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ex-Infantry Iraq Vet
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Discussion Starter #1
One cannot simply ask people if they want to be in a survival group. Anybody who rejects you NOW will be looking for you one the need arises. If you're planning on bugging in at your home, then the fewer people who know about your preparations the better.

One should gather intel on perspective candidates, there are things you should look for and things you should avoid.

One place to start gathering info believe it or not would be craigslist. Start a chat for your local area and see if people share your concerns. Just chat it up with them. If they've done about as much as you have you might want to link up with them.

NRA meetings are another solid place. If somebody doesn't own a firearm and actively practice their shooting skills then it is a safe bet you don't want them on your team unless a required skill set outweighs that

Try to find hunters or fisherman in your area. These are good people to have as they routinely wake up early and go out into unideal conditions. They're used to nature so to speak so it wouldn't be such a drastic change. The less drastic the change, the less stress. People with lower stress makes for better living arrangements.

As ex-Infantry I'm perfectly aware of how to shoot well. However say I kill a deer I would have no idea which parts are the best meat. I have no idea how to skin an animal or fillet a fish. So somebody who routinely does that would have a much better knowledge then I do.

Talk to small business owners. Now chances are if you go to the local K-Mart and speak with the person at their sporting goods / weapons department they might not really have any knowledge on the subject.

Now somebody who owns a small gun shop is virtually guaranteed to know a lot about guns and probably be one hell of a shot. Somebody who owns a sporting good store probably knows a lot about surviving in the outdoors. Not to mention that in an ITEOTWAWKI situation, chances are they'd share their goods with the group. Once the dollar loses all value and food isn't being produced there is no reason to keep merchandise to sell.
Don't forget any military surplus owners as well. Most are veterans and they'll have plenty of useful items.

However don't ASSUME that they'd part with their stock. Make it perfectly clear up front that you WON'T request the stock in case of a small riot, or a localized natural disaster such as a floor or earthquake. In the event that the dollar collapses and SHTF only then would they be expected to part with their inventory.

This has the second benefit of obtaining unregistered weapons. The ITEOTWAWKI might only last a few years and authorities might still investigate murders, even if it was self defense and somebody tried to harm one of the group. Since the power grid will most likely have failed who's to say that the gun-shop owner wasn't robbed? Only use what you need though and barter/save the rest

Recruit skill sets. Almost everybody can agree that a doctor would be a good thing to have around. At NRA or community watch meetings find out who the doctors are. Additionally you could take a drive through the private parking area of your local hospital and take note of any bumper stickers they might have, or their types of vehicles. People with off-road vehicles might be a good indication they enjoy outdoor activities which is a plus. It could just be that they live in a small isolated area with dirt roads which is also a plus. veteran bumper stickers are also a plus. EVERYBODY in the military is required to know how to shoot.

Look for people who have a skill set AND know how to shoot. An ex-Medic knows medicine and also knows how to shoot. A hunter is valuable and also knows how to shoot. A farmer is valuable and most can shoot. Not everybody has to be an expert shot, but SOME people should be. Once you have your group together you can go out to the range and coach the non-shooters into being basic marksmen.

Avoid active military however. In the event of a national disaster the soldier will most likely not be able to help you and taking care of professional matters instead. NOTHING personal against active military, I'm an Iraq vet myself. I'm just simply stating that they can't exactly walk away from their job to come defend a property with you. Same goes with policemen and other government workers who HAVE to do their jobs in time of crisis

Do not exclude family men as potential recruits. While at first glance a veteran with a wife and two children might look like a lof of extra mouths to feed it can be worth the trade off. If somebody has someone to protect they'll perform their role much better then somebody with nothing to lose.

Noncombatants can still perform vital roles such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I know that makes me sound like an arse to some people but you have to be realistic. Everybody performs some role. If you can't perform a combat role then you get stuck with menial possibly degrading tasks. That's just the way it is. Obviously babies and small toddlers really can't do anything but you just have to accept that and not make a logistics issue out of it. I would say a single guy would be allowed to bring his girlfriend along. The situation would be stressful enough without having to go cold turkey on relations

Form a "Militia". Naturally you don't want to label it as such and attract unwanted attention and place yourselves on the radar, however get your group and take the time to bond with them. Go out for morning jogs when you can for group motivation to keep everybody in relative shape. Go to the range together and practice shooting. The advanced marksmen can impart their knowledge on the beginners. An experienced spotter can watch your body as you shoot. There are several fundamentals of marksmanship and through watching somebody's body as they shoot you can tell which one they're failing on. Get everybody a portable radio and teach everybody the phonetic alphabet. Have an established frequency that you use along with code-names for each person

Spending time together in advance not only builds the psychological bonds which will be necessary, but it lets you know who is compatible with each other. I myself am an atheist and there are people who wouldn't be okay with that, so we would be incompatible as far as the group goes.

What if the situation comes along where we have 10 people, with enough supplies for 10 people. Now three more people show up. A mother and two children. There aren't enough supplies for everybody. Who is willing to turn them away and who isn't? Who is capable of flicking that light switch in your head from " Upstanding moral citizen who cares about the community " to " Small group of survivors who will kill if necessary to protect themselves "?

Certain situations will require people to suspend feelings of morality and guilt in order to survive. Make sure ahead of time people UNDERSTAND this and are willing to do it.

Lastly numbers. You shouldn't have too many and you shouldn't have too few. Few people means less mouths to feed but longer security shifts while others sleep. With 24 people you could each only pull a single hour shift daily but once the food supply runs out and you must hunt / fish it'll require more effort. More people means more room required for storage, more places needed to sleep etc. You'll have to work it out with the group what you consider to be the ideal number.

Know anybody rich? Rich people typically own houses far too big for them, as well as many acres of land which could used for a farm, not to mention a ton of capital to buy supplies with in advance. While he may not possess any required skill sets it can be overlooked for the other huge advantages he would possess. Having everybody occupy a mansion is much better because it becomes a single point to defend.


Some questions to ask potential recruits:

A) What skill sets do you currently possess?
B) Can you shoot a handgun / rifle / long-rifle?
C) Are you okay with having people in the group who may share an opposing religious view?
D) Do you require prescription medicine? Can you live without it?
E) Do you currently have any STDs? ( Require confirmation from doctor )
F) Excluding yourself, how many dependents do you have? And what are their ages?
G) Do you have any physical condition which would affect your ability to be an infantry soldier ie are you able to lift heavy objects, ruck a couple miles, run a couple miles, etc?
H) List any allergies to food or medicine for yourself and family
I) List all weapons you own and how much ammo of each type you currently possess
J) List the location of your place of work and house
K) List the blood types of your family and yourself
L) Are you prepared to take instruction from the group leader even if you personally disagree with it?
M) Are you prepared to turn away other survivors who have no where else to go?
N) Are you prepared to kill if necessary to defend any member of the group or our property?
O) Would you be willing to give lodging to group members in your home?
P) Would you be willing to leave your own home and bring your supplies to the home of a different group member?
Q) List any vehicles you own
R) List any other notable survival supplies
S) Do you require prescription glasses?
T) Are you willing to steal from or kill members of a different group if it becomes necessary to take OFFENSIVE action for the groups survival

I shouldn't need to explain why those questions are relevant but if somebody needs me to I will. Note that those are in no particular order and could be better arranged

Well that ate up a bit of time. If anybody has anything to add feel free to do so, if you disagree with me on any issue please state WHY you disagree with me so that it adds to the discussion. I have no problem admitting I made a mistake as long as others are able to learn from it.
 

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Destroyer of Ignorance
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I guess it depends on the group of people. I, nor any other member of my group, would ever demand a person sacrifice his/her personal property for "the greater good". Then again, the people in my group probably would just offer to do that anyway.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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If you have to ask those questions then you don't know them well enough to consider them in the first place.

As you said, getting to know them is going to be extremely important. All the little details need worked out well in advance. Get in stressful situations to see how they deal with it. Because if you're "recruiting", they're going to have an agenda (getting in) and that will bias their replies. Getting to know them is the only way to truly know what they are made of.

Working out the details is critical. For example, in our circumstances, we would not accept someone who didn't share our religious views and values. We're not athiest so to us it would never be acceptable to kill others to take what they had, regardless of the outcome for us. We have to stand before our creator some day and justify the things we've done. With this in mind, it's critical that other group members share the same devotion deep down, not just say that they do so they will be accepted.

The core members of our group got to know each other intimately well before the idea of forming a group was ever even brought out. There's no way I would ever "recruit".
 

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Scarred for life...
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I have thought a lot about this.

Locally the pickings are pretty slim.

The kind of people I would like to get to know are not the kind who would be obvious at all about prepping.

There are, however, a lot of people who talk a good talk, or people who really relish the idea of knowing something on you and talking about it as soon as you turn your back, or people who are worried about current events and think about preparing but never really take the plunge because they are too mentally invested in their homes, Obama (or Bush, take your pick), their 401k plans, making sure their lawn is cut every other day, catching their wife/husband cheating, etc etc etc.

Many church going people would outwardly seem to be good people to approach, but Ive seen enough of their true colors to know better.

Our county even has a resident police informant who (I know for a fact) is running around, trying to find out dirt on people. I know this because he has a very big mouth and just loves to come around and tell me and a few other guys about police operations a few days before they happen.

We even have a husband and wife team who are members of the communist party. They spend their Saturdays driving by gun ranges and taking down license plate numbers of cars parked there.

In spite of all this, I am sure there are people locally who are exactly or very much so like me but like me, they arent easy to find and talk to (unless you are a hacker and figure out and post where I am again)

Ive made the decision to join a few local (non survival related) groups just to be able to test the waters among a different group of people.

Hopefully Ill find a few like minded people there.
 

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ex-Infantry Iraq Vet
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281 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I guess it depends on the group of people. I, nor any other member of my group, would ever demand a person sacrifice his/her personal property for "the greater good". Then again, the people in my group probably would just offer to do that anyway.
I see what you're saying and I understand anything that resembles socialism turns a lot of people off. However the main thing is that in order to be part of the group you must contribute something. If you don't contribute then there is no reason to have you is there?

Its basically the ideal insurance policy. Unlike nowadays where you pay monthly and IF something happens you MIGHT be covered. If nothing happens then you've thrown thousands of dollars down the drain, with the survival group you only give up your inventory when something has ALREADY happened.

Examples:

Agree to join / Nothing bad happens / Everything's good
Agree to join / Something bad happens / Everything's good
Don't agree to join / Nothing bad happens / Everything's good
Don't agree to join / Something bad happens / No comment

Again I'm not talking about small scale events. During small scale events we would mostly just maintain radio contact, make sure everybody is okay, make sure everybody is secured, make sure everybody has enough to survive, etc

However once the infrastructure collapses and the dollar is worthless you could either be part of a group ( Wolves ) or try to handle things on your own ( Sheep ).

Lastly you have to realize, animal instinct is to seek out weak prey. When we seek out strong prey we increase the chance of injury or death to ourselves. That being said if somebody chooses to be a sheep they should fully realize and comprehend that when the wolves are hungry they won't fight other wolves and engage a risky battle, they'll eat the sheep first.

More examples:

You are a sheep / You fight a sheep / 50% chance of survival
You are a sheep / You fight a wolf / 0% chance of survival

You are a wolf / You fight a sheep / 95% chance of survival ( The group survives but the individual might not, though your family would be safe )
You are a wolf / You fight a wolf / 50% chance of survival

Obviously those aren't exact numbers and various factors apply but you get my point. Whether it be simply defending your own goods or seeking out new goods to acquire, there will be confrontations.
If people refuse to join wolves then I'm sorry they just lack common sense. Sheep should pray daily that a national event doesn't happen because they're screwed if it does.

Lastly when recruiting don't force it on people. If you have to coerce or threaten somebody to join then its just going to create tension and keep a bad mood around the place. If somebody with a resource you need refuses, just walk away. You can always take the resource later with one less mouth to feed. Once the government collapses the only law is survival of the fittest.

As long as there is rule of law, I intend to respect it. Once there is no rule of law then the ruthless will get what they want, one way or another
 

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ex-Infantry Iraq Vet
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Discussion Starter #6
If you have to ask those questions then you don't know them well enough to consider them in the first place.
Its purely for logistical/tactical purposes. Also I don't think I could meet a stranger and get to know them well enough to know if they have any STDs without asking. If you're able to then you have quite a talent

As you said, getting to know them is going to be extremely important. All the little details need worked out well in advance. Get in stressful situations to see how they deal with it. Because if you're "recruiting", they're going to have an agenda (getting in) and that will bias their replies. Getting to know them is the only way to truly know what they are made of.
I see what you're saying most things will be confirmed though. It would be hard to confirm what medication they need and things like that, but if out of the things that ARE confirmable if they've been on the level then it'll be good enough for me. You can never fully trust some one no matter how much you think you know them. I learned that lesson coming home from Iraq and seeing people nearly fall apart because their wives who they trusted with everything spent all their cash and cheated on them or left them.

Trust, but verify. Never trust completely. Besides they shouldn't have to lie, most issues will just be worked around. I'm not so bold as to think I could assemble the perfect group of candidates. There will be a lot of leeway given, again it is mostly for logistical/tactical reasons.

We're not athiest so to us it would never be acceptable to kill others to take what they had, regardless of the outcome for us. We have to stand before our creator some day and justify the things we've done. With this in mind, it's critical that other group members share the same devotion deep down, not just say that they do so they will be accepted.
I say this in the nicest possible way. I respect you and have nothing against you. However realize that every group has their stereotypes. I'm fully aware of atheists stereotypes but you should be aware of the theist stereotype that a good number ( Not all obviously ) are hypocrites who say one thing and do another. If you truly have a group of people who will actually follow their convictions more power to you and best of luck. However know the possibility that your friends don't share your convictions while claiming they do exists. Again I mean that in the most respectful way possible so I apologize if that offends you.

Also I don't know if you're implying that I feel that it would be okay to kill BECAUSE I'm an atheist. I hope you aren't. People from every religion have killed before. While on paper it conflicts with the religion, historically this hasn't been the case. My resolve to kill in order to survive is not dependent upon my faith or lack there of



The core members of our group got to know each other intimately well before the idea of forming a group was ever even brought out. There's no way I would ever "recruit".
I agree that method is ideal but it isn't always possible. If somebody is friends with a doctor everything is great. If nobody really personally knows somebody of the desired skill set recruiting becomes much more desirable.
A group of strangers working towards a single objective will ultimately bond regardless. Once bullets start flying petty personal differences just don't seem as important anymore. It can be done with strangers, and it has been consistently done with strangers in the military. Again I agree your method is ideal if the situation permits
 

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Honestly, I see some severe problems with this. Essentially you guys want people that are exactly like you, aside from the little nudge at religion there. With all due respect, if you overspecialize you breed in weakness.

The only thing I would look for is trustworthiness and loyalty. Nothing else matters. Sticking yourself to only millitary, ex LEO, and otherwise people exactly like yourself is going to create real problems. Ever hear the phrase "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

I also have to take exception with the "sheep dog/sheeple" thing. That entire phrase was developed as an excuse to justify expensive weapons purchases to the wives of men who can afford them. Nothing else is true about it.

Those "sheeple" are more dangerous than your "sheepdogs" whether you realize it or not. A well fed sheep dog can be murdered by an unarmed, desperate sheeple. There is no such big difference between people. Assuming you have the upper edge just because you're a self declared badass and have guns will get you killed.

Key point: When SHTF there will be no "sheepdogs" and there will be no "sheeple". We're all the same thing when were hungry, tried, and covered in poo. Your sheepdogs might crack under stress, turn against you, or leave you. Because they're simply no different than any other human.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Also I don't know if you're implying that I feel that it would be okay to kill BECAUSE I'm an atheist. I hope you aren't.
I'm going on that assumption from what you've written.

Are you willing to steal from or kill members of a different group if it becomes necessary to take OFFENSIVE action for the groups survival
and

If somebody with a resource you need refuses, just walk away. You can always take the resource later with one less mouth to feed. Once the government collapses the only law is survival of the fittest.

As long as there is rule of law, I intend to respect it. Once there is no rule of law then the ruthless will get what they want, one way or another
That's nothing but raiderism. You're doing nothing but forming a group of raiders and trying to justify it as "survivalists". Survivalists prepare for themselves, not take from others to live.

Raiders will be among the first taken out, if for no other reason than a safety measure. That's a poor survival tactic.

I attribute the fact that you've willingly admitted to throwing away morals throughout yours posts to you being an athiest. But that doesn't matter one way or another. As you said, there are plenty of Christians who are hypocrites and would do it too.

If we have to turn into monsters to survive, what are we really surviving for? Are these the moral lessons we want to pass on to our kids?
 

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Limpin to safety.
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LOL

I am kind of in a group. We are a meetup group that goes over the personal responcibility to prep and live off grid. We for mutual benefits meetup and share knowledge, skills, and learn from one another.

One thing we don't do, is Seek out people, property, skill sets, or zombies.

I don't want some sheep guarding me while I sleep. I want someone I can trust, who is a friend, who I know. Someone I spend time with, and our loyalty isn't conditional.


I was in a group and it went a different direction. So we respectfully split.

In our "group" if you decided to make a deal with other members in regards to your BOL or Home being compromised, that is up to you. Nothing is forced on anyone. If you are a loner, that is fine. If you want a network for strength in numbers, communication, and trade, then that is fine too.

The main thing, is being sane, active, fair, respectful, and having clear/open dialogue.

A group, to me, is a set of adults with a mutual interest, coming together in friendship, for a common goal. It isn't Militant, it is communal... (communist!?!... Country boy, I'm not communist. LOL)
 

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Limpin to safety.
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I'm going on that assumption from what you've written.



and



That's nothing but raiderism. You're doing nothing but forming a group of raiders and trying to justify is as "survivalists". Survivalists prepare for themselves, not take from others to live.

Raiders will be among the first taken out, if for no other reason than a safety measure. That's a poor survival tactic.

I attribute the fact that you've willingly admitted to throwing away morals throughout yours posts to you being an athiest. But that doesn't matter one way or another. As you said, there are plenty of Christians who are hypocrites and would do it too.

If we have to turn into monsters to survive, what are we really surviving for? Are these the moral lessons we want to pass on to our kids?
Kick butt post. I need to reread his post again, before I criticize it.



To the OP. You have an organized working group right? I assume you have a direction, forum, means of communication post SHTF? I assume you also regularly meet up?

I ask this because I am on my second group. The first is still going strong and I am still very loyal to them. However politics plays a heavy hand in forming an organized group.

Regardless of group affiliation, I would NEVER arbitrarily steal under any circumstance.

I guess I am just unsure to what type of group you have? Are you survivalists? Preppers? Militia?
 
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Scarred for life...
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I say this in the nicest possible way. I respect you and have nothing against you. However realize that every group has their stereotypes. I'm fully aware of atheists stereotypes but you should be aware of the theist stereotype that a good number ( Not all obviously ) are hypocrites who say one thing and do another. If you truly have a group of people who will actually follow their convictions more power to you and best of luck. However know the possibility that your friends don't share your convictions while claiming they do exists. Again I mean that in the most respectful way possible so I apologize if that offends you.
In my experience and where I live, most (but not all of course) people who characterize themselves as Christians are hypocrites.

I have seen them do things behind closed doors when they thought no on could see, that some of the worst of people wouldn't do.

I have seen them turn on their fellow Christians for the slightest provocation and for the slightest personal gain or no gain at all, and then deny everything when the person they turned on found out.

These same people viciously turned on me several years ago when my ex wife accused me of some pretty bad things. These same people threw bricks (that had been rubbed in ****) through my living room window, spat at me, told me I would burn in hell for what I had done, etc, and then evaporated and denied ever doing it when the charges were dropped and I was cleared.

The same people who looked me in the eye and told me these things will stand up in church and swear they never did any such thing and I have no use for them.

Garth Brooks used to sing a song called "Friends in Low Places".

I think one could learn a lot from that song.


PS Ive known Crutch for quite a while. If he just lived closer to me I wouldn't even think about having to find other preppers, I would already have all I need...lol
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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In my experience and where I live, most people who characterize themselves as Christians are hypocrites.
That's not just most Christians. It's most people in general. While organized religion is a breeding ground for hypocrisy, hypocrisy is just one more ugly side of human nature and you find it everywhere. It just stands out more when people who are supposedly religious do it. Those people are not real Christians. Every church has a bunch of them too. Our church sure has it's share.
 

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Contents Under Pressure
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Starting a group of raiders? I sure hope it's not a subject than many of us think about. Most of my time is spent thinking of ways to identify raiders as early as possible for elimination.
I fail to see how the OP was talking about a group of raiders. I guess that proves the point that two people can read the same thing and derive different conclusions.


Best of luck to you, sir.
 

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Limpin to safety.
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My Goal is to simply spread the survivalist mindset to others.

I want everyone to home stead. It is very easy to survive here in NC. Our winters are mild, our summers long, and our perennial trees produce constant supplies of food.

Countryboy, I hold a ton of respect for you man. I think its a good idea to form a local group where you are at. Truth is though, it's better to know the caliber of person, your friends are now, then it would be once the SHTF. I know all to well, what its like to get stabbed in the back. I know this sounds hollow, but consider yourself lucky.

Then again, I have people who aren't perfect, but are dependable.

Its kind of why, having a list of traits you look for, doesn't work.

I would rather have an old Fat Asian Muslim I can trust take watch, then some a young ex-military, in shape, opportunist, that I can't. You cant judge character based on an application.
 

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Scarred for life...
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Please truly, honestly, and SERIOUSLY put yourself in this hypothetical situation.

Tomorrow morning when you wake up, there is a cop standing there who drags you out of bed at the point of a gun and informs you that you are being charged with multiple major felonies.

I'm talking the kind of crimes that generally put people away for sentences equal to several lifetimes if convicted. Crimes that are truly heinous and awful.

The newspapers all post mug shots of you standing there in your pajamas, and proclaim to the world that you have been charged with these crimes, where you live at, etc along with an interview with your accuser telling what a total monster you are.

How many people would stand by you?

If you say that every family member, every member of your church, every neighbor, and every friend would stand by you I am here to tell you that you are full of **** and delusional.

In my experience, you will be incredibly lucky if there are one or two people out of the literally hundreds of people you know, who will stand up for you and be willing to be associated with you when you are down...


By the same token, would you stand up and be counted if your best friend was accused of something heinous? Or would you skulk away and hide and pretend you didn't know him and go throw feces smeared bricks through his front window?


I can count literally a hundred people who knew me and knew the truth about me and knew I didn't do what I was accused, of yet refused to take a stand a defend the truth when the time came.

These are not the kind of people you want to be associated with when SHTF.


A while ago, on this very forum, a member named kingjames was accused of something and I watched in horror as several members here talked complete trash about him and basically lined up to kick him when he was down.

When the accusations evaporated not a single one of those people who had lined up to condemn him said a word.

You know who you are. The thread may have been deleted but I still remember.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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I fail to see how the OP was talking about a group of raiders. I guess that proves the point that two people can read the same thing and derive different conclusions.


Best of luck to you, sir.
Reread his posts. His setup is to take what he needs from those who have it. If someone has something he needs and doesn't join, no biggy, just take it from them later on with one less mouth to feed. Sounds like a group of raiders to me. Something I intensely despise.

Best of luck to you too, sir.
 

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Good posts Mike and Crutch.

Everybody that says they're are a Christian, doesn't mean it's so. To coin a phrase from a preacher near here..."America's churches are full of people singing about a Heaven they're never gonna see."

You can put lipstick on a pig...but it's still a pig.

As to the OP, the people in my group are all family. There's no room for anyone else, since the BOL is my house...for now anyway. There's complete trust in that setting. There's a reason some family do not know about our plans.

A freind of mine was an Army medic, and we do work in my business, so docs are covered. Medic is 1/2 mile from me...in a rural setting.

As far as STDs. Have sex with a faithful partner....ie:spouse. Non-issue. Or keep your fly zipped and think with larger head on the shoulders.

As far as a lot of items on the list....why do you list some things you know you have? IE: guns, ammo, cars etc?

There will be no offense as far as killing to provide for ourselves. As hard is it may be for some to believe, I honestly think as time goes by...people will be able to barter for some goods they may need. This is a survival forum, not a raider forum. You should be stocking supplies and preparing for the coming SFTF, as best you can.

I agree, raiders will be first to be dissapeared by well armed groups. . If someone trys to take what we have...then that's a different scenario. My group's safety is priority.
 

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Contents Under Pressure
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Reread his posts. His setup is to take what he needs from those who have it. If someone has something he needs and doesn't join, no biggy, just take it from them later on with one less mouth to feed. Sounds like a group of raiders to me. Something I intensely despise.

Best of luck to you too, sir.
I reread and failed to see that part. Could you quote it in your reply?
 
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