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Ladies and Gentlemen,

This may sound a little melodramatic, but we stand ever close to the eve of destruction and we are VASTLY unprepared. Sure, we have some food together to last a week, a month, a year or so. We have our guns, and we all know either how to use them or someone who does. We get online and nick and nack about which gun, which pack, which BOV is best, where to go, what to do, how to build... We realize that as soon as the stuff gets stupid, the people will too. This makes us smarter than most. But we, as survivalists, cannot survive indefinately without organization and community. Some may say very foolishly that they can make it on their own. I used to be this way. But on talking to people of similar mind to me I began to realize the foolishness of thinking in a 'Mad Max' type of way.

So you know this guy. He knows how to hunt and fish and trap. He can build shelter, build fire, make comforts for himself. He knows Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape tactics from his Military days, and can comfortably engage roaming scavenging people and dogs with no problem. Tough cookie, this hypothetical survivalist. But what happens when he needs to sleep? How about when he gets a nice sized infection in a camping situation? Or needs someone to talk to?

Here we sit in a virtual room with dozens of capable thinkers and some people of action and we talk about where we are going, what we are doing and constantly re-evaluate how to make things better. I have a suggestion that might be even more important than a well stocked BOL. Network with people. Find out whether or not you can bugout together. It may be true that the total basis of survivalism is lack of trust (mainly in the gov't, society, and people in general to have the intelligence to prolong their existance for much longer) but we need to get past that if we are to do more than merely survive. What if the event takes more time than you have stockpiles for? What will you do when the 'event' is over? We don't all have to learn every skill.

Is your BOL near someone elses? Yes, I know, this means you have to talk specifics with people. Government ears are everywhere. So you have twentyfive cases of 30-06 ammo and a nice Leopould scope. Or maybe you have 25 30-06's and more ammo than a Marine Corps Battalion. Who cares? Chances are, if you have ever talked about your stockpiles on a cellphone or ordered them online or sent them all to the same address Uncle Sam already knows it's there. If you believe that the SHTF situation is going to be a decent event, then you must accept that recovery will be slow and we will more than likely not get back to the way it was before. So there won't be a date when someone says 'Ok, I'm tired of this survival crap. Why don't we just go get a job at Burger King?'. This supports the idea that agriculture, beef and dairy skills will be VALUABLE. Also, with every farming operation comes the trouble of what you grow getting taken. Security becomes valuable now. So you want to wear warm clothes in the winter? After your second pair of double insulated trousers get a tear from farming or fighting we are going to need ingenuitive people to stitch and sew. Oh, you want to eat something other than canned rations and MRE's? Better learn how to make stew with a big old pot! In stead of one, two, three or even four people learning EVERYTHING to do in a community, why not gather people around you who have skillsets that would cover a broad range of things, and the ingenuity to learn what they must after that?

So I would like to use this thread to discuss two things. First and foremost, who would be wanting and willing to network with people in the hopes of bringing onboard more assets that add to their group's survivability and longevity? And secondary, if you are willing and wanting a group for support, what would you be looking for in the group, where in the states are you, and what is your take on long term survival options?

I, for one, am in Southern Virginia and am more than willing to rethink lone survival. I am in close contact constantly with my farming, former LTCol stepfather, my horse-training mother, my schoolteacher brother, his midwife wife, some young fellas for labor (my youngest brother is organizing them). The list is much longer, and doesn't only include family (those people that I mentioned, for sure, wouldn't mind me mentioning them online. The others? Not so sure.) Yes, I realize that for many of us bugging out has been ingrained. Your first couple steps on the morning when you can't deny that the time is here are probably preprogrammed in there, with coffee and the morning news. This means a change, and more thinking. But if you think it might be worth it to combine assets, speak up!
 

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Agent of Influence
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You raise an important point.

However tough, trained and prepared you are, if you are alone you are vunerable.

I have read several accounts of extremely tough ex military types who have been killed by armed intruders in the SHTF situation in Zimbabwe and some parts of South Africa.

Any real, long term survival stratergy will need serveral people working together.

Here's what FerFal, who has actually lived through SHTF has to say about this

''a) Maybe the one that rubs me the wrong way the most concerns retreats. It’s also something many survivalists consider the summit of their preparations. A self sufficient fortification-ranch, with the nearest neighbor several miles away.
Isolated farms or retreats are targeted and are often victims of robbery and in some cases extremely violent home invasions. You may have 6-10 able men you are counting on to defend it when TSHTF… “when TSHTF” …so they aren’t there right now? Then you don’t have them, nor will you have them when you need them, most likely.
The isolation works to the attackers favor, who often take their time having their way with everything and everyone inside the house.
The “away from everything” theory just doesn’t work when taken to the field. Happens here and same happens in Africa where ranchers and farmers have to fight rebels, rogues or whatever they are calling them these days.
They’ll find you, they’ll know about you one way or the other. You cant hide simply by living a gas tank away from the city. If there’s a road that reaches your place, you are fair game, doesn’t matter if it’s a dirt road in poor condition. You get there with a car/truck? So can bad guys.
You are obviously safer from small time robberies or pickpocketers and snathcers, but you are more vulnerable to the worst kind of criminals. Not that living in a city or suburbs makes it MUCH safer, but I’d rather live here where I live now than in a farm house any day of the week. People can somehow organize to hire security, talk to the police. Yes, most people border idiotic and are pretty clueless, but it’s better than being alone with no chance of even trying to convince people.
I’m not talking about living in a large city being the best option, I’m talking about living in a small town or community, looking for safety in numbers but avoiding the problems of a metropolis.
I definitely would choose a house in a small town or subdivision near a city, rather than a far away retreat.
Rather than looking for the ultimate self reliance retreat in the middle of nowhere, look for a subdivision where you have enough land, where you can keep a small orchard and some small critters if you want, a place with a basement where you can build a NBC shelter as time and money allows. That’s what I’d look forward to if living in US.''
 

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Some us have no choice, my friend.

But a good friend of mine on this site has already told me that I can join his group, if things really get that bad.

You learn to be tough, to survive on very little, to defend yourself - or you die.

But having to forage alone in the worst case scenario, is definitely not a desirable condition.
 

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For me, the whole lone wolf or group argument comes down to whether I want to "survive" or do I want to live. Yes I could survive by myself but to what end? Humans are pack animals, we want and need companionship. This is the backbone of our civilization. Loners formed families which formed tribes which formed towns and so on and so forth. Besides companionship groups also give you a much deeper well of skills to pick from. No matter how much you may know you'll never know everything. Even if you do learn everything what if you're the one that needs the skill applied to?
 

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I'm the boogey man.......
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Well if he really needs someone to talk to.....


For us, there are 6 guys in our group, we plan on rotating 8 hour shifts of being awake / guard duty 2 at a time...
 

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For us, there are 6 guys in our group, we plan on rotating 8 hour shifts of being awake / guard duty 2 at a time...
How large of an area are you guarding? Where's your water source? You have to collect food, prepare it, including gathering fuel for cooking. What skills are you lacking? Do you know your neighbors or any groups that are nearby?

Try roughing it with just the 6 guys and simulate injuries, and other problems and see what it's like. Play scenarios that you think could occur and how you would handle them.

Not trying to discourage you but we're not talking about a camping trip this would be the only folks you can turn to. It comes down to surviving or living.
 

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Prophet
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Problem is finding the 'right' people. no point in starting a 'community' with people who just sit around and use valuable resources.
For example, i dont know a single person who has any first aid training, or has plans or desires to get trained at any level. how insane is that? So i guess THEY will rely on me.
Oh wait.. im the only guy who has a rifle. i guess ill be hunting too, and gardening, and fishing, and construction, and shelter building... the list goes on. I may not be an expert, but i think i can get by with the skills i have.
as much as i like my friends, i will be turning them away, unless they bring a skill with them or supplies. im sorry but IT and computer skills will not count. I dont think any of them even know how to light a campfire without matches. Experience with an axe? i dont think so.

another thing to consider. if you bring in one, then you will have to deal with the decision to bring in their families. then u have children to feed and protect. so much for your supplies...

scary thing is, they still have their heads buried in the sand, and still have the glazed look in their eyes when i talk survivalism, preps, or a possibility of a depression. This scares me; i have a feelin ill be using a lot of ammo when they come bangin on my door. :(

peace hopefully
al
 

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We all need people.
I agree. Unfortunately I have no people other than my fiancee, no one nearby anyway. I live in an apartment complex where it seems most people move out after one lease, don't know any of my neighbors since they are in and out so fast, and the ones I've seen don't seem like people I'd want to know anyway.

I gotta get out of this area.
 

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Dorsai
Same as.
If it was not for family and a few close friends?
Still life is a challenge and we make the most of it. As long as you have someone it is better than no one.
From an older bloke, take a gamble and see what life throws you, you may be surprised.
 

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Problem is finding the 'right' people. no point in starting a 'community' with people who just sit around and use valuable resources.
scary thing is, they still have their heads buried in the sand, and still have the glazed look in their eyes when i talk survivalism, preps, or a possibility of a depression. This scares me; i have a feelin ill be using a lot of ammo when they come bangin on my door. :(

peace hopefully
al

Sometimes you have to take what you can. Invite your friends to go camping or just do a day hike. Along the way show them how to make a fire with a bow drill or how to make a figure four trap. See if any of them show interest and take it from there. Not everyone in my group is a good shot but they bring other skills. See what clubs are in your area and meet new people, never know what you might discover.
 

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We are forming a "preparedness group" around here, just a few families with good skill sets who can come togeather. If we do go to a retreat, its going to be close to where we live, just a few miles outside city limits. This allows us to pop our heads up and see how things are. The eventual goal is to move back in, take stock and start over if necessary.
That HAS to be the eventual goal. Society is necessary weather we like it or not.
The secret is to have minimum standards for each group member to meet in terms of equipment and skills and at least one of each family should have a specific useful skill set, the rest should tote a rifle or a shovel .
Then you go into these skill sets and make sure that those who have them, say Nursing/EMS: they should have a good ALS bag with extra basics and know how to improvise when these run out.
A carpenter should have basic hand tools used in carpentry such as hand saw, hand drill, hammer, nails, a few clamps, a corner clamp etc.
A Blacksmith: Should be able to build a set of bellows, should have tongs, some hammers and an anvil and know how to improvise such tools as needed such as a forge.
Mechanics should have a good cross section of tools most often used to repair the engines and motors used by the group. They might also want to work at learning to fix electric motors and appliances.
Plumbers should know how to work with both water pipes and steam pipes. After the fall, Steam power may be a very useful option.
Wood Cutters and Lumberjacks should bring along a couple cross cut saws, buck saws, a double bit felling axe, a good hatchet, some wedges and a cant hook as well as a chain saw, extra chain, bar oil, blade and fuel. Most important are files to sharpen these saws and axes and the know how to do it.
Security people should know more than how to shoot a rifle, they should know how to design and build physical security systems such as fascines, barricades, draw bridges, motes, earthen ramparts, watch towers, gate houses and murder holes as well as how to place them so they can be the most effective. They should understand how to use non firearm weapons and posess them. Such weapons as bows, swords, and spears are extremely effective and valid weapons and not everyone is going to have a gun. Ammo will eventually run out and these alternatives have to be taken into account and provided for.
Hunters too need to understand many different types of hunting equipment and techniques. they should own a Rifle, Bow or Crossbow, Hunting Sword (to dispatch wounded game) spears and of course should try and learn how to use the sling

Farmers should have good gardening tools, and a TON of non hybridized seeds and know how to cultivate wild foods into good domestic foods and identify wild eatables and distinguish them from poisonous ones. They should understand the ration of amount of harvest VS Time.

The list gos on

I guess the name of the game here is that people in a preparedness group need to be versatile, inventive and adaptable. EVERYTHING needs a backup, and that backup should have a backup.
Does my group have all the things I listed above? heck no, but it would be nice! for a lot of us, we do double duty and that will be the way most groups are. The best thing you can do once the Fall does happen is anyone who approaches your village should be well vetted before being allowed to enter. If they have a skill or service (not just an item) that you need, they can come in after a quarantine period where they are isolated from the general populace and interviewed extensively. This is VERY importent, not just for medical reasons, but also as a way to view how someone really is, and see weather they are the sort of person you want.
When dealing with security threats, you must be BRUTAL. And I mean that. If someone tries to take what you have, you need to let everyone around you know what happens to someone who invades your village or threatens the peaceful life you are trying to live. I will not go into detail other than to say: Look up the London Bridge during the middle ages for more information on getting this point across.

Living through something like this requires hard choices and the ability to endure extreme adversity. Mental preparation is key here.
So to sum things up, you MUST have a community to survive, its that simple, United we Stand, Devided we fall.
 

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Editor, Ready Magazine
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I agree, but when I throw it out there that I would be interested in meeting, getting to know and MAYBE for a group, the silence is deafning.
 

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Prophet
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I always have been interested in forming/joining a group. Kinda hard when pretty much everyone i know are sheep. and the ones online that are interested are in other countries. LOL!
 

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It does depend on how a person want to live their life. If a person wants to remain free and that is the most important thing to that person, even over death then it is perfectly okay to bugout alone. I have met extremists who love to be alone out in the world. If they die that way, so be it. They would rather be free for however short their life is than live forever in a situation they don't like. Of course, most of these people are already living this life. They don't need much and certainly wouldn't feel the need to come online to discuss things. These are not the people with a huge stock of survival good, what they need probably fits on their back and they spend most of their time out in the wilderness. A little cold or dark or even a major infection that kills them is a small price to pay to live life on their terms.

Having said all that, I am not one of those people. I like talking and learning from people. I'm glad I found this list so I can learn more. I am part of a community now. We help each other with what needs to be done, but we also leave each other alone when needed. We are happy with our own company and also happy with each other. I belong to a quilting club of women who also take a karate class together every week. Every Thursday afternoon I spend a couple hours down at the local tavern doing what I call networking, which is my term for sitting in a bar, drinking, and gabbing with all the fellas--networking sounds better.:D: We all want to live our own lives but without really thinking about it we help each other.

I am huge on community because I doubt if I would be here without mine. I am just smart enough to know how dumb I am.:) Without all the things that I have been taught I don't know how I would have made it through. I do take the effort to learn as much as possible. I volunteer at a folk school so I could learn how to forage for wild foods and process linen to cloth and stoneworking, and how to build a Kentuky rifle and a whole lot of other things so that I can be helpful to the community that, out of the goodness of their heart, took me in. It's the reason I'm on this list, so I can learn more without being such a pest, not that anyone here would ever tell me I was one, but I want to be able to give more to my community than take from it.

In the end that is the reason I want to be prepared. I know that one day I will die, survival is not forever. Fighting against something that is going to happen can seem silly at times. I don't really prepare to survive, if I was to die in the first wave or whatever happens, then fine. If I live, however, I want to be a vital, working member of my community. I don't want to be the weakest link. I don't want others to regret the kindness they have shown me. So community isn't just important, it is everything to me. I love my home, my woods, this river, and these people. I was never interested in survival until I came here.

Tury
 

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Veteran of Cuba, the Congo, Viet Nam, Rhodesia, Nicaragua and a couple of more places, to me it always has been not a matter of if I die or live but as to how I played the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
All answers seem to point to needing and, indeed, already moving to community survivalism. I noticed that it was stated that when the 'meeting up' issue is brought to bear people go silent.



I, for one, am not afraid of meeting people. I am in Lynchburg, Virginia but regularly travel. I work on a construction crew of people much like me. I have a wide set of skills, ranging from experience in Jungle, Urban, Desert and Mountain warfare training schools (with bona-fide combat time to boot) to erecting pre-engineered buildings and working with sheetmetal. I was an infantryman in the Marines, crosstrained on the PRC-19 Alpha and Foxtrot (combat radios). I worked in training and operations division of the S-3 in the Battalion headquarters for a while, so I know maps. I can navigate, run point, breach rooms, have familiarity with Fireteam, Squad and Platoon sized tactics and trained in combat first aid. Not to be confused with EMT-type training, Combat first aid is only first responder training and designed to assist in prolonging the critical hour. I am a farmer, raised and by choice. I know Angus Beef cattle, hay, land to head ratio for feed (3 acres per cow/calf pair). I've played veterinarian for countless people around the VA area, birthing cattle and innoculating for viruses. I've been a leader and I've been a follower, but of all the jobs I've done the one I loved best was the Infantry Saw Gunner. Nothing is quite so simple as following orders.

So, here's the ticket. We are aware, those who know the future and prepare to face it head on. Look at who you are. Now look at who you are not. Now surround yourselves with people who are not you, and evaluate whether you could trust them with your back, your food, your ammunition and your family. I would rather get embarrassed meeting someone in a McDonalds than I would chancing trusting someone I met after the fall. Every group finds a natural leader. Every leader naturally finds an executive officer. Every XO finds a way to get things done. But to find and fill your role, you need to meet the people you will live with once living becomes difficult.

Anyone else in the states surrounding Virginia looking to meet people and expand their directon of survival?
 

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CHEERS :p
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I always have been interested in forming/joining a group. Kinda hard when pretty much everyone i know are sheep. and the ones online that are interested are in other countries. LOL!
I'm in the same boat, in the same country.....but opposite end lol
 
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