are many arguments for and against survival groups. Here are some advantages of survival groups to help you decide whether one might be right for you.
In my opinion the biggest advantage of a group is the added strength you have with more numbers. The more people you have around you, the more supplies can be carried, the more skills you have to use to survive. If there are bad guys trying to steal supplies, they are less likely to be successful if you have a group fighting to protect themselves as opposed to just one lone survivor.
Tasks are easier and completed quicker with more hands working together to get each job done. You will also find that certain people have talents and skills that you may be lacking, such as shelter building, fishing, hunting, etc. Providing you have the right people in your group, most aspects of your survival should be well covered, meaning you only have to focus on the tasks that fall into your skill area.
Security will be increased in a group situation. You will be able to have more look outs spread around your camp. You will also be able to have more alert group members on guard duty as, with enough people; you could adopt a shift pattern where look outs swap with other members to ensure that rested eyes are looking out for potential threats to your camp.
If you have a family member or friend who you are bugging out with and they do not handle stressful situations well, there will be more people around you who can help you deal with any outbursts of emotion. You will also have help at hand should a member of your family become injured or unable to move themselves for some reason. This will mean you are not using more of your own energy to keep them moving. The group will be able to work together to ensure all members are able to make it safely where they need to go.
Some people do not cope well with isolation. If you are one of those people, then a survival group makes perfect sense. If the SHTF, communication methods may be lost, your family and friends may not be reachable. By being part of a group you will still have human contact; you will have people around you to help you through the stresses of the situation. Isolation can do crazy things to people, so this is a factor that should not be overlooked in your decision to be part of a survival group.
If I had to decide right now whether I will go it alone or be part of a group – I would choose the group. For me, I think simply having other people around me who are dealing with the same hard times, the same stresses and the same fears as me would give me the strength to continue to do what I need to in order to survive.
I would always be careful who I select to be in my group – I would need to trust all members so I was confident they would not put the group in unnecessary danger or steal supplies for themselves, etc. Trust is important in any group or team, and when your life depends on it, this importance significantly increases!