In this article we are going to discuss how to pick your survival group. A survival group is a collective of individuals planning on surviving as a group when the shit hits the fan. They practice several methods of bush crafting, survival, and preparedness as a team. If you were to do a cursory search for ‘survival group’ on Google, the first ten or so results will likely advise you of the dangers of running with the pack versus the benefits. I tend to disagree with this line of thinking for several reasons. Being a part of a tribe is important for survival. Surely we have a lot of readers who prefer to be lone wolves, and I can dig that, hell at times I can be the most introverted person you’ll ever meet, but with survival comes the need to adapt.
Should you be in a Survival Group?
Let’s face it, there are some people who are just better off alone, and won’t work well with others. Even if you aren’t a lone wolf maybe being a part of a group just isn’t for you. Not to mention, there’s many dangers to having an improperly balanced group dynamic. If your group isn’t setup properly after doomsday, your situation is going to get much worse. In my humble opinion the benefits outweigh the negatives. Such benefits include; strength in numbers, diverse knowledge pool, more people to accomplish tasks, and companionship.
Being a part of a survival group is being a part of a tribe, a family of individuals who are likeminded, willing to put their necks on the line for one another, and will do whatever they have to do to keep the tribe together. If you can’t commit to that ideology, then you should not be a part of a group. Otherwise, the only time a group is bad idea is during a viral epidemic.
Hello ‘Lone Wolf’
Look guys, I’ve been doing this for a long time, academically and in practice. Do you want to know what I’ve learned? Lone wolves survive, the tribe lives. There’s a huge difference between existing and living. Sure if you go it alone you might have a very long life, but humans are hardwired to be social creatures, and if you were to live the rest of your life in solitude it’d be no life at all. It is a proven fact solitude has physical consequences; dementia, hallucinations, increased anxiety, and high blood pressure. Ask any realsurvivalist who’s been in solo survival situations, and even better ask someone who’s done time in the clink.
If the physical consequences aren’t enough to encourage you to develop a higher order of social skills, let’s not forget usCrow.org’s primary preparedness directive; martial law. The ever-present and growing threat to all free men and women in America is the United States’ Government nearing an apex of oppression. That thin red line is getting closer and closer every single day, and sooner or later we will need to rely on one another. As things are the government’s strength is in their numbers.
Look what happened to LaVoy Finicum and Ammon Bundy when they separated from their primary group at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, LaVoy was murdered and Ammon ended up in handcuffs. Ironic isn’t it? When we showed strength at Bundy Ranch they tried to draw down on us, but in the face of overwhelming numbers they retreated. The snakes waited for their numbers to thin out, memories to fade, and started taking everyone down.
Anatomy of a Survival Group
As stated above, the importance of a survival group being well balanced is paramount to its success. You can’t have a group of ten people, with four lazy bums, two alphas, and four betas, or else you’ll be eating each other by the end of the month. You all need to have good team chemistry, with leadership roles clearly defined, and each person needs to bring their expertise to the table promoting cohesion with one another. The anatomy of a properly formatted survival group is as follows;
Leadership — your team should have one Alpha (team leader) and one Beta (second in command). Having more than one alpha personality vying to take command of the group will lead to unwanted conflict. The Team Leader makes final decisions on group operations. Your Second In Command ensures the Team Leader’s orders are followed while monitoring team morale.
Loyalty — judging someone’s level of loyalty this day and age is hard enough;can you imagine how it’ll be after doomsday? Blood is thicker than water so if you have family to rely on then by all means do so. Unlike many people, all I have is my daughters forcing me to rely on the people I know. Pick people you’ve known for a few years, that you know very well, and see how they act during training sessions. Field training is where you’ll see people’s true personality come out, so before making the final call – make sure they’re a good fit and always trust your instinct…
Medical — your survival group should have at least one 68W (combat medic), EMT, nurse, or doctor. You will need someone who can patch up bullet wounds, while being able to diagnose other medical issues. Every team member regardless of their role should have basic medical training in the event your doctor gets ghosted.
Veterans — service members that have seen combat are usually ideal for leadership roles, while being excellent candidates for other roles within the unit. Veterans with combat experience are perfect for teaching team members how to survive combat and hostile territories.
Intellectual Diversity — out of all the requisites intellectual diversity is the nexus of an effective survival group. We all have our areas of expertise, and having a group of people that are at the top of their game only makes your group that much stronger. The most useful skills include; chemistry, mechanical engineering, bush crafting, survival, emergency management, construction, hunting and etc.
Work Ethic — everyone in your survival group must be committed to training, and equal preparedness. If you notice any lazy traits that will not jive after doomsday, cut the fat before the bombs drop.
Assembling your Survival Group
It took me three years to identify my group members, and what they’re roles would be. I’m a cynical man at heart, and I’ve seen enough evil in this world to know better. Not to mention I’m fiercely analytical about survival and preparedness. I watched potential members for years without volunteering information about myself, allowing me to learn about whom they really were; habits, beliefs, work ethic, and aptitude. The best way to learn about someone is to never give your opinion. More times than you’d expect, when you freely give your opinion to someone they’re answers will be catered to you in one way or another, giving you disingenuous information. Stay neutral, and probe before you let them in.
After ‘probing’ for three years, and feeling confident in my conclusion I invited 8 people to an impromptu BBQ at my house. We sat around shooting the shit until it was time to eat a massive amount of medium rare ribeyes (you come to my home steak only comes medium rare), and at that time I spilled the beans and told them what I had invited them for, finally telling them my beliefs and what I envisioned for us all. The air was still for a couple minutes until my best friend broke the silence with ‘So when do we start?’, and as I looked around I could see excitement in their expressions. Just like that I had my group together. To be honest, most everyday Americans are dying for a reason to break from their mundane and repetitious lives if presented with something truly interesting.
After eating for a little bit longer I laid out the plans, and roles of each member bringing me to my next point…
The Perfect Survival Group
I may be a little arrogant for saying my group was assembled with perfection in mind, but I considered everyone’s skills, physical ability, personality, financial standing, beliefs, family, and other various traits for years to make sure everyone would work well together. For the sake of anonymity the following names are aliases, but will give you a good idea of how your group should be setup;
Joey / Second in Command — Joey came to my shop and had been working at The Gap barely making minimum wage. I needed an apprentice but the only private sector experience the guy had was folding shirts, so I was about to kick him out the door when I asked him if he had any other experience anywhere else. Turns out he had seen two deployments and had a B4 ASI. How crazy is that? A god damned cav sniper making minimum wage at The Gap. Fuck that. So I hired the guy starting at $14.00 an hour as my apprentice. Four years later Joey was a prime candidate to be part of my survival group and offered a wealth of information, while being loyal. Responsibilities included;
- Marksmanship training
- Assist SERE training
- Physical fitness coaching
Emma / Combat Medic — Emma was 68W with multiple deployments and was having some issues holding down a job. The chick was beautiful, wicked smart and tough as nails, but for some reason ‘administrative assistant’ wasn’t her thing. Something about sitting eight hours a day listening to people complain wasn’t her thing. She came to my shop looking for the same kind of job, and instead I turned her into a sales woman with a generous commission. Turns out, the woman can sell, and she had a set of skills that would be crucial to our survival group. Responsibilities included;
- First Aid training
- Tactical triage and casual collection training
- CBRN training
Brian / Gunsmithing / Munitions — Brian has been one of my oldest friends, and loyal to a fault. He is proficient in gunsmithing, and reloading. Not to mention he was the biggest half black/half Japanese guy you’d ever seen. Seriously, the guy is a tank. In addition to his professional skills, Brian was also a well-rounded MMA fighter until he blew out his knee. Responsibilities included;
- Self –defense training
- Ammo manufacturing and reloading
- Weapons modifications
- Weapons repair
Shaun / Mechanical Engineering — Shaun is Joey’s little brother, and does a spot-on impression of Beavis. All nerdyness aside, he is a savant when it comes to mechanical engineering and can fix anything made out of metal in addition to knowing how to convert regular automobiles into BOV’s without bricking them. Responsibilities included;
- Firearms course construction
- BOV customizations
- Mechanical repair
Tony / Survivalist — Tony was one of those nefarious lone wolves until he met me. I have a tendency to bring people out of the fog. He was a client trying to drum up business for his 13th book. Tony was dying to teach people what he knew, so I gave him that opportunity. Responsibilities included;
- Survival training
- Bush crafting instruction
- Foraging instruction
Keith / Law Enforcement Training — Keith couldn’t stand being a cop with the LVMPD (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department), and after a law abiding citizen was killed for legally open carrying he was over it and went into the private security business. Keith was a rare find, and an invaluable asset providing an inside look at LE tactics. Responsibilities included;
- Weapons instruction
- SIT/SIM training
- Emergency vehicle operation training
- LE tactics preparedness
Lisa / Homesteading — Lisa is what I like to call a ‘down to earth hippie’, meaning she believes in sustainable living, homesteading, while being a constitutional conservative. Lisa is probably one of a very select few in the entire city who had a completely self-sustained home. Considering this is a desert, it’s a pretty amazing feat. Responsibilities included;
- SG rally point
- Homesteading instruction
- Foraging instruction
- Repurposing classes
Survival Group Responsibilities
While each member of your survival group has a skill set to bring to the table, each person must be able to take care of themselves when the shit hits the fan, or things could go south quick. Each member of your group should be able to commit to the following plan, if not they are not the right person for your group.
- Each member of group should have a minimum of three months food and water for each member of their family.
- Each member should be able to attend at least two training events per month. This includes training in bad weather. Bad weather won’t postpone the apocalypse.
- Each member should have a rifle, and handgun of their own with an appropriate amount of ammunition.
- Within one year of group training each member must be trained in;
- Survival skills
- Bush crafting
- LE tactics
- First Aid
- Each member of your group should be able to pass a minimum physical fitness test that includes;
- 5 mile jog
- 50 push ups
- 50 pull ups
- 50 sit ups
- 25 burpees
- Each member must have attended at least two simulated bug out drills.
It may seem like a neurotic approach to preparedness, but in my mind I need the members of my group to be able to survive any situation because if there is one kink in the chain the whole thing goes tits up. It’s easy for a skeptic to say we’re training for something that is never going to happen, calling us tinfoil bandits or whatever the hell they say nowadays, but my response is simple; so murder, rape, assault, burglary, mob violence, and all evil deeds of men ceased to exist? We are prepared for the worse, and everything else that comes our way…