Survival Debate (Rewind): Team Up or Go It Alone

When a natural or man-made event triggers a SHTF condition or a TEOTWAWKI apocalypse, are you planning to survive on your own or with other people?  Will you be a Lone Wolf or a Groupie?  Revisiting the Debate of Teaming Up or Going It Alone.


By Bama Bull, a reader of SurvivalCache.com

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The Debate

For many folks the idea of being independent – able to stand alone and meet any challenge and not having to rely on others – is a romantic notion.  Hollywood has made a fortunate off of films that have a lone hero who is capable of doing it all and succeeding on their own.  Characters like Snake Plissken in “Escape from New York“, Rambo in “First Blood”, Jeremiah in “Jeremiah Johnson”, Robert Neville in “I Am Legend” and Eli in “The Book of Eli”, all portray individuals who are rough and tough enough to survive going it alone.  The term “groupie” has a negative connotation, inferring one might be clingy, dependent and a “sheeple.”  But, the reality and the truth is that going it alone is risky and the odds are really not in favor of the lone wolf.

This article provides an update to one of the SC’s original survival debates entitled “Solo or Group” by contributing SurvivalCache author Chuck, which was posted June 2010.  It expands upon this somewhat controversial topic, which yielded over 92 comments by readers of SurvivalCache since first appearing on the website.

Reviewing the Pros and Cons

Chuck’s “Solo or Group” survival debate provided a brief listing of the pros and cons about surviving as an individual versus being a part of a group.  Here’s a quick review of each of the advantages and disadvantages of these two options, with some devil’s advocate comments provided for balance.

Going Solo

The Pros:

A. You can move faster alone.  This is true to a point if you are traveling on foot across open, easy terrain and you don’t have to wait Solo Survival on others who are slower.  However, if you are in mountainous or heavily wooded or swampy terrain; or in an urban setting with lots of damage, rumble and barriers; extra people can work to overcome obstacles faster and easier – where as an individual you don’t have helping hands to get up or down over obstacles.  In groups, folks can take turns carrying heavier loads, allowing members to have a “break” while on the march.

B. You need less supplies.  This can be a misnomer.  Food and water-wise, as adults we need about the same daily caloric and fluid intake depending on the activity we are doing.  So the amount of supplies needed for an individual versus a group is really a question of mathematics.  If each person carries their own supplies, this is a moot point.  As an individual, when foraging for edible plants, game and fish in areas with scarce resources – you may do better to collect the calories you need.  However, you may also expend more calories than you collect in your search, especially covering more area.  Groups can divide up and search over a larger area, and if one group is not successful, the others may find enough to make up the difference.  All for one and one for all.

C. Less noise and quieter.  True.  An individual also generates less dust and a smaller trail when traveling, leaves a smaller camp footprint and produces less waste to find if being tracked by others.  An individual can hide easier and can be harder to detect.  However, there are other security considerations that are just as important as noise discipline – which will be discussed more below.

D. No disagreements.  No argument about this point.  It can be good not having to put up with some kook questioning everything you do.  However, the solo survivor is responsible for determining all courses of action or figuring solutions to whatever challenges arise.  When fatigued, sick or mentally drained – you can make bad decisions that can have fatal consequences.  Sometimes it is good to have someone to argue against a decision that you might not consider as dumb.

The Cons:

A. Loneliness.  This can be a killer.  Long term studies indicate that people who are in a solo survival situation only have about a 20 percent success rate compared to individuals in a group.  In other words, you have an 80 percent chance of surviving when in a group.  Psychologically, humans are social animals that fare better with others.  We need others to help encourage and motivate us when times are tough.  While many folks live alone in nice comfortable residences with plenty of food, water, electricity and modern conveniences; few of us are mentally equipped to survive off the land by ourselves.

B. No way to take turns on watch; No full perimeter security.  Basically, these two relate to security and safety.  When solo, you have no one covering your back.  You are vulnerable to attack 24/7 by others or predatory animals – whether traveling, foraging, bathing or taking a dump, and especially when sleeping (which we all must do).  You’ll need to be very adept at camouflage and concealment if you plan to sleep.  No fires, the light and smoke may give away your position since you have no security.

In a Group

The listed pros are: an overall better support system, boarder range of carried gear and shared equipment, more ideas and solutions Survival Groupto problems, divided work effort, companionship, greater security and more people to share watch.  Of these, better support system, boarder range of gear/equipment and security are probably the most important.  Within any group you’ll probably have varying skill sets for each of the members – ranging from medical and dental professionals, to mechanics and carpenters, to hunters and farmers, to military and police – which would be the first benefit for all banding together.

With more people, you get a better cross mix of gear and equipment being carried within the group.  Some examples of gear that can be carried by varies individuals and shared by the group are: axes, entrenching tools, multiband radio, trauma kit, cook set (pots/pans), tents, stoves, etc.  If you attempted to carry one of each item above, the weight and bulk would prove over whelming.  For defense, a group can carry a variety of firearms in various calibers (i.e. long range rifles, shotguns, assault rifles) and low-acoustic weapons such as cross bows and hunting bows, spears, machetes and tomahawks – providing for better defensive tactics or stealthy hunting.

The most important advantage of banding together is protection and group security.  In long-term survival, it will be essential to be a part of a group or collective for protection against roving looters and bands of armed foragers, as well as for mutual support for medical and health situations and procurement of food, water and other resources.

The presented cons for being in a group included: more supplies needed, arguments between people, finding a way to go after bug out, need leadership, noise and group security considerations. But do the cons really outweigh the pros?

A Good Example

The Army’s Special Forces operational detachment is a great example for demonstrating the concept of group survival.  A 12-man Survival Trainingdetachment has two officers and ten NCOs trained in five specialties: weapons, engineer, medical, communications, and operations and intelligence; as well as across-trained in different skills and being multilingual.  One thing that makes the detachment a formidable force is its redundancy of skills, cross carrying of equipment to support the team, and the ability to break into 2 six-man teams that can operate separately for pro-long periods of time.  Six people is about the ideal minimum number that allows for quiet moment, self sustainment when living off the land, and for providing self-defense.  If necessary, the smaller team can split into two 3-man teams.

A six-person team allows for multiple options to provide security and perform tasks that support the overall survival of the group.  One or two members can be used to secure the packs or the camp while others form a party for a forage or resource run.  A four-person forage party can further break down into a security and a gathering team.  As an example, a four-man forage party travels to a small town to gather goods from an abandon store.  One person can remain on the edge of the town to provide over watch and security along the ex-filtration route the team will use to withdraw.  The other three proceed to store and one waits outside to provide security and early warning for the other two who enter, search and gather goods.  If the team carries radios  for communications, the level of security and safety is significantly enhanced and allows for near instant warnings and updates.  If something does go wrong and hostiles try to stop or rob the forage team, security members can help to provide warning shots or covering fire as they withdraw.  For the soloist, who may attempt to do the same forage mission in this scenario, the risks are significantly higher for failure if hostiles appear and trap or ambush the soloist.

Is There a Middle Ground?

Yes!  If you have a family, consider banding together with other relatives or another family you know well and are compatible with in your area, town or neighborhood – the closer the better.  Determine where you will hold up (if in place) or if you will bug out to a primary or an alternate location.  Discuss survival plans in detail – write down who is responsible for what and how and when.  Preparedness planning early can eliminate about 90 percent of the arguments from occurring later.

If you are single or don’t have a family, consider joining up with other relatives, friends or co-workers who might be good and compatible choices in a crisis.  It may not be possible for you to travel a long distance by foot depending on where your members live in order to link up, so you should plan some secluded rendezvous points where you can safely wait several hours to a couple of days for members to arrive.  At these locations you may want to preposition a cache of extra food and water so everyone can restock after arriving and before moving on to your final destination.  Again, discuss survival preparations in detail and build a detailed plan that can be shared among each member.  Remember that operational security is an important part of your planning and later survival – be sure everyone understands what OPSEC (Operational Security) is and the ramifications of not protecting information.  In a grid down power loss situation that impacts cellular, internet and land line telephone communications, you’ll need to arrange in advance some type of plan or protocol for your group members to rally at your bug-in/out location or rally points.  You may need to consider back-up survival communications methods (i.e. CB radios or hand held radios) to get the word to your group members.

If a SHTF event occurs that maybe of a short-term duration just lasting for several days, or a couple weeks, or maybe a month or two – going solo could be a viable option.  However, if it is a long-term SHTF or a worst-case TEOTWAWKI situation with long lasting consequences – the group option will probably be your best long-term survival solution.  If you are still considering going solo, consider getting a dog.  A dog provides you with companionship, a level of protection and early warning, and in a worst case scenario – a walking MRE (meal ready to eat).  Depending upon the type of dog you get, it can be trained for hunting or personal defense.  SurvivalCache has another good debate on which dog is the King of Survival with over 115 comments by readers.  If you plan to bug-in, a dog can be a force multiplier for defending your refuge; especially helping to provide you with early warning of someone in your area or attempting to enter your refuge.

Conclusion

This posting is not intended to justify which is better – going it alone or as a group – but serves to provide additional information to both sides of the debate.  The important take-away is having more knowledge for you to consider your preparations and planning.  To discuss this more, leave a comment below or visit the SurvivalCache Forums.

About the Author: Bama Bull is an Army veteran and lives in southeastern Alabama.  His interest in survival preparedness are based on the threats associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, coronal mass ejections, pandemic diseases, and financial collapse.

Also by Bama Bull:
10 Best Survival Movie Lessons
Operational Security
Grid Down Survival

Photos by:
FortBraggParaglide
Mica_R
rjsfun
Christopher Loope

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55 thoughts on “Survival Debate (Rewind): Team Up or Go It Alone”

  1. "This posting is not intended to justify which is better – going it alone or as a group – but serves to provide additional information to both sides of the debate" But you didn't play devil's advocate for both sides of the debate…

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  2. For true survival a group is a must…you cannot rebuild after an event by yourself, and being an outsider in today's world is hard enough let alone after any huge disaster. We need society to start understanding group survival is paramount after enough individual survival has been achieved. It is a delicate balance and understanding.

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    • I agree with Scott. You always need someone to watch your six in these types of situations. As long as there is an understanding of each persons individual responsibilities, the group can sustain itself for longer periods of time than the lone wolf would…strength in numbers!

      Reply
  3. Like the idea of a small group say two to three.I really like this story line would like to read more on movement and cover etc.I live in a slightly built up area. mix of home's building wood etc.I have two bug out areas not far from my home base area.But want to know more on movement.I know when the poop hit's it will be people vs. people.Thanks for all the info!

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  4. CNN just reported today that FBI has noticed an increase in “Lone Wolf” activity on the internet and it is these people whom are considered potential terrorists. Whatever “Lone Wolf” activity is – is anyone’s guess..

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    • If the Federal Bureau of Incompetence noticed, it must be bad…. *sarcasm* I don't put alot of faith in the feebs, as they are probably pushing to get more funding and think this ploy will work. Unless of course, the "lone wolves" are pro Constitution because even with all the evidence known in advance they didn't move on atta and his cronies.

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  5. The individual in question should also be considered. I for example dislike the company of most other people, and thus try to avoid "putting up" with them longer than I have to.

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    • You're right Tom. The A-Teams usually consist of people who have been together for a long time (barring new members, as old hands move on or ETS). The key is being with people that you can work well with, find a common bond and not have personal issues that can create more stress than already exists after an event.
      In the military, we called it "Unit Integrity" and it's as vital as weapon and medical training; IMHO.
      If you plan on being in a group, do not wait until the event to form one. Knowing how to work as a team is NOT a skill you want to acquire after the fact; much like practicing with your gear/skills before you need them.

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    • how true, there is a prepper saying: if you dont know them, havent worked with them or spent time with them, then DONT trust them. i would rather go "lone wolf" than join a group and get a knife in my back in the middle of the night. im in UK by the way.

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  6. imho, this issue will never be settled because when tshtf both the loners and the groups will suffer losses as well as sucesses… my view is that the key to "making it" lies in how well prepped either is for the circumstances being faced and if God's Hand is on either… He is so often left out of our prepping equations…

    do all you can while you can while praying for the best

    Reply
    • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 gives a sound biblical answer to the debate: two are better than one; they are more productive in their labor, they can assist one another in overcoming obstacles; they can keep each other warm; a cord of three strands is not easily broken. All in all, you perform as you have trained. If you train as an individual, you should plan on surviving as an individual. If you want to survive as a part of a team, you'd better get that team together and work together now, rather than waiting until the fecal matter impacts the rotating blades of the oscillating air moving device.

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    • Mankind has a destiny and that is called God’s plan. If God does not exist then why even try to survive in a post apocalyptic senario. It would be far to painful to see all the suffering if there wasn’t a greater good. I have a handful of people that are somewhat prepared but most of us live 100-800 miles away from each other. All I can really rely on 100% is God and myself. I would rather join up with a group of survivors but I can’t put all my trust in that. There’s far too many variables to try to plan for a complete survival situation. My point is prepare to the best of your abilities and pray for God’s will.

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  7. Most survival advice on gear refers to the "if you have something important, have a backup for it, and maybe a backup for your backup". Number one on my list of 'important things' is *me*. That makes my wife the backup for me. We plan to team/travel/survive together, and our gear/hobbies reflect this.

    If I were single, I would find someone with a similar attitude towards survival, and cultivate a friendship. The advantages of traveling alone are extremely small and specific to a certain kind of situation – in almost all other respects, having at least one partner along greatly increases your chances of success. There is a point where a group is too large, and actually counter productive, but a partner or small team is a very good idea.

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  8. Obviously, I've never been through a TEOTWAWKI event or anything , but who has? However, imagine you're out at your BOL, all on your lonesome. You hear shots in the distance and they seem to be getting closer with each passing hour. You've got your little cabin in the woods (or whatever kind of shelter) and you're stocked with a years worth of food. You're getting sleepy, but the shots keep getting closer. You're camouflaged, but is it enough? When do you sleep?

    The romantic "lone man against the world" is awesome on screen. And yes, there are a few advantages. If you know how to remain invisible, you should be fairly safe. However, to me it seems like a huge gamble. You can't watch your own back after all, plus multiple people mean there are folks to take care of multiple tasks at one time. One can check traps while another weeds the garden, etc.

    It's a decision each person has to make for themselves. If you just don't like folks like Tom up there, then going alone is probably better for everyone. Personally though, I like the security of a group.

    Reply
      • That's assuming a few things. 1) that someone likes dogs, 2) that they have a dog trained well enough to stay with them without constant effort, 3) that they dog is also well trained enough to not bark at anything else but a potential attacker.

        1 and 2 aren't a huge deal. I'm not a dog person myself, but I accept I'm not everyone. #2 is one that isn't unusual to train a dog for. But #3? I'm not so sure. A dog barking could actually draw potential aggressors to your position, and all because the dog saw a squirrel or something.

        Of course, it may be easy to train that out of a dog too. I honestly don't know. Like I said, I'm a dog person. Besides, I have a family so I have no choice but to group to some extent 😉

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  9. Ok so this is very one sided on the group plan so let me lay out the other side just a little about me I’m 27 I spent 7 years in the marine corps as a demo expert for force recon so I do have extensive training I am no long active duty now that being said there is a lot one person can do I live in the desert in Nevada and I have gone out into the desert and survived on my own for more then 3 weeks comfertably its not hard to do if you know what you are doing and the knowledge to do it is there in books and on the internet if you have the dedication to study and use them I’m saying go on three week trip out of the gate start with one night and try some of the new things you have learned until you are comfertable then move on to another I am very much a lone wolf even though my little brother who is also a marine is included in my plan I could and am prepared to do it on my own I’m saying eventualy I wouldn’t join a group but I do prefer my own company now if I have serious injury I’m screwed but I also no better then to take unnecessary risks but I do believe it is very possible with the right knowledge just do your home work there are actually a lot of people in the mountins that do it now

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    • I didn't mean to sound like a lone wolf is wrong…surviving is one thing but surviving TEOTWAWKI just to die alone later makes no differance…in a group you serve the purpose of re-organizing producing a product like a trade or even re-population.

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    • Hey Matt, Not everyone has had the force recon training that you have had but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to survive any less than you do. If a major event should take place right now, there would be thousands of people that didn’t get the chance to learn survival techniques but want to go on living. They would almost always look to others for the help they need. Even an untrained person has something to offer a group if all it is is taking care of kids while the other adults go about gathering food, making shelters, etc. I for one believe in safety in numbers. I have in place a group of people with various skills such as medical, mechanical, electrical, military, hunting & fishing and security. We plan on survivng a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI event by working together for the common goal. My way of thinking is to group together with people you can trust and rely on.

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  10. They both there UPS and downs and there are very few people that have the knowledge that I have so there best option is going to be a group now I doubt we are going to get to the re-population level anything is possible but that is highly unlikely and you don’t have be alone forever but for the first few months until things calm isn’t a bad idea but in defence of the group for most people don’t know a lot so a group of wide knowledge is a better idea but like I said no one was on the side of lone wolf so I thought I would take it to give a point of view on it

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    • Hooyah Matt! As TEOTEWWKI is a lot less likely than a regional desaster I don’t think most people will ever have to go it alone. It is however good training. As a trained and capable survivor one should also look at social responsibility. If my neighborhood gets flattened by an earthquake and I am able I will be digging out survivors.
      What about family, friends, neighbors? We’ll do what most people do… The best we can. Improvise, adapt, overcome… Do you know Habu?

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  11. History tells us the humans survived overall as a group. People started as hunter gatherers, then as farmers, and craftsmen and then worked their way to larger civilizations. Yes surviving on your own is one thing but for how long, the lone wolf may not trust to many people and a small group might be extremely wary of someone they come across armed and loaded to the teeth. The lone wolf if in an emergency and wounded has no one and then survival is in doubt. , also if something happens near a group and someone is shot or food and supplies stolen. That lone wolf might be blamed for it, and hunted down. You only have to look at history to know what people really do time and time again, and not theorize about it. For some situations being alone may be your only option, but at sometime you will have to rejoin the rest of the world. One thing I learned in the military was even with all your best laid plans and things never go as you expect. You can only prepare for it but you are never truly ready.

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    • Anthony, your comment is dang hard to argue with. I just never looked at it from that angle, but it makes perfect sense. thanks

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  12. Like I said in my previous statement you don’t have to stay alone that’s just an option and I also said that only family I have my little brother is involved in mine and if everything goes as planned witch I know most of the time it doesn’t I don’t plan on having contact with people for awhile not sayin it won’t happen by chance and again I’m just arguing the side of the lone wolf obviously I won’t be doing it being as my brother is with me but yes it will be a few months minimum before we come out to say hi to anyone and it would be the same if I was alone

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  13. And it would probably be smart not to be armed to the teeth every time you go somewhere a pistol and a rifle will handle most situations plus if you lose a fight and survive it would be smart to not have everything on you but you really need to look at what and who you are going to be dealing with at best most of what you will see is groups of civilians that will be mildly affective in a fire fight but everyone’s goal should be to avoid the fire fight but I again we are getting into total and complete calapse witch I don’t feel will happen at most it will be regional but still lone wolf would be a good idea for awhile it doesn’t have to be permanent just until it looks or feels safe to you

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  14. Me and my wife go camping alot, and practice survival techniques. I have also taken my brother-in-law and my nephew out. I have more trust in my wife than either of them. Although it is usually better to go in a group, I would rather die alone than to take someone I cannot trust. Keep that in mind. you are trusting your life on the people in your group.

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  15. How does one know who they can trust? It is a question which has troubled human relations since there were humans who needed to relate to one another. At the most basic level people will tend to group together based on kinship ties. That might not be as viable an option in our modern society where extended families are largely a thing of the past, but it is something that people should think about. Though I have heard that with the economy going into a tail spin it is now not all that uncommon for 20 – 30 year olds to end up moving back in with their parents. If that is the sort of situation that you find yourself dealing with I would make a decent effort to try to get the other members of the family onboard with what you are doing. Granted that there may be some people in your family who don't want to go along with the needed preparations, but it still might be a good idea for you to plan for their eventually turning up on your doorstep needing help. If nothing else, do you really want to find yourself in the position of *having* to turn away blood relatives if that could reasonably be avoided with some extra preparations ahead of time?

    Taking the "scientific" view of things, humans survived for hundreds of thousands if not millions of years as isolated bands and tribes where everybody was at least theoretically related to everybody else in the band/tribe by blood or marriage. From a population genetics point of view, the arguable "minimum" size of the group for long term viability should be somewhere around 100 to 125 or so. They don't all have to live together all the time. Depending on the environment and the level of resources and technology available that might not be viable. But they do have to get together on a relatively frequent and routine basis so everybody in the group can get to know everybody else and marriages can get arranged.

    How then does one go about organizing a group of relative strangers on the fly? That is a potentially much more complex question and I have no sure fire answer for it. I expect that the bottom line more often than not will be that it will be governed by who you like and who you think you can trust. The skills the people bring with them are also important, but do you really want to link up with somebody who may have all the skills but that your gut tells you is a borderline psychopath?

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    • Good observations, and I agree for the most part. Now, many people, a majority it seems, have no idea what's going on. But when something major occurs, like a currency collapse of a run on the banks, then they will have to get their ducks in order right quick. I am riral and the people I know are good folks seemingly and hopefully they will all pull together when the time comes, everybody pitching in to help each other out. Our relatives are far away so that issue is out of the question thankfully. Lazy relatives have no place in my tribe.

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      • Don, you write, "I am riral", or at least that's what's printed in your paragraph above. I realize it's likely a misprint or a typo, but I'm interested to know what you meant to say…?

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  16. One rule I have always lived by is a person is smart people are stupid when shtf even groups that a plan are going to fall apart just out of fear so again I still think being alone would be smart just to stay out of the stupid wait a few months then you can re enter a group I’m not saying all groups will fall apart but most will and the last thong I want is a person who just lost everything in my group because they are unpredictable and are now a danger to me if i give it time and let it all sink in and let them adjust they will be much calmer and easier to deal with

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  17. And guys if you have problems with me not using punctuation then don’t read what write and if you are going to post have something productive to say I’m using a phone that is new to me and I don’t how to find the punctuation

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  18. Granted a group scenario is better than solo but where are you going to find this group? Look around, the propaganda machine has turned everyone against each other, not two minds think alike or even similar. After observing potential person to incorporate into a group for some time only recently have I found a like minded person who has a clue as to what is going on in the world today. Everybody else seems oblivious, even my wife, though I have tried time and time again to show her the light. She gets her *news* from the MSM and I can't compete with those lies it seems. So when the flag goes up I am prepared to go it alone as there really is no other option at this point. If my wife wants to be part of my team she is welcome and anyone else that cares to demonstrate logic, common sense and will to succeed. But I'm not hopeful.

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    • My problem exactly: my wife is not on board and would probably not want to leave even if staying put became impossible. Even if she did bug out with me, well, just can't see her living a hunter-gatherer life, even for a short period of time. What then? Leave her sitting on a stump in the woods? Some tough decisions are heading our way and I'm thinking sooner than later… Bill

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  19. Another place to form a group is with your church family. Having a Spiritual connection and a relationship with our Lord is a hugh first step toward trust. I live in a very rural area but I am 70 years old and I would think that a random group would not want my wife and I, we would be thought of as a liability.

    In any event, family and friends are important to have during normal times and will be that much more important in a survival situation.

    Some final advice, move out of your city as soon as you can, join a Christ believing church and develop friendships.

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    • Angelo
      i would think that your knowledge would be worth the liability. in the 50s and 60s people bought little and lived off their gardens something people as a whole have not done for thirty years.

      Dave

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  20. The lone wolf option is out for me. Nothing against it but just doesn’t work for me. What I see coming down is more of a regional SHTF event (live on California coast).

    I am gathering supplies to support 24-48 persons for 2-4 weeks. I plan on keeping my block functioning until the Goverment gets their collective head out of their collective A**! The break down of who gets support: rescue/medical workers, oldsters/youngsters, workers on staff (cooks, scavengers and people that are keeping it working on the block) and last and least mouchers. If you are unwilling to help you can piss off! I have the will, knowledge and firepower to set and enforce the rules. My wife has the organalzatonal (sp) skills to keep people busy and fed.

    All of that being said I can also take those supplies and live well for the better part of a year for 6 folks. Would depend on how bad the original hit was.

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  21. My family will be my group once I get to them but since I have to bug out over 500 miles to get to them, it will be me and my dog. This is all provided its a SHTF that leaves my car still operational and roads from CO to MT fairly open. Otherwise I'm stuck here with friends that will pile on my doorstep. Luckily those friends are for the most part useful but I don't have food for them.

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  22. Keeping it simple here…_ During my time in the service I moved alot. Made friends where I went and moved again and so on. Over time I lost the desire to try and meet people and make friends. I've never enjoyed going to crowded places. Such things have always made me feel uncomfortable. _ Somehow, wanna call it a miracle maybe, that I meet a woman and got married._But she is comfortable with solitude. SO this is really my initial plan. Dual-Solitude. _I recognize the importance and advantages of being in a group. i would probably start looking for a group pretty quick, maybe after the 2nd week._ I've also learned to listen to my gut feeling about any situation I find myself in, so I wont just automatically join the first group I come across without asking myself a few questions:__#1 Do I trust these people / this person? (What's my gut saying)_#2 Do I think it's safe enough to leave my wife with them while I participate in other group activites_#3 Do they reciprocate trust? _

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  23. Group survival is really the only long term option. I mean look at the mountain men they did spend a lot of time alone, however they gathered together at least once a year for resupply, and such, as well when the balloon goes up the survivors still have the eventual task of rebuilding society. Not to mention forming a new governing body(hopefully following the constitution). Plus if you get hurt or need to farm to some degree you can't go it alone, or expect to keep everything secure. I just don't see how the loner idea could ever be judged superior unless it's temporary, like moving to a new spot, or bugging out to the hills. But eventually you'll need a group.

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  24. 2 or 3 part comment!
    I believe it is 100% situation dependant. There are a lot of people who are preparing for the worst that are in rural areas, however I was watching this one video….though he was arrogant he had a GREAT POINT.

    I currently live in the suburbs and im not prepping. Am I ready for a natural disaster no, a meteorite no, government collapse no. But I have guns, and I have people, and the first thing I am going to do is band with 30 to 50 of my people and we will find food…we will find water….

    So this was the short of it. And no matter how I thought about it (17 years in the military, few survival courses, etc etc) he is completely right. There were a lot of preppers saying, im a good shot, I have 1 million rounds of ammo etc etc etc. BUT, as much as you want to be defensive he had a point as much as he was arrogant, inner city and suburbs may be facing riots, gangs, and mobs.

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  25. So what is my point. I think solo and group is completely dependent for your situation. If the power grid goes down (have been through more than a few in Cali and the north east) im going to bunker down with my family and be discrete about my food and water. I might offer some skills to my neighbors and maybe maybe a few supplies if it looks like it will pass shortly…or I might be more conservative if it will be long term.
    But if you are in the city you really have look at your survival as part of an every changing status quo. It might actually paramount to join neighbors as the LA city riots really didn’t discriminate too much if you were in the way of them. More so if your store was in the way or home. No matter how good of a shot you are there is little you can do with a mob with only 4 people in your family. How will you feel when your wife or child is the first to drop.

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  26. (please bare with my example as it is only something to think about and might be reality if your defending your home.) A mob or riot will not care if they lose 10 out of 50 members (depending on rage and how their moral holds up as a group) but they will over run you eventually. Molotov cocktails are so easy to make and they might just burn you out.

    My thoughts is for survival you always want to keep a forever eye on what your situation is. Sometimes it is better to go as 2 or 3 because have you put a tourniquet on your arm yourself? It is near hard to impossible to get it right and tight to stop an aortal bleeding. It might be worth survival to cache supplies and go with the group for a bit just to have force in numbers. I am very confident in my survival alone, but in my case I want my family to survive with me. Of course these are WORST case scenarios as most issues on a small scale I can properly handle as a family, in my home, in the suburbs.

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  27. Probably a good idea to practice and consider both options realistically. Situations change. A loner might get forced into a group, and vice versa.

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  28. The major problem IMHO with the group scenario is that many members of a group will probably be less than optimal, i.e. small children, elderly, handicapped, etc., who would for the most part be a drain on resources,both material and man-power wise. Of course, this would depend on the composition of the group but most family groups would include at least small children and elderly. A group mostly composed of young adults would probably have the maximum efficiency and thus more likely to succeed/survive! Also, in any group, especially ASHTF, a fair percentage of 'members' would not bring much to the table given the current attitude of many that assume that someone (God, government, etc.) will take care of them, thus many/most won't be prepared with food supplies for instance. How many people even know how to cook over an open fire? Ultimately, I think that the decision of solo or group survival depends on your individual goals/plans! Are you concerned about repopulating and/or continuing civilization and are you willing to sacrifice maybe even your life for the good of the group or do you wish merely to extend your life span out to its potential maximum length? Only you will know for sure! Good Luck!

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  29. If your already alone may should keep it that way as you may not can trust or get along with anothers actions or thinking.

    I would go with a small group of 2 to 6 there is never a time when you do not need a lookout or watch person for
    your camp they must have good concentration and some common sense.
    and it is easier to delegate tasks but you cannot be a bully or not be willing to do everything yourself as well.
    each person like water will find their level of interest or ability although no one can wallow in any one dicipine
    cross training and it can't always be a democracy, monarchy or a think tank.

    All I do know is we have about 10 times more people in this country now as when we could live off the land
    now most food takes days or weeks and there are wherehouses that stock weeks or months of stock.
    some requires refridgeration or freezers.
    I can figure that it will mimic some of the places where we hacve seen weather disasters are civil unrest
    problem is no way of knowing how things will play out.

    I know that it will be a strain on the very old and very young and those with disabilities this will make the decision for some to bug in or out no matter each person can be a positive and most people cannot understand that
    no matter what a person does it is one less thing I have to do myself we have all seen it in the old prehistoric movies the great hunter or warrior that is self absorbed and ruthless and treat others as minions.
    to me if all a person can do is keep a fire and water on the boil or watch and signal they are worth their keep
    Anyone that does a service is worthy of respect and dignity.

    People that know and use this will be good leaders and have fewer problems no matter the group size.

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  30. For true survival a group is a must…you cannot rebuild after an event by yourself, and being an outsider in today’s world is hard enough let alone after any huge disaster. We need society to start understanding group survival is paramount after enough individual survival has been achieved. It is a delicate balance and understanding.

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  31. What I have found to be one of the most important factors in feeling really secure and prepared for any potentialities is being a part of a strong community. After 20 years in a rural area, I know and am friendly with people all around me, for about a twenty-five-mile radius. I have well-established relationships with so many people, I feel very secure in the idea that we will all band together to help each other, no matter what we are faced with.

    Two years ago, icy roads kept us home for 22 days, with the power on and off. Local folks called each other, trekked to check on each other, and generally made sure that all the neighbors were okay, especially the elder ones. Supplies were shared and many simplistic, joyous moments occurred. People here are independent by nature (when you live on 50-400 mountainous acres, you have to be), but they are also very connected to others. When the time comes when someone needs help, people are there. I can't imagine this would change since people have lived this way for a couple hundred years (in Appalachia).

    In essence, I believe communities create the best options for sustainability. And community is only established by connecting with others over a period of time, by being interested and welcoming to neighbors, and by recognizing that we are always stronger and more fulfilled as members of groups than when we are completely on our own. And life is just so much better when we have good friends and neighbors in our lives. I can't imagine fearing my neighbors or being concerned that they will turn into crazy people when challenged. The people I meet every day, in the country and in the city, are basically helpful, kind, and caring. I really don't believe all that will change overnight. If we all work together to help each other, surely we will all survive anything.

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