by Bryan Lynch
The author of Swiss Army Knife Camping And Outdoor Survival Guide, and Paracord Projects For Camping And Outdoor Survival.
Like most young people, when I was a younger man, I thought I was invincible and that I could take on the world. I didn’t think I needed anyone and that if the world ever turned upside down I would do just fine living by the lone wolf mentality. As the case usually is, with age comes wisdom. I came to realize that trying to survive alone may work for a short time, but when it comes to long-term survival, your only true chance of survival is if you have a community.
You need something from someone.
Let me start by saying that I realize some individuals in the world truly live a hermit lifestyle, and surviving utterly alone without outside help is certainly possible.
However, we sometimes think that we are better off or more capable than we are. Even for people that are living very sustainable lifestyles, it can be easy to think they are doing everything themselves.
But where do they get solar panels or replacement parts when something breaks? Where do they get a new water pump when it breaks? What do they do if they have an extremely bad crop year or need to buy feed for animals or one of their animals needs medical attention? Do they make their own sewing needles to produce clothes with?
My point is that even a person living a very sustainable lifestyle will require some kind of assistance from someone at some point.
Are you really alone?
When I use the word “community,” you probably think of a rather large group of people to depend upon, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Take a small family of four people or even just one other person. Workloads will be divided among other members, and you may not realize just how much you depend on them until they are no longer around.
Do you plan on sleeping?
In the prepper community, there is a lot of talk about survival communities after the SHTF.
In such dangerous scenarios, a security detail must be set up to protect both property and self. Doing this effectively 24/7 is extremely difficult, if not near impossible, unless, of course, you plan on never sleeping. And you do plan on sleeping, don’t you?
You’re not invincible. You need community.
I want you to take a moment and think about the times in your life when you were either extremely ill or injured. Now, think about how or if you could accomplish daily tasks while you were in that state?
Do you honestly believe you can take care of minimal requirements such as acquiring water, food, wood for a fire, let alone everything else when you have a 103-degree fever, a broken leg, or some other prolonged illness?
I know there have been times in my life when my health was not so great, or I had an injury. Without the assistance of others, I would have been in a tough position, and this was during “normal” times. If the S had HTF, I don’t know what I would have done.
It’s great to have a strong work ethic and to do almost everything yourself, but it’s also okay to admit you’re not invincible, and you just might need help from time to time.
Lone wolves living in cities? Is it possible?
Ironically, I have heard more from people in urban environments talking about living the lone wolf lifestyle and not needing others than I have from anyone else. I don’t think this needs a lot of explanation other than saying that if you live in a city, then you are surrounded by people, and a lot of resources are readily available.
Rebuilding is a party of community.
After a large scale event, I tend to believe that most people do not want the world, or at least their world, to stay in a state of devastation. This means there is going to be a time of rebuilding.
I like to think I’m a pretty handy guy and have some knowledge that would help during such a time. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have all the skills or answers required to make everything right again, and I would heavily depend on others that have more experience and expertise.
An interesting way to think about this is to look at communities that are devastated by a natural disaster, such as a tornado. You don’t tend to hear about the members of that community shutting everyone out and rebuilding their little piece all by themselves.
Instead, what usually happens is the complete opposite. Everyone comes together to help one another pick up trash and debris, cut up and move downed trees, patch up or completely rebuild entire homes and businesses, and everything else that needs to be done.
Interestingly, it’s not always just the members of one community working to restore their way of life but members from outside communities, even ones that are far away that will come to lend a helping hand.
(Make sure you check our free QUICKSTART Guide on what to eat when the power goes out, to make sure you have what it takes to make it in the short-term disaster.)
The reality of the SHTF mentality (and the answer)
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say they are ready to shut and lock the doors to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. This is an option, and sometimes it may be the safest course of action, at least for awhile.
At some point, we have to emerge, we have to rebuild, we have to live our lives, and more importantly, we have to live our lives with others.
I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but one thing is clear to me as it pertains to our survival. If we are to survive as a species, as humans, then we cannot be so divided that we think we are willing to “take out” our neighbor for a can of tuna.
We need to be united. We need to know our neighbors and love them and not on a superficial neighborhood picnic level where you are unsure of someone’s name and gossip moves around like flies hovering over the potato salad.
Get to really know the members of your community. Help them out, let them help you out, be a part of their lives, and most importantly, set up emergency contingencies so that you can survive as a community and not alone or isolated.
Thanks for reading, and stay prepared.
About Bryan Lynch
Bryan Lynch is the author of two books, Swiss Army Knife Camping And Outdoor Survival Guide, and Paracord Projects For Camping And Outdoor Survival. He has also written hundreds of articles about prepping, emergency preparedness, self-reliance, and gear reviews. Through his writing, his hope to help educate people and get them interested in these topics so that they are better prepared for an emergency.