History Channel Alone survival series

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History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:31 pm

For folks who might not know, History Channel is airing a new survival series called Alone tonight.

Set in the wilderness of Northern tip of Vancouver Island, there are 10 participants, each considered to be "experts". Each is left alone, without any teams, producers or camera crews to offer any form of assistance (much like Les Stroud style). At the end of Alone, there is a prize valued at $500,000 to whoever is able to survive the longest. Which is interesting as this is a show of who can survive the longest, which will make for some interesting decisions and camp craft. Each participant has a single backpack, carrying whatever they can fit into it to aid them in their survival.



I am looking forward to this show, as I am from the Pac NW and so have already had a few laughs seeing how out of their elements some folks in the preview are. The Pac NW can be a harsh place or an easy one, it all depends on your skill set and knowledge base.

I also like how this is a longer term survival concept. Which means more permanent camp set ups will be applied. Longer term methods of survival should be displayed, like trapping, and even preserving meat and edibles for leaner times.

It should be interesting.

A couple of the participants are BCUSA members (one of them is actually a BCUSA mod). Which should make things interesting to see how they do. And plenty have youtube channels. For more info on the show and the bios of the people in it check out History channel's site page http://www.history.com/shows/alone
Last edited by ineffableone on Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:38 pm

Some of the folks in the show personal youtube channels.

JoeRobinetBushcraft
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCts-8Z ... 9nxy3DN8Cg


Kullcraven Bushcraft
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo1SDj ... ihAJL24xxg



NativeSurvival
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAW5Xg ... DAQME9o6OQ
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by tookieblueeyes » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:02 pm

I have been looking forward to the premier of "Alone" and even though I have never spent serious time in the Pac NW myself I have heard that it can be quite harsh for the survivalist so I am very interested in seeing how things turn out for the 10 participants of the show.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:44 pm

tookieblueeyes wrote:I have been looking forward to the premier of "Alone" and even though I have never spent serious time in the Pac NW myself I have heard that it can be quite harsh for the survivalist so I am very interested in seeing how things turn out for the 10 participants of the show.
If you have the knowledge and skills, the Pac NW can actually be quite easy to survive in. That is the funny part to me, there are insane amounts of resources in the region to aid survival. Back in the day, the natives invented the potlatch, a party that was a contest to see who could give away the most food. They were able to do this because there really was an amazing amount of edibles available.

However if one is not used to temperate rainforests, the damp and wetness along with lush vegetation can become quite daunting. Fire starting for example is a challenge to those not skilled at finding dry materials. Ferro rod firemaking is only as easy as it is to find good dry tinder. If it has been raining for two weeks straight, finding dry tinder can be a challenge to those not used to the Pac NW. And even then the air is often quite damp which make friction fire an extreme challenge. Hand drill or plow friction fire is only possible during extremely dry moments, which are not common in the forests since even when it is hot and dry weather, it is causing moisture to evaporate from the trees creating a dampness in the air that gets trapped under the tree canopy. Bow drill can work but it is a much bigger challenge than in other drier regions due to more dampness in the air, you really have to work the bow drill to overcome that damp.

Shelter also becomes quite essential in the Pac NW. Not just a little place to hole up in, but something big enough you can work and improve your ability to survive out of the rain. The Pac NW is well known for long periods of rain, not downpours, but mists and drizzles and showers lasting weeks. This means you need a fairly decent shelter you can stand up in and maneuver large items. This can also give you a place to dry items like wood for fires, your clothes, food, etc.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:16 pm

Oh BTW I just found out the author of the "Going Home" series, Angery American AKA Chris Weatherman is also one of the cast members for this show. Which should be interesting. A lot of folks like that series, so we will now get to see if his skills are up to par with his writing.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:40 am

Well just as I had thought from watching the sneak peek, these guys don't know the Pac NWet. Though have to give credit to Mitch for being the first to get a fire, wasn't till the 2nd night, but he finally got one.

Josh tapped out in under 24 hr because bears came to investigate his camp. He ended up letting himself build it up into animals stalking him. They were just curious, a new neighbor moved in and they were coming to see what was going on.

I find it funny how freaked out by the animals so many of the people are in this show. Wolves and bear don't really scare me. I respect the hell out of them but in general they are not going to attack unless provoked, so for me more animals to enjoy than to fear. Cougar on the other hand are the ones that while I wouldn't say I am scared of, I am quite wary of and have a healthy fear of what they can do. Wolves and bear you will hear coming and will typically come head on, but cougar are stealthy and can stalk rings around you with no sound. Cougar are also patient, and will stalk prey for hours until they find the right place to wait and pounce from behind and or above. Truly a predator to respect.

It will be interesting to see how the series progresses. Especially as more folks drop out and they can concentrate more screen time to each person. This episode seemed to concentrate a lot on a few guys with just minimal footage of some of the other guys. Of course they have only the footage that the guys give them, so if people are not filming much they don't get screen time.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:08 pm

BTW for anyone who wants to watch but without access can find it on History Channel's website http://www.history.com/shows/alone/vide ... -it-begins
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by tookieblueeyes » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:40 am

ineffableone wrote: Josh tapped out in under 24 hr because bears came to investigate his camp. He ended up letting himself build it up into animals stalking him. They were just curious, a new neighbor moved in and they were coming to see what was going on.

I find it funny how freaked out by the animals so many of the people are in this show. Wolves and bear don't really scare me. I respect the hell out of them but in general they are not going to attack unless provoked, so for me more animals to enjoy than to fear.
Honestly, I could tell right off the bat that Josh was going to tap out fairly quickly after he saw what he was up against. When he came across that sow and her cub up in the tree... Yeah, I could almost hear him crappin' his pants. But what can you expect from a man who OBVIOUSLY hasn't spent any good amount of time in bear country. He said so himself that the most he has encountered in his home territory and haunts around Ohio was Coyotes.

Seems like everyone is afraid of the natural fauna anymore. Guess that's going to provide some entertainment throughout the show. See how these grown men work out how to cope with their fears and preconceived notions about these animals.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:07 am

tookieblueeyes wrote:
ineffableone wrote: Josh tapped out in under 24 hr because bears came to investigate his camp. He ended up letting himself build it up into animals stalking him. They were just curious, a new neighbor moved in and they were coming to see what was going on.

I find it funny how freaked out by the animals so many of the people are in this show. Wolves and bear don't really scare me. I respect the hell out of them but in general they are not going to attack unless provoked, so for me more animals to enjoy than to fear.
Honestly, I could tell right off the bat that Josh was going to tap out fairly quickly after he saw what he was up against. When he came across that sow and her cub up in the tree... Yeah, I could almost hear him crappin' his pants. But what can you expect from a man who OBVIOUSLY hasn't spent any good amount of time in bear country. He said so himself that the most he has encountered in his home territory and haunts around Ohio was Coyotes.

Seems like everyone is afraid of the natural fauna anymore. Guess that's going to provide some entertainment throughout the show. See how these grown men work out how to cope with their fears and preconceived notions about these animals.
Sad part is if he knew anything about bears he would have realized, that they were up the tree because they were terrified of him. When they came to his shelter later that night it was them coming to check out who the squatter in their front yard was, and to see if maybe he had a pot of honey they could borrow. Can't really blame them, he was literally camping right in their yard. They finally overcame their fear of him and got curious. His "hey bear" was all he needed to scare them away.

Now of course if he had stayed, he should have moved his camp well away from the bears. Otherwise they would have been bumping into eachother too often, and cubs and mom plus new human stranger don't make a great mix. If he had known anything about bears, after seeing how close he was camped to their den and seeing them in the tree he should have moved his camp that very night. Not out of fear, but out of respect. He was setting up in someone else's place, just polite to move when you discover it is occupied.

Something I have been finding out on the BCUSA thread, since 2 of the guys from the show are on BCUSA, is that there was only 3 vehicles to drop people off. So some were dropped off early morning but Dustin the last guy dropped off was dropped off as the sun was setting. So a lot of the guys had little to no time to find and set up a camp that first night. Which I think was really poor planning and production. That sets all the late guys up for a bad start. Less chance to find a reasonable camp site, less chance to get fire, less chance to find food, less chance to get decent sleep. All of which will effect their next day and events accumulate.

Even with the issues and problems of the show, I still find it much better than the typical survival shows. Doesn't hurt that I know a bit about 5 of the 10 guys to varying degrees. So I know a bit more about them than what has been given in the show. Also doesn't hurt that I have a morbid streak that enjoys watching them struggle in a region I grew up in. For me survival in the Pac NW is second nature, so it is almost like I'm one the Aliens from the movie Avatar watching guys stumble around making mistakes. And while I get a laugh or two at their expense, I am hoping they figure it out. I hope some of them at least learn and can demonstrate just how amazing the Pac NW is. Because it is a massively rich region filled with biodiversity that can support people quite well if they can over come a few hurdles, the main one being the damp makes fire difficult. Mitch had the right idea talking to that cedar tree though. And notice he was the only one to get a fire.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:55 am

So I figured I would share the youtube channels for the guys on the show that I know of.

Joe aka JoeRobinetBushcraft https://www.youtube.com/user/josephallen19

Mitch aka Nativesurvival https://www.youtube.com/user/Nativesurvival/featured

Wayne aka Kullcraven Bushcraft https://www.youtube.com/user/kullcraven/featured

Alan aka AK Guardian https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMlYDi ... nw-NCktFiQ

Sam aka Samuel Larson https://www.youtube.com/user/thesamspot/featured
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by Keith B » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:24 pm

It looks like History Channel decided a backpack full of their own gear was to easy. Going over the gear list and watching the first episode, it appears they had to choose from what they were offered.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:41 pm

Keith B wrote:It looks like History Channel decided a backpack full of their own gear was to easy. Going over the gear list and watching the first episode, it appears they had to choose from what they were offered.
They got a list of 40 possible items they could bring. They got to bring their own (subject to approval) versions of items. So you got to pick your brand of axe or knife or tarp etc. It wasn't that they had a pile of items and the people picked from them.

Something I found out from the BCUSA guys, they actually got freebie tarps
dustinf wrote:We were always getting the canvas tarp in addition to our 10 items. We ended up with the 5x7 because they had to put out our camera gear days in advance of our arrival and they used it to wrap everything up.

I'm not sure if guys were given the chance to swap out or not. I was going to rely on the canvas tarp from the beginning, and a tarp wasn't ever one of my items.
Which explains why some like Dustin and Mitch didn't pick a tarp as an item if they knew they were going to get a freebie one that wasn't part of their 10. Though because I know that area I would have still had a 12X12 tarp. I regularly camp in the Pac NW with 2 tarps and a tent, as well as with a ground cloth.

I also learned that the list on the site is sort of generic. It says 12X12 tarp but that was the max size they were allowed and actually most had 10X12 or 10X10 rather than the full 12X12. Same with cordage and fishing line. The equipment lists show the the max allowed amount, but that is not necessarily how much was brought.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by modustollens » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:01 pm

I watched it yesterday. Looks good.

I had to do a similar exercise during my .mil survival training years ago, though not for an unlimited time and with far less equipment. It was exhausting. Getting enough food to cover all the calories needed for such a labour intensive period would be a prime concern that would take up a lot of time.

I was surprised they had so much trouble making fire but I suspect the way the video was edited the producers made it look harder than it actually was.

One guy was out within the first 30 min... I did not expect that.

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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:57 pm

modustollens wrote:I watched it yesterday. Looks good.

I had to do a similar exercise during my .mil survival training years ago, though not for an unlimited time and with far less equipment. It was exhausting. Getting enough food to cover all the calories needed for such a labour intensive period would be a prime concern that would take up a lot of time.

I was surprised they had so much trouble making fire but I suspect the way the video was edited the producers made it look harder than it actually was.

One guy was out within the first 30 min... I did not expect that.

MT
The Pac NW is a rain forest, just not a tropical one. Temperate rainforests like the Pac NW have the added difficulty of being cooler in the weather, which means the air gets to a saturation point a lot faster than warm temps. The damp and colder temps also makes hypothermia much higher risk.

The Pac NW fire is not easy for those not from the area. We often have weeks straight of rain. Not full down pours, but drizzles and mists constantly for extended periods which will make everything damp and wet. This means finding dry material is a lot harder unless you know where to look. Also there is a pervasive humidity. So what seems dry actually still has plenty of moisture and the air itself does. That makes fire lighting a struggle for folks not from the region. It should also be noted, dead wood often never becomes a nice dry seasoned wood, but goes from live to rotting after it dies. Rotting wood tends to draw moisture into it which makes it rot more.

I laugh a bit at the guys in the show trying to make fire, because it is something I have been dealing with since a kid, so find it a little amusing how much other struggle with what I think of as par for the course. However I have lived outside the NW, and can empathize a bit. Fire lighting in the Pac NW is not easy, experienced bushcrafters not used to the region struggle with it, and I don't think they are editing to make it look harder, it really is hard.

I went camping with some friends one time. The 2nd day I was woken by them because they could not get a fire going. This was with lighters and matches! None of my friends were NW raised. One was an experienced outdoorsman, but from a desert state. They had been trying for over 2 hours and just could not get a fire going. From the time I got out of my tent to having a fire going took me 15 min. Most of which was materials collection.

So yes you can get fire going in the Pac NW "easily" but like a lot of things, it is only easy if you know the right tricks and technique. I would liken it to finding water in the desert. If your not from the desert, finding water is a lot harder than you might think, but expert locals seem to have no trouble.

Things like cedar bark, fat wood, pine sap, etc all help to overcome the damp of the NW.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by modustollens » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:13 am

Indeed - I have been in wet conditions like that and found that a sharp eye for the right material is key.

When walking through the bush if I find some good material I'll slip it into my pack for later use - I have birch bark, for example, stuffed into many pockets in various packs from various trips. I lit a fire with birch bark in the Saudi desert once.

Humidity has an effect on kindling that is often underestimated - some of that acts like a sponge - even dry wood, when split down, absorbs water from the air very quickly.


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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by JackBauer » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:00 pm

Daughter and I managed to watch the first episode. We enjoyed it and look forward to watching more. We liked the fact it was more les Stroud inspired than some of the other survival show types.

As for Josh deciding to opt out after several bear encounters. I think he made a wise survival decision, especially as he has children/family to take care of.
Regardless of what the bear 'experts' say on this thread. The bears Josh encountered are wild animals and all it would have take was the bears to get too curious or perception of cubs being threatened and situation could have gone awry.
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:22 pm

Figured posting a picture of a map for the participants as well as a google maps link to see the area might be helpful for folks.

Image

And while we are at it, might as well post the link to google maps of the location too.
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.49397 ... a=!3m1!1e3
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:44 pm

JackBauer wrote:Daughter and I managed to watch the first episode. We enjoyed it and look forward to watching more. We liked the fact it was more les Stroud inspired than some of the other survival show types.

As for Josh deciding to opt out after several bear encounters. I think he made a wise survival decision, especially as he has children/family to take care of.
Regardless of what the bear 'experts' say on this thread. The bears Josh encountered are wild animals and all it would have take was the bears to get too curious or perception of cubs being threatened and situation could have gone awry.
Considering his knowledge level of bears, I agree that he made a wise decision. His lack of bear knowledge could easily have gotten him killed. I had commented how he obviously didn't have the right knowledge. Also stating if he had stayed he would have had to get a good distance away to avoid constant bumping into the bears and how bad a mix that was.
ineffableone wrote:Sad part is if he knew anything about bears he would have realized, that they were up the tree because they were terrified of him. When they came to his shelter later that night it was them coming to check out who the squatter in their front yard was, and to see if maybe he had a pot of honey they could borrow. Can't really blame them, he was literally camping right in their yard. They finally overcame their fear of him and got curious. His "hey bear" was all he needed to scare them away.

Now of course if he had stayed, he should have moved his camp well away from the bears. Otherwise they would have been bumping into eachother too often, and cubs and mom plus new human stranger don't make a great mix. If he had known anything about bears, after seeing how close he was camped to their den and seeing them in the tree he should have moved his camp that very night. Not out of fear, but out of respect. He was setting up in someone else's place, just polite to move when you discover it is occupied.
I feel for the guy, his location really screwed him. This is something I had posted over on BCUSA
Though in his defense, he was pretty screwed with locations. Being dropped right into a bear's front yard with her having 2 cubs was setting him up for some serious issues with that bear family. He would have had to move his camp a good distance but would have been running into those bears regularly while out foraging not to mention in competition with them for food, and would have to pass through there territory to get to the camera drop zone.
Someone with good bear knowledge and experience would have had issues with that location, so for someone without I agree he was likely smart to tap out. Those bears would have been a constant issue, unless his proximity caused them to leave, which would be depending on the momma bear to make that decision. Some might some might not, depending on her personality.

Me being used to bears and knowing a good deal about their behavior and how to camp in bear country, I would likely have moved my camp and stuck out at least a couple more days. But I might have tapped out if the bears presence was just too much.

Or of course the other option, which is not the best, is to kill the bears. Bear meat could go a long way to keeping one alive, though being so early and having no smoker, etc set up a difficult proposition. Also hunting bear with a bow, is a risky thing. You have to be damn sure of your shot. Plus with cubs, you have them to deal with also. Then there is the legalities, do they have permits to hunt bear. Could a momma and two cubs legally be killed? I am sure if I was on the show and succeeded in killing momma and cubs, there would have been a lot of hate for doing so. Even though in survival I would not bat an eye at doing something like that. Getting meat is having to kill to stay alive. And removing a security threat of bears in the area at the same time.

Now not saying I would have hunted the bears, just pointing out the option.

I see the bears for Josh was a bad situation. If it were me, I would have moved that very night right after locating the den site. And would have tried to see if I could get far enough away to at least get some time out there to evaluate if I should tap out or could continue. But as I said, I am familiar with bear and this region. For Josh he likely did the wise thing for his situation.
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ineffableone
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:20 pm

Someone over on BCUSA made a great easy to read list of the gear for the people on the show, since this forum doesn't have the same table code set up here is a screen cap of it.

Image
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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by KGBrick » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:37 pm

ineffableone wrote:Someone over on BCUSA made a great easy to read list of the gear for the people on the show, since this forum doesn't have the same table code set up here is a screen cap of it.
Mmm, data. I like that, thanks for sharing it. Interesting choices in some places.

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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:11 am

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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by Delsaw » Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:53 am

Thanks for the google maps link. Interesting to see there are roads on the island. I enjoyed the first episode and look forward to seeing more. As someone from the Southeast US, that environment it a whole different world.

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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:50 pm

Wayne posted up a video about his axe carry for Alone, figured I would share it for folks here.

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Re: History Channel Alone survival series

Post by ineffableone » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:07 am

Another good episode.

Great to see folks starting to really set up and settle in, hopefully Joe finds his ferro rod now that he has a better location. Odd they scouted out locations for you guys but dropped people off in places with no water or total swamp land or in a bear's front yard. Seems like they maybe made sure you guys had challenges. Good to see more guys getting fire, while they didn't make much of a big deal of it, seems like everyone except Brant has gotten fire.

Chris tapping out, I saw that coming when he mentioned being scared of dogs and he was out in the woods chasing wolves last episode.

Wonder if Mitch setting up the tarp outside his shelter had something to do with me mentioning on his youtube channel I would often set up a tarp along with a tent camping out here in the Pac NW? Since it can rain for such extend periods of time having an out door space you can work in out of the rain becomes pretty important. I know I have mentioned it on his youtube channel a few times, though not sure if it was before the filming of this show or after.

Missed Dustin, he seem to have gotten shafted this episode and barely shown.

LOL, Alen was funny this episode. Not a tech guy oh boy I foresee some camera follies in the future. Slugs are edible, but you do have to cook them good and remove the slime. The slime btw is a natural topical anesthetic. It can be used to numb a wound, or a toothache.

Wayne got a bit more time and it was good to see some of him this episode. LOL he found a float and named it.

Hardly any Sam though. I am guessing he didn't do much filming. Seems like he waited a bit long to set up his water catchment. But better late than never.

I was hoping for a bit more with Lucas, I suspect he will be a strong contender. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders, and from what we have seen from this episode and his previews he seems to be doing some serious camp building.

Little bummed we didn't get much with Brant. He is the one guy I don't have much read on and don't really have much prediction on how he might do. Sounds like he is the only one who hasn't gotten fire yet.
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