I have several emails regarding forming or joining a survival group so I am going to do a series to address the different dynamics and issues that you should consider when you think about forming or joining a group.
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I think this is probably the hugest component of a group. I have seen many groups implode due to dictatorship attitudes or what I like to call "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians syndrome". One or a handful of people seem to have all the power and dictate the rules. Whenever you have that type of environment it is just a recipe for disaster.
I have seen groups that require their members to have 2 years worth of food, a list of weapons and ammo along with a $10,000 membership fee and store ALL of this on this one person's property! Why on earth would you hand over all your preps this way? For $10,000 right now there is listed a property of 3.5 acres 40 miles north of me with a lake 1 mile away and it's very secluded. Granted 3.5 acres is not alot of property but with good property management you can store and grow alot of preps along with some of the best hunting in the state. If you have correct management your space you could maximize 2 families and provide for them.
Suggestion: If you want to form a group and want to purchase a larger chunk of property go to a lawyer and form a Hunting Club. I have seen people do this all the time. You form a club and if for some reason a individual wishes to leave the club the other club members can buy them out, require they find some to buy in and must be approved by the group, or walk away and forfeit their share. This also puts the entire group on a level playing field because you are all equally invested.
When looking for a group of forming one EVERYONE needs to have a valuable skill set to bring to the table. They also need to have the right mind set. I have seen a group that has a doctor and a ex Army Ranger that are given card Blanche in the group and don't need to prep because the group is expected to provide for them because they have such special skills! To me that is absolutely ridiculous!
The group needs to function as a cohesive unit. Everyone has a job and yes you need leaders but not dictators. I will take a hard working, loyal, and willing to learn individual over a walking ego that thinks he is privileged because believe me when SHTF this self privileged individual will become a source of constant irritation and won't be worth it.
And a huge mindset I look for is the willingness to share their skills with the group. If I see a person that thinks they are going to keep their skills to themselves because they think that makes them invaluable and not teach anyone in case you lose them that proves to me they are selfish and have no regards to the survival of the group and I have no use for them in my group.
What are the needed skill sets?
These are the skill sets that I look for when adding members to my own group.
* Military - Of course you need this. This person knows how to set up a security perimeter, firearm knowledge etc.
* Hunter/Gatherer/Scavenger - This person or I recommend you have 2 or 3 of these because they always are sizing things up and are little hoarders. They will gather and haul back everything because there has to be a use for it. They know if your hungry enough you will eat anything. A large cricket contains 9 grams of protein. They know how to set snares, run a trap line, hunt, track and field dress anything they kill.
* Farmer - This is a given.
* Livestock/Rancher - If you can find a person that can do Both Farmer and Rancher you have hit the jackpot
* Veterinarian - If you can find a Veterinarian prepper count your lucky stars because they can also double as your Medical person. I know a vet that on a hunting trip one of his buddies fell off a ledge and broke his arm and he set it.
* Medical - Now here you don't necessarily need a doctor but a nurse or paramedic is fantastic.
* Mechanic - In a scenario not involving an EMP you are going to want one of these
* Einstein/Engineer - These are the people that see a need and can come up with a contraption to solve the need.
* Heart - This is the person that doesn't have any of the above skill sets but has the heart to learn because canning, gardening, livestock tending can be taught.
Be prepared, not sorry