While it is always a good idea to learn as much about survival as you can, trying to survive solo is a much bigger challenge than trying to survive as part of a survival team. Surviving solo not only depends on you having all the necessary survival skills necessary to do everything on your own, but that you actually do it.
This puts the burden of a lot of different tasks on you as an individual.
The survival team greatly increases your chances of survival by sharing the tasks necessary for survival. It also provides you with a larger self-defense force if you are attacked. With a number of people working together, you gain the advantages of synergy, making your work more effective and if something should happen to one member of the group, there are others to care for them until they are better.
There is no ideal size for a survival team, as each situation is different. The mix of skills and personalities is much more important than sheer numbers. You can actually have the right mix of skills in a very small team, which might make it easier for everyone in the team to be in agreement and work together.
So, what skills would be needed in the team?
- Leadership – Every team needs a leader and even a second-in-command. While there are several different leadership models which can be used, servant leadership would be better than a militaristic authoritarian leadership creating a friendlier, cooperative environment.
- Medical – Survival offers many opportunities to become injured, more than to become ill. The team needs someone with the necessary medical training to care for those members of the team.
- Survival skills – While everyone in the team should know basic survival skills, there should be one team member who is a true expert. This will be the person who will direct the efforts of the team in purely survival related tasks, as well as training the other team members.
- Hunter – At least one and preferably two team members should be experienced hunters. I’m not talking about the type of hunter that puts feed corn out there as bait and waits for the deer to arrive, but those that know how to go out and find the animals.
- Gardener – A vegetable garden will probably be a major part of your survival strategy. At least one team member needs to have a truly green thumb and be able to instruct others in how to work in the garden.
- Animal husbandry – If you are going to raise any domesticated animals for food or labor as part of your survival strategy, you need at least one person who knows how to care for those animals.
- Communications – You’ll need to know how to communicate with each other, as well as reach out to the rest of the world to find out what’s going on. Someone with more communications experience than using a cell phone can be very useful. A ham radio operator would be even better.
- Engineer/Repair man – Things break and you’ll need to repair them. You’ll also need to be able to make things that you don’t have. A good jack of all trades, who can repair just about anything will be worth their weight in gold.
- Child care/Teaching – At least some of your team members will have children, who will need to be taken care of and educated.
- Defensive coordinator – Someone needs some military experience, preferably in the infantry or special forces, so that they can be your military commander and coordinate your defensive efforts.
- Wise counselor – While this may not seem to be a survival skill, it is probably the most important skill on this list. As long as people are working or living together, there will be conflict. It is this counselor’s job to keep everyone on an even keel and help them to work through emotional difficulties and conflicts.
Each of these specialists will be the main person responsible for taking care of that area. Of course, others will have to take part as well. Some tasks, such as defense and gardening will probably require the effort of the whole survival team.
Team members can fulfill more than one of those rolls. However, if the burden requires more time than there are hours available, they should have an assistant. Assistants are a good idea anyway, as it provides an excellent opportunity for training other team members, helping to ensure that the skills are never lost from the survival team.
The other big problem in forming a survival team is ensuring that everyone in team can get along together and work together. Friction within the team can’t be allowed, as it affects everyone. Finding team members who can work and live together, without conflict, is probably the hardest part of putting a survival team together. A couple of pointers which can help with this:
- It is always easier to work with people who are forgiving and mellow, rather than those who insist on being right and having things their own way.
- All team members should be “like minded” in the most important areas that affect your groups survival. On areas of disagreement, they should be people who can discuss their differences and agree to disagree if they can’t reach agreement.
- It can help to have people of like faith, as many of the biggest arguments in history have been over differences of faith.
- Everyone needs to have a good work ethic. The fastest route to strife is to have people who aren’t pulling their own weight.
- People are usually either givers or takers. Those who are takers can cause a lot of jealousy and resentment in the team. Avoid them as much as possible.
As long as you are working with people, there are no guarantees. Everyone has to be committed to the team and be willing to work together to make sure that everything works out to the group’s mutual benefit. This is literally going to be a voluntary socialist living experiment and so every needs to understand that they are making a commitment to do everything they can for the team’s benefit, not their own.
While this is a survival team, it can be extremely helpful to work together on projects, as well as socializing together, before any survival need. That will give the group the opportunity to learn of each other’s strengths and how to work together.