Solo vs. Group Prepping: Which Option Is Best for You?

Should you prep alone or prep with a group?

That question is just as widely debated among preppers as bugging in vs. bugging out and what place is best to live in when SHTF

Both options have pros and cons that are worth exploring. So, which one should you go for? 

That’s what you’ll find out in this article. 

Solo

man walking by himself

Those with the lone wolf complex trust no one. Every other person is a threat so they believe it’s best to be self-reliant.  

You can’t blame lone wolves for being guarded. In the past, society saw preppers as crazy folks who wore tinfoil hats and wouldn’t stop preaching about doomsday. Who’d want to be known as a prepper if that was the case, right?

Here’s what you should know about prepping solo:

Pros

One Mouth to Feed

Probably the best part about being a solo prepper is that you only need to feed yourself. There’s no need to deal with the stress of finding enough food for everyone in the group, which can be tough when you’re in the city and can’t find a single can of beans at the grocery store.  

Move Faster and More Discreetly 

Traveling with a big group won’t only slow you down. It can also raise suspicion.

It’s the opposite when you’re a lone wolf. Going solo boosts your chances of flying under the radar. You’ll find it easier to leave no trace behind, plus you won’t have to be afraid of someone blowing their cover. 

No Backstabbing

When you’re alone, there’s no risk of betrayal. You don’t have to live with the fear that a person you trust will steal your survival tools or spill the beans about your safe room location. As long as you stay discreet and give nothing away, no one will discover your preps.  

Faster Decision-Making

You call all the shots. It’s up to you to decide what the day’s agenda will be and where you’ll go next. This sounds intimidating, but it won’t be an issue if you have a solid SHTF plan

Cons

Being Spread Thin

Even though you only need to care about yourself, there’s still so much you have to do.

Take bugging out in the wild alone, for instance. You won’t just need to build a survival shelter. You’ll also have to find water, purify it for drinking, forage for edible plants or insects, and defend your bug out location from wild animals

Those are already a lot to handle for one group. While it might be possible for you to do those tasks yourself, there’s no way you won’t feel drained after.  

Another thing to consider? Getting sick or injured during SHTF. 

Sure, you can handle a few blisters. But it’s an entirely different situation when you get sprained or develop a high fever. Medical care won’t be easy to find at this time, so you have to learn more than just the basic first aid skills.

Remember, no matter how careful you are, it’s impossible to avoid physical harm.

Less Security

Being a one-person team means you can’t take shifts for guard duty. This is a huge disadvantage during times like civil unrest. With no one watching out for you, you’ll be left exposed when you sleep or gather supplies. 

Fewer Supplies to Carry

While solo preppers don’t need the same amount of food, H2O, and gear as those in groups do, you still need to think about the long-term. You can’t exactly haul gallons of water while walking to your bug out location (BOL).    

But there is a solution — survival caches.

A survival cache is filled with emergency essentials like MREs, water, and hygiene supplies. Hide a few survival caches along the way to your BOL so you have backup provisions.  

Isolation

Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic event is awful enough as it is.

Do it solo, though, and expect the nightmare to be twice as worse. It’s easier to fall into hopelessness with no one to talk to. To compensate, you might look for your own Wilson to confide in like Tom Hanks did in Cast Away.

Group

a group of people sitting near a campfire

Have a partner and kids? Then you’re already part of a group by default.  

A prepper group isn’t limited to the family unit, though. Your group can include friends, relatives, neighbors, or even fellow preppers you meet on the internet.  

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it the golden rule of prepping to not blab about your supplies, gear, and survival skills?

Well, you’re not wrong.

But when it’s TEOTWAWKI, you’ll have to bend the rules a little and let your inner circle in on your SHTF planning. Being part of a pack, whether it’s just your household or a small community, will be a great help.

You can also join online groups or forums to get advice from other preppers. You don’t have to meet them personally if the thought makes you uncomfortable, but they can share their experiences of building a prepper pantry, testing out survival gear, and surviving SHTF situations with you. Pretty valuable stuff, if you ask us.  

Read on to get a better idea of what it’s like to prep with a group:  

Pros

Cover More Ground

Things get done faster when you’re in a pack.

Take home defense, for example. If you’re bugging in, you need to safeguard your shelter so that unwelcome guests won’t harm your party. To achieve that, you need to do a lot of work, like setting up booby traps, building a safe room, and growing razor-sharp plants

Dividing the labor among the pack will save you time and energy.

More Security

You’re less likely to get caught off guard by animal, environmental, or human threats when someone is assigned as the lookout. They’ll warn the group if there’s any danger. 

This gives your pack a significant advantage over the lone wolf. The lone wolf has to constantly look over their shoulder, while your group can take turns being on watch. You won’t need to worry about staying up 24/7 and turning into a zombie in the process. 

Support

A group isn’t a motley set of men and women — it’s a community. And in a community, it’s all about sharing skills and resources and banding together when times are rough.

Prepping for SHTF will be much easier with a community. If you know how to make a fire from scratch but aren’t too confident with your trapping skills, then you can ask a pro from your group for tips. In exchange, you can teach them the basics of starting a fire.  

This support extends to sickness and injuries. Hurt your leg after accidentally setting off a trap? Your pack can make a stretcher out of a tarp and carry you back to your base. They have your back.

Companionship

Humans are designed to be social creatures. It’s hard to live without social interaction, especially when the world is in shambles. 

Luckily, this isn’t an issue when you’re part of a group. These guys can be your support system, so you can turn to them if you need to vent or just forget about the bad stuff for a minute. You’ll find it easier to cope when others are by your side, experiencing the same things you are.

Cons

Slower Travel

Does your party have kids or members with disabilities? Weigh your decision to bug in or bug out carefully. 

If you choose to bug out, your journey will likely be longer than someone working solo. You’ll need to make more pit stops and slow down your pace to accommodate the vulnerable members of your pack, especially if you’re journeying on foot. 

Bugging out may do the group more harm than good, so think it through. You might be better off bugging in instead so that they stay comfortable.   

Disagreements 

With different personalities, clashes are bound to happen. It’s completely normal. 

That being said, a major conflict (like several wannabe leaders arguing about who should be leading the pack) can derail your plans. Don’t allow it to escalate.

Here’s what you can do if things start getting tense: try to see both sides of the argument. Each person may have a point, so it’s good to understand where they’re coming from and come up with a compromise that benefits the whole group. 

Diseases Can Be Easily Spread

After SHTF or a natural disaster, diseases will wreak havoc on the population. That’s because of issues like:

  • Overwhelmed sewage systems 
  • Uncollected trash
  • Lack of running water

These may not affect you if you’re off the grid, but you should be concerned if you’re stuck in the city and sharing a cramped space with several others. To prevent illnesses from circulating among your party, it’s crucial to maintain hygiene. Here’s how to do that when SHTF. 

Final Thoughts

We have to say that prepping with a group beats prepping solo.

Your chances of surviving a serious disaster are much higher when you don’t have to fend for yourself. 

Being a lone wolf has its appeal, but it’s physically and mentally taxing to have so much on your plate. With a group, members benefit from sharing skills and resources. Plus, when things get overwhelming, you’ll have people to keep you sane. 

Of course, you can’t team up with just any random people.

Take their skills, how they act in a crisis, and how well you mesh with them into consideration. You may not be able to pick your family, but you can choose the rest of your group. 

We want to know what YOU think. Are you going solo or will you join forces with fellow preppers? Tell us in the comments!

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