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Why ‘Loners’ Are Doomed In A Crisis

Image source: Macleans.ca

Image source: Macleans.ca

There’s a certain element of romance in being the lone wolf against the world. We idolize people like that in movies such as Rambo, where Sylvester Stallone takes on wave after wave of enemy all by himself. We love to see Captain America or Iron Man wipe out an entire enemy base on their own. We even look back at the Mountain Men, those brave trappers who went into the Rocky Mountains, long before anyone could even think of mapping them out. To us as Americans, there’s something about that one man against all odds that truly resonates with us.

There’s only one problem with all that; other than the Mountain Men, everything else is fiction. Fictional characters can take on an entire enemy base and come out victorious. They all have a sixth sense that tells them when someone is going to get them from behind — allowing them to turn and surprise the enemy that was about to get them. Their carefully choreographed movements, with carefully timed enemy attacks, make it possible for them to beat wave after wave of enemy, no matter how big or bad they are.

Mountain Men truly did exist, taking on nature all by themselves. Rarely did they have any contact with other people, even the American Indians. In those cases where they did, they made sure it was on their terms and made peace with the Indians.

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Even so, many of those Mountain Men died their first year. Living alone in the wilderness is hard, and even one little mistake can be enough to kill you. It doesn’t even have to be an enemy or a predator. A horse slipping and falling on the rider, a flash flood, a snake bite, an avalanche or something as simple as a cold winter can be enough to kill.

Can You Make it on Your Own?

Anyone who is planning on riding out a survival situation on their own is looking for trouble. Let’s leave other people out of it for a moment. Trying to live off the land is not as easy as people think it is. The biggest problem is coming up with enough food. While there is game available, there isn’t anywhere near as much today as there was when the Mountain Men lived. Nor are berries and other naturally occurring foods that they depended upon as plentiful.

The Mountain Men only lived alone for some months at a time. They went into the mountains with their packs loaded with food and came out with them filled with beaver pelts. They didn’t live in the mountains for years at a time, but only for months. There’s a huge difference between that and bugging out into the wild for years.

Building a shelter in the wild and splitting enough firewood to survive the winter is a big stretch as well. Many of those who headed west suffered through their first winter and many others just didn’t make it. Unless you can have your shelter up, wood cut and food gathered before the first snow falls, you probably won’t see spring.

What About People?

Image source: NationalGeographic

Image source: NationalGeographic

When we factor other people back into the situation, it gets worse. Anyone who survives a crisis will be desperate for food and other supplies. There will be few who are sitting it out quietly, living off their stockpiled supplies. For each of those, there will be 100 who are trying to take it away from them.

When law and order are removed from society, the restraints which keep people honest are removed as well. Throw in some desperation caused by a lack of food and some hungry children at home, and the average person will be willing to do just about anything to get their hands on your food. That may include begging or offering themselves to you, but it’s much more likely to include shooting you to steal what you have.

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Nobody can keep watch 24/7 on their own. Even attempting to do so eliminates the ability to do all the other survival tasks necessary. But if you don’t watch 24/7, you’re likely to be taken out of play by someone watching for the opportunity.

So, What’s the Answer?

If surviving on your own isn’t going to work, why are we bothering to prepare at all? Simple: because we can survive with others. The solution to our dilemma is to form a survival team and plan on surviving together. This team needs to consist of people who are all equally committed to preparing and surviving, committed enough to make the sacrifices and take the steps necessary to survive.

Being part of a survival team greatly increases your chances of survival. Each team member can become an expert on one or two areas of survival skills, so that within the group all the necessary skills exist. In addition, each team member can stockpile supplies, so that together you have enough supplies for the team to live on. Then, when the time comes, the team can work together, using their combined skills to make it easier to survive.

One of the most important ways in which a team will be better able to survive will be in the area of defense. With a team, you can take turns working and standing guard. You can work together to develop your defensive plans. When the time comes that you have to fight, the mutual support of a group which has planned and trained together will increase your chances of winning the battle.

If you don’t already have a survival team, consider forming one. Start with your own family and encourage each member to develop expertise in one important area of survival. From there, look for other individuals or families who you can add to your family, making your team stronger. Go carefully on this, because you don’t want to make your plans known to those who aren’t going to participate.

The trick is to find others who are either preparing or are seriously considering it. Those are the people who are likely to be good candidates to be part of your team. You can train them and learn from them, working together to make your plans and your preparations. Then, you’ll be ready.

Do you agree that loners are doomed during long-term survival situations? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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