Survival Debate: Solo or Group

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By Joel Jefferson •  5 min read

I got into prepping when I was 13 years old.  I was in the junior Militia unit in my county in the Northeastern United States.  I learned a lot about survival and how to be prepared all the time. They taught me how to cache weapons and how to make inventory lists on time tables so you know when to check and replace things like canned food and dry goods.

Why is it that almost all End-Of-The-World books and movies feature someone trying to survive alone? Hopefully your loved ones will survive whatever emergency happens and you can work together. Would you really want to strike out on your own forever?

Solo vs Group

Before, during, and after a disaster, the decision to go through it solo or with a group can have some major consequences. Some will be good and some will be bad.

There will be times when going solo can be beneficial and the same can be said with a group of people. Below is a break down of a few different aspects between the two options. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to make the decision for yourself.


Going at it solo can definitely have some benefits. Without other people to worry about, a person can move quicker, quieter, and has less chances of being seen. This is especially important when traversing through potentially dangerous areas.

When you are by yourself, there are also a lot less mouths to feed and to contend with. It can be frustrating and tiresome making sure everyone has the supplies they need and to have to go through the decision making process with everyone about every little thing.

It may sound good being the one and only person to have to look after, but solo survival certainly has its drawbacks.

For one, human beings are heard animals. Not only do we like social interactions but we need it to help maintain good mental health. Being in isolation for too long can negatively effect a person’s overall well being.

The biggest drawback, is that you will have to do everything yourself. Gathering food, water, maintenance of your property or gear, take care of shelter and fire, carrying supplies, and on and on the list goes.

Security is also going to be a major concern in such a situation and one person cannot physically keep watch 24/7.

What are you going to do if you get sick or twist your ankle? How are even the simplest of tasks going to get done?




The obvious advantage of group survival is that there is additional support for everything. If someone doesn’t have certain supplies it is likely that others have extras and can chip in. Need help to figure out a problem?  There are plenty of minds wiling to offer their perspective and possible solutions.

And as the old saying goes, “many hands make light work.” The more people there are in the group, the easier work will be and there will be more bodies available to help maintain security.

However group survival is not as easy as it seems.

People cannot do whatever they want if the group is to survive, there needs to be structure. First and foremost, the group will need a clear leader or a decision making process that everyone adheres to. We all know how difficult it can be to establish something like this.

Along with the above, there will be arguments and confrontations. Everyone has a different perspective, thoughts, and feelings and in a survival situation tensions will already be high.

The more people there are in a group means more supplies needed. This includes shelter, water, food, medicine, tools, and anything else required by group members.

Lastly, group security is going to be an issue. Depending on the size of the group, it could be difficult to keep track of everyone at all times, conceal the group, and limit noise output.



Middle Ground

There really is no middle ground on this one. You are either with a group or you are not. Maybe if you are only with one other person.

Your Group?

Those are just some of the things that arise in my group of friends and family. Personally, I feel that we as a group have a better chance at making it through anything that comes our way than we would if we were alone.

Leave a comment and tell us about your survival group and why you choose to go with a team or stay solo.

Also read – “8 Common Mistakes of Wilderness Survival”

Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here.