Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking about group sizes, and I thought it would be a good idea to get some opinions about this- assuming you could have any (reasonable) number of people in your TEOTWAWKI group, how many do you think would be good to have?

Obviously, there are problems with having a group that is too small. A group that is too small wouldn't be able to defend itself if it was attacked, and, even worse, it wouldn't be able to control the BOL, because there wouldn't be enough people to observe the local area. Worst of all, such a group might not have enough people to be self-sufficient.

However, there are problems with having a group that is too large. At a certain point, there would be too many people to take care of, and the group would fragment due to conflicts (Dunbar's number). Also, a larger group is much easier seen by roving raiders than a smaller group.

So, in your opinion, what is a good group size? How many people would be best suited to be able to observe the local area and defend the group from raiders, yet still small enough that it would be easy to support the group, the group would remain relatively undetected, and there wouldn't be a great danger of intra-group conflict?
 

·
Non semper erit aestas.
Joined
·
3,918 Posts
http://m.guardian.co.uk/technology/...idea-robin-dunbar?cat=technology&type=article

Above is a link to an interesting and brief article about Dunbar and his number. I don't go along with some of it but a lot makes sense, and seems backed up by history and current observation.

If his number is correct, it is important to keep in mind the current or potential offspring of those in the group, as well as any refugees you might take in.
 

·
Anyone seen my dog?
Joined
·
578 Posts
If you can only support two people, then two it is. If the group can support 50 people, then 50 it is. I would think that group number guidelines should be based on resources for support, member skills and training, and housing. If the members are not productive and working toward the groups goals then they are liabilities and should not have been let in in the first place. How to deal with unproductive members, undesirables, and refugees is best left to another thread.
 

·
Sua Sponte
Joined
·
976 Posts
I think I would turn the question around. Rather than asking how many people would be good to have, I'd ask 'how many people do you need to have'.

Figure out whatever it is you want to accomplish, then figure out how many people it will take to do that. As it is, it sounds like your going to come up with a number of people and then start asking 'what am I going to do with these guys'.

And of course, the upper hard limit is how many people you can support.

So my question would be to you 'what is it you want to accomplish'.

YMMV,
Chad
 

·
Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
Joined
·
68,576 Posts
I think the ideal number is as many as you can raise food for. Ideally a small community. But reality raises it's ugly head here, as most of us have limited resources.

I would think that a large farm, well staffed, would be about perfect. Part of the reason is security itself. In a shootout, both sides can expect to take losses. How long can a small group sustain them and remain viable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,113 Posts
It depends on how many your resources and land can maintain. Its ok having loads of people but you need to feed and water them, if you cant do that then its no good to anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,655 Posts
Not trying to derail this thread but this relates to the “I'm coming to your house if anything happens.”
I see strength in numbers 25 to 50 sounds good but how many will show up with adequate supplies.
I have sons and siblings who are welcome. I have a friend near the city that is welcome but he comes with more preps/food and farm equipment/livestock than I have.
I have no real issue with someone who is self-sufficient coming here. (Bring a tent)

It’s the "I have some guns, can me and my kids and their kids come there."
If someone wants in a group there has to be a level of self-sufficiency so they don't become an instant liability.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,282 Posts
How many routes do you have coming in or going out to your BOL? Are you manning Stationary positions and/or Observation points?

Say your BOL is on one road, coming in and going out, you have to man two points. How heavy is the traffic coming from whatever position, heavier traveled roads takes two bodies to guard.

So point one has two bodies for security

Point two is less traveled and only needs one body to man -up to three bodies-

You have some high ground that can over look/watch some space as well as air. Also can provide long range fire for your 2 security check points. (maybe) 1 body with good glass for long range observation. -up to four bodies-

How long are you going to make them stand watch, 8 hour days, 12 hour days,??? all but your over watch will have to be posted 24 hours (round the clock) "my situation is slightly different because my over watch is on a four wheeler trail so its also a OP (observation post)" -Five bodies-

Say you have these five bodies working 8 hours days, that's three rotations of people relieving them at different intervals for OPSEC reasons. Thats 15 people. Not including fresh bodies for patrol/hunting parties, to tend to lives stock, to tend the garden and or man the BOL. Say another five bodies to support you here. 20 people to efficiently run your BOL.

5 less - back down to 15 - if you work your group 12 hours per day, I am telling you right now this is ill advised and should be limited to only 8 hours. Only in emergency situations should 12 hour watches be utilized. 12 hours drains your body, and will make your group pretty useless for anything else but sleeping and standing duty. Not to mention if they have to engage someone you want them decently rested.

Your numbers and priorities may differ, or maybe your planning on camping in the woods and only need to on watch. I'm not saying this is a must, but you have to think about what your going to need to stay safe, trip wires and off the grid security systems are great for early warnings, but think about how long it would take for your group to wake up, gear up, lock and load, get briefed, and react to the threat? this is where your security comes in, they are there to react immediately to the threat while the group gears up. ''IT'S NOT FUN TO STAND DUTY!!!!'' Thats why I cringe when people talk about what they do during group meetings, if you don't practice this then your hurting your whole group. Take a weekend and while other members are practicing shooting drills, medical care, performing maintenance, practicing comm, going out on patrols, learning firefighting skills, knot tieing ..... the list goes on, your other guys are bored standing duty, checking ID's, challenging people on the road and keeping a vigilant eye out for anything in their area of responsibility. When they get relieved, they come back and receive classes during their down time to catchup on what the group got trained on.

Yes, you need 24 hour security, if not your livestock/garden will be gone by morning and you may just wake up to a 12 gauge shotgun blowing the lock out of your front door. Not a good situation. Dogs are great for early warning, but are also susceptible to gun fire.

Sorry I know I got off on a rant, but I hope that got you thinking and helped you to figure your numbers out. Sorry about being so long winded but this is important.

Oh, Something I forgot to mention, your medic doesn't stand duty, your comm guy doesn't stand duty. Why cause they are high value people, and if they are out of commission then that puts the rest of the group in serious jeopardy. This also goes for anyone your group has sent to schools for heavy equipment operation, truck driving, flying small aircraft, firearms schools (your training NCO's or instructors), expert mechanics and so on and so forth; but they can, garden, cook, fill sand bags, chop wood, tend the garden and do other things to maintain the BOL/Group.
 

·
off-grid organic farmer
Joined
·
23,959 Posts
In the 1970s there were hundreds [if not thousands] of compounds formed across the nation. Very few of them held together for more than a decade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,561 Posts
depends on resources i'd rather have a small sustainable group rather than a large starving group plus some people just don't get along
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
depends on your group, bol, and preparedness level. More is better but if you want a low profile keep it small, but more help is more hands for farming and guns both.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top