Moving As A Group When the SHTF
Previous articles have talked about Prepper groups, and whether you should be a part of one or not, and how to establish one, and who and what to look for when choosing members. This article, however, will assume you will end up traveling with a group of people, whether that was your original intent or not.
We as humans tend to seek out other humans, particularly during a crisis. Your objective during a calamity would be to separate the sheep from the shepherd however, if you end up traveling with a group.
Remember, if you have mapped out the perfect route, or have the perfect bug-out-location in mind, others will have as well. It is easy to believe you have re-invented the wheel when it comes to survival, but millions before you for millennium have used the same techniques and methods for survival.
When You Meet Others That May Want To Travel With You
You have to establish rules to some extent, someone has to be in charge, and you have to know the capabilities of each person, and what skills and knowledge each person brings to the table.
There are pros and cons when moving as a group. There is safety in numbers though, even if it is only psychological. Simply having an extra set of hands to perform certain tasks can be a life saver and yet, the untrained person in your group can be a determent to the overall safety of the group. Then there are the squabbles that will erupt when it comes to decision making for the group.
Which way is the best way to travel, do we travel at night, sleep during the day, do we avoid contact with others. Should we engage obvious marauders, or should we blend into the background and let them pass, all problems and questions that will arise when traveling with others.
Assess Your Capabilities Honestly
You cannot move at night if you do not have night vision equipment. Furthermore, you would have to assume any aggressors out there would have night vision capabilities as well. You and the others cannot move through the dark quietly or efficiently if you cannot see, and even with night vision technology, it takes skill, and opposing forces will be looking for groups or individuals on the move at night.
In most cases moving from point A to point B during the daylight hours makes more sense. Once darkness sets in you would establish a dark camp and stay put to avoid detection. Going dark and going undetected, is much more about individual discipline, then technology or skill.
A dark camp means no light, (this means no fires as well) noise, or odor. Cooking, eating, and nature calls would be accomplished before sunset and not at the overnight site. Cooking fires, and nature calls should be well away from your overnight site, several miles if possible.
Pick your overnight encampment well before dark, so you can camouflage it if needed, establish guard posts, and map out an evacuation route and staging area away from camp in the event the site is overrun.
Stow your gear before dark, and once darkness sets in stay out of your backs to reduce noise. Certain items should be attached to your body at all times, firearms, ammunition, compass, maps knife, and full canteen for example.
You cannot move around the camp at night. Sentries should only see those coming to relieve them of sentry duty, otherwise shooting accidents will occur. Any movement at night would have to be considered suspect, so stay put.
Typically, when moving through hostile areas a point person is picked to navigate the entire group from one point to another. This person would need to be well versed in land navigation, and know what hands signals to use to alert those traveling behind.
You have to assume there will be drones and manned surveillance aircraft in the air in some cases, so walking in the open is not recommended in most situations. To avoid detection from drones or other aircraft that have thermal capabilities, you would have to travel and camp in dense areas of foliage
You can expect to encounter other groups, some may be military if Martial Law is enacted and then there will be those rouge groups looking to loot or just those taking advantage of the situation.
Engaging any other group in a fight is not wise. You simply would not be able to carry enough firepower or ammunition for a sustained fight. Then you have the skill level of those with which you are traveling to consider, because hunting squirrels and ducks is much different from hunting human targets, some targets do shoot back.
Do not travel on or parallel to roads, highways, railroad tracks, or waterways. Do not camp near prominent landmarks or bodies of water, because everyone else will be doing this as well, and so certain areas along known routes will become ambush points or points of inspections if there is Martial Law.
Traveling “cross country” if you will, means you need exceptional land navigation skills. You will not be able to rely on technology. You will have to rely on maps and a compass.