Survival I mean.
The basics of Shelter, Water, Fire, Food, and Hygiene.
How to Sleep. So many forget sleep.
Acquiring what you need by foraging, hunting, trapping, fishing.
Getting to somewhere on the rush, and back if appropriate.
Surviving the environment that may be too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, and too windy.
Surviving a man made hostile environment like CBRN contamination.
The “When to stay in and why, and how to work outside bit”.
Then there is a war, conflict, civil unrest, big brother, the state, thieves and marauders.
When you look back at disasters, especially where the infrastructure of government isn’t capable of ‘saving you’ or, more probably, don’t give a sh’t about you, then survival can get complex fast.
The basics still stand, the problems are usually caused by others.
So what’s the answer to that?
Is there a basic plan you can adopt to suit every contingency when dealing with others?
There seems to be a few basic thoughts going around.
- Get armed,
- Get co-operative as there is safety in numbers,
- Or go lone wolf to small unit or family/friend group.
Yet none of them work in all cases and ignore the obvious.
People will do anything to survive or cash in on another’s misfortune and use opportunity aka looting for gain.
So I’ve jotted down a few thoughts about these three main thought processes.
See what you think.
OK, makes sense for hunting (sort of) and self defence, if not for offensive action.
Will being armed get you shelter, water, food, and anything else you need?
Yep, maybe, and it can make life easy too.
You either throw out the owner, rob them, enslave them, or kill them.
Until the next guy comes along.
But Hey, you’re armed so that isn’t a problem, or is it? YES IT IS!
Mainly because of the stupid notion some will hold that they can cope against anyone.
Is there ever going to be anyone out there that will be better equipped, trained, more experienced in combat, or more motivated than you, let alone luckier with a gun ?
If you say no then I think you’re a fool.
This can be good if you have already established ‘local connections’.
The problems can be leadership and other groups you may encounter.
That and joining a group.
You can’t work together in harmony unless someone is organising things.
In survival or even life, there is seldom a case when ‘management by common consensus’ works.
I think of it as too many minds.
Some will not be thinking common good, others will just be looking for leadership.
Some will resent working with others, for others, putting their needs above all.
Some simply won’t share what they have got with others.
There will always be ones who hate being ‘organised and controlled’ .
That’s human nature for you.
Thus working in a group will require leadership qualities and discipline.
Enforced at times on those who will instinctively rebel.
Enforcement. Wow, doesn’t that open a can of worms.
As for other groups?
For all the above reasons, they will be out to gain for their own.
Yet the merging of resources, manual and material can be good BUT we are back to leadership and now diplomacy.
Gawd this is sounding more like modern life, government, and precisely the same mix that probably caused the breakdown (in the case of civil upset or conflict) in the first place.
So what you’ve got to ask yourself and everyone is what do they want to do about others. It’s a discussion that needs to happen WELL BEFORE the event happens.
Once that principle has been agreed on by everyone, without any dissenters as they will cause your group problems should such an event occur, you’ve got to stick to it and that “STICKABILITY” will be down to the groups leadership. Almost a dictatorship is a leader during a survival scenario and as such something not very attractive to everyone.
So now I have to revisit enforcement within a group because in survival you may need to order a course of action. What to do about those who won’t ‘tow the line’, obey, or whatever term you want to use.
I can think of no worse case than a group turning on itself for survival.
Yet in the case of CBRN it can be vital to enforce a discipline that everyone abides with.
Take a contagion, something simple like flu.
In a grid down scenario medical care may be basic so now you may have few choices.
- Let the person spread the illness possibly endangering all,
- Put them into imposed quarantine, or
- Eject them until they have got better, or died.
With a family that’s going to be tough. Either an adult or child getting ill, it doesn’t matter. Their blood ties will rebel at being separated because of the desire to help one of their own. They can’t help it but the leadership may have to enforce it.
Seeing someone being controlled or at worse ejected or ‘humanely put down’, someone ill, especially in a well established group will cause stress.
The voice of reason, the obvious dangers, even agreements, will be tested at that time.
Illness and not something simple like dissent and can be disastrous to a group.
Funny thing is you don’t read a lot about dealing with this in prepper or the survivalist mantras.
That’s because the whole concept is emotive.
Those who have experienced it will vouch for that.
I’m thinking triage and treatment in combat there.
With someone who has no hope of survival and you having limited resources and others you can save. What are you going to do about them?
Abandon them, put them out of their misery, or what.
It’s too easy to suggest a solution for everything and foolish.
Everything is subject to what is going on at that time.
No, I’m not dodging the issue but have experienced the results of decisions taken and have also been grateful for those who did not give up on me. Hence I’m well biased.
Lone wolf, small combat group or ‘family unit’.
The thing they may have in common is flexibility and the ability to keep moving, foraging for what they need but being small enough to roam.
There is however a glaring fault within this heading and that is the lone wolf.
Let’s talk about just two things, SLEEP and health.
To sleep safe is damn difficult when you are on your own.
Even with a companion dog, there will be times when someone is vulnerable.
As for getting sick or injured?
Stitching up a wound on your back when you can’t see it is difficult enough but administering medicine when you can’t move would be worse. A slow lonely decline to death is what most would fear.
Plus what would you do if you came across others?
The meet and greet bit, the ownership of what you ‘find’ disputed by another.
If it was a group and you engaged or just upset them, one against many may work (in Hollywood) but in real life a well organised group may choose to hunt you down.
As for you bring sick and asking for help in an austere scenario?
We’re back to triage and what they do about it. You are at their mercy when you are alone.
No matter what you may feel, there is safety in numbers, with people you have trained with or simply you are part of.
And finally that title.
How complex does it need to be?
Bullets, beans and bandages is the simplistic view of some.
Military styled groups for another.
Family and friends units for others
Communes / communities / colonies for the rest
And a few who still think their government will save them no matter what.
It’s not simple at all is it. As complex as hell and then some.