What is the optimal number of people for a Survival Group?

Well hello my friend and welcome back!  I received an email from one of my readers this morning asking what the optimal number of people you need for a Survival group.  That is a very good question and it is also the subject of today’s post so set back and grab a cup of coffee while we visit.

What is the optimal number of people for a Survival Group?   Opinions vary wildly among Preppers based on the source of the disaster and a few other factors.  Things such as children included and their ages as well as the general age of the members are very important in calculating the optimal number.  Obviously if your group consist of healthy 20 to 40 year olds with no children then you would require less.  However, if you your group consist of a range of ages from young children to the elderly, you will need more people to better distribute the work load.

I have met several people who say the more the merrier; however I strongly disagree with that personally.  When you have too many people, trouble is not far behind.  You are bound to have personality conflicts between at least a few of the people, as well as power struggles developing with large groups.  This is a recipe for disaster, so how do you know if you have enough or too many people in your group?  Several factors come into play and I will try to list at least a few of them here.

How big is your bug out location site, one acre, five, ten, twenty or more?  In a post collapse world, you will only have what you can keep so the bigger your retreat is the more help you will need to protect it and farm it.

How close are your nearest neighbors?  In some cases, it might be to your advantage to join with your neighbor and share security patrols around your property.  This is not always the case however, If your neighbor is not well-known to you or has prepared poorly , or not at all, then you may be better off to patrol your own.  Never take chances when it comes to security, because like I said, you only have what you can keep. If you have more than 5 acres, then you need to plan to have at least 2 people on security watch at all times.  This would be a minimum and if you could spare more, the better off you would be.

It will take a lot to maintain a secure location and to feed several people.  You will need a good size garden to raise enough food to feed you through both the summer and winter.  Unless you plan on going out hunting when you run out of preps, you will need livestock of some kind to provide meat.  Many people who have never raised livestock have this romantic notion that all you need to do is get a few heads of cattle or goats or sheep and turn them loose in a field and not worry about them.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  All animals need care including livestock.  They need to be checked regularly for sickness and to be sure they are getting plenty to eat or drink.  Sick or starving animals will do you no good at all and it takes time to check on them, etc.

How many children would be in your group?  It takes time to continue their education, but the tradeoff is that they would be expected to contribute by doing small chores, such as helping feed the animals, picking a few vegetables or handing you tools while you work to build or repair something.

Don’t discount the elderly or the handicapped when figuring your number of people.  They often have much to offer such as experience managing radios and manning a security desk.  They also have a lot of experience in first aid and treating illnesses that you may come in contact with.  Most children and elderly people eat very little and can contribute a lot to your survival.

So what is the optimal number of people to have in a survival group?  As I said, a lot of it depends on the people themselves.  In my opinion, I would think that a group of ten to twelve adults with their children would be the optimal number for a ten to twenty acre farm.  Now I know that many of you may have your own ideas about this but the rule of thumb that I use is two acres for every adult in your group.  This would provide plenty of people to handle security and perform daily chores.  It would also reduce any bickering.  The biggest thing is to choose your people very carefully and be sure they can get along well when times are good.  If they can’t, then weed them out now, because it will be too late when SHTF hits to start looking for a replacement.  I would love to hear your thought and comments of this so please comment at the end of the page.

Well that is it for today and I hope have enjoyed today’s post.  Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared!  God Bless America!

-The Sargent-

The Sgt.

Prepper, Patriot, and Proud U.S. ARMY Veteran.

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1 Response

  1. Lt.Col 1776 says:

    Outstanding, I I whole heartily concur with your two acres per adult. Well done and thought out. I always look forward to each new article!