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The Alone challenge 765

No Life Club Posts: 1,156
The Alone challenge
« on: September 15, 2020, 05:47:41 AM »
So since discovering it I've been a big fan or the reality survival series 'Alone.' For those unaware contestants have to survive in a remote location (more recently the Arctic circle) with only ten items from a preapproved list to choose from. I find it an interesting thought exercise to ponder what items to take on such an adventure (as I sit warm, dry and over fed  :facepalm:) which leads me ot making this post.

You have to survive as long as possible in the Arctic Cricle (Great Slave Lake I believe), besides a selection of weather appropriate clothing (including work gloves) and a backpack, you can only take ten items, what are they?*

*Unlike the show there is no predefined list, you can choose any items you wish, if you choose to take food you can take 2lbs of a single foodstuff of your choice as one item (no limit on how many items you may consume in such a manner). A tent also qualifies as a single item for those seeking premade shelter, if you choose to take a flashlight, you better have a way of charging it since the item itself only includes one set of batteries!

Bonus points if you have a specific pack in mind and you explain why.

Become the night and join us for the Batman Challenge in January!
No Life Club Posts: 1,939
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 08:41:32 AM »
It's an interesting question; I'll have to give it some more thought before writing a full list.

I've watched a few episodes of the show, and have enjoyed those.

Points of clarification on the rules for this thread:
  • If a firearm is selected as one of the items, how does ammunition count?  (Firearms are not options on the show's predefined list, but allowing a firearm plus a fixed number of cartridges to count as a single item seems consistent with the show's approach to bow & arrows or slingshot & ball bearings.)
  • Are items like sleeping bags & blankets considered clothing, or would they count against the ten-item total?
No Life Club Posts: 1,156
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 08:51:21 AM »
It's an interesting question; I'll have to give it some more thought before writing a full list.

I've watched a few episodes of the show, and have enjoyed those.

Points of clarification on the rules for this thread:
  • If a firearm is selected as one of the items, how does ammunition count?  (Firearms are not options on the show's predefined list, but allowing a firearm plus a fixed number of cartridges to count as a single item seems consistent with the show's approach to bow & arrows or slingshot & ball bearings.)
  • Are items like sleeping bags & blankets considered clothing, or would they count against the ten-item total?

Excellent questions! In the latest season they were permitted 9 Arrows, which are obviously reuseable or 30 steel ball bearings for a slingshot. I'd say split the difference and go for 20 rounds for whatever firearm you choose.
Sleeping bags, blankets etc. are discreet items that would fall under the shelter category on the show. So for free you can have underwear, different types of pants and boots (wellingtons, waders etc.), warm gloves, leather work gloves and so on and the backpack is free. They can also have a toothbrush for free, since there's no need to be stanky in our version, I'll say thay you can have one towel, a bar of soap and toothpaste free too (all of which are countable  items in the show, which is a but much).

Become the night and join us for the Batman Challenge in January!
No Life Club Posts: 1,939
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 06:16:08 AM »
I thought this was a fun idea for a thread, and I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more responses.

Generous to have the personal hygiene items for free, since those would likely need to be passed up if they counted against the ten-item limit.

I'm still considering details, but here's my high-level list:
  • High-powered rifle & 20 cartridges - With the limitation of 20 rounds, it makes sense to try for the biggest game possible.  With skill and luck, hopefully each round could translate into several hundred pounds of usable meat from a moose or the like.  This firearm would also be powerful enough to kill any marauding predators or scavengers, up to and including bears.
  • Cold weather sleeping bag or sleep system (preferred if it can count as one item) - Must be able to stay warm and comfortable on the coldest nights, without taking credit for fire.
  • Large pot with lid - boil (if necessary/advisable) water for drinking, melt snow or ice to drink, make soup/stew
  • Wilderness Cord - Lots of uses; I'd like at least the 80 meters offered on the show to contestants who selected 550 Paracord as one of their items, and would take more than that if it could still count as one item
  • Means of starting fire - I'd take a fire kit if it could count as one item.  If not, probably a big multi-pack of Bics if that could count as one item.  If not, I suppose the biggest firesteel I could find.
  • Heavy duty pliers-based MT - on the fence between the LM Surge and Vic Swisstool
  • Full-size axe
  • Fishing kit
  • Stainless steel snare wire
  • Fixed blade knife - still debating which one; primary use would hopefully be cleaning and preparing game and fish; wouldn't use for chopping or batoning, as I'd have an axe
No Life Club Posts: 1,156
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2020, 01:35:40 PM »
I thought this was a fun idea for a thread, and I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more responses.

Generous to have the personal hygiene items for free, since those would likely need to be passed up if they counted against the ten-item limit.

I'm still considering details, but here's my high-level list:
  • High-powered rifle & 20 cartridges - With the limitation of 20 rounds, it makes sense to try for the biggest game possible.  With skill and luck, hopefully each round could translate into several hundred pounds of usable meat from a moose or the like.  This firearm would also be powerful enough to kill any marauding predators or scavengers, up to and including bears.
  • Cold weather sleeping bag or sleep system (preferred if it can count as one item) - Must be able to stay warm and comfortable on the coldest nights, without taking credit for fire.
  • Large pot with lid - boil (if necessary/advisable) water for drinking, melt snow or ice to drink, make soup/stew
  • Wilderness Cord - Lots of uses; I'd like at least the 80 meters offered on the show to contestants who selected 550 Paracord as one of their items, and would take more than that if it could still count as one item
  • Means of starting fire - I'd take a fire kit if it could count as one item.  If not, probably a big multi-pack of Bics if that could count as one item.  If not, I suppose the biggest firesteel I could find.
  • Heavy duty pliers-based MT - on the fence between the LM Surge and Vic Swisstool
  • Full-size axe
  • Fishing kit
  • Stainless steel snare wire
  • Fixed blade knife - still debating which one; primary use would hopefully be cleaning and preparing game and fish; wouldn't use for chopping or batoning, as I'd have an axe

Great list! Yeah I'm a little disappointed more people weren't interested, I know there's at least several users that followed the show  :dunno:

I have questions!

-Would you choose cast iron or stainlessfor your pot?
-Did you have a particular rifle in mind?
-What do you mean by wilderness cors, sorry I'm unfamiliar!
-I don't think a fire kit would count as a single item, I think a multipack of bics would probably be fine,especially since they become their own challenge in the cold!

Become the night and join us for the Batman Challenge in January!
No Life Club Posts: 2,700
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2020, 07:22:45 PM »
Great list! Yeah I'm a little disappointed more people weren't interested, I know there's at least several users that followed the show  :dunno:

I have questions!

-Would you choose cast iron or stainlessfor your pot?
-Did you have a particular rifle in mind?
-What do you mean by wilderness cors, sorry I'm unfamiliar!
-I don't think a fire kit would count as a single item, I think a multipack of bics would probably be fine,especially since they become their own challenge in the cold!
Just one item and one request;

An all inclusive 5* hotel deal (hot and cold running chamber-maids)

Also no questions asked about the gentleman's "special interest" channels upon checkout  :whistle:

Seriously though, I wouldn't have a clue how to survive out there. I would just curl up and wait for the end.
However, we did shoot a sheep whilst on basic Wales and manage not to die, mostly... :viking: :drink:

They don't like it up 'em!
No Life Club Posts: 1,598
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2020, 08:37:46 PM »
Seriously though, I wouldn't have a clue how to survive out there. I would just curl up and wait for the end.

The end comes faster if you don't curl up... As far as ends go it is not the worst. You stop caring, make bad decisions, and get very sleepy.

As far as items go I likely don't have much to add. Firetool of some kind, axe, saw, knife, multi-tool, snares, fishing net, firearm, kettle, rope or line. Maybe one of these as a multi purpose extra bag/ wind shield/ clothing: https://www.jerven.no/jervenduk/fjellduken-extreme-vinterkamuflasje#&variation=660788

It is kind of clothing, bag, camoflage multitool in its own right.

Or maybe just skis if that counts as one item.




"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 1,156
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2020, 12:47:38 AM »

However, we did shoot a sheep whilst on basic Wales and manage not to die, mostly... :viking: :drink:

It's like you're trying to declare war or something...  :think:

Alright then! To Waitrose  :viking:

Become the night and join us for the Batman Challenge in January!
No Life Club Posts: 1,939
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2020, 08:24:29 AM »
Great list! Yeah I'm a little disappointed more people weren't interested, I know there's at least several users that followed the show  :dunno:

I have questions!

-Would you choose cast iron or stainlessfor your pot?
-Did you have a particular rifle in mind?
-What do you mean by wilderness cors, sorry I'm unfamiliar!
-I don't think a fire kit would count as a single item, I think a multipack of bics would probably be fine,especially since they become their own challenge in the cold!

I would choose the heaviest gauge stainless steel pot I could find.  There are some cooking situations where cast iron has advantages (and others where stainless has advantages), but considering I would basically just be heating/boiling water (either to drink plain or to make soup or stew), I think either would serve about equally well.  The stainless steel pot would definitely be lighter and thus easier to carry to and from the water source.  Also, I'm afraid I wouldn't have the proper materials to clean and care for the cast iron, so it might end up rusted, which would not be very appetizing.

If I had to commit today to a rifle for this scenario, I think it would be the Marlin Model 1895SBL.  With stainless hardware and laminated furniture, this gun should stand up to being exposed to the elements and going without proper cleaning as well as any.  Properly selected modern .45-70 Gov't ammo is plenty powerful enough to take down any animal native to the Americas.  A short barrel makes it quick handling and pointing.  These characteristics, combined with a high rate of fire and large magazine capacity (both relative to bolt-action competitors), make this a solid choice for aggressive predator/dangerous game situations as well.  I'd like to keep the stock sights, as well as add a 1-6x scope and a sling.

Wilderness Cord:
https://www.paracordplanet.com/wilderness-cord-multiple-colors/
I'm not convinced this is the best option for "normal" situations, in which one may be limited by pack or kit weight or volume but there is otherwise no limit to the number of items that could be brought.  It almost seems tailor-made for a challenge like this, in which the number of items is (artificially) limited, putting a higher-than-usual premium on items that are highly versatile, have multiple uses, or combine multiple items into a single item.

On the subject of Bics vs. a firesteel:
The largest multi-pack of Bics I've seen (that was actually a single retail package) contained seven full-size Bics (five- and six-packs are relatively common).  The manufacturer claims up to 3000 lights per lighter; using a more conservative figure of 1500 lights per lighter, a seven-pack of Bics should be good to light roughly 10,000 fires.  The largest firesteel I could find that appeared practically usable claims up to 35,000 strikes (the well-regarded Light My Fire claims 12,000 strikes for the Army model and 3,000 for the Scout model).  Even assuming these strike numbers are essentially accurate, even a fire-making pro will typically need a handful of strikes (let's say three, but the average is likely higher), to get a fire started.  With these assumptions, the 35,000-strike firesteel is also good for roughly 10,000 fires.  So, the giant firesteel will light roughly the same number of fires as the pack of Bics, but because they produce a flame rather than just sparks, the Bics are much less picky about tinder.  As far as cold weather, my opinion and experience is that Bics work fine, as long as one keeps any Bics one plans to use in the near future in inside pockets, so they get warmed by body heat.  Finally, my goal would be to build up the fire in the evening for cooking, keep it fed overnight for warmth, and successfully bank it before heading out every morning so it wouldn't have to be re-lit from scratch every day.
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,409 Born to multitask.
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2020, 07:21:21 PM »
The Arctic Circle?  :ahhh
That's tough. I do not particularly like the cold, let alone Arctic cold.

A rough list for now:
-550 Paracord - 80m
-1 multi-seasonal sleeping bag
-1 bivi bag
-cooking pot
-rifle with how ever many bullets we are allowed. I think I'll have more success than with a bow.
-Ferro rod
-Leatherman Surge
-Fixed blade. Mora Garberg maybe
-silky katanaboy
-axe
No Life Club Posts: 1,598
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2020, 09:44:33 PM »
After giving it some more thought I'd certainly make rooms for skis if that could count as one. It is kind of a multiplier of other tools as it allows easier and faster travel on snow and ice. Longer trap lines, wider hunt and fish range, comparatively less calories spent for going places, safer on thin ice, and so on.

"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 1,156
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2020, 05:03:54 AM »
Good lists guys! And yes Vidar skis would be a single item on your list.

Some context for everyone that may not have seen the Arctic seasons, it starts in late September so there's some time before the snow and real cold sets in. It's based around a mahoosive lake with a lot of forested land as well, plenty of predators: wolves, wolverines, bears and foxes (can't hunt foxes).

So what is eveyone's priorities early on? What kind of shelters are we going for, what primary food sources, crafting goals etc.?

Useful tricks and tips? e.g. in the latest season a contestant used a waterproof boot to transport more water to camp from the lake.

Become the night and join us for the Batman Challenge in January!
No Life Club Posts: 1,598
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 09:56:39 PM »
Lets see, for shelter I think I'd actually look to go a bit down in the ground. Preferably some natural feature giving 3 walls or more fairly deep into the ground. Most importantly at an otherwise high spot or with ground that will drain away water so that doesn't become an issue. For the remaining walls and roof I'd go with stacked earth patches if such can be made. The overall idea being exploiting ground temperature - it likely never freezes under about a meter of soil, so if one can get around a meter thickness from natural features and cover up the rest there is some heat and insulation to be had for free. Huts from earth patches is also a historic building style around here so the concept is well proven in silly cold temperatures. As snow arrives adding snow will help with insulation too.

One thing nobody has done so far is to store greenery, bushes and berries to use for baiting animals. When the snow hits those will be oasis of green in the great white of nothing: Getting animals to come to you is a nice alternative to hunting around for animals trying their best to avoid you.

Craft. Maybe make a fish trap or three to use under the ice instead of spending hours freezing everything just sitting waiting. Less work, more active fishing time.

"Simple is hard"
(Partial disclosure: I design tools for a living).
No Life Club Posts: 1,939
Re: The Alone challenge
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2020, 07:22:07 AM »
So what is eveyone's priorities early on? What kind of shelters are we going for, what primary food sources, crafting goals etc.?

Useful tricks and tips? e.g. in the latest season a contestant used a waterproof boot to transport more water to camp from the lake.

Priorities would be shelter, water, and food.  Probably in that order, though I think there can be an argument for putting water before shelter, depending on the environment.  Once immediate needs were met, additional priorities would be construction of longer term shelter and smokehouse (see below), and stockpiling firewood.

First shelter would probably be a lean-to or similar, something simple that would go together without a lot of work.  This would serve during the early, relatively warm weather, while a better, longer-term shelter is being built.  Longer term shelter would likely be a small, crude log cabin.  I would scout around for a suitable cave before beginning construction on the cabin, but probably wouldn't get that lucky.

With my gear choices above, I'd try to take a three-pronged approach to food, i.e. hunting big game with the rifle, setting traps for small game with the snare wire, and using the fishing kit (obviously) to fish.  Of those, only hunting would need to be done actively, at least early on.  Trapping and fishing could be done passively, setting snares and lines and checking once or twice per day.  Once the lake freezes, fishing might have to become a more active pursuit to avoid the line freezing in place.

As far as crafting goals, construction of a smokehouse would be a priority, as I think smoking would be the only practical way to preserve food in that scenario.  Once it gets cold enough, it might be possible to preserve meat by natural freezing, but this seems like a risky proposition when an unexpected warm spell could make stored meat unsafe to eat.  As time and hunting/trapping success allowed, I might try my hand at tanning some animal hides, but this shouldn't be strictly necessary provided clothing and sleeping bag have been chosen correctly.

With regard to tips and tricks, the only thing that springs to mind at the moment is to put out a large number snares and put a large number of fishing lines in the water.  Sometimes people seem to underestimate the number of traps they should set, or go fishing like they were doing it for recreation (i.e. single line, single hook).  More traps/lines increase one's chances of catching supper.

 

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