Alone season 5 (Mongolia) premieres June 14th, 2018. So naturally, it got me thinking about the 10 individual items I would take on Alone. I’ve had many discussions with like-minded folks around the items and after much deliberation, I came to a consensus. I will outline the 10 best items to have on Alone and why each item was chosen.
If you’re not familiar with Alone or the 10 item list, here’s the backstory. Participants of the show select 10 items from an Individual Survival Gear List to take to their “Alone” survival location. The last man standing takes home a prize of $500,000 USD. In addition to the 10 individual items, each participant is provided with a fair amount of clothing, emergency gear, and camera equipment (see that list here).
While there are 50 items on the individual survival gear list to choose from, a strong pattern has emerged of 6 items selected by almost every contestant of every season so far. While I’m not surprised by this, I do see a great opportunity for the show producers to spice things up by changing up the list. For example, taking one (or more) of these 6 items off the list would certainly increase the difficulty of the situation.
Those common individual items are the following:
- Sleeping Bag
- 2 Qt Pot
- Ferro Rod
- 25 piece Fishing Kit with Line
These are great selections and are the core of the items I’m calling “The Best 10 Item Alone Kit”
The Best 10 Item Alone Kit
I wavered back and forth between the axe and saw for timber gathering needs. The saw is inherently safer and more precise, but ultimately the axe won out due to the fact that infield sharpening was possible. Additionally, the axe lends diversity as it could be used for defense, harvesting game, pounding, and splitting, in addition to the standard wood cutting tasks.
Benefits: Shelter building, camp crafts, personal defense, harvesting game, timber harvesting, boat building, etc.
Model: Gränsfors American Felling Axe – These handcrafted
The knife is the most recognizable tool around the world. It would be extremely difficult for me not to choose a knife due to the countless tasks it can perform. I take knives everywhere daily, why not on Alone?
Benefits: Shelter building, food preparation, resource gathering, trap building, fire preparation, the list goes on and on.
Model: SURVIVE! GSO-5.1 – Well designed and meticulously crafted the Survive brand knives are the best knives I’ve owned. I trust these tools to get me through any situation.
I wasn’t keen on the multitool for quite some time. I felt it was too general (jack of all, master of none) of a tool to be much use for big tasks, but after seeing a few modified versions I’ve come around. There is some comfort in having “backup tools” in case something breaks too. I’d choose the largest leatherman multitool available (Supertool 300 or Surge) and reconfigure many of the less useful tools for wood carving tasks.
Benefits: Stitching, carving, crafting, detail work, backup tools, trap/trigger creation, tool sharpening and let us not forget the plier stuff, lol.
Model: Leatherman Supertool 300 – While not my favorite multitool, the Supertool 300 has the largest sized tools in the Leatherman line making it the best choice when considering the 10 item limit.
4. Ferro Rod
This long-lasting fire ignition source has the potential to provide thousands of fires when used properly. While the ferro rod itself offers limited use, e.g. creating fire, the fire is the tool that you’re choosing.
Benefits: Warmth, comfort, cooking, cleaning, water purification, safety, signaling, meat smoking, etc.
Model: FireSteel Bunker (½”x6” maximum allowable size) – The “FireSteel” brand ferro rods are my favorite, they are excellent at producing hot long-burning sparks.
5. Metal Pot
The simple metal container is one of the most versatile and handy tools to have in any survival situation.
Benefits: Water (Collection, Transportation, and Purification), Food (Gathering, Preparation, and Cooking), Tool (Shovel for Digging, Can Crush/Smash/Pulverize), Fire (Create Charred Material, Transportation Embers).
Model: Zebra Pot 14cm (2 qt) – These pots are sturdy and dependable, newer models have metal lid clips as well that could be very useful for transporting liquids or live food.
6. 300yds of Fishing Line and 25 hooks
Although not very diverse when compared to the gill net, the fishing and traps that can be constructed from the line and hooks outperform the other available options, in my opinion.
Benefits: Food gathering (fishing), trap building, shelter building, repairs.
Model: 200yds Berkley Trilene 10lb, 100yds Berkley Trilene 30lb, 2x treble hooks (each counts as 3), 19x standard hooks of various sizes
7. Gill Net
Of all the food gathering choices this one is the best way to catch a meal. It requires little attention once setup and is essentially an aquatic trap for seafood if placed properly. While this is a 1 trick pony, everyone has to eat.
Benefits: Food gathering, Hammock?
Model: Handmade #12 bankline net 8m x 2m – I feel the commercially available gill nets won’t hold up to the abuse of an extended ordeal. Crafting a gill net by hand will allow the use of superior materials and additional uses of cordage for other duties.
8. Sleeping Bag
Perhaps the ultimate comfort item. Good quality rest can be the difference between a good day and a bad one.
Benefits: Comfort and warmth.
Model: Not sure, I’d have to venture to REI to find a suitable bag
9. 5 lbs of Pemmican
This calorie-dense food will provide days of life-sustaining nutrients that will allow for the preparation and building of camp during the crucial first days of acclimation to the environment.
10. 5 lbs of Dried Pulses/Legumes/Lentils
After careful consideration, I feel that having a large amount of food at the onset will ultimately lead to a great outcome. Time spent not worrying about food is time that can be spent laying the foundation for a good camp, finding a superior camp location, locating other resources, constructing a safe and weatherproof home. All the while you have the energy and motivation to build a stronghold.
Honourable Mention Gear
These 7 Items were highly considered but ultimately eliminated for one reason or another.
- Saw – Something I would normally take for any overnight trips. The saw offers much in the way of woodcutting, but the lack of ability to sharpen it is why it didn’t make the list.
- 12×12 Tarp – A tarp of this size would make a great shelter, portable shelter, rain catch, possibly a hammock or other furniture. But they provide a few tarps so it’s stock isn’t as valuable.
- Canteen – A water container would be great to have in almost any situation. I have at least one in all of my kits. But the choice had to be made and a canteen just isn’t as critical considering the other items.
- Bear canister – It’s a large sealable container, need I say more? It would be nice to put purified water in and have a large container of safe drinking water at the ready.
- Sharpening stone – Something I would normally take on an extended trip to touch up dull blades. I have faith I can find a natural stone to resharpen in the field.
- Roll of duct tape – It will be difficult to leave the duck behind, but with the 10 item limitation, I don’t see enough value.
- Small shovel – I don’t have much shovel experience, but Fowler was doing a good job selling me on it. If I knew I’d be in a bamboo forest or treeless environment, the shovel would replace the axe.
Why is this the Best 10 Item Kit?
Let us break down the basic needs of life – Food, Water, Shelter, and Clothing – and how the kit will provide for those needs.
- Clothing – This need is taken care of on Alone. All participants are allowed ample clothing, so item emphasis goes to the remaining three needs.
- Water – Thankfully this one is a fairly easy need, as long as you can locate water and purify it. The ferro rod will create fire and a boilable container (metal pot) will gather and hold the water.
- Shelter – Having a safe, comfortable and element free shelter is imperative for health and well being. The harvesting of timber will be done with an axe. Adjustments and detail work can be completed with a knife. The sleeping bag and ferro rod with keep your temperature regulated.
- Food – As I see it, this is the greatest need during an extended survival challenge. Food needs to be gathered continuously because it will be the hardest need to
fulfill. The majority of items focus on food gathering and preparation. The knife, multitool, pot, fishing gear, gillnet, pemmican, and legumes are all food/food-related items. Have a reliable means of harvesting food will be the best way to be the last man standing, assuming you can maintain your health (both physical and mental).
The best 10 item alone kit was derived from my familiarity with the tools available and my knowledge of the environment. I decided what items I would need to survive and thrive off that land while alone. What do you think? Would you choose anything differently? And why? I’m always looking to make improvements to my kit.
There’s no big timber to cut in mongolia and they are in any case, forbidden to cut bigger than 8″ diamter trees, no matter where the show is set up. So the axe and saw are wasted. You’ll need a grass-stuffed dugout for the winter. So a Condor E tool, with the saw edge, is the tool, not axe or saw. Saves you one pick. Cause you’re not on a seashore, the 3 lb block of salt needs to be one of your 10 picks. They drop them in warm weather, when you should be catching 20+ lbs of fish per day, and need to preserve it. The salt is also excellent bait and helps you choke down fish, cambium and dandelion roots, which is about all the food you’ll have. The saw can do heavy knife work, so the other cutting tool should be a modified Crunch multitool, with narrowed visegrip, for making fishhooks out of the tines of 5 of your 6 4-tined fishing arrowheads, Replace the bit driver with another file blade, so you can sharpen your saw.
Take one of Chief Aj’s slingbows, Fowler has already cleared this choice with the producers. They get 9 arrows. The fishing arrows that become blunts, should have flu flu fletching, and the one bowfishing arrow should feature slip on rubber fletching. The other 3 arrows should be standard 2 bladed broadheads, so you can haft one as a knife if need be and so that they dont break at impact, like mechanical heads are prone to do.
Take the fishing kit as 8 BIG treblehooks, which you set for big cats, foxes and wolves, tied to a drag log. you’ll be making 39 fishhooks and a sewing needle out of the 5 fishing arrowheads. Convert 18 if them, using the snarewire, into 6 treblehooks, set for hedgehogs, porcupines, coons, weasels and the like, also tied to draglogs. Braid the snarewire into something strong enough to hold a deer (by the neck) to a drag log, with other single wire loops also tied to the log, but held up on forked stakes, 2-3″ off of the ground.. Same thing about the treblehooks, of course. The more entangled the animal is, the more likely you are to recover it.
Take a rope hammock if allowed, so you can unravel it and make lots of netting. The 75 sq foot gillnet offered to you is too small to be worth a pick. YOu need at LEAST 1000 sq ft of netting, so that you can make a seine and at least 2 net-weirs, baited with the heads and guts of previous catches.
Take the big roll of duct tape. You’ll need it for making water proof containers and pontoons for your outrigger raft. If they wont let you take the rope hammock, take a sheet hammock, with rope tree ties and clews. If they wont let you cut up their 20×20 tarp, out of which you can make 4000 sq ft of 2″ mesh netting, then take the 12×12 tarp, instead of the sleeping bag. You can use the 20×20 to make a shelter, and the “camera” 10×10 tarp, to sleep in. Just pile dry grass on it and roll up in it. remember, they are dropped off in summer time, Mongolia has lots of grass, and only 10% as much rain as Vancouver island. It’s essential to make lots of netting, ASAP and use it optimally. The rivers in Mongolia are shallow and freeze solid in winter. So fishing seaon lasts just 1 month.
Take a 5 qt skillet with lid (Amazon) but you’ll not be boiling much drinking water. Instead, make a water filter and a seep well. It saves you a lot of time and effort.
Hi Bill, You seem to have a good bit of insider info that’s not well known. If there is a limit on timber size, than a large axe would be a foolish choice. I’ve never used or seen a Condor E tool, If I were to choose a shovel, I’d probubly choose a large spade with a wooden handle that I could replace if given the option. I have doubts on any saw edge on an e tool, just my 2 cents.
I’m not much of an archer so I never really considered the bow, but I like your thoughts around modifying the arrows for hooks.
I like the idea of the multitools more than I like using them, I find them uncomfortable to use for any length of time, so I have to a fixed blade knife. (but that’s for the previous locations. I’ll admit now seeing what the Mongolia site offers this list would change).
I’m aware of the methods of treble hooking land animals and I don’t think it’s something I’d do. Without a firearm to dispatch the wounded animals your asking for an injury, to say the least. I feel a good amount of knowledge of primitive traps and understanding of the animals would serve you better than hooks and snare wire, at least for how I would tackle the situation.
I thought about a net type hammock, lots of good cordage could be had for sure. If they were allowed I think we would have seen one by now. We can’t be the first people to think of that. But the idea is solid.
I love duct tape, but I wouldn’t choose it. Mainly I would be to afraid to use it up knowing it could run out. Not to mention there are other tools or food I’d rather have. Building a skookum shelter, catching as much food as possible and not burning calories seems to be the winning track to follow. I’m an adventure at heart so staying in place day after day in such a beautiful place to eat me up though.
Not sure about the tarps, looks like the “free” tarps for Mongolia were the cheap kind, so not sure if you could do much with those beyond a raft, sail, water collection, weather cover and shelter…
There’s a limitation of 2 quarts on the pots. I think the 2 quart cast iron dutchoven type, like Randy Champagne had would be the best “pot”. The reason is the calories and nutrients are better preserved by stewing the food. More calories in the better off you’re going to be, not to mention the meat would be moister and easier to get down.
Not sure about filtering the water, depends of many factors. My preference would be to have a large secondary container, maybe to tarp material to hold pre-boiled water. But I haven’t seen this so I really don’t know. Next time I see someone from Alone in person (probubly Larry Roberts or Tracy Wilson) I’ll have to ask them about the water situation.
the multitool is needed for making the fishhooks (and removing them from your body, too. 🙂 Given the slingbow, and 3 broadheads, you can finish off trapped large animals. These guys are bad examples, they are cubscout level. There’s no size limit on the skilled, bro. Nicole had a 4 qt skillet on season 2-3, whichever one she was on. They can’t stop you from making netting out of the 12×12 at least, and that could be 1500 sq ft of 4″ mesh. Weave in splits of local shoots, bark, vines, roots, and have 2″ mesh. It’s to be used as a seine and a couple of baited weirs, no big stress on it. Use the seine to push fish into the weirs. There’s a very short span for fishing in bulk there, less than a month. So they need to get ON it, early instead of wasting time on “winter shelter”. They wont MAKE it to winter! So what’s the point of a winter shelter? sheesh. The tape is required for waterproof bags and pontoons. Not as needed in Mongolia as on Vancouver Island, but still there’s nothing better to be chosen. There’s no need of the axe, big saw, belt knife or ferrorod. You wont be using the knife much, unless you catch a BIG critter or a ton of fish. There’s a secret reason why I want the Crunch multitool, actually. 🙂 the thing for holding water is the sleeves of the rainsuit. Much easier to make those waterproof containers. just fold back the wrist and tie it, tie it off at the armpit. The pants make excellent pontoons, too. Dont cut them, just tie/tape them. You are one of the very few with a decent foundation of knowledge on this subject, but the holing up has never worked. Unless you’re the fattest guy there, you can’t win in that manner and nobody’s going to come to you for endorsements, shows, books, vids, etc, just cause you were fat for the show. So you’re tossing away yet another clear 1/4 million $ by not winning it with ACTION, with knowledge. The ration size has been cut from 5 lbs to 2 lbs, so they are not worth taking anymore.
Hi John, I agree the multitool is a useful piece of kit especially when limited to the amount of gear you can have. I don’t have much experience with a slingbow, I prefer the traditional bow, but to each his own.
I know the participants may seem average, but that’s how the show is edited. I see some of what is going on a think why are they doing what they are doing or why aren’t they doing more, but there must be reason. Likely limitations that aren’t public knowledge. I’ve met a handful of them and can say they are knowledgeable woodsmen (and women).
Again about the pot size, during the first 3 seasons there was a limit of 2 quarts, not sure when that changed. Many of the rules weren’t public knowledge and now that they have changed they are once again a mystery. If there’s no limit on the pot size than I’d take the biggest manageable one. Better the have the room and not need it than not have the room and needing it. (According to the information I could find it stated that Nicole had a 16 inch steel pan in season 2. I’m guessing a frying pan no reference on the capacity.)
I personally have never made much netting, so I wouldn’t even know where to start without prior guidance. If you can make sturdy netting from a tarp more power to you. During season 5 I only saw green poly tarps, so I don’t think much could be made with that, IDK.
I guess the fishing season you’re referring to is in Mongolia? because the the participants on Vancouver Island were bringing in fish and shellfish durring the entire show. Weather they were good fisherman or knew what they were doing is debatable. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about Mongolia to speak to it. The fishing looked rough, I would have been pulling and smoking fish until I dropped. I was shocked when they were pulling 6 fish in 45 minutes then calling it done for the day.
Personally I understand the shelter building, but I see your point. If you managed your time and calories you could probubly do both, but being in such a strange location probubly play into much of the tunnel vision. I can’t say I’d do the right thing when faced with the obstacles.
If you’re saying that the duct tape isn’t that important and there’s nothing else on the list when not take more building materials or food? Just my opinion.
As a person who’s practiced primitive fire I understand the ferro rod is much easier to work with, I can’t say I could do with out it knowing how vital fire is to survival. What’s your rational for not choosing a ferro rod?
I guess I could do without a belt knife having a multitool, but 2 is 1 and 1 is none. Additionally the multitool knife isn’t all that great. I could probubly gut a number of fish but for anything else I’d much rather have the belt knife. I’d choose the knife over the saw or axe assuming lumber taking was limited.
Interesting ideas on the rain suit, I’ve not seen anyone get much use other than fishing the surf.
Well there’s fat and there’s obese. Most of the long timers were kinda fat, probubly part of the strategy. Fowler has spoken up about his weight. He basically said he was fat and his time in Patagonia changed his life, he got skinny and wants to keep it that way. I didn’t really thing he was all that fat, but the side by sides are night and day. I could loose a few pounds, but I’d probubly attempt to add another 10-20 if I were going to be on the show.
Alan from season 1 pretty much dropped of the radar, He had something going with Condor Knives…
David from season 2 is yet to be heard from…
Fowler has some endorsements, a YouTube and a few things, but I don’t much…
The brothers Ted & Jim from season 4… where are they?
I don’t thing people are looking for fame and endorsements, just my 2 cents. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, but I don’t thing Alone gets enough coverage that people would even recognize them if they were standing in Time Square yelling into a megaphone who they were.
2lb rations is a huge blow to the ration size. I wasn’t aware. It’s a tough call, but 2lbs of fatty rations is probubly better than nothing. I will definitely have to rethink my strategy.
of COURSE there’s no fame in it when you just win by being fat and lucky, starving, freezing, etc. But let’s say that instead you win by catching 600 lbs of fish, a deer and a wolf, preserving all that meat and fish, and never lose a lb, just get declared the winner because you are obviously so far ahead of the inept starving others. THEN you get people wanting to know what you know, eh? Seine, manhandled as you wade a shallow river, need not be strong. Ditto baited net weirs. They aint lifting any weight.
even if it’s gorp or pemmican, 2 lbs of rations is just 1.5 ‘day’s food, at the rate that you need to eat out there. If you put yourself into ketosis before you go, get thru the rough part of having your body shift from burning carbs to burning fat, while at home, you’ll quickly see that the rations are not worth taking. There’s other, far more valuable things to be taken. The 10 item limit is ingenious in the way it forces people to reveal what they know (and in almost all cases, that’s very little).
Alone’s home page says that the 20×20 tarp is canvas. For $60, Amazon sells a 2 person cotton rope hammock, which is comprised of 4500 ft of rope. The rope is made of 44 threads. you can unravel the hammock, unravel the rope and make 2000 sq ft of 3″ mesh netting which is strong enough to make baited net pens for fish or water fowl and 400 sq ft of 3″ mesh netting that is strong enough to make a seine. You can weave 300 sq ft of such netting per day After you’ve caught all of the big fish in the area, you can convert all of that netting into 1200 sq ft of 1.5″ mesh entting. Simply overlay and offset two segments of netting and sew thru every other mesh.
The rules tend to change and don’t always get documented on the internet. The last few seasons they had poly tarps, I believe they were green in season 5. Everyone had a green glow in their shelter, and it looked sickening.
No idea about the rope hammock, but I feel like the cotton rope wouldn’t hold up too well in the sea. Additionally, a water-soaked cotton net seems like a nightmare to haul in on the icy bank.
both the Crunch tool and the Cold steel shovel should be modified to be dis and re-assembled without tools. One of the 2 file blades of the Crunch should fit the saw teeth on the shovel. Without the handle, the shovel is a good “big knife”, prybar, skillet and trowel. You can learn to make netting in an hour, and i mean to make tapered width netting and to repari/join nets, too. It’s very simple, just tedious.
YOu can always find bait to get started using the 16 treblehooks as trotlines. Cut the 24 big hooks in half, reforge the ends and have 48 smaller hooks. Puke up your last meal if you can’t catch worms, grubs, minnows, etc. There will be chunks in it that fish will bite at. Put it in several small bait bags made of tarp and tape. Dig j channels along the shoreline to catch minnows. 2 lbs of rations is not worth a pick. you badly need all of those picks for more useful items.
The shovel and multitool stuff sounds like solid advice, but the cold steel shovel doesn’t have a saw edge from the factory. Not to say you couldn’t DIY on, but I’m not sure the steel is hard enough to be a good saw.
Reforging fish hooks sounds tedious, but that could pay off. I agree 2# of rations isn’t worth taking, in seasons 1&2 they could take 10#s which would be worth taking, but it’s a nonissue now.
Fowler went from 230 lbs to under 160 lbs. He’s not all that tall, so he was quite fat. I’ve got a lot of muscle, but I could stand to lose 40 lbs, tho. a 6 lb guy really should not weigh over 165 lbs, unless he’s a body builder.. I’d want to be 180 lbs when I went on the show and prove that I’d lose no more than 5 lbs.
one has to wonder how so many catch quite a bit of fish with a mere 60 sq ft of 1.5″ mesh netting, which is all they’ve been allowed to take since season 4, yet 2200 sq ft of 3″ mesh is not worth making, and then later, converting it into 1100 sq ft of 1.5″ mesh. Obviously, when used as a baited net pens and a seine, with chumlines, a light at night, and a pontoon outrigger raft, you’re going to catch 20x as many fish with that much netting. You MUST do so, cause the lake is going to freeze up within 5-6 weeks of the time you’ve made all of the netting. The prize is now one million $, IF you make it to 100 days. if more than 1 make it, you split the million. So even 10th place is going to clear 60k in 100 days. That’s $40 an hour, clear, while you’re awake. and realistically, they will never let more than 2-3 people on the show who have the slightest chance of lasting that long. So you’re going to clear 190k -300k which is clearing $80 an hour even while you’re sleeping. I would not go at all if I was not dead certain I could easily make it to 100 days.
no, they have NEVER caught enough fish to amount to a hoot on Vancouver Island, .Mark did ok for a little while on Great slave lake, but stupidly let a bear eat it all. You need to catch 10 lbs of fish per day, 350 calories each, when you’re active out there and 7 lbs for when you’re holed up for the second half of the 100 days. Nobody’s had brains enough to take the rope hammock and make the possible 400 sq ft of 1.5″ mesh and 1000 sq ft of 3″ mesh netting. They show you the BEST days the BEST one has and dont show you all of the MANY days that they caught nothing, Until Jordan got a moose, nobody had caught as much food as Fowler and he caught 40 lousy lbs of fish. He caught 60 of them and they were NOT one lb fish, either. One lb of fish, live weight, is 350 calories. 40 lbs is thus just 14,000 calories, when you need 350,000 calories. 🙂
alan left his wife and shacked up with the MS “doctor’ lady from the show. (nicole) the bairds are making some videos, Fowler is, so is Gregg ovens, barry, wioniya, jordan, Roland, The whipples have channels, etc.
there’s nothing forbidding the contestants from making netting. Notice that Sam made one, but didn’t really have one big enough to amount to anything, Dave M won season 2 by making one. So it’s really just a question of what you use as cordage and how much of the netting you make, and how effectively you use that netting. You can make netting out of the rope hammock, out of the tarps, out of the tape, by unbraiding a braided nylon gillnet (ie, making 4x as much netting as the original size). netting can be made by cutting up a sheet hammock, by using a lot of the 900 ft of fishline allowed to you. Nobody’s done anything of the kind because they are just too ignorant/lazy to do it, that’s all. I’ve been promoting the idea for YEARS, on “alone” forums, channels, etc, and not one single, solitary soul has agreed. Cause they are all embarrassed to admit that they never thought of it. They never thought of the pontoon outrigger raft, the need of waterproof containers (ie, the tape and gaiters, hunks of tarp) They haven’t even thought of using the rainsuit as several water containers. When you’re so dumb as to not even take the fishing kit and to eat leeches, and you WIN, that’s the end of the show, man. People are disgusted by such sloppiness/ignorance.
you take backup stuff to the shakedown phase of the show. If something is disallowed, have other stuff to take its place. this guy claims to have been an alternate guy for season 3. Notice all the custom made stuff?
if you’ll look at them 5 weeks in, when 7 out of 10 were already gone, it was still not nearly cold enough to need the sleeping bag. There’s plenty of time to gather enough grass, bundled it tied the bundles into mats, and layered them so that the gaps between bundles were filled . Underneath you, it can be just a pile of grass, aligned and compacted. But for it to stay on you as you turn in your sleep, loose grass wont work. So it has to be either organized into mats, or held together in netting or some sort of bag. Of course, later, when it’s really cold, you have to have the dugout to contain a really thick layer of grass, a foot thick or more, all around you. My parents used straw “ticks” above and below them, for sleeping when they were kids, They were born before 1920. The straw was just packed into matrress cover types of cotton. It gets plenty cold in Illinois in the winter, when the coal stoves all go out. Much colder than it is in Mongolia when the challenge ended. As in -10F, sometimes -20F.
ever heard of a guy named Bill Moreland? He was semi-insane ON the run for a misdemeanor in Idaho in the 1930’s, he lived in the ID wilds for 11 years with the following gear” flint and steel, a skillet and a coffepot, a wool blanket, a hunk of tarp, a pocket knife, some fishline and hooks and the clothes that he stood in! He pulled his own teeth with a springy branch and the fishline. When he did so, the pain was so intense that he’d pass out. He’d take down the telephone wire between the ranger’s smoke towers and use it to snare deer. He actually lived out there like that for 13 years, but the last 2 years, he had a single shot 22 rifle and 50 rds. He said it was the best thing that ever happened to him. He killed a deer a month with it, head shots from 20m and less.
For decades, the world record for the largest grizzly bear was held by Bella Twin, who took it with a single shot .22 rifle, using LONGS, not lr ammo, at about 20 ft, with a temple hit.
I haven’t, but there’s a book “The Ridgerunner” that I’m going to have to check out.
season 7, the made the size limit on the skillet the same as the cookpot. Justin, season 2, had a paracord hammock, which should not and probably is not now allowed, but you can have a rope hammock. Amazon sells a $60 2 person cotton rope hammock. It’s got 1500 ft of rope. The rope consists of 3 strands, so there’s 4500 ft of strands. Each strand is made of 44 threads. 8 of those threads makes cordage that you can just BARELY break with your hands. So hold out 300 ft of the strands, for camp needs and making the chumlines. Multiply 4200 x 5.5 and you get 22,0000 ft of 8 thread cordage. It takes 9 ft of cordage to make 1 sq ft of 3″ mesh netting. So you can have 2400 sq ft of such netting. You can overlay and offset 2 segments of this netting, sew thru the meshes here and there and have 1200 sq ft of 1.5″ mesh.
That sounds like a viable option and it would certainly yield a lot of cordage. I feel if they allow that item and you did harvest the cordage they would likely ban that from future seasons. Though the prize money is tempting the 100 days seems like a long time to be out there alone.
the alone part is nothing. Millions of men have been held in solitary confinement for much longer, without ill effects. In ww2, 10’s of millions of men were away from their families for 4+ years. it’s the starvation that makes them wuss-out. By making it easy to catch 200,000 calories in the first 50 days, then just hole up for the second 50 days of the challenge.
justin took a rope hammock for season 2, but didn’t know what to do with it
it occurred to me that I should use stakes, poles, brush, debris to make 5 ft high windbreaks all around my shelter. It can be done in a day and saves you 10F degrees or more inside of your shelter, when the wind is blowing.
you’ve got to make room for the 3 lb block of salt, so you’ll have bait for big animals and you can stay properly hydrated and not get leg cramps. it helps choke down bland food, too. You’ve got to have the duct tape, for sealing your shelter, making the pontoons for your outrigger raft, fletching field made arrows for bow fishing, It’s a big help making fire, storage containers (out of the tarp) clothing, etc. You have to make room for the reflective 12×12 tarp and the rope hammock, too. So the ferrood, the axe, saw, belt knife, sleeping bag, paracord and gillnet can’t go.
Hello, my name is Andrei and I’m from Canada. Sorry to bother you. I am very interested in your way of solving the problem and your choice of subjects; I would like to make a short video for YouTube with a story about it. I have read all your comments carefully (also all comments Bill Randall and Bill Russell). How can I contact you please I have a couple of questions that I would like to clarify with you? Thanks
should read that the shovel is capable of doing the heavier knife work, rendering the multitool sufficient. The latter can do MUCH more work than any belt knife can manage.(like removing fishhooks from your body)
I’d have to do some experimentation with the shovel and NOT carry my knife. When I’m tramping the woods I carry a variety of tools and tend to choose the best tool I have for the job at hand. I guess you’d “shovel” the predators you’ve treblehooked? (going back to your first comment.)
why so? you’ll have 3 broadhead arrows, for the really big critters, but you could spear, or shovel stuff like a weasel, stoat, porcupine, coon, easily enough.
you might have to forfeit the sleeping bag, if they wont let you take a rope hammock or cut up the 20×20 tarp. When you take the 12×12 tarp, that is. If they wont let you have cordage as clews and tree straps for the hammock, you might have to take the 40m hank of paracord in place of the 5qt skillet, too. Have to roast stuff, or stone boil it in a hunk of the sheet hammock or the 10×10 “camera” tarp. No more food than anyone has managed so far, the lack of the cooking instrument would only be a problem if you can’t use a seep well and make a water filter out of a hunk of tarp or hammock. If you sharpen one side of the E tool as a convex edge, that’s the chopper side. grind the other side to be a slicer. look at how easily Fowler slices chicken breast with his E-tool
on this same page, there’s a cover for this skillet. Nothing in the rules says that you can’t cut up their 20×20 tarp, it’s not “safety equipment”. There’s nothing saying you can’t take a rope hammock, and there’s nothing limiting the size of the skillet, or that it can’t have a lid. After season 2, I pointed out on an alone channel that a bear canister CAN be 2 gallon in size and made of metal, they took it off of the gear list!
if you should be so lucky as to score a big critter, you’ll have won the show, and double your winnings in the next few years, cause you’ll be the “go-to” guy for survival instruction. So you can happily use the shovel and the multitool to skin and butcher the critter. It aint like you’ll be doing 10 of them a day, every day, eh? So the awkwardness, the having to use the file blade of the Crunch to sharpen the shovel, having to use a rock to sharpen the knife blade of the crunch, no big deal. beats having to re-knap a stone edge every 5 minutes.
I feel the limitations of the area and allowable targets to get big game removes it from the table. But along those lines, the thing that always hangs me up is the lack of traps. I’d have 100 traps if I could. I’ve seen maybe 8 for a couple of the participants. I understand they might no have bate or what not, but a single fish could bate many traps. The traps can “hunt” 24 hours per day, you’d have to get some decent eats on a regular basis, no? The only thing I can figure is that they are told they’re not allowed. So what’s to keep a guy from setting a few “off-camera” traps? Just saying.
supposedly, you have to be on camera constantly. I could ask one of the winners. We email back and forth now and then. But deadfall traps are MANY times less likely to feed you than box traps made of netting and such boxtraps are MANY times less likely to feed you than netfishing. So get the baited net-weirs set first. Get a lot of guts and heads for use as bait. You have to have calories in you to be setting and checking traps. Where are those calories to come from ? Deadfalls wont provide them on a steady basis. You’ll need a month to get 100 of them set and need all day to check them.
Forfeit the sleeping bag? I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it goes against the principle of gathering as much food up front and delaying the winter shelter.If I didn’t have a sleeping bag I’d have to spend all of my initial time building a warm shelter first thing. I couldn’t forfeit the sleeping bag.
Taking paracord in place of a metal pot is just bonkers. Most survivalists would choose a metal container over any other tool. There is too much utility in a metal pot to give up. It’s one of my top items for any kit.
I wasn’t arguing that you couldn’t take a rope hammock or cut up your tarp, I just don’t have those answers. I think sometimes you’re “rolling the dice” weather something is allowed or not. I’ve heard testimonials on gear that was allowed and gear that wasn’t. The problem is you might not know until you’re “in country” which would be a bad time to find out.
I thought bear canister was still on the list in season 3? IDK, but probubly plastic? Which would still be a great container for water or live food.
there was no requirement that the bear canister be plastic. When I pointed out, on the alone forums, that 90 year old saws were allowed, and 90 years ago, bear canisters were made of STEEL, and were 2 gallons in size, they just took it off of the list of gear! The skillet and the pot are not the same items, bro. People lived for millions of years without metal containers, and still do today, in africa. You can boil in pottery containers, for starters. If you aint catching much to eat, wtfh do you need a cookpot for? it’s easy to make a seep well and a water filter. I never said that the duct tape was inconsequential. I consider it a vital part of the 10 items.. As I’ve said many times now ,they are dropped off in the SUMMER time in Mongolia. There is no need of the sleeping bag at ALL for at least a month. Then you could do another month with a layer of grass on a tarp, roll up in it, with grass also stuffed in between the many layers of your clothing. You can stone boil in a hunk of tarp or hammock, in a bark or wooden container, and you can just kebab food, or cook it on a thin, flat rock, suspended over 2 other rocks, the fire underneath.
The only shelter required, for the first month at least, is 3 saplings bent over and a tarp tied over them. Rig it with loops and toggles, so it can be taken down before rolling up in it for the night (if you need to, but you wouldn’t, for at least a month. The most you’d need, for that month, would be to stuff the grass between the layers of your clothing. Dont you see all that green grass in the early vids? see them wearing just shirt sleeves, wading in the water? It AINT cold. Once it gets cold, fishing season is over with. They all head back to the lakes. Primitve traps doint work worth a hoot, and it takes a lot of time and calories to make and then check them. You’d be walking all day, every day, checking 100 traps, and that would mean you’d burned off an additional 1000 calories per day. Bad trade. The net weirs make far more sense. Once the fish all leave, swap the netting over to making “boxtraps”, around sapling frames, and be using some of the netting, some of the 40 fishhooks (made out of 5 of the 6 4-tined fishiing arrows) to catch birds. It’s easy to convert 3 single hooks into a treble hook, as Britt did for his lure. But it makes far more sense to use it to catch birds, hedgehogs, weasels, coons, etc, than catch small fish (or get it snagged and lost in the water)/
they are not taking any gear from you that’s been allowed to go with you. It’s taken at the selection level, when you’re getting picked as one of the 10, out of the 20 who are being tested. But take extra at the level of evaluation, wherever and whenever that occurs. If one thing is disallowed, simply pull the other thing out of your kit. It’s not rocket science. If you aint already got a lot of camping gear and clothing, it’s going to cost you several thousand $ to get ready for this show. Just a couple of top of the line wool shirts can be hundreds of dollars.
If they make you use straps for clews on the hammock, wont let you take a rope hammock, and wont let you cut up their 20×20, you might well have to take the 40m of paracord for various lashing needs. It would depend upon how heavy/strong fishing line they will let you take.
originally, the gillnet was 2″ mesh and 150 sq ft. Now it’s less than half that size, maybe even 1/4, i”ve heard different stories about it. The point is, you need more like 1500 sq ft of netting, so that you can average catching at LEAST 10 lbs of fish per day. That’s at most. 3800 calories, if it’s trout, cause only a bit over half of a fish or animal’s live weight is edible flesh and trout are just 650 calories to the lb (ready to eat) You need 3000 calories per day, living rough out there, 4000 calories per day if it’s cold, damp, windy. So you really need to be catching an average of 20-30 lbs of fish per day, so that you can preserve the surplus. Fishing season in Mongolia is just one month, basically.
these guys have all lacked basic common sense. YOu dont need a dipnet, you just need to back up from the shoreline and drag the fish up onto the bank. Then, if it flops off of the hook, so what? I learned that when I was 10 years old, ferchrissakes! you dont bother with figure 4 traps for mice. you make a basket, line it with a hunk of tarp, seal the seams with tape or pine pitch, create a roller across the top of your “bucket”, fill it half full of water, bait the middle of the roller stick and build ramps up to the ends of the roller bar. This trap catches mice all night long and when you hole up for the winter, in the grass-filled, 4x4x8 ft dugout shelter, it becomes your waste container.
you want the pemmican or the gorp, if you take any rations at all, cause they contain a lot of fat and protein, while the beans, etc, are just carbs. You’ll have twice as many calories in the same weight of rations and you wont have to cook any of it in order to be able to digest such rations.
whomever set up this show’s limitations, picked the locations, etc, very carefully intended it to never last 4 months, probably never last 3 months and normally, be over with in 2 months. This had to be done in order to assure a profit margin for the corporation putting on the show. Maintaining the medical teams and the liability insurance for the contestants is very expensive.
whomever picks the contestants is looking to check off as man of the the “diversity” requirements, as possible, That means women, minorities, transgenders, gays, etc, who know a LITTLE bit about survival, but not much. They have to provide entertainment and involvement by the audience, but not actually be likely to prolong the show. So if you’re a transgender, black woman who is sexually attracted to women, with 2 kids and a sob story, you’ll have almost a guaranteed spot on this show, provided that you can build a fire with a ferrorod. I could teach the typical boy scout to do a LOT better than anyone has on this show, in one weekend of classes/demos. The bow drill firemaking, the primitive shelter building, the flintknapping, the primitive trapping, the hook and line fishing, it’s all a waste of time when it comes to knowing how to win this challenge
Around the diversity topic – I’ll agree that they want to show diversity to grow their audience, it’s a standard TV. I think most people, not me, for whatever reason like the “human stories”. I personally don’t care much about someone’s back story I just want to see them taking action in the now. If I felt they were choosing crumby participants I wouldn’t watch. There’s a lot more to what’s going on that what is shown. Emotional struggles, loneliness, boredom, etc. This show isn’t about survival, that’s the easy part. It’s about having the grit to outlast everyone else while not knowing anything that’s going on. You worry about family and go a little crazy. I’ve seen many favored and well-off participant leave due to personal conflict. Look at Randy Champagne (Season 2 and 5) that guy had things made in the shade and he bounced because his missed home. Then you have guy’s like Sam, who are on the verge of permanent injury hanging on for the same reasons. To be there has to be a total mind f***.
I would definitely opt for pemmican, but I also considered a fatty jerky (or faux gorp) with a heavy spice mix. Something that you could put in stew pot to flavor up the harvested protein. Definitely want to maximize fatty calories. Wonder if you could just take some flavored lard?
I dont recall lard being on the list of stuff for seasons 1-4, but they didn’t publish a list for season 5. Ideal thing would be some flavored macadamia oil, but that’s not on the list, either. Most bang per oz.
it’s not on the list of food items. You can’t afford to waste a pick on food. the only consumable has to be either the salt block (if you’re not on the sea) or the 2 lbs of sugar and 1 lb of salt, if you are on the sea. Sugar is a preservative and a huge help at choking down bland food. It’s also a great bait for birds and critters, if it’s presented to them properly.
I only saw 1 dip net. I agree I didn’t see the point, but a project to keep your hand busy is still a project. I think Jose Martinez Amoedo (Season 2) had all the games and tools made, 2 or 3 shelters. That guy was smoothing it. That’s the dream setup, to have so little the worry about that you can buchcraft boardgames, sinks, instruments, etc.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t eat a mouse but why not target better options? I don’t see the harm in setting up multipule dead-fall traps.
Jose was doing so poorly, food-wise, that he FAKED his canoe’s overturning. why, testing a new craft, would you be so stupid as to get into it with all your clothes and boots on, in cold weather? why would you not just wear your tekna water sandals and nothing else? have a tarp, a fire, dry clothes, and hot rocks waiting on the shore. There’s no need, when testing a craft, to go more than 10m, back and forth. So if you get too cold, go warm up, then continue testing. Since he was CLAIMING to be a “survival instructor” (as most of them DO) he had to find a way to save face. So he sloppily did what he did, and most people are so ignorant that they never questioned it. Why would you STAY in the water, after getting dunked, instead of getting to your fire (or starting one, if need be) hmm? See what I mean? It’s obvious that he faked it, or was a complete fool, once a person with some sense looked at it.
I don’t know about the netting limitation other than what was stated online, which I don’t see any longer. Nicole Apelian (season 2) was vary successful with her netting and she didn’t have 1500sqft, just saying. I think location has a lot to do with it. I’ve seen some boneheaded placements on the show.
Not sure about how much fish a person could eat in a day. I could probubly eat 10 lbs of crabs though. But yes anything that wasn’t eaten should be preserved. Dave Nessia (Season 3) had a sick stock of preserved fish, that he failed to eat. That would be the way to go, piles os smoked fish. You’d get some flavor too, but I still don’t think I could eat that many fish in a day, IDK. Hopfully you could score some red meat or birds with the fish guts.
must be nice to be able to just throw away a clear 1/2 million $. Cause that’s what you’re talking about doing. You choke it down, along with some boiled, then fried cambium.and you keep more of it simmering on the fire, every hour that you’re awake. IRS and SS take HALF of your winnings, but if you win by ABILITY and getting things DONE (as vs laying around on your fat a**) you’ll clear twice as much, by virtue of everyone wanting to train under you, getting endorsement deals, selling books and vids. When you know how to invest half of that much money (in the US), you can retire to the third world and live like a KING, , while saving half of your annual income from the investments, and keeping the other 1/4 million in bullion gold coins, scattered around about 10 burials here in the US. Have a such $10,000 burial in whatever country you decide to live, on top of about 10k cash. In many places, 1k a year (each) to the local mayor and police chief makes you a COP, able to ccw legally, even make arrests. Which disposes of most of the “reasons” people don’t want to live in the third world.
nicole lucked out, at first, with a salmon run, but still starved. you can see her cheekbones almost cutting thru her facial skin at the end. She was NOT doing well, none of them have done well, period. When you dig up the data about their starting and ending weights, you’ll see that they’ve all just starved. Some averaged losing a lb per day! That’s 3000 calories per day that they should have been eating, but could not. That’s 5 lbs of fish, ready to eat, or 4 lbs of game, EVERY day, that they did not catch. Plants, other than seeds or nuts, offer only 600 calories per lb, ready to eat, at the very most. Watch Wooded beardsman sometime, his Wilderness survival challenge, using MUCH more gear than allowed for the Aloe show, and traveling around MUCH more territory, he still averages losing half a lb per day.! and he does not have to film EVERYTHING, every minute, as do the Alone contestants.
deer average 100 lbs each. For every 200 lb buck, there’s several 80 lb does or juveniles. A 100 lb deer is at most 60 lbs of meat, and it’s dry, almost no fat meat. so you’d have to eat 4 lbs of it per day, every day, to not lose weight out there. So every week, you have to score a deer. With a bow, while filming everything, staying in a 5 mile circle, which may well have NO deer in that area, actually, in Mongolia. animals typically are born, live and die within a very few mile radius. If you’re in an area with little game and can’t leave that area, you’re just effed when it comes to the hunting/trapping of mammals. they draw straws to determine where they get dropped off.
if you make a seep well, build a low wall all around it to keep out rodents, snakes and bugs, put a cover over it, to keep out bugs and bird poop, then make a water filter out of a rolled up and taped hunk of tarp/hammock, stuffed with layers of moss, gravel, sand and charcoal, with a chunk of T shirt to keep the charcoal out of your filtered water.
everybody praises these people’s courage and persistence, but they are under no realistic threat from animals, and if they knew what to do, they’d not be suffering. A very small amount of research and practice would see to it that they ate well enough, giving them the energy to do the other things that need to be done to enhance their situation.
you wont be moving around, so the sleeping bag is not necessarily better than a hunk of netting that’s holding together a lot of dry grass around you. Insulation is insulation, really. The only difference is how thick/heavy it has to be in order to keep you warm at a a given temperature. Alan Kay won season 1 without an axe. Carleigh went 86 days in season 3 without an axe. Do not make assumptions that you “need” this or that. If you can make it on site, dont take it. You can make a raised wooden bed and grass insulation. So you dont need the sleeping bag. You can do without the cookpot, too, if need be. The axe saw, ferrrod, belt knife, can all be replaced by the saw edged E tool from Condor and the modified Crunch multitool. That saves 2 picks. The tines from the fishing arrowheads can make 2 fishhooks per tine, so each fishing arrow=8 fishhooks. That lets you take the fishing kit as 8 BIG treblehooks, ,which can catch 100 lb wolves, not just 1 lb fish. You can also make some treblehooks out of some of the homemade hooks, letting you catch lynx, weasel, hedgehog, fox, porcupine, etc.
I understand you can get by with less if need be, heck you get so much clothing and kit for “free” they don’t even need 10 items. I agree the axe is over kill if you can’t harvest big lumber, I think a buck saw would be nice though.
So what are your Alone 10 items exactly? If you don’t take a ferro rod, cook pot, sleeping bag, belt knife, saw… sounds like you’d be happy with nothing but a bunch of fish hooks and string…
Condor E tool. modified Crunch multitool, the 3 lb block of salt, the snarewire, the fishing kit ( 8 shark sized treblehooks) one of Chief Aj’s slingbows, 6 of the 9 arrows featuring 4-tined fishing heads and fluflu fletching, 3 broadheads, a 2-person cotton rope hammock, the 5 qt skillet with lid, the big roll of duct tape, and the sleeping bag. If they wont let you take the rope hammock, then cut up the 20×20 tarp in order to make the cordage for netting, and take the gillnet, made out of braided nylon cordage, with rope clews and tree straps. If they wont let you cut up the 20×20, then take 12×12 tarp, and cut it up.
sam took 2 of the 2 lb rations, which fed him only 4 days, tops, when he could have taken a cotton rope hammock and a slingbow, with 6 of the 9 arrows featuring 4-tined fishing heads, which could have fed him well for months
Dave M won season 2 by getting lucky, finding some flotsam rope and weaving netting out of it. you’d be NUTS to risk half a million on not taking stuff out of which to make the netting. Sheesh. then he never once thought of making a pontoon outrigger raft, so that he could haul his stuff around a rocky outcropping. Once a day, he could struggle over slimy boulders, at low tide and get to another spot, where he could catch crabs and use the net. He didn’t dare try to haul his stuff over there, 70 lbs of it. But in a day, he could have had such a craft and then had 24-7 access to the better location. Duh.
They got dropped off in the SUMMERTIME, bro. No need of the sleeping bag at ALL, for several weeks. Furthermore, there’s dry grass everywhere, and you get a set of longjohns and 2 sets of clothes. If you stuff grass between all those layers. So you wont need the sleeping bag for at LEAST a month, which is about as long as the fishing is good there. Then the fish all head back to the lakes, cause the rivers are frozen solid for about 8 months of the year there. So, no, you dont need to immediately build a heavy duty shelter, either.,
No, dave N did NOT have a “sick stock” of dried fish. He had at most a couple of days worth of eating, at the level that you have to eat out there. You need to chow down at least 3000 calories per day, when “living rough” like that, and it goes up to 4000 calories per day when it’s cold. This is for a good sized man. A petite woman can get by on considerably less. Top swimmers have to eat 10,000 calories per day in training, and they AINT fat!.
Primitive traps, of the deadfall type or snares made out of cordage, aint worth a hoot in hell. Treblehooks, suspened at a height that encourges gulping, and tied to small draglogs with wire, work really well. The animal takes off and exhausts itself, bleeds like hell and drowns itself in pretty short order. The wire they are given will not hold a deer by the neck, unless you braid 4 strands of it together, which means that they wont be making many such snares, due to the limited amount of wire they are allowed to take. Really, the hook-traps and the neck snares, should also feature foot snares, set up on forked stakes 2-3″ around the main catch-device, will greatly enhance your chances of actually being able to finally arrow a big critter, but they use up a lot of your wire.
once AGAIN, the skillet aint the same as a pot, and there’s no size limit on the SKILLET. Live weight of crab means only 1/4 that much edible flesh. And the meat, ready to eat, offers only 400 calories per lb. Which is why they serve it with butter and rich sauces. 10 lbs of live weight crab would be just 1000 calories, which is about 1/4 of what you need, EVERY DAY out there, once it’s cold and Vancouver and patagonia were cold, from the start. Mongolia was summertime, for the first few weeks, at least.
NOBODY, not one, ever, has done better than to lose an average of 1/2 lb per day. They all just starve. A net is worth more on a shallow river than on a sea shore, but you still need a LOT more than 150 sq ft of it. That’s nothing, when you have to average catching 20+ lbs of live weigh fish per day, which is the reality of it, when you’ve only got a month of “fishing season. That’s just 12 lbs of fish, and if it’s typical freshwater fish (Salmon, on a run, are the exception) fish (ready to eat) offer only 650 calories per lb. So you’d only be preserving at most 8 lbs per day, which, if done every day for a month, would feed you at most 2 months, total. of 3 months. Now, the heads and guts would PROBABLY let y ou trap or arrow some other game, IF you’re good. Having to film everything limits EFFECTIVE hunting to nothing more than sitting in a baited tree blind, as you weave more netting.
walking a mile, on clear, level ground, at room temp, burns 100 calories per mile. Fighting brush, cold or heat, up and down hills, you burn more. This is on TOP of the 2000 calories per day that a good sized man burns just by laying around, at room temps. So hunting has to provide you with a MINIMUM of 4000 calories per day, if you walk all day, or it’s a net calorie loss. and you have to lug around cameras, set them up, etc. Lean meat is about all you’ll get, and that’s just 800 calories per lb, ready to eat, and only about half of an animal’s live weight is edible flesh. So you’d have to arrow an average of 8 lbs of birds or animals per day of hunting. Not gonna happen when you can only roam over about a 5 mile area. Not with just a bow and only 9 arrows.
the traditional stuff has failed, everybody and all 5 seasons. Everyone has just starved. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, while expecting different results (cause YOU are so special, of course). Forget it. You have nothing to lose and a LOT to gain by trying different gear and tactics.
most people can’t get off work more than a month at most. So, if you stay longer, you’re tossing away your job. Why would you do that, unless you know damned well that you’re doing a lot better than everyone else? when you know that you’ve done almost nothing but starve for even 2 weeks( which has been the case for everyone, all seasons) why not just give up and keep your day job? Cause you’ll win only by being fat and lucky.
they dont trap bigger critters cause there AINT any. They all have sense enough to avoid humans, and having to bow hunt them, stay in a 5 mile square and film it all means that you can’t get it done. They’ve only got wire and paracord to work with. Animals gnaw thru cordage. You have to make a one way slider device, etc, the fishnet is the things to be using, as baited net weirs. It is at least 10x more likely to feed you. it doesn’t miss, it doesn’t get set off by the wind, etc and you can make lots of netting by firelight. They have no BAIT cause they can’t catch anything, and for mongolia,, where SALT would be a GREAT bait, none of them had brains enough to take any! cub scouts, like I said. Not only no experience, but too lazy to search the net and do a bit of THINKING.
the harm done with lots of deadfalls is you’re wasting time and calories, both in the making and the checking of them every day, that should have been spent doing something that’s worth a hoot. When you’ve got net weirs, baited with the guts and heads of previous catchs (in bags made of netting and pierced pieces of tarp/hammock, you’ll catch fish. When you use a seine and stakes to move the seine towards the weir, you’ll force more fish into the weir. You can easily catch more than you can process in one day, but you can keep them alive in the weir, you know. Just have a gate that you can put in front of the weir, to keep them in and predator type fish, otters, etc, out of the weir. Or put the catch in a seperate net/pen in deeper water. you’re at least 10x more likely to catch food with such a setup than you are with deadfalls and snares. I’ve had dozens of such traps out during season and often caught nothing, day after day, and had to burn time and calories checking my line, every day. Often, when you DO make a catch, some predator has stolen the target animal before you get there, too. You have no other source of food/energy, that’s not going to work. If you’re scoring lots of fish with weirs, sure, work on a change of diet, but deadfalls aint going to provide it. Snares are a better deal, IF you know how to use them, and the baited, suspended treblehooks are even more likely to score, given a salted fishhead as bait. There’s no sea shore competing with you as a salt source in Mongolia.
there’s something called “opportunity costs”. When you devote time and calories to one thing, you cannot spend those resources on other things. So you’d BETTER be using those resources the ways most likely to score. The fish are only available for about a month. Then they return to the lakes, cause those shallow rivers freeze solid. You MUST score lots of fish, while you CAN. Then, with lots of dried fish to provide energy, and fish guts/heads to provide bait, sure, you can do some trapping, for a change of diet. But it’s going to take at least a week to get the full amount of netting in the water, and another week, minimum, to catch enough fish that you need to start preserving them. Top swimmers eat 10,000 calories per day when training. Do you think that they eat nothing but butter? Most foods are less than 1000 calories per lb, ready to eat. so you CAN learn to eat at least 10 lbs of food per day, every day. There’s a clear 1/2 million $ (spread out over 2-3 years) riding on this win, if you win by skills, not by being fat and lucky. So CHOKE down that fish and that cambium. It’s only going to be a couple of months. that’s nothing. In WW2, 10’s of millions of men didn’t see their families for 4 years! Millions of men have been locked in solitary confinement for MUCH longer than 2 months., and were fine. Ask any of those prisoners if having lots of gear in the woods is harder on you than being “in the hole”.
try it for yourselves, guys. get a $6 6×8 ft tarp from Wallys or harbor freight. cut/tear off the sewn edges. cut one edge every 1/8″ inch. Use a needle nosed pliers to get the strips started, 6″ or so long,. then put your foot on the tarp and tear the strip off with your hands. The way they are woven, the tear will run right down the line, every time. Then weave the strips into netting. You can easily do 200 sq ft of 4″ mesh per day, and also weave in splits of local vegetation, creating 200 sq ft of 2″ mesh per day. you wont be lifting boatloads of fish with this netting. all you’ll be doing with it is confusing them (in the weir) and shooing them ahead of you, into the weir, with the seine. Very little strength is needed, as long as you’re not stupid with how you advance the seine, and as long as no big flotsam object hits your weir (which is why you want to have 2 of them, one on each side of the river. the shoreline forms one “wing” of the weir, so you dont need so much netting. The water is shallow, so 4 ft of width of the seine, wings, and weir (average) is probably enough. Certainly not much more. so 1500 sq ft of 2″ mesh netting will go a LONG ways towards catching a lot of fish. People just have a very bad case of NIH syndrome, that’s all.
when you’re emptying the weir daily and not catching more than say, 10 lbs of fish per weir, The purse of the weir need not be large. Say 10 ft across, which is about 31 ft of circumference, x 4 ft of width of the net 120 sq ft of netting. . Then there’s the 2 little wings that protrude, say, 5 ft into the purse. say 20 more sq ft of netting. Say 150 sq ft, total. You can’t really move more than about 60 ft of seine, vs a river’s current, by yourself. say, 250 sq ft of netting. Say your wing, “v-ing”out from the shoreline into that shallow river, is 100 ft long, say 40 ft out from the bank at its open end. 400 sq ft. so 550 sq ft per weir. If you’ve got 1500 sq ft of netting, you can have 2 such weirs, the seine, and some netting left over for repair/replacement. If you’re catching a lot of fish, you might want to just have one weir, saving the netting on shore for the other one, in case a floating log tears away your weir in the night. If that happened, I’d only have my other weir set in daylight hours, and I’d sit there guarding it. 🙂 You have to watch the river and calculate the odds. If there’s a big rainstorm, best pull in your weir/nets for a day or two, cause that’s going to be the maximal time for flotsam and fast currents.
think about it. what if they let you take a 2-person cotton rope hammock,, AND cutting up the 20×20 tarp is an option. You could have 4000 sq ft of 2″ mesh netting, without having to bother with using local vegetation. Netting can be used to catch birds, crawdads, small mammals. It’s just a question of how knowledgable you are and how many wraps of netting are needed around the sapling frames, and how often you check your “boxtraps”.
there’s PLENTY to be done that actually WILL help you be better off, than making and checking deadfalls and making dipnets, chairs, dreamcatchers, drums, etc. That stuff is for fools who cant thing of something productive to do. If you’re just going to sit around, sit in a baited tree blind, with your broadhead arrow in the slingbow, as you weave netting, make snares, etc.
just knowing how to avoid having to boil all your drinking water will save you about an hour per day of putzing around camp, scaring off game and birds with all the movement, noise and smoke. You have to wait for that water to cool down and have a way to store it, you need a gallon of it per day (plus cooking water) and you’ve only got a 2 qt pot? that’s silly. You can store a gallon of water in one sleep of the rainsuit, if it’s not boiling hot.
all over the third world, if theirs a decent sized body of water, people of limited resources ALWAYS use netting for feeding themselves. Many have no other way to make a living. It’s a millenia-proven technique and uttterly dumb to not try it FIRST, far before trapping mammals and trapping animals, if you know how, that is, is more successful than hunting them, when you look at the resources used in doing both. There is a reason why ALL REAL survival pros say “fish first”.
a primitive shelter is almost never rainproof enough to live in, but ti’s good enough to shelter your bundles of grass, while they dry out. Hang them up to dry, for making your bedding, before and after you create the dugout shelter. Unlike Vancouver Island, Mongolia’s got LOTS of grass.
once the river freezs solid, the netting is of no value for fishing. it can be used to trap mammals and birds, tho. You can condition animals to enter box traps. By having just the frame sitting there, with no netting, in some brush piles that you’ve made to make the critters feel protected. Put bait inside the sapling frames of the traps. when you see that they are eating the baits, add the side netting, keep baiting. as they get used to the sides of the trap, add the trigger sticks, etc, Wait longer, then add the back end, wait, then add the door, but prop it open and dont set the triggers. When they are used to the entire trap being a food source, THEN you set the triggers and the doors. This can take weeks, but as the fish start not being caught, it’s time to switch over to mammals. Birds can be getting trapped all along. Dont string your traps out far. Make them be in a circle around your camp,, not more than 100m out, so that you dont waste much time or calories checking them.
if you take the RIGHT multitool, or modify one, you can have a file blade, which will let you sharpen your saw. Silky saws supposedly have a “flash hardened” edge, however, which is too hard to file. Once the saw dulls, you replace the blade. In the 2-3 months that you’ll be on the alone show, and if you know to use insulation rather than fire to keep you warm, you wont need to sharpen the Silky saw. If, however, you use a shovel with a short saw edge, you’ll need to sharpen the saw and the shovel, a LOT, which is why you take the tool that has a file blade.
I’ll TAKE that “total mind f**k, clearing $4000 a day! and laugh all the way to the BANK. The only reason it’s so tough, really, is they dont make lots of netting. Not only would they have calories and protein, they’d have fish oil in which to fry an oz or so a day (each) of dandelion roots and cambium, and they’d have LOTS of bait for more fish, crawdads, birds, and mammals. It is a VERY infantile error to not take the stuff needed to make at least 1000 sq ft of 2” mesh netting. and not use it as a couple of baited weirs and a seine.
No, Randy was starving, like everyone else, and he just didn’t have the blubber that Sam and Britt started with. I knew he was a goner as soon as I saw his cabin. He wasted 2 weeks of the one month of fishing season making a shelter that I knew he’d never need. He should have devoted that time to making and using netting. Once the fish all head back to the lakes, there’s plenty of time to make shelter, and a dugout, stuffed full of grass, needing no fire, is a FAR better choice in Mongolia,than any cabin, and much, much easier to arrange. Needing to cut and haul wood all the time sucks, people.
of course, not many can control their minds well enough to handle just laying in a hole for a week at a time, 🙂 However, you’re clearing $250 an hour out there, while you’re awake, and you’d never have to do this for more than a month, since everyone else is just starving, while you’re in the dugout with 50-100 lbs of dried meat and fish, laughing about how easily you beat the others.
there’s 180 ft of 1.5″ wide duct tape on a roll. In a lot of cases, 3/4″ wide strip offers enough holding power. So you’ve got 360 ft of it. it CAN be torn as narrow as 1/8″.wide. Twisted, even that thin a strip is adequate for making netting. That’s 2000 ft of cordage. over 1000 sq ft of 4″ mesh netting. Weave in some local vegetation and the mesh is 2″. That’s an extremely useful resource, worth far more than say, a sleeping bag, or a cookpot, which can only do one thing. They get one MONTH of warm weather, no need of a sleeping bag at ALL during that time and that’s the time to be netting and preserving lots of fish. As times get tough in the winter, the smell of your preserved fish is going to draw in predators, that you can treblehook to a drag log and then finish with an arrow.
A HELLUVA lot, in fact the entire win, depends upon what you can get away with NOT filming, cause the audience would have a COW about treblehooking a wolf, or snaring a deer.
I thought it was hilarious when little Carleigh almost beat Fowler, despite the fact that he outweighed her by at least 70 lbs. She knew to just lie around in her sleeping bag, conserving calories. Everything that he did, the steps and handrails to get up the steep hill, the fishing dock, the traps, all the fishing, everything, was wasted, actually. He should have made a pontoon outrigger raft, and moved on down the lakeshore, until he found a place without the steep hills coming right down to the shore of the lake. He should have kept his shelter portable, moving it to the squaw-wood, instead of cutting big logs and lugging them to the shelter. Some baited weirs and a seine, along with the raft, would have let him catch more fish in a week than he did in 86 days with his hook and line stuff. The nets would mean that you dont have to run up and down the cliff a dozen times per day. It would take a lot less long to make all that netting than the month it took him to make that shelter, and the week or more needed to make the fishing dock.
you do NOT want to do what all others have done, cause they’ve just starved. Which is why they’ve received no endorsements, dont teach classes, etc. They’ve proven that they can’t meet the most basic of needs. Dave M claimed that his “natural crab traps ” and his field made net enabled him to stop losing weight, after he lost 25 lbs in his first month. I dont believe it. Google it. Only 25% of a crab’s live weight is edible flesh. Crab, ready to eat, offers at most 400 calories per lb. In the cold, wet, windy environment of Vancouver Island, you’d need at LEAST 4000 calories per day to stop losing weight, as you scrambled over slimy boulders, looking for crabs! So you’d have to catch 40 lbs of crabs, EVERY day, with no traps. and he could only get over to that part of the place for a few hours per day, cause he couldn’t figure out how to make a simple watercraft and he had to wait for low tide in order to get around the rocky outrcropping that separated his drop off point from the better food area. So let’s say that he caught 10 lbs of crabs per day. That’s 1000 calories. So he’d have had to eat 3000 calories of fish per day, when that fish, ready to eat, offers only 650 calories per lb. Only a bit over half of a fish’s live weight is edible flesh. So he’d have to catch 9 lbs of fish, every day, to go with that 10 lbs of crab, EVERY day, just to maintain his body weight. If you believe that, I”ve got a bridge for you to buy., in Brooklyn. From a guy who was too dumb to take the stuff needed to make netting, instead, CLAIMING that he was “certain” that he could find enough flotsam rope to make the needed netting. Would YOU bet 2 months of suffering and a clear 1/4 mill $ on such a find? 🙂 When you could just TAKE the needed materials? If so, then you’re a fool.
the ‘strong patterns” of what gear to take have come from observing people who’ve all just STARVED, many of whom quit within 2 weeks, when they could take 10 lbs of pemmican! So the opinion of this latter group is worth no more than any cub scout’s. In other words, it’s a joke. Alan won season one without an axe. carleigh lasted 86 days on Season 3, without an axe. Both had originally said that they’d take an axe, but then changed their minds. 86 days means that she beat every other contestant, all seasons, but Fowler. and would have beaten fowler by a month or more ,had he not outweighed her by 70 lbs! He weight 220-230 lbs going into season3, I forget which. Carleigh is NOT a big woman. 70 lbs, x 3000 calories per lb (some of what you lose is muscle and at the last, organ tissue) is 210,000 calories, which will fuel you for 150 days, as a big guy, if all you do is lie around in a sleeping bag, which is what Carleigh was smart enough to do. The fact that she aint all that bright was shown in her lack of a multi-tool, which cost her season 5, and she STILL didn’t realize that you dont need big saw to cut limbs that are high off of the ground. You just need to lash your smaller saw to a pole, that’s all. In any case, there’s no big timber in Mongolia. So, instead of cutting off limbs (not killing big trees) you can just use a smaller saw, or the shovel, to cut smaller trees at their bases.
If you know to use a couple of Dakota fire pits, so the heat is not wasted to the sides, self-feeding in logs, with a 60 degree angle entrance hole, heating big flat rocks that are set at a 45 degree angle over the exit hole, the heat is radiated towards you, and the rock is absorbing heat. Every hour or so, you swap out the rocks, putting the hot ones under you and the cold ones to again being heated over the firepits. This way, you need MUCH less firewood than open fires require, without having to cut logs to short lengths. Once again, there’s no need of fire for warmth the first month that they are in Mongolia.
you have to understand PRIOITIES, folks. I can tell, just from their 10 picks, if they know anything or not. When I see the axe, big saw, belt knife, ferrorod, beans, etc, I know that they’re just going to starve, cause they’ve got their priorties wrong. A winter shelter is NOT what you should focus upon, for your first month. If you dont average catching at least 10 lbs of fish per day, for that first month, , you wont BE there for winter. 🙂 If you want to win by means other than by being fat and lucky, you have to average catching at least TWENTY lbs of fish per day.
Remember, stored food can rot, be lost to rodents, birds, coons, fire, flood, etc. the only really safe means of storing food in the wild is as your own bodyfat. So EAT all you can. Top swimmers have to eat 10,000 calories per day, every day, when in training. they AINT fat. They are Working off, and losing to the cool water, 8000 calories per day. Fat has twice the calories, per lb, as protein or carbs. But who can just eat sticks of butter all the time, eh? So they are eating at LEAST 10 lbs of food per day. Now, they aint eating bland old fish and cambium, but they aint CLEARING $3000-$4000 a day, either. As the winner of the Alone show, that’s exactly what you’ll be making, not counting the other clear 1/4 million you’ll make over the next 2-3 years, if you win by being an EFFECTIVE forager, rather than by being fat and lucky. So chow down! The salt will help you choke down the food. Boiling the cambium and dandelions first makes such stuff easier to digest. Toss the nasty tasting water away, then fry the cambium and dandelion root in fish oil. This will help their palatability a lot. You dont need a lot of carbs, but you do need some, say, 30 grams per day (1 oz) cause fish and game offer NO carb, and your brain needs carbs in order to work properly.
forgot the link, apparently
The producers cut the gillnet size from 150 sq ft to 75 sq ft, and cut the mesh size from 2″ to 1.5″. They removed the bear canister from the gear list, and cut the ration size from 5 lbs per ration to 2 lbs per ration. Now WHY do you “think” that the did these things? 🙂 If you think that this show is not crafted, very carefully and severely to NEVER last more than 4 months and rarely to exceed 3 months, you are very naive and ignornt (both). Notice that no really experienced survival hardasses are allowed? Neither are 300 lb tubs of guts.
Dave, season 3 patagonia, had 43 fish, total, averaging under a lb each. So he had at most 24 lbs of ready to eat fish, and that’s just enough for 5 days, at most, living rough, cause fish are just 650 calories to the lb, ready to eat. He’d eaten some of it, didn’t preserve it all. So those who claim that he had “lots of preserved fish”, are fos.
Calories aside, I doubt a person could eat all that smoked fish in 5 days. 24lb / 5 = 4.8lbs of smoked fish, that’s a lot for one day, especially because there’s not much fat. The Bearded Woodsman couldn’t eat more than about 2lbs of fish that was cooked in broth in a single day during his wilderness living challenges. Now if he had lobster tails and a gallon of butter that would be a different story. Not to mention Dave’s stomach was probably so small from not eating he probably couldn’t get that much food through his GI in a single day.
there’s a knife blade on the Crunch, and you could add another one, in place of the phillips screwdriver. The shovel does the chopping, the visegrip of the crunch holds a saw blade. Try shoveling snow with an axe or machete.
Hi John, I have a Leatherman Crunch and I think it’s a great tool, that many overlook (probubly because it has fewer tools than most multitools). I’d have to replace the primary blade too, because I can’t stand using serrated blades. But I like where you’re head is at. I use a blade so often in everyday life I know I wouldn’t be happy using a multitool, but I could try using one more… okay the more I think about it I’d probubly replace or highly modify all of the Crunch tools (I smell a project brewing), it could be the perfect multitool.
Yeah there’s a good case for the shovel, I just don’t have the experience to recommend it personally.
What saw blade are you referring to?
you have to eat a lot, cause of the cold, wind, dampness, poor sleep, activity. When you add too much water to the equation, you can’t eat as much calories. WB didn’t know what he was doing. He’s said as much. Now he knows to eat the skin, too, cause that’s where the fat is. He was not clearing $3000 a day to do so, while the Alone people ARE. (if they win)
Dave never had one lb of fish that he should have been preserving. He should have been eating them all along. 24 lbs of fresh fish is NOT 24 lbs of preserved fish, guy. It’s more like 8 lbs. So 1.5 lbs of it per day for 5 days. most of the weight is moisture, which is what must be removed to prevent rotting.
agreed. only preserve fish if you can’t eat it. I feel like they were only spending time catching fish for an hour or 2. I think spending every available moment gathering fish while you can, knowing they will eventually not be there and they preserving them because you had so many would have been a meritable strategy.
the 3 lb block of salt MUST be one of your picks, cause you’re not on a sea shore. You need the electrolytes, it’s GREAT bait when you’re far from the ocean. You need it to help you preserve food and to help you choke down all the fish and cambium that you’ll have to eat. You dont need the ferrorod or the sleeping bag. Mongolia is FULL of tall, dry grass, and they are sent there in the SUMMERTIME. Harvest that grass and use it for padding and insulation. Start your fires with the polished inside bottom of your 5 qt skillet, with the lid for same, with the flare, with the batteries, by fire-rolling a hunk of your bandanna, by making a big McElroy pumpdrill. Once you have a fire, you can have ashes and charred punk wood, which make it easy to get fire with any hard rock and any carbon steel tool. You can bed your coals and a bit of charcoal in ashes/dirt and keep the fire alive for at least 8 hours, too. So the ferrorod is a wasted pick.
neither a cabin nor the sleeping bag will be enough when the Winter hits Mongolia.. You wont have the energy or time to heat a cabin with wood. The only realistic answer is to have a 4x4x8 ft dugout, stuffed with dry grass, a foot or more of compressed grass all around you and just lay in it. You wont have to be there long, cause the idiots who are trying to burn wood will soon tap out.
I favor the Silky blade for use with the Crunch visegrip, but for the Alone show, you have to just modify the shovel to have 8″ of saw edge. Replace the phillips head of the Crunch with another file blade. You’re going to need it to keep the saw sharp. Replace the SS serrated knife blade with a regular carbon steel blade, so you can strike sparks with it, and sharpen it on a rock. ditto the shovel, of course.
I’m not sure you’d need to sharpen a silky saw before the show was over. I’d just bring a larger one and hope it didn’t require sharpening, unless I had a file and the know how to actually sharpen a saw properly. I’d probubly do more harm than good…
if you know to take your fishing kit as 8 treblehooks and one single hook, and only 2 broadheads, 7 of the arrows featuring 4-tined fishing heads, you’ll have lots of treblehooks. Each tine can swiftly, easily become 2 fishhooks, courtesy of the multitool. Courtesy of the Crunch,and the snarewire, the 48 single hooks made from the tines can become 16 treblehooks. If you know to dig j-channels along the shore as soon as you arrive, you’ll have minnows for bait in an hour. Make a longer handle for your Cold Steel shovel, so you can dig easily and so you can also easily block the exit of the J channel, trapping the curious minnows in the channel. When you know to use chunks of tarp and tape to make small bait bags, use treblehooks and springy forked sticks as “engines’ to set the hooks, the bags forcing the fish (or game or birds) to bite right where you’ve concealed the treblehook, you’ll catch a LOT more food. So dont waste picks on taking food.
they are going to examine your 10 picks when you go to the bootcamp, where you’re taught to adequately use the video gear. take several options, if they forbid one, use the other. You’ll know, before you get ‘in country” is what I’m saying. They weigh you every week and you probably have to show skeletons, film what you eat, etc. So they’ll know if you’re cheating very much. and they’ll probably set out cams, use drones, etc, if they suspect you, too.
What are you referring too with this comment? I don’t think you could exactly cheat. It’s a game of survival, so unless you found a bunker full of rations I’m not seeing it. Unless you took an illegal animal…
treblehooks can catch waterfowl, turkeys, small mammals. So can box traps made of netting wrapped around sapling frames. You can braid 4 segments of the snare wire into cable that will hold a deer or a wolf, too. It takes time and calories to make and service traps. Can’t be bothering with such if they are not scoring and they wont be, if they are deadfalls, other than on chucks, coons or porkies at denholes, maybe a beaver if you’re real lucky. Once you’ve made enough netting to be catching more fish than you can eat, you want all your treblehooks “fishing” on land. You’ll need the fat and the change of diet. You can 2000+ sq ft of 1.5″ mesh netting out of the 2-person hammock, the 12×12 tarp, half of the 20×20 tarp, with plenty of cordage left over for other tasks, too. So the paracord and gillnet are wasted picks. You rig the trebles and snares to drag logs, so as to not test the hook/snare too severely. You’ll need the projectle weapon (slingbow) to finish off the big critters and the fishing arrowheads provide the tines for making the fishhooks. The extra sling rubber can power a snare or trotline, too.
I’m not sure I want to spend all my time making netting, I’d rather be catching food right off. They get dropped in the late summer/early fall, so time to catch fish is limited.
Because I’ve not seen a single successful projectile kill I don’t feel it’s a worth wild pick. And knowing how lethargic and weak you’re likely after a short time, I can’t foresee making a successful kill either. It would be pure luck, not a chance I’d personally take.
On Vancouver Island, I’d have made a real stab at snaring or arrowing a bear. Not a likely thing in Mongolia, but with lots of fishheads and guts as bait, you might catch a lot of gulls, coons, crows, etc. They now get 9 arrows, not just 6. That’s a significant increase, but the gillnet has been reduced in size from 150 sq ft to just 50 sq ft, which is a crock of it.
The slingbow is much easier to always have with you than a bow. It can be used in tight quarters, like inside your little sleeping tarp shelter, when you peek out and detect a critter trying to get up into your ‘food tree” of suspended tarp/tape bags. It’s also able to use baked clay balls as ammo, for shots not worthy of an arrow. Wooden arrows, with just blunt heads, FLOAT, if you’ve waterproofed the feathers and also if you’ve made such arrows, using duct tape as fletching. So you can make “long range’ tries at rafts of floating waterfowl, now and then, from a blind. You dont want the birds to realize that you’re a threat, so dont do it from the open. Forget about using rocks, cause they dont fly straight. They might suffice on a coiled up snake at 10 ft, tho, vs rocky ground that would break an arrow. or on a mouse, etc, at 6 ft, in your sleeping shelter.
I think a slingshot could be handy, but it seems like the animals of any size aren’t in the areas. At least the show has shown vary little in the way of animals. Almost seems barren except for mice.
Fowler has cleared it to take a slingbow, so you can have take down arrows for big game and porcupines up in trees. and baked clay balls for small game.
make a wicker basket, about like a 5 gallon bucket. Line it it a chunk of tarp, taped to hold water. fill it halfway full, arrange wooden “ramps” for the mice to climb up to the ends of a “roller stick” arranged across the top center of the “bucket”. In the center of the roller-stick, have a disk or square of wood, 3″ across, 1/2″ thick or less. Bait this disk with a mix of fish guts, salt, grass seeds, shredded, boiled, roasted/fried cambium. sprinkle a bit of such on the ramps, of course, to get the mice up to the roller stick. this same bucket can contain your wastes when you’re confined to your dugout. start with 2″ of dry dirt in the bottom of your waste bucket. cover wastes with a bit of loose dirt with each use. The entire rainsuit, after having had boiling water run thru it, becomes your water storage container while you’re in the dugout. 7 gallons of it. So you’ll only have to emerge once a week, for half a day, to stone boil and melt snow/ice and dispose of wastes.
if 24 treblehooks, box traps, 2000 sq ft of netting, etc, hasn’t fed you well, by the end of 3 weeks, just go on home, cause you aint got what it takes. Using up 1-2 picks on rations wont help and it WILL prevent you from taking the gear that CAN make the difference between winning and losing.
You cannot take 24 treble-hooks, they count as 3. So you’d only get 8, the reason most don’t take any.
The reason I thought rations were a good idea at the time I wrote this article, was the only official posted rules were from seasons 1&2 when they could take 5# per ration. Thinking it would allow for a great head start, allowing time to assess the surrounds and planning for making a permanent camp. With only 1.5# per ration they seem much less useful, plus they get some rations anyway. They are part of the freebies, like the tarp everyone gets.
it’s 2 lbs per ration. If they break into the emergency rations, they are off of the show. Those rations are for dire, true emergencies only
There are rations in their emergency gear, but they have the option to take additional rations from the gear list.
who said anything about TAKING treblehooks. I”m WAY ahead of you (and everyone else). take 24 of the biggest single hooks allowed. Cut them in half, reshape the ends, tie them with the fishline into 16 treblehooks. Run your main line thru all 3 of the eyes and it wont matter if the hooks come un-done. You’ll still have the fish by at least one of the hooks.. I’d barb them while I was at it. That’s why the medium flathead blade in the Crunch has a chisel end on it.
they get 2 free tarps, a 20×20 and a 10×10. you cant cut up the 10×10, but you can the 20×20.
a MAJOR advantage can be had at home. go on a keto diet at least 2 weeks before you go. Get your body accustomed to burning fat and protein, instead of carbs. Go thru that stress at home, so that it’s not depressing/disabling you while on the challenge.
you have to use a caliper, a punch, vise, hammer, to put a ‘set’ on the teeth of the saw edge of the condor or other e-tool. As they come, the teeth have no set, so they can’t cut a kerf in wood. This only takes about an hour for 5″ of saw edge. here’s the Condor e tool. google is your friend. with a bit of welding and tooth cutting, you can have 1.5″ more saw edge. They were stupid about the bottle opener and not taking the saw edge all the way to the point.
I’d prefer the Cold steel shovel and just use the angle grinder to change the angle of one side, giving me 8″ of saw edge. Make a longer handle for when you need to do a lot of digging. make a right angle fork handle for when you need to use it as an adze, hoe, or pick.
no, the survival part is NOT easy. Not one of them, ever, has managed to feed themselves properly. That’s the source of the depression, anxiety, apathy. Especially the lack of carbs. Only one has realized that he should eat cambium, but he didn’t know that you can’t eat JUST cambium. You can have it as about 1/4 of your diet and in order for it to be digestible, it has to be shredded, boiled, the water tossed, then it has to be fried/roasted. The mind part is easy for some of us. I”ve done 5 months in solitary confinement, several times. Clearing $3000 a day, to be in the woods, with lots of gear, is a picnic by comparison, I can assure you. They just dont know wth to take or do, that’s all.
the rules say a “small shovel”, so a full sized spade is not an option and not worth a hoot for chopping wood, either. you need a straight ferrule for that and a much less curved blade, too. You can, tho, make a full length handle for the shovel on site,and with a right angled forked sapling, you can make the shovel into a pick/hoe/adze, too. Like I said, people dont know what to take or do. If they did, they’d do 2-3x better/longer.
dave never caught 24 lbs TOTAL fish, ready to eat, much less preserve that much. He had 13 little 1/4 oz fillets. preserved. Big deal. Enough for 2-3 days (maybe) if all you were doing is laying around in your bedding.
I find it very amusing that people “think” an entire fish, bird, mammal or crab is edible. They also have no clue how many calories are in a lb of different foods. Plant matter is at most 600 calories per lb (tubers) greens are 150 calories per lb. you’d have to juice them in order to ingest enough of them to feed yourself adequately. . 🙂 and you’d be working hard at juicing them, all day long, too. Crabs are just 25% edible and their flesh is just 400 calores per lb. clams and rabbits are 500 calories per lb. People are also clueless about how many calories you need per day out there. A big man needs 2000 calories per day, to lie around at room temps, un-stressed. A top swimmer needs 10.000 calories per day. Being out in the cold, wind, rain, not sleeping well, being worried, woking hard, you can EASILY need 4000 calories per day, folks. Lean meat offers 800 calories per lb and and only half of the animal’s live weight is edible flesh. Fish offer 650 calories per lb and only half of it is edible. So you can easily need to catch 10 lbs of fish per day, EVERY day, if you dont want to be losing body weight. You need to preserve as much more, for when the fish are all migrated to deeper water and the cold means you have to stay inside of your shelter/sleep gear.
people are stuck on this Danlboone/paulbunyan/boyscout idea of how it “should” be done, instead of looking at the gear/behavior allowed, the limitations imposed by climate, terrain, season, and the producers, and coming up with better choices. if you do it the way all have attempted it, you’ll get the same result that they got. Starvation, within a month or 2. Carleigh, season 3 lasted 86 days just on her bodyfat, weighing 140 lbs or so. Sam coudln’t handle 60 days, starting at 220, lbs. He weighed 250 for season 1, and starved out in 55 days. 🙂 The record for fasting is 13 months, starting at 450 lbs. and got down to 180 lbs. 270 lbs, so, he lost an average of 20 lbs per month, laying around doing nothing, under a dr’s observation.
you burn a LOT more calories when stressed than when just laying around. COLD weather is a severe stressor, but so is public embarrassment at being a “survival instructor” who can’t even feed himself, with fish all around. Dumbass sam didn’t even take the fishing kit. Wove a tiny net (after a month, one day’s work, actually0 and didn’t even know that you have to weight the bottom edge of the gillnet with stones. Sheesh, any 10 year old kid should know that.
you can make 2000+ sq ft of 1.5″ mesh netting out of the hammock, the 12×12 tarp and half of the 20×20 tarp, while still having cordage for the other things you need to lash, So the paracord and the little 50 sq ft gillnet are worthless picks.
the fishline or field made cordage (from the tarp) will suffice to hold treblehookd birds, but mammals will require a hunk of the snare wire to hold them to a small draglog. The pain is excruciating, so it wont take that strong a wire, but you have to wire them to a big enough log that you can follow their trail. Depending upon terrain, vegetation, and your abilities, you may need to use a bigger log than somebody who’s more skilled. Too heavy a log (or one that becomes entangled) may let the critter pull hard enough to tear the hook out of its throat. The baited treblehook should be presented in such a way as to encourage gulping, so that it’s in his throat, not just his lip. Birds all toss food up and gulp it, so you dont need to hang it for them.
To snare a wolf or deer by the neck, a hog by his foot, or a bear by his paw, you’ll have to braid 4 lengths of the wire into a cable.
if you snare a deer by its foot, to a drag log, a couple of strands of wire MIGHT hold him, IF he drags the log a long distance before it becomes entangled. This will mean that he wont be pulling on the wire with his original strengh, to a fixed object. When you snare one by the neck, you do it from a higher point, using a bait to get him to rear up on his hind legs, the snare being positioned HORIZONTALLY. When he drops down to all 4’s, he’s going to strangle himself, but it’s still best, in terms of saving wire/cable, to cable him to a drag log, so that he exhausts himself without really testing the strength of your field made cable. and you’ll still need a projectile weapon to finish off these critters. A slingbow is much more versatile than a regular bow and much easier to always carry with you, too, as well as being able to be used in your tiny sleeping shelter. That shelter serves as a hunting blind, in some ways. when you first emerge after sleeeping, do so with great deliberation, peeking around. There may well be a LOT of food present, waiting to be shot.
Everyone else has just starved. So, do NOT take the items that they took and do not do what they have all done, or you’ll suffer the same fate. You have nothing to lose by trying it my way and everything to gain. Be the first guy to lose no weight on this challenge and you’ll make ANOTHER clear 1/4 mill $ over the next 2-3 years, cause you’ll be the “go-to” instructor for such stuff.
you are being paid a CLEAR $2000-$4000 per DAY out there. So laugh all the way to the bank and munch down on that bland, maybe even bad-tasting fish and cambium. You’ll be clearing $100-$300 an hour while you’re awake, so perform like you’re WORTH that much, instead of just laying around whining about how you’re hungry and bored and missing loved ones. It’s not going to last more than 4 months,. GUARANTEED, probably not more than 3 months and may well be over in 2 months. 60 days has been all it lasted 3 of 5 times. Once was 74 days, once it was 86 days.
several people have had GOOD chances to arrow a bear or cougar, but didn’t even HAVE a projectile weapon and assuredly lacked the skill and courage to make such a shot. I’d try it in a heartbeat, drop the slingbow, and pull the E tool out of my belt, ready to split his skull if he didn’t just flee.
I’m not sure if they were allowed to harvest those animals. If they were in self-defense they may have had to give the animal up. I heard that some folks found things and got them taken away.
I saw Britt attempting to arrow a deer with a FIELD point, fercrissakes. Dave N lost/destroyed 8 of his 9 arrows cause he didn’t even know to use flu flu fletching. Mitch didn’t even know to waterproof his fletching and his wooden bow, going to Vancouver Island, which Google says averages 12″ of rainfall per month! REALLY astute/prepped people we’ve had on the show, correct?
I see that my comments here are not getting posted.
I have to approve them, which I’m doing right now. I’ve been experiencing a large number of cyber attacks and am forced to do this to keep the comments in check.
I’ve seen actual History official commentary that says that if they find it, they get to use it.
I’ve been informed otherwise. I also heard they are scouring the areas much more thoroughly so there’s not much to find.
Fish are dumb, easily trapped (ie, net weirs, seines). People on the Alone show are dumb for not making lots of netting and catching/preserving lots of fish. NOBODY yet has caught an average of 1 lb of food, live weight, be day of their stay, on average., and other than a 3-4 pure luck captures of ducks, there’s been almost no game trapped or caught, and at most, half a dozen arrowed, got 3000 calores back for having blown 30,000 calories trying to arrow a few grouse. you’re going to be there 3 months and need 3000 caloreis per day. That’ 270,000 calories, and nobody’managed to catch even 30,000 calories, ever, and it took Fowler 3 months to do that.”well”. They’ve all grossly failed at the most basic survival need, and netting would have prevented that failure. If you haven’t caught 300 lbs of fish and game by the 30 day mark, you should just go home, cauee you’re an embarrassment to our species. You’ll win only by being fat and lucky (in other words, you wont deserve it) And you SHOULD be too embarrassed to take the winnings. Survival instructors, my butt.
This is NOT like normal camping. you WANT animals to come into your camp, so that you can kill and eat them. You do not want to bother with a heavy duty shelter, wasting time that should have been spent making lots of netting, before cold weather drives the fish out of your reach. You should NOT be trying to “out-starve” the others, you should be out producing and out preserving them. Anything else is bs, and a vfolation of the spirit of the competition. Winning by doing nothing and being fat is a crock.
You dont want an open-topped boat, which can capsize or get swamped, which ties up your 20×20 tarp. That’s bs. You can make a pontoon outrigger raft out of one set of your clothing, the camera case, the pants of the rainsuit, the backpack, the life preserver, the airhorn and the bear spray. and probably whatever emergency medical kit and food that tey give you. If you break into this emergency food, you are tapping out, you know? But you can use the container, sealed with the duct tape, for a pontoon. Assemble the raft in at most two days, preferably arranging for oarlocks and 2 oars. You’ll work half as hard and move twice as fast with such than by paddling, a big deal on a fast river or the sea. Brit could have taken that deer in the river if he’d had such a raft and a slingow (always at hand) with a couple of broadheads.
the net-weir doesn’t work as well on a sea shore as on a river or a lake. Best to have one wing of the “V” that guides fish into your wear be be the shoreline. That lets you make the other wing be lost longer. The purse of the V really only needs to be 10 ft across and can be shallower on the shoreward side, as can the wing of the net If you’ve got say, 900 sq ft of netting, the purse takes at most 200 sq ft of it, 5 ft wide or so. This leaves 700 sq ft to use as the catching wing, averaging 5 ft wide, that’s 140 ft long, and it opens like a “v” compared to the shoreline. Some bags of fishheads and guts, tied to a pole in the center of the weir, bring in the fish and they can’t figure out how to exit again. Of course, once a day, you’ll stretch your seine across the “v” of the weir, and use stakes to move the seine into the v, forcing the fish into the seine and then closing the gate. Aim one such weir up river on one side of the river, and the other one, downriver, on the other side, and see which catches the most fish. Have snares, treblhook traps, netting/box traps set acound your weirs, your “food tree” next to your sleeping shelter, and around the bear bait hole, full of fish guts and heads. from which you can watch over it from a tree blind and on which you’ve got a camera set. If you;’re going to catch 700 lbs of fish and game, that’s 350 lbs of guts and heads, which is a lot of bait, both for fishe, crabs, birds, mammals, maybe evne big mammals, if their are eny. Scoring a 200 lb pig or bear will win the money for you, if you can preserve that 100 lbs of meat and fat.You have to think in terms of massive amounts of food, cause I’ve been preaching tis all over the net for 3 years now. You can’t just assume that EVERYONE is too stupid, arrogant and lazy to make use of this info.
only about half of an animal, bird, or fish’s live weight is edible flesh, fish offer 650 calories to the lb, ready to eat. Lean mean is 800 calories per lb, ready to eat, greens are just 150 calories to the lbs, tubers a bit better. FAT meat, spawning salmon offer 1000 calores per lb. Some of the birds are fat, prior to their migration. Some of the rodents are, too, beaver, groundhogs, ground squirrles, bears, have to fatten up before they hibernate. Porcupines have a lot of fat. as do coons and possums, but they nearly go dormant in winter. Deer dont have much fat, ever ,and what they h ave is gone by xmas. clams, periwingles, crabs, are3/4 shell and their flesh, ready to eat, offers only 500 calories to the lb, like rabbit. So you need to score 10 lbs of fish per day, just to eat, and as much more, to preserve, after they go to deep water and you can’t catch them. You wont score many of them the first week, cause you’ll have so little netting, being busy doing all the other things, but the second week better see you averaging 10 lbs per day of live weight catc and the 3rd week better douible that.maintain that 20 lbs of catch per day for 3 weeis, and also catch some birds and critters, and and you wont lose a lb for 3 months, which will not just win tis contest, it will change it forever and make you rich and famous. So cut/tear some tarp strips, twist them for strength and weave some netting with them. you’ll see. You can make a 150 sq ft of 3″ mesh netting per day. then spend the rest of the day gathering, prepping the local matierals needed to weave into that 3″ mesh, making it 1.5″ mesh. Gillnets kill their catch, requiring you to service them every few hours. The seine and the net-wier will keep them alive for days (baing in predators for you to trap/shoot) The gillnet can’t catch fish that are too big for its mesh. the seine and the net-weir CAN do so. You might have days that you catch 100 lbs of fish, guys. Especially if you’re on a sea shore and have a couple of say, 50m wide inlets, Find a spot at each one, where it’s 5 ft deep at high tide and yet, high and dry at low tied. At high tide, stretch your seine across the inlet. At low tide, every fish shoreward of the net will belong to you. A week of such scores, and you’ll win, as long as you’ can get enough salt to make dipping brine, and enough hardwood to smoke the scored, stretched fish, and have tarp/tape containers in which to store the dried fish.
dunno why I’ve been dumb about this, but it just occurred to me that instead of having a purse of the weir be circular and 10 ft across, (average 5 ft wide netting ) that’s going to be about 360 sq ft of netting. You’re going to be emptying the weir often and preserving the flesh of the fish. So it’s more important to have 3 smaller, BAITED weirs, than 2 larger ones. Make the purse an oval, 7 ft by 6 ft, with the narrow neck of the trap protruding just 2 ft into the purse of the trap. Ten you’ll be using only half as much netting as the purse, letting you either have a longer “wing” of the trap or perhaps even a third net-weir, instead of just two of them. Mostly, you’ll be forcing the fish further into the “v” formed by the shoreline and the net “wing” of the trap, by the use of your seine. This method wont work very well on a sea shore, of course, due to the rise and fall of the tides. So you’ll have to use netting for the V and face it open to the sea., with the tarp bag of fishheads and guts tied to a stake in the far end of the trap’s purse. But if you’re on a river or a lake, you CAN and should use the shoreline. The tides will of course make it a lot easier to empty your weirs, if you locate them to be very shallow or high and dry at low tide. If you do this, of course, you’ll have to BE there at low tide, or sea birds and other predators will take all your catch.
possible duplicate. I lost track, sorry
it’s really amazing how many people can’t get past the idea that a “weir” just HAS to be made of sticks or stones. 🙂 Such stuff is just for migrating fish, big ones, like salmon, in an area where your net-weirs have proven to be productive. Even then, it wouldn’t make sense for a time-limited thing like the Alone show. Set the netting as weirs, and call it good. drive a stake in the center rear, and attach to it a tarp/tape bag full of fishheads and guts. If on a sea shore, you need the two net “wings” facing the ocean, but on a river or lake, you will probably profit from using the shoreline as one “wing’ of your fish trap, But you’d have to try it both ways, different places, until you discover what is most productive and then use that format.
if you can find an inlet in your alloted shoreline (sea shore) then bait the head of the inlet, and, at high tide, stretch your seine across at the point where the width of the seine matches the depth of the water. When the tide goes out, all the fish shorward of your net will be caught. On a small river or creek, stretch one siene across at one place. go 50-100m upstream and stretch another seine across, Using driven stakes to hold the net, “walk’ the 2nd net down to the first net, then swing the second net around, crowding all the fish up into a corner. On a lake or the sea, you can anchor one end of a seine with a net bag full of rocks, bait the area adjacent to the net-anchor, after a couple of hours, walk in the water or use the pontoon outrigger raft to stretch the net out around the baited area, in a ‘u” shape and then work the net into the shore, or wait until the tide goes out, trapping the fish. Netting can catch den dwelling animals. Find all the holes, cover them with loose netting, which you”ve staked into place. Start a smoky fire at the other holes, and the prey will bolt into the netting.
if you want to win the Alone challenge, in a way other than by being fat and lucky, you have to catch at least 400 lbs of fish/game in 2 months, before bad weather shuts down the foraging. It will take you 2 weeks to get set up, make all the netting, etc. So you’ll have to average catching 70 lbs of flesh food per week, once you’re set up. You’ll also have to juice plants and peel, shred, boil and fry cambium (in fish oil or animallfat, about 30 lbs of cambium. and a pint of such juice per day. You’ll be eating 2-3 lbs of fish/game per day (depending upon the temp, your level of activity and fitness, and your size. Only half of the live weight of fish or animal is edible flesh. So you’ll have 200 lbs of flesh food from 400 lbs of such catches. So you can perhaps preserve 1 lb of such food per day, at such a level of productivity. When you have to hole up, it might no longer be practical to juice the plants (too cold, covered in snow/ice) or peel the cambium, but you’ll have enough food stored for another month of low activity, well-insulated life, before you start losing bodyweight. That will win the show for you.
the cambium and plant juice will not “keep”,, so you eat that stuff while you can, and preserve the most meat and fish as best you can. But dont settle for losing body weight in the early days. That’s not good. It will make you lazy, apathetic, depressed, less able to do the needed work of prepping for the cold weather. save the inactivity for when the weather wont let you out anyway.
once your narrow, near shore netting is no longer producing, you MIGHT want to weave together the narrow strips of 1.5″ mesh netting into wider netting, and remove the vegetative inter weaving, which probably will be in tatters by then, anyway. Use this wider netting as a gillnet, in the deeper water, experimenting with setting it at various depths, to see what is most productive. If a week or so of this does not produce at least 30 lbs of fish, blow off the idea as not being worth the calories burned and risks taken on deep water in cold weather. If you can catch that much, the second week should see the catch at 40-50 lbs, cause you’ll know what works and what doesnt. That may be worth the risks and calories to you, especially if you were not able to preserve an adequate amount of food before the cold hit. Big mesh size means big fish caught, but less of them, of course, and no way to bait a gill net.
the Indians had no saws and only stone axes, yet they survived for centuries. You only have to feed yourself adequately for 90 days to win this challenge. The saw edged E tool and modified multittool are thus MUCH better bets than the axe, saw and belt knife. Since you wont be moving around, no need of the sleeping bag or the ferrorod, either. since you’ll be making netting out of the hammock, the rope “clews” are the cordage you need for lashing together the pontoon outrigger raft, along with dovetailing the logs, of course. So you wont need the paracord, either. Those 4 saved picks, plus not needing the gillnet or the rations, lets you pick the duct tape, the snarewire, the hammock, the 12×12 tarp, (make more netting out of this tarp) the slingbow, and the salt /or sugar. A little bit of sugar will help you choke down a lot of bland, unpalatable food. Salt is a preservative and bait, if not near the ocean. You simply MUST eat a lot and preserve a lot of food, if you’re not the fattest guy on the show (by at least 20 lbs). Nobody cares about you if you win by being fat and lucky, but if you win by knowing what you’re doing, everyone will want your classes, videos and books about how to do this stuff. That can make you 50k a year or more, in your spare time, or become your full time job, making 150k a year (cash) /So it’s WELL worth learning how to do it the right way, as vs cheating by being fat at the beginning. If somebody is almost as fat as you and DOES know what to take and do, they will still beat you. You can’t know thaat you’re the fattest before the show, so you’ll be lucky if you are in that position and you’ll be lucky if nobody else knows this stuff.
it’s an error to rely on firewood for warmth, That’s a waste of 3 weeks time and calories, for a 100 day challenge. A debris shelter is a waste of a week. When you realize that, and act accordingly, 100 days is easily handled.
I agree whole-heartedly. They are allowed to take so much clothing that the shelter would be pointless except for the need to work bare-handed when doing fine tasks. If you’re wearing all that clothing while a fire makes it warm enough to use bare hands, you’ll roast yourself.
thats not on the list of options. google for that,
who said anything about hauling in the net? you use the seine to chivvy fish up into the baited net-traps.
[…] at a remote destination and they have to survive and document their journey on camera. They get to choose ten tools to take with them. The one that lasts the longest win […]
Did you do any research before writing this article?
#1 you can bring food of any sort, so putting that on your top 10 list is pointless. #2 you can bring a knife OR multitool but not both.
Yes, lots of research. Years ago, when I wrote this article, those things were allowed.
The rules have changed quite a bit, food rations were cut to quantities of 2 pounds each, and now maybe removed altogether. In season 1, Brant McGee and Lucas Miller took food rations in a quantity of 5 lbs each.
Additionally, in the past contestants could choose to bring a multitool AND a knife. In season 1, Wayne Russell took both a multitool and a knife, and It probably happened in later seasons as well until the rules changed…
the rules have not changed. you CAN still take a knife AND a multitool. it’s stupid, the shovel witthout the handle can do whatever the multitoll can’t do in tjhe way of a “big knife”.
who says that the rules changed? roland had a knife and a multtool The alone gear list has both a knife and a multitool on it.