Last, but certainly not least, is self-defense.
Let’s face it – isolation can be great for a while (if you lean toward introversion, that is), but it quickly becomes frustrating. Having other people around you – and not just your immediate family – acts on our natural tendency of being a social species. It adds a level of comfort to our quality of life in survival situations.
Additionally, it opens opportunities for teamwork and barter-trading. You might not be particularly good at hunting, for example, but the family next door might be avid hunters. Meanwhile, they might not be good at building a sturdy shelter, while it’s an area you excel in.
But there’s a dark side to having close proximity to other people during a survival situation – especially if they’re underprepared and desperation makes them bolder than usual. Combined with the inherent stress of surviving a SHTF event, it can turn otherwise decent humans into cold-blooded predators willing and surprisingly able to take advantage of others.
And if you’re trying to survive in the wild, you need to consider the danger of predators. You might find your base being invaded by a hungry bear or cross paths with a mountain lion on the hunt while foraging.
The point is, in a survival scenario – even more so than in everyday life – self-defense is crucial.
It can get ugly quickly. There’s no escaping that, even when it’s a case of life or death, needing to defend yourself against a raider (human or otherwise) is messy, bloody, and often mentally and emotionally draining.
But if you want to survive, you need to be prepared to defend yourself. This goes beyond stockpiling ammunition and having a reliable knife. You might find yourself needing to improvise crude weapons like spears (a fire-hardened, sharpened wooden stave works well). If push comes to shove, a blunt object, like a rock, and brute-force might be your best chance of survival.
However, don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. Any means of self-defense is only as good as your ability to use it effectively.
This is why it’s so important to train, train, and train some more.
Don’t forget you can also incorporate self-defense in your shelter construction. Those fire-hardened staves we mentioned? Plant them in the ground in front of an earthen breastwork (which will also leave a trench) and your base becomes a defensive location.