Saskatchewan Canada, one of the most remote places in the world. Ten (10) seasoned contestants, with five (5) over the age of 50, competing for a $500,000 prize on the best survival show ever, Alone, on the History Channel. This is perhaps the oldest and most experienced group of contestants ever.
In Season 10, the participants are scattered on islands throughout Reindeer Lake. Island Survival is unique, and has never been a part of the show before.
We start with Luke, age 39, and within a few minutes, he is off to a good start after harvesting a 2 pound grouse with his bow.
2:19 PM 70F
Second, we see Alan, age 51, going for a swim, a gross waste of calories and time. We see that he is a very good shot with a bow, which will be a huge asset. He later begins making a fishing lure for catching pike.
Alan begins fishing late in the day and we learn he has gained 41 pounds. He catches a 4 pound Lake Trout with a hand line.
Alan is cooking the fish eggs (roe) in a soup.
We open to a beautiful maze of lakes and islands, with Luke sleeping on the lake shore line, then going hunting. Filling his stomach is first priority over everything else. He finds a lot of wild blue berries. He sees a black bear and begins to stalk him. We don't yet know if shooting a bear is allowed, but it is definitely risky. He gets withing 50 yards of the bear, shoots an arrow and misses, shoots again and misses. Probably lost two arrows, but looking for them. He found 1 arrow, and continues looking
Third is Lee, age 59, is building a simple A frame shelter with his tarp as a cover and having trouble with his glasses fogging up. His shelter is weak and unlikely to bear any load of snow on top. We learn that he grew up in cold snowing area, and is a bush pilot in Alaska. He has a lot of fishing and trapping experience. Shelter is his first priority, followed by fishing for food. He heard something big, but does not have his bow, which could prove to be a huge mistake.
He sees a river otter swimming around.
Fourth, Jodi, age 45, has located reindeer lichen or moss, which is fluffy like a cotton mattress, and is going to build here shelter there. Unfortunately lichen and moss hold moisture and don't make good long term bedding to to heat loss. We learn she shoots guns, bows, rides horseback and tracks wild game. She has recently recovered from a severe farming accident. She also build a nice log cabin. But today she is building a temporary shelter with her plastic tarp, using it for the floor and all sides.
Here location avoids any game trails to avoid bears. Most black bear attacks are motivated by hunger.
It is nearly dark as we see Alan who has an owl circling him. He is probably near his nest and doesn't realize it.
Lee is awaking and we see tears in his tarp. Today he is going to make a raft. His priority is fish first, and then perhaps a moose. The lake is shallow and rocky and probably not good fishing, so he is building a raft with wood and snare wire. He launches his raft from a standing position, with a long pole to propel. He is looking for a place to set a fish net which will catch fish with low calorie cost. He finds a good casting fishing spot and plans to fish tomorrow
Fifth, Cade, age 28, is digging a hole and building a tarp shelter, before going hunting with his bow. He sees a moose trap and makes a birch bark moose call He is a professional hunter, but this place is alien to him, with moss covering the ground so there are limited tracks. He depends on bent or eaten branches to track by. He is trying to spot and stalk an animal, but isn't seeing anything. He found a rub, a tree with the bark removed by antlers, and is using his moose call. He hears large movement, sees a huge bull Woodland Caribou, which are an at risk species and are protected from being hunted.
He has only eaten the abundant wild blue berries so far and picks more. He has been a hunting guide for any animal you can legally hunt in the Rocky Mountains. He didn't try to gain any weight as he doesn't want this to be a starving event. He sees and shoots a 2 lb grouse with his bow. Later we see him cooking and eating his grouse. His wife miscarried days before the event started. This will weigh heavily upon him later in the event.
Jodi is cutting wood for her cabin before taking a water break and finding some blue berries. She says she is constantly eating, and is not hungry. Her top priority is shelter, above food or anything else. We are told that she is burning about 700 calories per hour building her shelter, but it is starting to look good.
We see Lee building a fishing net.
Lee is launching his raft and it is barely floating and he puts out his net. He is carrying his bow and taking a finely crafted casting rod that throws his hook far out into the late. He catches a 5 lb lake trout with his casting rod, and immediately eats parts (eggs) of it raw. He goes out to check his net and has caught a 7 pound pike.
Cade is building a fire place near his tarp shelter. He sees some "ducks" far away on the water. He goes bow hunting and finds a heavily used game trail.
He is moving pretty fast before he becomes very frustrated as he finds his arrow quill has come off of his bow and he has lost all of his arrows. A Lesson Learned here might be to leave a few arrows at camp, and not take them all with you.
Cade recognizes he should not have taken them all with him. He is discouraged, but not defeated.
At the end of Episode 1, we have met 5 contestants, of which 4 have harvest20 pounds of meat, 16 from fishing, 9 from using a fishing line and 7 from a net. Also 4 pounds from bow and arrows. We will explore this further later.
At the start, we see a quote by Sun Tzu, a famous military leader
"Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
We see previews of the contestants struggling
Day 1-12:37 PM
We see Melanie age 55, Taz age 35, Wyatt age 51, Mikey Age 31, Ann Age 56 starting the contest from Day 1.
Ann admits having Drop Shock. She seems short winded as she builds a temporary shelter before going exploring and finding berries and mushrooms. She sees fresh bear droppings. Bears consume 20,000 calories per day preparing for hibernation. It would seem that humans could find enough food if bears can, but it doesn't quite work that way.
Ann is cooking mushrooms in a pot of water it appears, and eats them before turning in for the night.
9:01 AM 70 F
Wyatt is building a shelter before going skinny dipping in 55F water. Being clean and refreshed is good, but this expends a lot of calories. We see him building a fish net from paracord inner filaments. Fish catches here average around 20 lbs.and have been 3X that. This region is flat and has strong winds. H finished his net and sets out his net.
Melanie emerges from her shelter wearing a bright red shirt and pink camo overalls. She is working to build a frame for her shelter made from small longs with moss packed in between.
Mikey has a tri-pod supported pole for his shelter started but is going hunting.
We see him exploring with his bow and arrows. He forgot his orange para cord to make his trail, but pushes on until he is lost. We are advised that participants are not allowed to have a compass. He should climb a tree and look around. Any crew intervention is an automatic tap out
Mikey is still lost. Because they are on islands, he should find water eventually.
Still lost, tired and thirsty, he pushes on, with virtually no supplies except his bow. A Lesson Learned might be to carry a fire starter or water bottle with you everywhere you go, but then you risk loosing it. Dehydration and aggravate disorientation and confusion. He finds shore line and emerges right at his shelter.
Wyatt is building a casting fishing pole and brushing his teeth. Participants are provided a toothbrush, but no toothpaste. He goes to check his gill net as he is getting hungry, but finds nothing in his net so he does some cast fishing on a windy day. Back at his shelter, he prepares for a long night as the wind increases.
Wyatt is unable to sleep with 31 mph winds as he can feel the roots under him moving as the winds wave in the wind.
Wyatt awakens to a calm day with a big sleepy yawn when the wind starts up again briefly. He hands his sleeping bag out and goes to check his gill net. He screams and cheers about having a fish, scaring off any game and possibly some of the fish. Wyatt has caught a 10 lb pike with his newly made Gill Net. This is a big game changer for Wyatt. We see his cooking his fish on a lake side fire before eating some. He expects to get 8-10 meals from this.
Jodi is sleeping inside her partially built cabin listening to the Geese flying south for the winter. Wyatt is also watching them as is Melanie, flock after flock. Ann is watching too and says she needs to get busy on her shelter. Right now all she has is a lean to, open on 3 sides. She is digging down in to the rocky ground building a small log shelter packed with moss. She sees fresh moose droppings.
Taz is sitting in his temporary shelter and hears a squirrel, grabs his bow and Taz harvests a small 1 lb squirrel with his bow.
Taz is steam bending wood in to circles.
Assembling his circles together.
Taz is building what is beginning to look like a canoe.
His canoe is beginning to look good and soon has it finished wrapped with a tarp and is canoeing around in the lake with a single paddle and is fairly stable. This will give hi access to deep water fishing.
Mikey takes his shoes off and his foot is steaming and his feet are wrinkled from moisture and stink. He is going hunting again and hears some heavy flapping in the distance. He sees the grouse and begins to stalk it. He shoots and hit it. Mikey has harvested a 2 lb grouse with his bow. Back at the beach he cooks his grouse over a beach side fire, where there is ample fire wood.
Taz is building and putting out a fish net.
We see his canoe and that he has caught a 10 pound trout in his newly made gill net. He begins smoking it before going to sleep. This could be risky with so many bears around.
Taz is cooking some fish at a beach side smoker which quickly catches on fire. The ever green boughs burn quickly but his fish is burned and in the ash. We don't know if it is lost or recoverable. I would think it was still edible after washing some of the ash off.
Jodi is cutting trees for her shelter and her hands are injured. She puts some spruce resin on it which has antibacterial properties and can help close wounds. Each participant is provided with a roll of medical tape in their emergency first aid kit. She uses some to protect an injured knuckle on her right hand, before going back to work. Her large saw makes quick work of these trees, which might be a Lesson Learned. She has what will be a very nice log cabin up about 6 feet high and maybe 8' by 8' in size. She is spending a tremendous amount of calories and harvesting no food.
Mikey has yet to harvest any fish and seems frustrated. He continues to work on his simple A frame shelter, but is tired and his stomach is growling. Despite a gill net, fishing pole and line in the water, he has caught NO fish. No food for a big guy like Mikey is hard.
Mikey is in his shelter feeling ill, apparently about to throw up. Possibly something he has eaten is causing some problems.
10 Contestants remain
We open with a saying by John Muir "Going to the mountains is going home.
Mikey is sick and throwing up
Mikey is in his sleeping bag but feeling better, today is his birthday. He dreamed about his son during the night. The solitude is taking its toll on him. Hunting, he finds some blue berries. then misses a grouse with his bow, shoots again, and it flew off, but he found it dead. Mikey harvested a 2 lb grouse with a bow.
Alan is cutting trees and making a tripod and eating alder cones and birch fungus and birch polypore which can be used to treat stomach and rectal cancer we are told. Alan suggests it should be called leather fungus. Alan has set up some snares and he starts working on his shelter which looks to be a Native American style Tee Pee. He wants to avoid spending too much time on complex shelters, and he has it ready very quickly.
He goes hunting and finds that he has caught a pine martin, which can't be harvested, so he let it go. He felt badly about it and took down his snare traps. I can't imagine a soft person like this winning.
Mikey got a grouse, but lost an arrow, so he is going to try and make an arrow as he talks about missing his family and his autistic son. He admires the beautiful view, and there are definitely some awesome views on this season.
Cade, finds an old hornet nest which is awesome fire starter. He is looking for small straight trees to make arrows, something he has never done. He tests his first homemade Arrow and tests it with good results.... but not as good as factory made arrows.
Ann is washing something in the lake, and going to procure food. She harvests a 2 lb grouse with her bow with her first shot. She cleans and boils it in a deep pot when she hears a moose grunting. She goes for her bow and we see a huge bull moose swimming to the far side of the lake. They can swim for 2 hours or 12 miles without stopping. They weigh over 1,400 pounds, but there was no potential for a shot. Now she eats her grouse and drinks the juice.
Lee is sawing trees down for his log cabin, before eating his purple soup made from Birch and berries which is about 80 calories per cup we are told. He then goes to check his net, but still nothing, so he returns to cutting more trees. He plans to build a log cabin, like he lived in, that his dad had built. He is putting the big longs on the front, small on the back and big ends on the side toward the front, which will provide for a natural slope for the roof of his log cabin. Some of the logs are huge and take a lot of effort to move them. His dad was a mountain man that wondered around the woods in Alaska.
Cade is going to make some more arrows after losing his factory made arrows. He hears some noise outside and sees a grouse. He harvests a 2 lb grouse with his bow and a home made arrow he just finished and had not tested. He cooks his grouse and eats it before going to the lake for a drink of water. He plans to make a cup of tea and sees smoke. His unattended camp fire has spread and burnt the surrounding moss, but he puts it out, and builds a much better fire pit.
The sun is low in the sky and it is getting dark as we find Alan shows us his lake front cottage that he got dirt cheep. His Tee Pee style shelter was the fastest one to build. He is wondering what happened to the fishing. He was catching a fish after only a few minutes, now nothing.
Two lessons here: 1) When the fish are biting, keep fishing. Do NOT stop after you catch the first one and expect them to still be biting tomorrow. 2) Many fish are territorial. Once you catch all the fish in your area, it could be some time before more move in, even till after the next span and fish grow up and move out of the area they were born in, to yours. So try fishing some where else.
Alan is fishing and sees a big pike in the shallow water, but it won't take his bait which suggests the fish are not biting as well as they were a few days back when he was easily catching them. But suddenly he catches a 5 lb lake trout with his hand line that is about the length of his arm. Once again, he stops fishing and goes to prepare his solo fish.
Next we see Luke has caught a 5 lb fish with his hand line. We learn that this is fish number 11 for him. It would seem he is not doing much videoing. He is drying blue berries with his custom made gaiters, which are clear. He has about 3/4 gallon of berries. Next we see him in his meager shelter talking about having two shelters. He finds a hill and begins to dig a hole, thinking an earth shelter will be warm. He brought a nice shovel as one of his 10 items.
He gets a nice hole dug and starts covering it with logs
Lee is making good progress on his log cabin, with even a roof, but it only looks to be about 5' tall. Perhaps he will dig the floor out to use that dirt and make more head room. Next we see him fishing with a rod and reel that he built. He is casting it out very far, and sees a trout that he tries to get to bite it. He goes back to work on his shelter. He only goes fishing once per day to conserve energy.
He begins to put moss on his relatively flat roof. Rain and melting ice and snow will leak through is moss roof, but we haven't see his tarp used yet. He begins to put his tarp over the moss roof, but it barely covers it, and at this point, there is not much holding the tarp in place in a strong wind.
I'm thinking he should have put his tarp under the moss, instead of over it, unless he plans to put another layer of moss on top. Next he builds a log door and says he is ready to move in.
Lee can't sleep, and hears a ringing in his ears, likely caused by hunger.
Lee is fishing at sun up, which is a good idea as fish are likely to be hungrier after not eat all night. He catches nothing and his net has nothing. He needs to try fishing at another location.
Lee, age 59, and the oldest contestant is Taping Out on Day 18, with a very good shelter.
9 People Remain
Ann is going moose hunting and is going to try to call one. She is catching no fish, and harvesting limited game. Her moose call sounds like nothing I've heard before. She is weak and dizzy. She rests and heads back to the shelter and gets a drink of something in her pot. She feels sick to her stomach. She gets another drink, and sounds like she is going to tap out.
Ann, age 56 is Tapping Out on Day 19.
The two oldest Contestants are out.
8 People Remain
Cade is wisely whispering while hunting for food and finds a few remaining blue berries. He finds some fresh bear droppings. We see him spending a lot of time making arrows, since he lost his 9 factory arrows that he brought with him.
Wyatt is working on his shelter, and resetting his gill net when he sees otters further out in the water. He made a nice fishing lure and is fishing with his rod & reel. Catching no fish, he moves to s different location and catches a 5 lb Lake trout with is rod and reel. He wisely keeps fishing and catches another. Then of all the stupid things he could do, he leaves them in a pool by the lake and goes back to his shelter to sleep for the night.
Wyatt goes to check on his fish which are gone. This is a huge mistake and a good Lesson Learned, to NOT leave food, your most precious resource, out over night. We don't count these two fish in his meat harvested.
Luke is working on his earth shelter before going fishing and catching a small 2 lbs trout, this is about 16 he says . He quickly catches another 3 lb one with a hand line,
Luke is working on his fire place, by digging a hole in the dirt wall of his sunken shelter. He has the most unique shelter, with it half way in the ground, and a raise bed, in ground fire place.
Luke is doing great, but now feeling ill.
Taz is checking his gill nets. He are told has shot 5 grouse, and 1 squirrel since day 1 and caught 4 fish. He has caught a 8 lb Lake Trout in his gill net.
Wyatt is watching a mink fishing right beside him as he sits by the lake without his bow. He begins fishing with his nice rode and reel and golden lure wrapped with snare wire. His reel falls off before landing a 4 lb lake trout with his fishing pole.
Jodi shows us her fire wood and the progress on her log cabin that she has spent weeks building. Jodi has only eaten bunchberries, blueberries and reindeer moss since day 1.
She has a log roof on and needs to cover it with moss. She wastes additional energy cutting her log ends off even. She climbs and walks on top of her cabin to put moss on it. The slope of her roof is unlikely to prevent rain from dripping through.
Luke is sitting my his nice fire place, still feeling bloated and gassy and has diarrhea, likely from drinking water straight from the lake, especially right at the beach. He goes out into the sun to take a nap. He is belching a lot.
He say's this may be the beginning of the end for him. His dad is a famous survival book writer.
He says I'm gonna do it, gets his tap out radio and sees a bear and begins to hunt him.
He tries a few long shots and misses. There are several bears, a sow and at least one cub.
Luke Taps out on day 20, despite having more meat than any other contestant. I figured he had a really good chance with his fishing success he was having and good shelter.
7 People Remain
Jodi is admiring her nice log cabin covered with fresh fallen snow.
Taz is checking his huge number of snare lines. He trapped a 1 lb squirrel on his squirrel pole snare. Returning to camp he realizes that he has lost half of his trout he was smoking. We learn that due to the high bear density, participants were given 20 feed of rope to be used solely for a bear hang.
Taz is building a high level box to protect his food.
Melanie is building a platform for a wood shed, to have dry wood stored. It would seem that he shelter could serve for this. It looks nice, not she is going fishing. She catches one, jerks it up out of the water far from shore and it got away. She catches a 1 lb pike on her hand line and goes to cook it, instead of continuing to fish while they are biting.
She is cooking her fish back at camp at an open fire, near her shelter.
Taz is checking his gill net and he can't see it after a windy night. Using a rough pole, he seeks to snag it, without success. He returns to check his food stash. He has three trout and a half of a pike stored.
Jodi is craving protein as she eats some spruce bark which has 500 calories per pound and is rich in fiber. She continues to work on her shelter talking about her family with her voice cracking. She is low on energy and unlikely to last much longer if she doesn't get some protein soon. She is taking about things like she is thinking about quitting.
Jodi Taps out on Day 22.
6 People Remain
The are of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings - Okakura Kakuzo
6 People Remain
6 days earlier, likely with some different contestants or late emerging footage.
Alan is making a gill net from para cord inner strands. It would seem that he has waited a long time to do this, but he assembled it very quickly. He puts his gill net out and then works on his shelter door. It is a well insulated door
Cade is wasting time and energy on a creative video talking to himself. He is going bear hunting today, a serious and risky venture. He has a scouted trail with lots of activity in and out to one if the few late season berry patches remaining. He builds a ground stand to hunt from.
Sitting comfortably in his ground stand. We are told there are approximately 43,000 black bears in Saskatchewan. Two2 hours later he gives up hunting. He is exhausted walking this far, and sees a squirrel up in a tree. He shoots an excellent shot and says' "got him" but the squirrel is hung up in the tree and didn't fall to the ground. The squirrel may only be injured, so he waits a while to let him die instead of running off. He finds and eats a few blue berries while he waits. Then he begins to clime the tree to recover the squirrel. The squirrel is alive, he grabs him and gets bitten on the hand, but gets the squirrel. He questions whether the squirrel was worth the calories spent climbing the tree. He is at risk of infection from the squirrel bite. He is breathing hard and dizzy. Cade harvested a 1 lb squirrel with his bow.
Alan is checking his gill net, hoping this could be the key to staying the longest. Little does he know that others are way ahead of him in fish net harvest. Many of the plants he is eating are dying. He has lost 34 pounds since day 1. He begins fishing with his hand line and lets us know he has 1 piece of fish left from his catch on day 16. He sees a huge pike that doesn't take the bait. He sees him again.
That was the biggest fish he has seen here.
He gets a nibble and then a bite and pulls it in, landing a 2 pound fish with his hand line. He wisely continues fishing and catches a 2 pound lake trout. He lands a third fish, a 3 pound trout and stops to rest.
Alan continues fishing while they are biting.
He catches a fourth, even larger Lake Trout, a five pounder with his hand line. A total of about 12 pounds of fish.
Mikey is hunting grouse with his bow and misses a few, then working on his shelter. It looks to be an A frame brush shelter build over his tarp. His last protein was on day 10, a grouse.
Cade tells us it got pretty cold last night in his minimal tarp A frame shelter with no insulation. His strategy was to harvest big game, not squirrels. He tries a cooked piece of bealt leather which could have chemicals in it, but it is too tough to eat. He drinks the juice from cooking his squirrel.
Cade is feeling better and hunting black bear again, but talking on camera and tripping from exhaustion, making noise which will significantly reduce his chances of success.
Mikey is talking to his oldest son into his camera. He slept warmer last night after insulating his shelter. His shelter is now like a mouse amusement park, so he is building some figure 4 dead fall mouse traps. These will take a lot of time and calories, and likely yield minimal food. But if he doesn't trap them, they will eat his supplies. He uses mushroom for bait as he sets them.
Wyatt is gathering some fire kindling with his bow in reach. Next we see him fishing using his gold hellfire lure, he has caught 6 fish. He uses copper wire wrapped around wood to make his lure.
4:02 PM, he has caught a four pound trout on his hand line. He continues to fish while the fish are biting. He has caught something heavy, but it gets away AND he lost his effective lure. It seems a big pike has taken it.
Participants are allowed to bring 25 barbless hooks. Treble hooks have 3 hooks each counting toward the 25 hook maximum, and he just lost 2 treble hooks with his lure. This shiny lure and the use of treble hooks may be a Lesson Learned of success. Not all Lessons learned are from mistakes; some are from learning what works well.
Wyatt begins working on his next fishing lure.
Mikey caught a 2 ounce field mouse in his dead fall trap. He cleans the mouse and cooks it over a fire in a one gallon pail, then eats it. He also tans the mouse hide, a waste of time and energy, but entertaining to a bored mind.
6 People Remain
Wyatt is finishing his new lure and we see in the back ground that he has a good supply of fire wood.
Wyatt is fishing with his new lure. He got a hit, but no catch.
Still fishing, he gets a bite and loses his second lure. It would appear that some much bigger fish are biting now.
Cade is in his shelter, getting a late start and trying to hydrate. He is getting warm and cold flashes which could be dehydration. In the back ground we see inside his minimalist shelter which has no insulation and big air gaps. He is going bear hunting, but talking out loud to us, which reduces his chances of walking up on game. Each trip he finds fresh bear poop. I'm just so... crash, we see the camera fall to the ground.... the camera is showing a blurry image of rocks.
4:17 PM - 5:14 PM
We see the camera vision, not moving & no sound. Cade has obviously passed out for 57 minutes.
We hear Cade get up and say "passed out"..... he is looking around and the camera falls down.... he is up and talking now, but clearly close to tapping out. He pulls out his satellite phone and Cade taps out on Day 23. He was focused on big game that was not present, and losing his arrows was a major set back that he over came by making his own arrows and demonstrating excellent marksmanship with a bow to shoot a squirrel far away. But by not fishing, trapping, etc. more, he was unable to find enough meat.
5 People remain.
We open to the wisdom of Tuli Kupferbert, "When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge."
Taz is making fish net number two with the temperature 50 degrees F. He lost his last one, that was productive, and he puts his new one in the same place but anchors it better. He was eating well before losing his first net but is rationing now.
Wyatt is checking his net which looks tangled up, but he does have a large lake trout. Wyatt has harvested a 5 pound fish with his net. He starts making a new net. Having more than one net might be a Best Practice or Lesson Learned.
Taz is going to check his gill net, hoping it is still there and has fish in it. But no fish today. As the water temperature drops at the surface, fish migrate to deeper waters for warmth. So now he is going hunting. He shoots at a bird and misses. He moves closer and tries again. He may have lost two more of his 9 arrows. He finds one arrow and continues looking for the bird. He shoots, and has harvested a 2 pound grouse with his bow and arrow. As he heads back home, he harvests another 2 lb Ruffed Grouse with the same arrow.
Wyatt has his gill net all set and begins gathering firewood. He cuts the fire wood in to small pieces, which consumes a lot of energy. Burning larger logs in half may be a better alternative. He has a very long saw blade.
Mikey can't sleep and is looking at two neat rocks he found, one he is using to sharpen his knife. He can't sleep very long, which can be caused by a lack of protein.
Mikey slept lake and plans to work on his shelter and hunt food. He has become a hunter of opportunity. He found a lot of berries. He found a box of nails he plans to use on his tee-pee shelter. He found some plywood he uses for his shelter door. He is going to get water and check his fishing line.
Wyatt caught a 42" long 20 lb Pike in his gill net. He cleans it and begins to smoke it.
This huge fish could be a game changer at this stage.
Melanie is stacking wood to shelter her outdoor fire place. She has been collecting reindeer moss or lichen for food that has simple sugars and vitamin D but it doesn't taste good which is demoralizing. IT must be boiled twice or more to avoid a stomach ache. Next she is foraging for mushrooms and berries. There is no paths, suggesting there is no game, or very little. She finds some red bog berries. She finds a recent forest fire which has cleared the ground for a lot of blue berries, which have roots that can survive fire. It is like 3 acres of blue berries.
Alan has caught a 3 pound fish with his hand line. It is 40 degrees. He is eating eggs, liver, milt, heart and a kidney which turns out to be a gall bladder which should not be eaten. He eats the internal fish organs first before they spoil. He begins building a large smoker. and begins fishing again. He is feeling settled in.
Alan is still fishing and caught a 3 pound fish with his hand line. But he dropped his fish line spool with his string into the water, and watches it go deeper, but he wades in and recovers it.
Alan is finishing up his smoker and begins smoking fish for the first time ever.
Taz looks to be closing in his shelter, which is behind most others. He begins playing chess with a set he made on day 25. He is wasting good day light hours that could be used gathering food or fire wood. He is thinking about the other opponents. The wind is blowing like a storm is coming.
Mikey is awake as the wind howls.
2:26 AM his eyes are closed
3:01 AM he is awake again and shuts off his camera.
7:26 AM the winds is blow 37 mph
Wyatt is having trouble keeping his hat on.
Taz still has his shelter open on the front.
Meanie has 41 mph winds.
48 mph wind speed, with driving rain.
We see different contestants sheltering in.
The rain has stopped but the wind is still strong.
We see a 2 lb grouse harvested with a bow by Alan.
Mikey is writing a letter.
Melanie woke up to a loud crash with some damage to her wood shed that was build using 4 living trees. She repairs it before going back in her shelter to rest. She eats some saved berries for energy to go get more
Melanie is crying and telling her partner that she misses them. Sounds like she is about to crack and tap out. She has only caught 1 fish, which would suggest she has little or now chance of being the winner. She wanted this SD chip to remain secret, but rules require she provide it to producers who showed it to us against her wishes. Personally, I'd rather not see the whining and crying that it showed.
Alan is smoking fish again, which has the potential to be a game changer. He begins to make a new fishing lure using a multi-tool. He misses his wife. Now he is going to test his new fishing lure with his hand line. He hooked a small fish that got away. By throwing his fishing line out over an over, he is covering different area and increase his chance of getting a bite
He has another fish get away which raises questions about his new lure. He loses a 3rd fish.
5 People Remain
I will catch this one up later.
We open with a quote from Walter Elliot: "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other."
5:32 AM Temperature is 40 F
When we see lots of late night or early morning videos, it is often a sign of problems.
Mickey is complaining about rats, set a trap for them a caught 4. He is skinning them to eat the few ounces or 30 calories of food we are told. He roasts them on a stick over the fire. He eats two rats and saves two
Alan is laying in his bed and a mouse ran over his arm. The mouse has chewed a big hole in his sweater. He sets a dead fall trap. This seems to be a problem for many of them. So a Lesson Learned might be to set these rat traps early in the event.
Now he heads off to go fishing. He has a new lure with a long wire leader so pike teeth don't break his line. He has lost 41 pounds since day 1 we are told. He is fishing with a hand line when he hears a grouse behind him. He wisely has his bow with him and takes a long shot. Alan harvests a 2 lb grouse with his bow. He has had difficulty getting grouse.
Taz going fishing. He is hungry but has 5-6 days of food, IF he stretches it out. His gill net tore up during a storm, so he pulled it out of the water. He catches 2 lb lake trout with his fishing pole.
Taz wisely continues fishing and catches a 3 pound pike with his fishing pole. He stops fishing and heads back to camp to cook them.
He starts to eat a pot of fish for lunch, but probably should have kept fishing since the fish were biting and he was catching about 1 fish per hour. As he eats, he hears a noise behind him. He goes off camera to investigate and comes running back to get his bow. Probably should have carried his bow in the first place. We hear him shoot and return with a 2 pound martin harvested with his bow. This martin has been stealing his fish. He skins it and begins to cook part of it to eat.
Taz is eating his martin.
We see the aurora borealis in the sky, an amazing view. Alan is in his Tee Pee type shelter and awakens to a rat chewing on his blanket and kills him with his hand.
We see a stormy looking clouds with 26 mph winds. Melanie is in her shelter and is working on a long shelter for her outside fire. Having an inside and elaborate outside fire adds work and consumes more fire wood. 36 F Temperature. There is also a risk that her fire shelter burns down. She seems exhausted and is crying. Probably close to tapping out.
Mikey is in his shelter and has some meat and other things he wants to grind with a stone pedestal to make Pemmican. 38 F, and he goes hunting with his bow. He is also making fruit leather from berries, preparing for the lean days ahead. This is a good skill and approach to storing food. But his yield is minimal, perhaps about two or three bites.
Taz is hunting with his bow and checking his snare traps on a windy day.
Finding no moose at the swamp, he has returned to his shelter where we see him working on a musical instrument. He is using fishing line for ukulele string.
Do things like this provide the mental engagement and distraction to enable contestants to stay longer, or is it a waste of time and energy?
Wyatt had a stick impale his arm 11 days earlier and it is still discharging blood suggesting it is infected.
Wyatt is going fishing with his fishing pole. He has not caught much lately. He keeps casting to the same area it seems. His hands get cold so he stops and says that he has a fair amount of food, but is on his last belt hole and has lost 44 pounds since day 1. Soon he will be ice fishing.
Melanie it appears is in a shallow bay which is unlikely to have a lot of fish. Last night he had a bout of home sickness. She is unlikely to last much longer. We see her thermal underwear hung out to dry and frozen stiff. She hands it over her fire with is risky, but it works to dry it. She is eating some Rock tripe, a lichen that grows on rocks. She is making flour from reindeer moss to preserve it, demonstrating skills required to survive long term.
Taz is playing his ukulele and sits by his fire in a nice chair he has made. He is hungry, and goes fishing with a hand line. The water is calm, so he is fishing from the boat he built on day 8. Using the boat will allow him to fish in the deeper water where the fish go when it gets cold. He catches nothing.
He is back at camp and almost crying, possibly about to tap out. He plans to go fishing again tomorrow.
Mikey is stuck in his shelter while it is raining outside. He is going to take his boots of and lay in his sleeping bag to get warm. He is carving a wood puzzle piece, which is dangerous as he could cut his hands.
8:36 AM 29 F
As the show ends, Waytt is wearing a colorful sweater and brushing his teeth with Ice showing
We are not told what time it is, but Taz is going fishing.
Melanie is in her shelter, then cooking over her fire.
Waytt is out hunting for food as it snows, and gathering the few remaining lingon berries that he can find.
Mikey is in his shelter.
Alan is looking at the lake.
We see the tap out boat coming, and someone walking on a solid frozen lake as Episode 8 ends.
We open with wisdom from Andre Malraux saying "Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides."
4 People Remain
Day 41, temperature is 30 F
Alan is in his shelter about to look outside. He opens his door to a white winter wonderland. The ground is 80 - 90% covered with snow. He has 6 arrows, but no more small game tips; only broad heads for big game. Day time here only lasts 7 hours in the winter. He is making some blunt wood tips for his arrows to harvest small game, also know as Thumper for small game.
Melanie is in her sleeping bag, but can hardly see her breath suggesting her insulation is working well. She has a hole in her sleeping bag from the mice eating through it. She begins gathering wood by the lake side. She begins cutting and breaking sticks in to small pieces and has a good pile gathered. She uses a wire from her bra support to make a sewing needle to repair her sleeping bag. She repairs it nicely, with coarse cord.
Mikey is carving what looks like a fishing tool to wrap his fishing cord up on. He tells us that his ears are ringing again. He is carving a birthday present for his son. A waste of energy, but a mental distraction to help maintain his sanity. It is a cup and ball toy he is making.
2:14 PM at 32 F
Wyatt is in his sleeping bag after building up his fire. He begins gathering wood and builds a wood processing stand. He begins sawing a long log into small logs. He has an injured arm from a splinter that was in it for days.
Wyatt shows us his injured arm which is swelling. Using a multi tool, and he pulls out a splinter that is about 3/4" long. He got another piece out 14 days ago. This one is 1/2 the size of the first one. His are is swollen and infected, but hopefully it will star getting better. He bandages it.
Day 42 with a temperature of 32F
Alan is going fishing because there is no wind and the lake is calm. He checks his gill net and has caught nothing the whole time, so he starts hand fishing. Obviously his gill net it not in a good location. Alan needs 3,100 calories per day to maintain his weight. A lake trout has about 1,200 calories, suggesting he needs 3 per day.
Having caught nothing despite several bites, he gives up and goes hunting. He is missing his family, feeling guilty and a pain in his chest.
He returns to camp exhausted.
Wyatt is going to slice up some mushrooms he found. The squirrels and mice are eating it, so he falsely thinks he can safely eat them. You should NEVER eat mushrooms that you cannot clearly identify. He puts a piece in his mouth and leaves it there. Not exactly the Universal Edibility test. Deadly mushroom toxins take effect 6 to 14 hours after injection. He goes hunting with his bow, sees and shoots a 2 lb grouse with his bow. He was able to detect it due to the snow and tracks. It was also easy to find his arrow. He shoots a second 2 lb grouse with his bow. He returns to camp to clean and cook them instead of continuing to hunt while he is being successful.
Melanie is checking her dead fall trap to catch the mice in her shelter. She is going to skin it, save the fur, and eat the meat. She cooks it in a pot over her outside fire, raising the question of whether she has a fire in her shelter to stay warm. She is talking about all she has and her family, and crying, the type of talk we hear before they typically tap out.
Day 43 7:51 AM
Mikey is walking around with his bow, hunting, but sees nothing. He found a big rusty nail and is planning to make a knife out of it, like Biko did in Season 8. He starts his fire to distract himself from tapping out. Using his single edge Axe and multi-tool, he begins shaping it & quenching it.
Later we see him in his shelter carving a sheath for his new knife which has a leather wrap handle (and sheath).
Melanie's site is up in a shallow cove which may impact her fishing success. She goes fishing with a hand line in a narrow band of calm water. She has only caught one fish so far, and this shallow water is probably why. As she talks, about life, she is about to cry. She won't last much longer. She has a person at home, that she doesn't want to spend one more day away from, so Melanie is Tapping out on Day 43.
She says that she could stay much longer, but is not happy here. Every day is precious and she wants to spend time with her family. She has cracked mentally, and seeks to rationalize her decision. Being alone is difficult, but being alone and starving is even harder.
3 People Remain
Alan is in his shelter, celebrating his birthday. It is too windy to go fishing he says. He is storing fish in his Bear bag, hanging away from his shelter. He is eating 3 fish for his birthday. He has a lot of fish stored, putting him in a strong position. He is talking about his wife missing him on his 52nd birthday. He can feel the mental pressure and is guessing the others who are still here are doing the same, so he resolves to push on as he starts to eat a huge piece of fish. Eating too much too fast could pose a health risk. He goes to check his gill net, which is tangled as if something big is in it. The water is splashing and it is hard to check. He is excited, a bit too much, to catch a 6 pound (his estimate) Cisco white fish in his gill net. The fish is alive and fresh. He says this is his biggest fish yet. He begins to scale his fish and gut it. He has plenty of food, and just need to keep his head in the game.
To celebrate his birthday, he is going to have a fireworks display with a bear flare. Not a good idea as it reduces his supply of bear flares and scares other game away.
We open with a word of wisdom from Kenji Miyazawa, who I've never heard of, "We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey" which sounds like good advice.
3 People Remain
Mikey has built a nice snow man in this 38F temperature. Talks to his family, before going hunting, which is critical to his staying longer. The fresh fallen snow show tracks of animal movement making tracking easier, but he sees only rat tracks. He is tired and heads back to his shelter. He fears failure and if he doesn't eat soon he will fail. He has lost 67 pounds so far. Back in his shelter he sets a dead fall trap. He plans on hunting and getting some big game, which is possibly migrated south or in hibernation.
9:18 AM 41F
Wyatt is out after all the snow has melted to check his gill net. He wisely is carrying his bow with him. He recognized it is down to the time where you must win the mental game. The water is very rough, as he catches a 4 lb white fish in his gill net. Probably a good time to use his hand line for fishing. He is back at camp cleaning his fish. His camp is near the water, but this is not where his net is, as it is a fair walk from camp. He has probably searched until he started catching fish. He hopes to bring his wife and boys hear some day. Family talk like this suggests the mental pressure is tough, but he doesn't seem close to cracking yet. He is cleaning his white fish.
Alan is shirtless for a skinny check on video. He has lost 53 pounds since day one. It has warmed up to 41F as he goes fishing with his hand line. He is fishing from what looks like a point, with steep hills around, there is likely deep water near by. IT is a long way to the other side of the water. He catches 4 pound Lake Trout with his hand line. He begins cleaning his catch, instead of continuing to fishing while having success. As he cleans his fish, he finds and unusual growth on the organs of his fish. It appears to be a tapeworm larva. He must insure this fish is cooked well. He cuts himself lightly while cleaning the fish. He has the fish ready for his smoker. He knows that if he quits, he will be wishing he should have tried harder. He boils some of the fish and some water in a pot. This is an efficient way to cook your food, capture all the nutrients and consume the juice for fluids.
Mikey caught two mice in his dead fall trap. He begins to clean them. They will make a good soup with some other plants. He stuffs a mouse for his son and sews it up.
7:57 AM - 28 F
Alan is cold even in his name brand sleeping bag which is rated for -40. He captured his breath in ths sleeping gag which helped. Next time he will heat us some rocks to sleep with.
Alan is out in the cold on a calm day and planning to go fishing with his hand line. He threw his whole fishing rig in the water due to cold hands, but recovered it.
Mikey is in his shelter carving a round log, and later cooking some reindeer moss in his pot. Natives use reindeer most to treat inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. He hasn't caught a single fish. His moss taste like wheat cereal. He has carved a hole in a long and will burn it deeper. He is taking about his wife's cooking as he battles the head game of being alone, which is why this is one of the toughest survival challenges. He sees a martin and has his bow near by, but is gone before he can get a shot on him.
He returns to his shelter and it has been raided by a varmint, probably that martin. It will keep coming back, until he can kill it.
Wyatt is on the move hunting after a big breakfast, as his food supply is good, and he is less conservative. He talks about his life struggles. He returns via his gill net location and has caught a 15 lb Pike in his Gill Net. This puts him in a strong position to win this contest. As he puts his net back in the water, we can see that he is setting in much deeper than any others.
9:43 AM - 22F, everything is covered with snow.
Alan heads to his rock to fish with his and line. His fishing point is icy and slippery in places. He is throwing his fishing line very far out. He is cold as he continues throwing his line out to different places. His fishing may be coming to an end until the ices is thick enough to ice fish. He is going to eat a big meal today, hoping his competitors don't have as much food as he does.
Wyatt exits his shelter with his bow and begins to cut wood. A quote from Thomas Edison: "Opportunity is most often missed because it dressed in overalls and looks like work." He continues cutting trees for fire wood, with his large saw, until he has 50 pieces of fire wood.
Wyatt is in his shelter with it being 22F outside. He has been storing his fish in a cooler bag he made out of plastic gaiters, frozen moss and ice on day 44. He seems like he is doing well, until 9:30 when he awakens to find the wind switches direction and his chimney catches fire. He was able to get it put out. He forgot to water down the moss on his shelter near the chimney. It is probably best to use mud near the fire place instead of moss.
Wyatt has a nice fire going. with 50 mile per hour winds on the outside that cause smoke to blow back in his shelter, raising the question, what could we do to prevent this?
Wyatt is in his shelter, avoiding a -1F windchill factor out side. He goes out to work on his fire place Adding rocks around it to prevent the wind from blowing smoke back in his shelter.
12:36 PM - 21 F
Mikey is in his shelter singing happy birthday to his 5 yo son. He is struggling with food and mentally as he shows the many toys he made for his son. Nice toys but he wasted a lot of energy that could have been used to find food. Things like this can serve as a mental distraction from important things, but also provide comfort. He is close to cracking.
He goes hunting as he has no food stores like the other two.
It looks like the winner will be Wyatt or Alan at this point, based on food supply.
We open to a quote by Robert Service, The Quitter saying "Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight."
3 People Remain
Wyatt is outside "smoking" (actually jerking) lake trout and Pike by heating a rock with the fish on it. Next he saws fire wood, with his long saw which quickly slices through 6-8" logs.
Alan is in his shelter with a layer of snow over his Tee Pee when his camera battery dies. He returns and begins to start his fire and we can see the cold frost as he exhales. His time now is focused more on getting fire wood that finding food. He misses his wife, his life partner, as he starts to sound like the stress is getting to him.
6:23 PM - 18 F
Alan has been in his shelter since 4 PM the day before, so over 26 hours straight. Keep trying is his moto, stay focused.
9:16 AM - 14 F
Mikey is in his shelter eating snow, pretending it is ice cream. The calories required for the body to heat the snow off sets its hydration value. He goes out and we see everything covered with snow. He is exhausted. The lake looks to be covered in a thin layer of ice. He is shivering and struggles to get warm, which is not a good sign. He catches his 21st mouse. Mikey saved some berries on day 35 and plans to eat some today.
Wyatt is outside to check his gill net and go hunting for grouse or squirrel. With the ice forming, he thinks he should take his net out. He "still has lots of fish" and is confident that he can still catch fish by ice fishing once the lake freezes over. No fish, but he recovers his net.
9:34 AM - 7F
Alan is gathering firewood to last a couple of nights. He is sawing some 3-4" logs with a long saw. Now he is going to start working on some snow shows for ice fishing.
Mikey is in his shelter and sleeping bag trying to stay warm. He just received a message that they are coming to do a Med Check. He is struggling to put his boots on. His hands and feet are freezing. It is likely he will be pulled for medical reasons. They check him and go out for a chat, which is not a good sign. We hear them talking about their concern about his cold feet. Inside he is crying for failing his family saying he can't do this any more. Mikey officially taps out on Day 55 before the Med team can with draw him for medical reasons as they were planning to do
10:17 AM - 6 F
2 People Remain
Wyatt is looking strong as he looks to go ice fishing after building an ice ladder, using snare wire to secure the poles together. This will distribute his weight over a larger area. He has a jigging stick to fish with. Fish move to deeper, warmer water with the lake ices over. The Ice is only covering the shallow water. His ice rod is a food long and he used that to measure the line as it unwinds it and drops his hook into the water. The water is 10 feet deep.
Wyatt is ice fishing in 10' deep water.
Probably not deep enough, so he will try again tomorrow.
Day 57 - 4 F
Alan has a Med Check scheduled today. He walks out on the ice with his snow shoes to fish. He puts some moss around his fishing hole because scientist believe the sugar alcohols in moss create an antifreeze property that melts ice and snow. -12 F Chill Factor. He can use his moss to cover the hole with insulation. No fish.
Wyatt is going to try and put his gill net under the ice, to fish 24 hours per day. He cuts a slot in the ice for his gill net and puts it in the water. Current temperature is 0 F. Inside his shelter, we can see his frosty breath as he exhales. He drinks some warm water. He loses a toenail from dehydration drying to toe nail bed. He hears something outside. Hopefully not something eating his fish supply. Suddenly his shelter catches on fire. Fortunately he has several containers of water to put it out.
Alan is ice fishing in 6F temperature and his hands are too cold to fish, so he returns to the shelter.
Wyatt is going to check his gill net places in a slot in the ice, but nothing. So now he is going to cut fire wood.
Wyatt is in his shelter and kills a mouse with his hand. Alan is in his shelter wondering how many people are left.
Alan is in his shelter trying to get warm.
Wyatt is in his shelter and doesn't plan on going out to check the gill net. He water bucket is 3' from his fire and is frozen each morning. His body is growing weak... the cold is winning.
Wyatt is outside in 27 mph wind. He looks at the ice in 8 F temperatures. The ices is broken up, his gill net is probably gone. He needs water, but the wind is making the water too dangerous. He goes back to the shelter to cooks some fish
His body is starting to fail him and his mind is wandering. It looks like he is about to crack after appearing to be the leading contender.
Wyatt is looking at a calm day and is talking like he is about ready to tap out. He is rationalizing quitting. He has done the self healing he needed to do. He achieved what he wanted to do. Wyatt is Tapping out on Day 64.
This crying at the end is discouraging, but I'm sure they are all instructed to whine a little.
Alan is the winner but doesn't know it yet. He gets the med check signal and jumps up to get ready. He shows us his body, which doesn't look bad. He seems to be in good spirits. The Med team interviews him and his wife sneaks up behind him to congratulation him like usual.
He takes his wife in his Tee Pee and shows her around. He will miss the quite evenings fishing at sun set. He had an owl that was like his pet, landing right beside him.
To be continued
Stay tuned for next week.
For additional information see the following links:
Alone Season 2 Pack List
Alone Season 3 Pack List
Alone Season 4 Pack List
EDC For Women
EDC For Men
Best Survival Knife
Best Campsite Selection Criteria
Acorn Flour Pancakes
Prepper Gift List
Bear: Fire Arm or Spray?
Noodling for fish
Primitive Fire Building
Nomadic Prepper Strategy
Catch your own live bait (for fishing)
How to make clay pots
Quickly craft stone tools
3 Odd techniques for catching fish
Step by Step Prepper Plan