Survival Tip #24:
Polices on approaching other survivors while you are on the move
If you are on the move and you come across another group of living humans, the first thing you want to do is profile. If they look menacing, if they look like they are likely to kill you, if they look armed for bear, you want to avoid them. Avoidance should be your number one choice for dealing with strangers.
Only fight another group of survivors if you have no other option. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If you avoid a hostile war party and allow them to carry on and live, they will be killing other hostiles or being killed, both cases it’s a win.
Remember before you ever approach a survivor, it’s a lot easier to leave a nameless person in the wild. If you approach a group and they are better suited than your group, they likely won’t want you tagging along, and if you approach a group weaker than yours they will want to piggy back. I’m not saying to never approach a group of survivors, you could find a diamond in the rough, but overall approaching always brings far more risks than avoiding.
That being said, if you do choose (or must for your survival) approach another group of survivors, contact them from a distance. Do not sneak up on them. However, conceal your numbers by only revealing your negotiator. They might have the same strategy, so just because you only see one or two feeble individuals doesn’t mean there aren’t twenty able bodied former soldiers waiting to ambush your group. Show that you are armed, however not threatening. Make your intentions perfectly clear right away; are you looking for them to join your group for added strength, or just looking to trade, or can’t get by them without notifying them of your existence. Last thing you want to do is end up with a miscommunication where one group thinks the other if offering an alliance, but all you wanted to do is trade.
If you come across a group that is engaged in battle, you have three options; pick a side to help, wait for the outcome, walk away. Walking away is the only option that brings no risk to your group. If you wait for the outcome you might have one pissed off group of people on your hands. The risk of picking a side is that you might not pick the right group. In a movie it’s always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys, it’s not as easy in the real world, and even more difficult in the Primal Age.
While on the move, if you already have a group of your own, your best bet in any situation is avoidance. Your first and primary objective is to keep yourself alive. The second objective is to keep your group alive. For the most part you don’t want to get lashed over some strays. There will be occasions where you should take that chance, but that’s where natural leadership comes into play (which might not be your strong suit, but someone in your group should be).
Two things to keep in mind if you think you should approach trust worthy strangers. If you save a life you are responsible for it, and will the body you gain worth be worth the mouth you’ll have to feed.