It is obvious that ninety percent of the Alone survivalist drop out in less than 90 days. This is the top 10 out of over five thousands applicants (Season 3), carrying a pack of gear. If the 10 selected are truly the best, this means that 1 out of 5,000 (0.02%) can survive more than 86 days.
IF our US population depended on Wilderness Survival, disregarding the obvious depletion of resources that would instantly occur, only 6 of our 324 million people would survive more than a few months, which is the population that existed before Europeans began to explore the Americas. People in cities would have a very dark experience in short order.
The show Naked and Afraid, proves that only a limited number of people can last 21 days in the wild. Granted they have much less in the way of supplies and are in an extreme case scenario since few people would be caught in the woods without any clothes on. Regardless, only a few make it for the 21 or 40 day periods.
Why can we not survive longer?
All their campsites have been stationary, rather than Nomadic, like primitive Homo Sapiens lived. I believe there is a rule dictating this, which leads to their resources being depleted in a short period of time and eventual failure. A "Wanderer - Gather" plan in small groups would be far more sustainable. Without being Nomadic, Seeds would need to be one of the items we could carry with us to be sustainable. Our post on Seeds for Survival and a Preppers Garden can provide more ideas on this. Water is one of our most important requirements and our link on Emergency Water Supply will tell you most everything you need to know.
Alone Season 4 moved from a competition between single survivalist to groups of 2 family members. This is a more realistic and sustainable scenario. On previous seasons, with one person the gear allowed has been fairly been straight forward – 1 person gets to have 10 items on top of the “default” items. Because season four was a team effort, the lists are slightly different.
Here are the restrictions for the teams:
- Each Team may select 10 items from the following list (5 items per person).
- Participants may only choose up to 2 Food items each.
- Non-Hunting Items are limited to 1 of each item listed per teammate.
- The Hunting Items are limited to 1 of each item listed per team.
Jim and Ted
Lets focus on the Season 4 winning team of Jim & Ted; here is their gear list:
- Saw – crosscut teeth
- Bow and arrows
- Gill net
- Tarp – 12′ x 12′
- Trapping wire
- Fishing line and hooks
- Pot – titanium
- Multi-tool (Leatherman)
- Rations – trail mix &/or pemmican
- Ax (Fiskars?)
Now lets compare this with what the other three season Winners packed. A direct comparison is difficult as fixed blade knives and ferrous rods are now on the default list of gear for Season 4 but were chosen items in Seasons 1 - 3. The ferrous rod change is fairly insignificant as all winners elected to carry this. The Season 3 winner, Zachary Fowler, passed on a knife for a Multi-tool. The net effect is that Season 4 participants got to pick an additional two items, which should enable them to survive for a longer period of time. Combine this with the fact they are in teams instead of alone and that loneliness is a significant factor, we saw a longer competition, but still nothing near sustainable.
All winners (*) selected:
- Fishing line and hooks
- Large (no more than 2 quart) pot, includes lid
- Multi-season sleeping bag
- Hunting knife
- Gill net
- Leatherman multi-tool
- 3.5lb roll of snare wire
- 550 Para Cord - 20m
- 12' x 12' ground tarp
- Canteen or water bottle
- Small shovel
- Slingshot or catapult + 30 steel balls and replacement band
- Food items
TEAM ITEMS Which 10 would you pick?
*Each team must choose TEN total items from the following list. Selections are final. Once chosen, no items may be swapped out or replaced. These will be each participant’s unique tools used to survive in the wilderness on camera. My 10 are indicated in BOLD
1. 12x12 ground cloth/tarp (grommets approved)
2. 8 mm climbing rope - 10M
3. 550 para cord - 20m
4. 1 hatchet
5. 1 saw
6. 1 ax
7. 1 multi-seasonal sleeping bag that fits within provided backpack
8. 1 bivy bag (Gore-Tex sleeping bag cover)
9. 1 sleeping pad
10. 1 hammock
11. 1 large (no more than 2 quart) pot, includes lid
12. 1 steel frying pan
13. 1 flint or ferro rod set (Season 4 rule change made this a standard item for all)
14. 1 enamel bowl for eating
15. 1 spoon
16. 1 canteen or water bottle
17. 1 bar soap
18. 1 8 oz tube of toothpaste
19. 1 face flannel
20. 1 40 m roll of dental floss
21. 1 small bottle bio shower soap
22. 1 shaving razor (and 1 blade)
23. 1 towel (30” x 60”)
24. 1 comb
25. 1 300-yard roll of nylon single filament fishing line and 25 assorted hooks (No lures)
26. 1 primitive bow with 6 Arrows (must be predominately made of wood)
27. 1 small gauge gill net (12' x 4' with 1.5" mesh)
28. 1 slingshot/Catapult + 30 steel ball bearings + 1 replacement band
29. 1 net foraging bag
30. 1 3.5 lb roll of trapping wire
5 lbs of beef jerky (protein)
5 lbs of dried pulses/legumes/lentils mix (starch and carbs)
5 lbs of biltong (protein)
5 lbs of hard tack military biscuits (carbs/sugars)
5 lbs of chocolate (Simple/complex sugars)
5 lbs of pemmican (traditional trail food made from fat and proteins)
5 lbs of gorp (raisins, m&m's and peanuts)
5 lbs of flour (starch/carbs)
2 lbs of rice or sugar and 1 lb of salt
32. 1 pocket knife
33. 1 hunting knife (Season 4 rule change made this a standard item for all)
34. 1 Leatherman multi-tool
35. 1 sharpening stone
36. 1 roll of duct tape or 1 roll of electrical tape
37. 1 small shovel
38. 1 small sewing kit
39. 1 carabineer
40. 1 LED flashlight
41. 1 pair of ice spikes
CLOTHING/APPAREL/PERSONAL EFFECTS (Everyone gets all of these)
*These items do not count towards the 10 special items, but may not exceed the approved quota for each.
· 2 safety tools (may consist of 1 air horn and/or 1 flare)
· 1 rules and regulations guide
· 1 backpack
· 1 camera pack
· Camera equipment
· 1 emergency flare
· 1 satellite phone
· 1 emergency personal flotation device
· 1 first aid kit (military type – tourniquet, wadding, ace bandage, alcohol, plastic bag, etc)
· 1 small mirror
· 1 10x10ft tarp
· 1 10x10ft tarp (solely for protecting camera and equipment)
· 1 GPS tracking device
· 1 head lamp· 1 emergency rations pack to include water and food
. 1 flint or ferro rod set - Added as standard for everyone starting in Season 4.
. 1 hunting knife - Added as standard for everyone starting in Season 4.
I'm primarily focused on what the winners carried, but for a list of the other Season 4 participants gear, scroll down, or click HERE for a pdf list and other insight on the show from the inside. Links to the contents for the other Seasons can also be found below.
Once we have our gear selected, we need a plan.
This would be my Alone Survival Plan (<- Click blue text). What would yours be and why?
* Season 2 list not published, but I'm trying to get it.
For additional information see the following links:
Blog Table of Contents
Alone Season 1 Pack List
Alone Season 2 Pack List
Alone Season 3 Pack List
Alone Season 4 Pack List
Alone Winners Pack List
Alone Survival Plan
Naked & Afraid Survival Plan
Survive on a deserted island
Survival Pack (Security Patrol or Bug Out pack)
Wilderness Survival Pack (Video)
Edible Wild Plants
Chickweed & Hackberries
Survive on a Deserted Island
Pete and Sam:
2 Fishing line and hooks – 50 yards of 40 lb. test and 250 yards of 20 lb. test
3 Gillnet – 12′ x 4′
4 Trapping wire – 3.5 lb. gauge
5 Rations – Looks like a bunch of Tanka Bars, which are pemmican.
6 Tarp – 12′ x 12′
7 Paracord – 500 lb. Rated, orange
8 Saw – folding saw, 14″ blade – Silky Big Boy
9 Ax – 26″ all-steel ax – appears to be an Estwing Long Handled Camper’s ax
10 Pot – 2 quarts, stainless steel
Brook and Dave:
1 Bow saw2 Pot – vintage aluminum coffee pot, 2 quarts
3 Tarp – 12′ x 12′, white
4 Bar of Soap
5 Rations – trail mix (peanuts and chocolate)
6 Ax – full-sized felling ax
7 Tarp – 12′ x 12′, white
8 Fishing line and hooks
10 Rations – trail mix
Chris and Brody:
1 Bivy bag – waterproof bivy for sleeping bag – Gortex2 Ax – medium-sized- Looks like a Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe
3 Pot – 2-quart bush pot – stainless steel Self Reliance Outfitters Bush Pot
4 Fishing line and hooks – 50 yards 30 lb. test, 100 yards 100 lb., 150 yards 40 lb. test
5 Tarp – 12′ x 12′, silver
6 Bivy bag – waterproof bivy for sleeping bag – Gortex
7 Pot – 2-quart bush pot – stainless steel Self Reliance Outfitters Bush Pot
8 Tarp – 12′ x 12′, silver
9 Saw – 18″ blade – Looks to be the Corona RS 7500D Razor Tooth Pruning Saw
10 Gill net
Shannon and Jesse:
1 Gill net
2 Tarp – 12′ x 12′, silver
3 Fishing line and hooks
4 Pot – 2 quarts, cast iron
6 Bow and arrows
7 Multitool – Leatherman it looks like a Wingman or a Sidekick?
8 Canteen – stainless steel
9 Rations – Lentils
10 Rations – Pemmican?
Alex and Logan:
2 Paracord – 500 lb. Rated
3 Gill net
4 Ax – 24″ – Looks like a Snow and Nealley Hudson Bay Axe
5 Multitool – I think it’s a Leatherman SuperTool
6 Fishing line and hooks – 6 lb. test, 30 lb. test, 60 lb. test
7 Pot – stainless steel, 2 quarts – Zebra brand
8 Tarp – 12′ x 12′
9 Saw – 24″ folding saw – Looks like a Bob Dustrude Quick Buck Saw
10 Rations – Pemmican
Brad and Josh:
2 Bivy bag
3 Canteen – 64 oz.
4 Ax – mid-sized camp ax – Looks like a Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe?
5 Tarp – 12′ x 12′
6 Fishing line and hooks
7 Pot – 2 quarts, stainless steel – looks a lot like the stainless steel Self Reliance Outfitters Bush Pot
8 Saw – crosscut – reportedly a Corona RS 7160 Razor Tooth Raker Saw, 21-Inch
9 Bivy bag (second one)
10 Rations – possibly Jerky