Who Would You Choose as Your SHTF Companion?

C. Davis
By C. Davis October 10, 2015 13:13

Who Would You Choose as Your SHTF Companion?

Of course, it depends on the situation and on how close a person is to you.

So let’s fix this ambiguity:

Your family (wife or husband and children) is already in your SHTF team. You can take one more family with you (max three members) that will help your family survive or perish. And from now on, the life of your whole team will depend on this decision!

Here’s the Situation…

You wake up one Thursday and start doing your morning routine just before going to work. First you go to the bathroom just to discover that there is no tap water. Then you try to make your breakfast, but your electric stove is not working. When you try to call your manager to let him know that you’ll be late for work, you discover that your phone is dead. Your spouse’s phone is also dead.

You look over at the window and see a bunch of people trying to start their cars. The horrifying thought then passes through your head that it might have been an EMP. The more you discover, the surer you become that it was an EMP. You know what’s going to come because you’ve read about it. But your neighbors have no clue.

Related Article: 7 Actions to Take Immediately Following an EMP Strike

You then gather your family and tell them what happened and that the worst is about to unfold in a few days.

The second night you hear a lot of gunshots, and the next day you discover that your neighbor was killed and all his food and possessions have been stolen. The police are nowhere to be seen.

And although every member of the family is guarding the house (in shifts), after four days you wake up at 5:00 a.m. with a gun pointed at your head.

Your family is left alive, but your water and food reserves are all gone. All that you’ve managed to hide from looters were your bug-out bag, food and water for one week, a rifle with 120 rounds, and about $60.

Together with your family, you decide that the only way to make it through the blackout is to head for the woods and try to live off the land. Because it’s March, you know that a warm period is ahead. The true wilderness starts at three days’ walking from home at the base of a mountain with lots of springs and creeks.

Related: What you Should Fear Most? What an EMP Effects and How to Protect Your Car, Mobile Phones, etc (Video Ad)

A Life-and-Death Decision

Before you go, you understand that in order to defend what you have left and to keep a full night watch, it would be wiser to get help from another family, people just like you.

You should help each other get there safely, build a shelter (or house), and survive there for two years.

You can’t choose one of your trusted friends, because they all live miles away.

The family that you choose might be rich or poor. If they are rich, they will have a little bit more in the way of supplies than you at the beginning (and a lot of money), but they are used to things being ready-made for them. If you choose a poor family, they have fewer supplies at the beginning, but they are used to doing things on their own.

Another thing that you will have to consider is what they do for a living. Think about it very well before you choose. Nobody is a survival expert, but we’re all experts in things we do on a daily basis, like what we do for a living.

For example, if you choose an electrical engineer, he can try to fix some fried components or replace them. If you choose a farmer, he’ll know all about crops and homegrown plants.

Another factor that you should take into consideration is what you know best or what you do for a living. Of course, it wouldn’t be smart to choose a mechanic if you are one as well.

The members of the family that you choose may have different occupations. What occupations would you like your SHTF companion to have that will help your family the most?

  • Psychologist – good at reading people, including looters
  • Farmer – skilled in planting, growing, and harvesting plants as well as raising animals and preserving foods
  • Educator or Primary School Teacher – can teach kids properly: Education After the Collapse
  • Priest or Pastor – can provide motivation and optimism, even in hard times
  • Pharmacist – knows how to extract medical remedies from plants
  • Manager – a good decision maker; good at organizing things
  • Army Officer – a very good shooter, good with establishing defensive positions, physically strong, good at taking difficult decisions, never lets someone behind
  • Butcher – good with portioning and preserving meat
  • Electric Engineer – can repair some electronics, like radios, flashlights, mobile phones, laptops, etc.
  • Medic – good at preventing and healing diseases, cuts, and infections
  • Metallurgist – can melt metal and manufacture almost any iron tool
  • Financial analyst – good with numbers and rational minded
  • Chemist – good at making explosives, gun powder, fertilizers and a wide range of substances
  • Sailor – good at orientation and finding paths
  • Miner – can find and mine different minerals, including iron ore
  • Carpenter – can make a super wooden house and almost anything from wood
  • Physicist – can build a lot of things including a water wheel electric generator on one of the creeks
  • Hunter – can find game easier and can set good traps, good shooter
  • Construction worker – good at building things, practical and also physically strong
  • Fisherman – good at fishing and preserving fish
  • Tailor – good at making and repairing clothes
  • Gunsmith or Armorer – can make gunpowder, reload ammo, fix weapons, and is a decent shooter

There is no right or wrong answer! It’s just what’s good for you and what isn’t! And whatever his or her occupation is, it doesn’t mean he or she can’t do anything else. It just means that this is their strongest skill.

For example, I wouldn’t choose a farmer even if it’s March (a good time to plant), because I grow a lot of things on my own. I have some seeds in my B.O.B., so he wouldn’t help a lot. Wild plants are also pretty familiar to me, so it wouldn’t be wise to choose a florist or a pharmacist.

I would personally choose a gunsmith (or chemist) because my biggest fear is that my 120 rounds wouldn’t be enough and that I wouldn’t be able to make gunpowder in the wilderness by myself. Yes, if he is rich, let’s say, he’ll have more ammo, but he’ll lack skills—a thing I won’t personally trade for ammo.

I would also choose a medic. I know there won’t be much she could do in the wilderness, but it’s still a lot more than I can. And the #1 killer in almost any crisis is a disease, so I personally rate this skill as being one of the most important.

I haven’t said it so far, but this article is also about getting to know your weak points!

For example, I chose a gunsmith and a medic because I lack some knowledge in those field, fields that I consider very important for surviving a two-year collapse. This probably means that I have to learn more about medical stuff, gun repair, and reloading ammo. On the other hand, for a 10-year collapse, I’m pretty sure I would’ve chosen differently—maybe a metallurgist—and for a shorter period, I’m pretty sure I would’ve chosen a hunter (or army officer) – the safest solution for short term survival in my opinion.

So who would you choose as your SHTF companion if your life depended on it?

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C. Davis
By C. Davis October 10, 2015 13:13
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  1. George S October 10, 14:10

    Army Officer and Physicist (for her).

    We’ll make a great combo while making an small electric generator and a water mill.

    Reply to this comment
  2. C.S. October 10, 14:11

    This would be a cool board-game 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  3. Grampa October 11, 17:43

    Blacksmith! Knows how to make charcoal and tools like a plow and black powder rifles, spring traps and if skilled casting to make gears and water wheels to generate force power that will mill and with books from a library make a generator. ……Grampa

    Reply to this comment
  4. Compukirby October 12, 00:39

    One thing I believe is that while there will always be useless people, even ordinary people can do extraordinary things in extraordinary circumstances.

    Reply to this comment
  5. PDXer October 12, 01:06

    You will need a minimum of 18 able body people between the ages of 16 to 60 for chores and security to work in groups of 3 around the clock 24/7. I have done all the scenarios in different combinations. You will have to do your own scenario for your situation but you have to sleep sometimes so who’s watching your back? You have to do chores, who’s watching your back?

    Reply to this comment
    • Chickenhugger June 7, 03:48

      How did you calculate the number of people required? I’m working on a formula for guard duty, food production and preparation and “other”. Would be interested in what you came up with.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Heartless October 13, 00:12

    If I had to choose from the list provided, I’d most likely pick the farmer and the sailor.

    A farmer is most all of the things in the remainder of the list – butcher, tailor, carpenter, medic/pharmacist (he has to provide medical care for his stock), metallurgist (most farmers are good basic blacksmiths), gunsmith/hunter/fisherman/miner (all trades that most farmers have some first-hand experience in), physicist/electrical engineer/teacher (same as above – due to isolation, a farmer must be able to jury-rig, use on-hand materials and more importantly, often a farmer is already a home-schooler. As for the manager – all farmers are that. Finally, psychologist, priest/preacher or financial analyst – again, isolation has taught most rural folks the virtue of silence, the moral codes in most are higher than any urban dweller as a general rule of thumb and last money? All farmers I’ve met are quite adept at squeezing every last cent of value out of most everything.

    The sailor has many of the same attributes – due to isolation, being on an ‘island’ that need attention to move.

    Yep – the farmer and the sailor.

    Reply to this comment
  7. j October 15, 04:36

    I would choose none of them. A person with only one skill set could be a liability. I will use myself as an example, would you rather have someone who specializes in one area or would you rather have someone like myself, a medic, licensed electrician, mechanic, grew up farming and ranching, can make a mile long shot, management capabilities and the list goes on and on.
    Personally just would rather have people who have multiple skill sets and know how to get by without modern conveniences.

    Reply to this comment
    • Scallywag January 8, 14:02

      I agree with “J”. Perhaps “PDXer” is considering hunkering down in an urban environment but the more people you have, the more chance you take having them turn on you at a critical moment. A smaller group will require less food and supplies and leave less of a footprint and each one will have several skills and they will overlap so they will all work better together.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Vic December 15, 21:21

    Being of a much older generation than most folks..there is nothing on your first list I have not done, been or been a part of to a lessor or greater extent.. Same for the below with the “Final Exception” which of course one only can do once 🙂

    Oh I would add.. Being nice.. working at it.. never forgetting it as part of the equation.. Very much a part of leadership.. for families and small groups outside a formal chain of command.. You really must lead by example and do it with kindness.. Very Hard Job..

    Long ago I was sent to a Civillian School for some specific training to train my fellow GIs.. At the point I had to give my presentation to the class largely comprised of citizen/civilians.. My “Motivator” was too graphic and too explicit.. in describing the result of a failure to learn and apply the subject matter.. I had on my hand a horrified instructor and a good lesson in learning not only the Subject Matter at hand but the personalities and nature of those being taught..
    For me perhaps the hardest of all lessons one I still need much work on..

    One might be well advised to spend a considerable time developing their Leadership Principles and Traits.. including and with emphasis on the ability to follow others.. with a bit of planning and a lot of luck there will be others around you that are capable..

    Finally the best leaders assiduously work themselves out of a job.. When your family members “Have it down” that is real success.


    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

    -Robert A. Heinlein

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  9. Scallywag December 23, 22:45

    Finding a female partner with skills or one who I can teach, seems to be difficult for me considering I already live remotely and dating sites are a real joke so I will hope to survive with my dogs which have already proven themselves to be good hunters.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ms Roxie January 8, 09:19

      Don’t give up Scallywag! I for one have the same issue (kinda). I believe in prepping but my partner doesn’t (He things Preppers are too pessimistic). I really trying to have that attitude, however, once I start thinking and thinking different scenarios and calamities that I sure will happen. Feeling very stress about it and could use Prepper friend for my bug out location. Currently living in So. Calif., and I have a year food supplies. Need advice on the type of vehicle to get and fix if an EMP attack strikes! Would like to meet you. Came to this site specifically to look for someone or some group I could join. Dating sites are not my thing either.
      Hope me and my dog could get along with you and your dogs!

      Reply to this comment
      • Scallywag January 8, 13:17

        Well Ms Roxie, I’m sure we could work things out but if you’re in So. California, you are in the worst place to be. I’m in New Hampshire and fairly remote.

        Reply to this comment
      • Scallywag January 23, 23:47

        It’s not pessimistic to prepare for what might happen and if nothing happens, you are not any less protected but if you don’t prep and the SHTF, then you are foolish. Let me know your thoughts.

        Reply to this comment
  10. lonewolf. December 28, 14:06

    trusting someone you don’t REALLY know could be fatal, trust no one.better to be alone than with someone you cant trust.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Scallywag January 23, 23:42

    I don’t mind being alone and I possess most of these skills but I can’t do everything and it would be nice to have a female partner.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Labienus October 21, 19:10

    I recommend someone who you share a deep mutual trust with, but Is able to put you in your place or keep you under control, and vice versa. Your skills and wit and instincts will thrive with someone like that.

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