One factor that needs to be explored is the Optimal Group. “Experts” have defined the optimal group as being 8 to 12 couples. I have to wonder about that, because that ceases to be a group and starts to be a settlement or company.
The Military defines a squad as “the smallest possible unit” – 8 to 12 soldiers under a noncom (usually a sgt. or a lt.) This defies the expert opinions, and is approaching manageable. This means 4 to 6 couples at a retreat or hideout.
If we look at our base camp pattern of three camps, its possible to take the supposed “optimal number” and break that in half.
“you’re confusing me. How many people should I be looking for?”
What you feel you can take with you. I think if you’ve got a church of 200 that all got left behind but now are repented and saved, placing faith in Jesus Christ as saviour, and all are packing and prepping, my advice is… it’s too many. I don’t care how you split that up, but 200 people is approaching a town, not a camp. At that point, finding your settlement will be easy for the Antichrist – there’s too many of you.
My feeling is that 3 couples per camp is right, just proceeding on a gut hunch. You ultimately have to make the call how many you agree is right.
What about the experts? Well, there’s an issue with the fact of, were they all extroverts? The Experts may be extroverts, and thinking in terms of “What feels best for social interaction?”
The experts apparently never looked at the military, who’s tested this out. Squads are usually composed of 3 to 4 fire teams, of 3 men each. One mortar and one Machine gun fire team, and then two fire teams of six riflemen each. That’s how the militaries have defined it since WWII.
Now, you’re not a military. You’re not a squad. but the militaries have found 8 is your minimum number, and a dozen is optimal.
If we break this into Christian groups, its going to be as I stated before…. three couples per base camp, on a rotating basis. This keeps the numbers down, and leaves one camp unused.
To a distant observer, this means if you see someone there on day three, and return a few days later to see if they’re still there… you’re going to see a deserted area. No sign of anyone around.
Now, there should be assigned jobs. Figure out who’s good at hunting and fishing. That’s their primary job. Got two hunters? rotate. keep them from being burned out on it.
One person per day should be tasked with collecting firewood. “Small, Medium large” is the catchphrase for firewood.
Unlike regular survival scenarios, the firewood person should be prepared to travel. Take fallen wood first, and THEN in you have to, cut down. Every tree you remove is one more piece of camouflage you’re removing. That’s not too good an idea. It catches the eye, and tells people that someone is living here. So, the firewood person has to be prepared to roam while looking for firewood.
Do not take firewood consistently from the same area. Spread it out.
One person per day should be tasked with water harvesting. Everyone in the party should know how to set up the water traps, the branch bottles, digging along the riverbanks, strain and boil river water, etc.
If jobs are carefully rotated, this way you’re avoiding issues of “Every day, I gather firewood, and nobody says thank you…” It may take a pep talk or two to encourage people to do their jobs without feeling put on. Rotating the jobs will help avoid burnout.
The trapping person can spend all their time literally going from trap to trap, resetting when some animal takes the bait without the trap springing, and if necessary (more often than not, it is necessary) move the traps because no animals are visiting the traps.
Hunting requires some skill with spear, arrow or rifle. Not everyone will be able to hunt. If you’re blessed with enough people to do so, rotate your hunters. If they’re motivated, send them out in twos to obtain food. Remember, although you’ve prepped, hunt trap and fish when you can, eat your supplies when you cannot. You may burn through your supplies faster than expected.
These jobs all will need doing daily to survive.
One area where this promptly leaves simple prepping is – someone should be appointed spiritual leader. One of the jobs that should be allowed for, should be seeing to the spiritual needs of the group. Small sermons and bible studies should be prepared. I can’t advise how often, but I’m pretty sure that the spirituality level of Christians during the Tribulation will completely embarrass the spirituality level of Christians in the Laodecian age…
I’ll write more on this on a dedicated page for the spiritual leader.