What do Hollywood productions like Zombieland, The Walking Dead and World War Z have in common? If you guessed that they all have more than two people in their survival group, then you are correct. However, if you think that having more people in your group is a good thing, then you are flat wrong! As nice as it may be having numerous people to talk with during the down times, a zombie apocalypse will require you to move fast and silently. This is why I believe that two is company, and three is a crowd.
In any situation where someone must escape and evade an enemy, more than two people can produce multiple problems including slow movement, noise, injuries and food shortages. Unless a group of people have been specifically trained in small unit tactics, such as the Navy SEALs or Green Berets, a large group will never hold an advantage.
During an outbreak, silence is your greatest weapon and stealth should be your best friend. To engage a zombie one on one (or in most cases, one on fifty) will mean almost certain death. However, knowing how your partner operates will be a huge advantage since you can watch each other’s back and escape most situations. But this is just one example. So let’s look at a couple more reasons why two people are far better than more people when survival is on the line.
Tactics: In order to reach an objective, such as a ridge or safe house, you must navigate an infected area. You can’t go around and you can’t go over; the only way is through. With two people you can monitor the area for a while, and then make a simple decision based on the time it will take to clear a path. If there were three, you would have the additional burdens of moving extra people, noise reduction and the possibility of being discovered due to multiple sets of feet moving through a supposedly empty area.
Sustainability: A normal person in average physical condition needs approximately 2000 calories per day to survive. Obviously, this number changes with the addition or lack of physical activity. I bring this up since food will be scarce in an outbreak situation. You will have to rely on your knowledge of the outdoors and ability to find food in order to sustain both yourself and others in the group. And if anyone does not have the ability to feed themselves, the risk of starvation will severely hamper your ability to move.
Emotional and Psychological Stress: Think about this for a moment; the outbreak has just entered its final phase and you have lost EVERYTHING – including family and friends. Mentally and emotionally you’re in a fragile state, when you come across another individual and decide to team up. You now have to deal, not only with your own emotional stress, but theirs as well. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Human beings are social in nature and require interaction with others. However, you may face a situation where these emotions cause an individual to freeze, creating a survival crisis that requires you either leave them behind or face certain death yourself.
Physical Stress: To quote from the movie Zombieland; “Rule one: Cardio.” If you plan on surviving in the post-apocalyptic world, you had better be in good shape because you are going to be running… a lot! You know your limits and what you are physically capable of. However, you don’t know what other’s limits are. If you have multiple people in a group, you’ll have to figure out how to take care of them and overcome any of their physical shortcomings. Two people moving quickly and silently, and who have developed a bond with one another, is the best and safest option.
You might not agree with any of this, and if that’s the case I advise you to pick your group very carefully. The more you have in a group, the more you will have to lead, feed, move, protect and shelter. You can survive in any situation on your own with the proper skills. But if you have another trusted person to help share the burden, it will make the long road ahead much easier to deal with. Please take this into consideration, and I hope you find some truth in these words. And as always, remember: what you don’t know can eat you!