Surviving the longest on the Alone show on History channel may come down to the selection of the ten items of equipment from a list of 50 options.
Each of the contestants is allowed to select ten items of optional equipment from a group of 50 options. Lessons from the first season of the Alone show on History prove that those selections are critical and could mark the distinction between winning the show and an earlier than necessary departure.
On the first season of the Alone show on History, two contestants lost one of their critical pieces of equipment selected which then led to an immediate or later departure. Joe lost his ferro rod in the tide and without the ability to start fire in a place where that is very difficult, i.e., the drippy climate of Vancouver Island, he tapped-out early. It was a shame because Joe was a very strong competitor and looked like he could go the distance. Later on in the show, Mitch lost his gill net in the water which seriously impeded his ability to catch fish and really marked the beginning of the end of his stay on the island. He was already in the last four left and looked to be a real threat to win it all.
During the first season, I began thinking quite a bit during each show about the equipment I would like to take if confronted with such an adventure. Based on what happened to Joe and Mitch, it seemed it might not be a bad idea to take an extra ferro rod and an extra gill net among the ten items allowed from the optional list. Not being able to start a fire would be so critical that it might warrant taking an extra ferro rod. Joe just had pure bad luck with a moment of inattention in losing his in the tide and losing it otherwise might not be that likely, but the problems on the off-chance it is lost are harsh and might augur for taking an extra. As for the gill net, you know it is going to be in the water and subject to changes in the tide, the water levels and currents. Losing it seems to be a real possibility and covering that by taking another would seem justified. However, none of the contestants in the second season took an extra ferro rod or gill net. I guess the premium on each of the ten pieces of optional equipment is too great. But, it should also be noted that some of the contestants on season two did take two items of emergency rations in their ten items of optional equipment. Randy was the only one who took no emergency rations. We will see what happens.
Another item that struck me in the first season was wire. Considering the amount of wind on Vancouver Island, it seemed that a roll of wire would be a nice addition to wire together parts of any shelter built out of what is available in the woods. Contestants are allowed a roll of trapping wire as one of their ten items. I am just not sure how suitable trapping wire would be for other purposes such as that mentioned above. Randy from this second season is the only one to take the trapping wire in his ten items. Alan, the eventual winner in season one, was the only one of that group who took the trapping wire.
After the first show of the second season, that bivy bag is looking like a good selection for the ten optional items of equipment, too. Only two contestants chose to take it.
Many of the items I thought I would like to take are not on the list of the 50 optional items. Firearms are not allowed. Lanterns are not allowed. Alan’s devising of a fish trap out of a plastic bottle he found last season was brilliance that helped him to win the show and the $500,000 prize. But you can’t take a fish trap. I was also thinking a hoop-style, hand-held fishing net might be useful, but it is not on the list of 50 items and is not allowed.
It is really pretty interesting to see all the equipment that the contestants are either required or permitted to take. There is a large list of items that are in the nature of personal clothing. Then there is a large list of items that are primarily having to do with keeping the camera equipment dry and secure as well as safety equipment. As mentioned above, there is a list of the 50 items of optional equipment from which ten items may be selected. These 50 items are also pictured on one tab of the Alone section of the History channel website. There is also the ability to see what each contestant picked as their 10 items both on the picture list and under their biographies. Here is a link to the main page of equipment lists and from there you can rummage around the site which is very cool, if you like the show.
Whether you are thinking about taking a plunge into the woods or are merely a couch-surfing survivalist, thinking about what equipment you would take into the void is very compelling and every episode of the Alone show on History puts a new spin on those critical selections.