It’s not uncommon in the prepping and survival community to find people talking about their survival plans as if they are going to be out there on their own, facing everything that nature and two-legged predators can throw at them and overcome it. Part of that is because we who teach and train about survival, do so as if you have to do everything yourself.
From a pure training point of view, it makes sense to learn everything as if you would have to do it all yourself. You never know what the future may hold, so you could find yourself trapped in a situation where you are alone. At such a time, you need to know everything, as you can’t rely on someone else to fill in the blanks where you don’t know something.
But there’s a huge difference between training to be a lone-wolf survivalist and actually planning on living that way. While it is possible to survive on your own in an emergency situation, that’s short-term survival. In a long-term scenario, you’d be facing a much different situation.
What About Your Family?
The first thing that would probably be different is that you’d have your family to consider, not just yourself. If all you plan for is to survive on your own, what’s going to happen to them? Are your plans such that you could easily expand them to include your family? Do you have enough equipment and supplies to take care of them as well? Or are you just planning on abandoning them to their fate, while you take care of number one?
I seriously doubt that you’re going to go for that last option, but some people do. When push comes to shove, we humans can be very self-centered in a survival situation. Desperation can cause us to panic, which could actually drive us to kill those closest to us, just so we can survive.
But other than emergency survival situations, such as being caught in a snowstorm or lost in the mountains, most of the survival situations we all prepare for are things where we will have at least a little advance notice of what is to come. With that being the case, desperation and panic shouldn’t be in the picture; after all, we’re preparing for just that eventuality.
More Hands Make Lighter Work
Other than natural disasters, most of the “big” things that people prep for cause a general breakdown of society. I’m talking about an EMP attack, loss of the grid, the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting or a financial collapse. In those sorts of situations, what we’re actually doing is trying to survive the collapse of society and the infrastructure that we all depend on. That makes them a totally different sort of situation. It also makes them long-term survival situations.
Whether your plans are to bug in or bug out surviving without our modern society and infrastructure is going to be a huge challenge, with a lot of physical work to do. Just trying to raise enough food to keep your family from starving is going to be a full-time job, let alone cutting firewood, hauling water and the other survival tasks that will occupy our time.
While surviving in a group means that we’re going to need more food, more water and more of every other resource you can think of, it also means that there are more hands to share the work. Splitting the various jobs amongst the members of a survival team can increase efficiency, as can working together in a team, something that will help everyone to accomplish more than they could on their own.
Part of these long-term survival situations will have to include rebuilding society. Otherwise, we won’t have anything to pass on to our surviving children. For that matter, without some sort of society where young people can meet each other, develop relationships and fall in love, there won’t be much of a next generation; or at least no generation after that.
The fact of the matter is that we humans are created to be social creatures, living and working together for the betterment of all. Without some sort of interaction with others, there is the risk of going crazy. This has happened to many a prisoner in solitary confinement, as well as others who entered into a solitary life of their own volition.
The challenge of rebuilding society will require much more in the way of skills and knowledge than any one person can have. We will need each other, working together, in order to be able to have any hope of creating even a rudimentary society, let alone our advanced technological one.
But perhaps the biggest reason for us to band together, creating a survival team is that of protecting ourselves from attack. One of the things that go hand-in-hand with a breakdown of society is the loss of law and order. Without the constraints of consequences, many people will quickly turn to the baser instincts, raping, murdering and even enslaving others.
Neither you or I am Rambo; besides, he was working off a script. Real life doesn’t have a script and doesn’t allow us the luxury of a stunt double to take the fall for us. Taking on a gang of 20 hungry people who are attacking your home in search of food could very easily turn into a last stand if you try to do it on your own. Yes, you might manage to take out three or four of them, but all they need is one lucky shot and you’re history.
A well-trained team, working together, can do a lot more to defend itself than any lone-wolf can, even if that man standing alone has the combined skills of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. When it all comes down to it, surviving that firefight, without falling under a hail of bullets, is the most difficult survival challenge you may face.
In such a case, the injury is all but equal to death. Any injury, no matter how small, reduces your fighting ability. Once that happens, it’s a whole lot easier for them to pick you off. Reduced mobility, reduced accuracy for your own shooting or any reduced skill makes you that much more likely to end up dead.