My Neighbors Follow Me Everywhere

Categories Zombies

Dear Impractical Advice: My neighbors attached themselves to me when I helped them escape the city when the zombies first attacked. They have been following me everywhere and they have no useful survival skills.

They are city people with zero ability to survive in the wild on their own. They don’t know how to hunt, fish, drive a car, perform first aid, identify locate a safe camping area or build a barricade. I am basically doing all the work to make sure we survive as a group. They are decent enough people, I guess, but I think I will have a better chance of surviving on my own. Would I be out of line if I tell them I want to go my own way?

– Solo Survivor

Dear Solo,

Of course you have every right to make your own way in a post-zombie apocalypse society. Impractical Advice’s Rule No. 1 of survival situations is do what you have to do to survive. If you feel you can do that best on your own, you are free to do so. However, it’s unlikely that you really are better off on your own; there are numerous benefits to working with a group.

On a strictly practical level, there is safety in numbers and greater efficiency within a group.  Nightly watch shifts can be set up to warn of attacks while the group sleeps. More people provides more defenders against gangs of outlaws attempting to prey on survivors. Being part of a group provides protection if you ever suffer a  temporarily debilitating illness or injury. Gathering resources, scouting terrain and building shelter can all be done more efficiently when tasks are divided among many people. Not to mention that humans are by nature social creatures and most eventually find that living a strictly solitary life is unfulfilling.

If your fellow survivors are reasonably trustworthy, your best bet for the long term is to begin teaching them the skills they need. Basic skills like resource acquisition, basic first aid and tactical defense can be taught in a day. More advanced survival skills like driving, hunting, fishing and self-defense can be acquired by almost anyone over time. An upfront investment of your time to improve your neighbors’ skill set will pay off handsomely for your future survival.

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