Who one would want to associate with during an apocalypse is slightly different from who he/she would want after. During, one should gravitate towards survivalists, society's 'nut jobs'--that is, until their food stocked bunkers come in handy after the world ends.....--and the scientifically intelligent. Survivalists will already be prepared for such an event, and the scientifically intelligent will hopefully be able to predict the catastrophes and/or know the safest places to be amidst all of the chaos. While these people would be extremely helpful following the end of the world, there are three different types that will be vital to long-term survival.
1. Someone with practical skills.
2. Someone with ingenuity.
3. Someone to keep you grounded.
1. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
I know this seems like an overly obvious choice, but it makes sense! I mean, she knows which plants are safe to eat (and which are fatally unsafe), she is wicked with a bow and arrow--a skill which can be used for hunting and self-defense--, and we already know she can survive in various climates (Forrest, Jungle, Ocean...). Katniss is also good in a group. Although she doesn't always believe she is good with people, she radiates trust and is loyal. So, not only are you getting a woman with survival skills, but also a team member who will always have your back.
2. Tony Stark (Iron Man)
Tony Stark is extremely creative. While he is usually working in a high tech million dollar worth "shop" with everything he could possibly want at his fingertips, he doesn't need it. He is able to create virtually anything he needs from scraps found among rubble. I mean, he built his first suit in the midst of captivity! His creativity will almost never leave you without shelter of some sort. Having Tony on your team will also make travel easier. He will definitely come up with a way to power abandoned cars once the gasoline is low (or maybe even a few helicopters...or maybe a car-helicopter-boat hybrid! The possibilities are endless!)
Between him and Katniss, you are looking at a pretty tolerable post-apocalyptic lifestyle! However, there is still a dire need for the third type of companion....
3. Man (The Road)
This underrated novel--later made into a film with the same title, The Road--by Cormac McCarthy, features a protagonist whose main goal is to go South with his son in a post-apocalyptic world. Like Katniss, he is good at self-defense and food finding. Like Tony, he is creative and inventive. Why do we need him, then? Well, a rather large issue commonly seen in many post-apocalyptic adaptations is loss of humanity. Despite being chased by cannibals and handed opportunities to take advantage of others, the nameless protagonist never gives up hope. He remembers his morality and strives to pass it on to his son.
You have to carry the fire.
I don't know how to.
Yes, you do.
Is the fire real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I don't know where it is.
Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
"The fire" is a metaphor for humanity, soul, hope. While Katniss will keep you safe and fed, and Tony will create shelter and transportation, this father will remind you to stay true to yourself despite all the chaos and despair surrounding you.
And there you have it! The post-apocalyptic dream team.
What do you think?