March 29, 2013


In my opinion, if society collapses and it's every man for himself, I think the best plan is to remain isolated for about 2 years, then begin to aggressively make friends and form alliances with the good survivors.

Why would you need to form alliances? Trade, companionship, security, and many other reasons. However, security is going to be the most important for many people. There will basically be 2 types of survivors: those who did it the legitimate self-sufficient way without harming others and those who did it the dirty way by stealing and killing. Unfortunately, after a collapse, it won't take long for the bad guys to rise to prominence and become the strongest powers in the land. They will be warlords, gangsters, and drug cartels, whose only method of survival will be to steal from others. At some point, the good guys will have to rise and stand their ground against any of these bad forces that come their way..... unless of course you are OK with living under the kingdoms led by MS13, the Zetas, and prison gangs that get let out.

So how do you go about forming alliances if you don't already have the luxury of knowing all the people in your survival area?

You should start with my recommendations in my blog of What to Do When You See Other People in a Collapsed Society. Once you've followed those guidelines and you decide you would like to get to know them better, there are a few different methods you can use. (I am thinking in the mindset of rural bug out areas, but some of these methods can apply to other settings)

If you've been able to spy on them, but they haven't seen you yet, you can initiate correspondence with them. You can write a message on a paper saying something like 'Hi, I'm your neighbor. My name is ____. I assure you I'm friendly. These are dangerous times, so I didn't want to meet you in person yet. Congratulations on being able to survive this long. It looks like you're doing OK, but maybe in the future we can help each other out somehow. My group of men, women, and children are about 2 miles away (you can lie about the distance here). We are surviving independently. Life is so different now, but we will live on. Here's a small gift of 10 tomato seeds. If you are interested in becoming acquaintances, please write back. About 1/4 mile east of your camp, you will see a small tree with orange tape around it. Next to that tree is a mossy boulder. Put your letter in the zip lock bag and then put it under the boulder. You don't have to do it right away. I'll check every week or two and then I'll write back to you. Thank you. Good luck and God bless.' You can write this message on a paper, put it inside a zip lock bag with a pen as well, tie it around a rock, throw it close to their camp, then disappear into the woods. Obviously, you don't have to use the tree with orange tape and mossy boulder as the mailbox. You could use anything as a makeshift mailbox as long as they can find it and the mail won't be found and stolen by random people walking by.

If for some reason you don't have the time to do this long courting process or you just don't have the materials for it, you could try the direct approach. I don't recommend it, because attempting something like this could always go bad, but here's what I would do. I would pick a point about 50 yards from the other peoples' camp to meet them. I would have a couple of my friends hiding with their rifles aimed toward the meeting point as backup just in case. I would have my shotgun leaning up against a tree about 20 yards behind me, just in case I need to retreat and grab it. I would have a handgun concealed on me somewhere just in case. I would have some gifts with me to give to them. I would try to look as non-threatening as possible. Then, from the point about 50 yards from their camp, I would yell and say, "Hellooo". I would wave and smile. I would wave a white flag. Hopefully they will come out. I would want to talk to them from a distance though. I would let them know the usual, 'I mean you no harm...' and take it from there and try to get to know them as best as possible. Ideally, I would do it over a few different meetings using a similar setup. During the meeting though, make sure they don't send some guys out on the flank to check you out and surround you. That could get ugly when they stumble upon your friends who are covering you.

If you see others who are wandering and struggling to survive, it might be best to leave them alone, BUT if you have enough supplies to help them out, you can take on the role of the mysterious mentor. First of all, meet them using neutral zone guidelines from my previous blog. Then without letting them know much about you, AND DEFINITELY NOT WHERE YOU LIVE, you can teach them survival skills. You can set up a camp for them 1 mile from where you are, build them a shelter, show them how to start a fire, teach them to filter water, show them what foods to forage for, give them some seeds to plant, etc. You can then build a relationship with them. An alliance of sorts will be established. You might even give them a walkie talkie and check up on them every evening. A possible subsequent step would be to move them to within earshot of your camp. Having allies within earshot of your camp is a great thing, because they can come running when there is trouble. Just yell or blow a whistle 3 times or shoot your gun 3 times.

Taking this concept a step further, you might want to actually adopt others into your group at some point. If you've determined they are good people, you can trust them, and they will be an asset, not a hindrance, you might want to proceed in this direction. In fact, I encourage every survivor camp to grow more food than they can eat, that way, you will be able to easily adopt others into your camp. Before you do this, you should establish some rules they will have to agree to. It will be rules like, 'Everybody works. Don't bring strangers into camp. etc.' You'll come up with your own rules. You'll also have to decide what kind of society you will be. Is there one leader, or is it a democracy? Is there a counsel of elders? Will only the original survivors in your group be considered a 'citizen' who gets to vote?

Over time, you will be able to build up alliances. You'll establish better communications with one another. You'll have messengers and traders travelling about. You can have systems of morse code or whip cracking. You can secure envelopes with wax emblems. You can use certain radio channels. You can even use carrier pigeons. Hopefully, you'll get to the point where you can stand against any of the gangs out there. Once you are sure you've reached that point, you might want to consider building forts and re-establishing cities (but new ones in the wilderness).  

Be smart. Be wise. Form alliances and survive.