I am halfway through the sixth season of the Alone TV show and have enjoyed watching it with my wife.
I am not much of an outdoorsman yet, but I am hoping to do a lot more hiking and camping with my kids as they grow up.
I have a few strategy ideas for Alone based on what I’ve seen:
The main challenge is calories:
- How many extra pounds of fat do you have when you arrive? The winner of Season 5 was something like 70 or 80 pounds overweight… he never really was able to get many calories, but his fat carried him through.
- What is your resting rate of calorie burn? Being smaller helps.
- What physical activities do you invest yourself into that cost calories? Don’t build a gym or go on random explorations. Every action needs a survival purpose.
- How many calories can you find and eat? Come into the show with a lot of knowledge and skills and the ability to be creative with the tools you have.
The next major challenge is mental:
- How will you handle extreme loneliness?
- How will you handle missing your spouse and kids?
- What will you do when you get bored?
- Can you handle these mental challenges while starving?
The third place challenge is what are your skills:
- Can you make a fire? Be very careful to protect the tools you have.
- Can you make shelter? Build something just enough to keep you warm, but don’t spend an extra 2-3 pounds of fat overbuilding.
- Can you identify different plants and animals to eat?
- Do you know how to trap / fish / hunt game animals and then clean and use them?
- Can you keep yourself hydrated?
- Can you deal with medical situations like injuries or stomach pain?
Out of 60 contestants so far, the winners have always been people who came onto the show with plenty of extra body fat. Only one winner, Dave from Season 2, had stabilized his weight, everyone else was simply starving to death. Some of the very competitive people have done well by getting tons of calories through things like gross shore fish (winners of Season 4) or by getting actual fish. Most competitors who have trapped mice or small game haven’t done well, though Season 6 they seem to be doing better with big rabbits.
Only 1 of the 60 contestants has gotten big game… a guy on Season 6 killed a moose. Pretty much the jackpot and if he can beat the mental game he should win the show. He has several hundred pounds of meat.
For the mental challenge, it seems that people who really grimly commit themselves to winning the show FOR their family are able to stick it out pretty well. Those who think their families are just wanting them to return do not do well.
All of the winners are miserable and describe their life as agony at the end and they are just trying to endure it to get the cash… so I think really being strongly money motivated would be a help.
More ideas from winners and strong contestants on the Alone TV show:
- Study the natives who lived off the land in the area you are going.
- Practice actually starving and dealing with it prior to the show
- Fatten up a ton before the show
- Focus your effort on low calorie expenditure, high return work like gathering clams and things on the shore, using a gill net, and fishing.
- Set up a minimal shelter the first few days and make sure you set up passive trapping devices that first day or two… gill net and snares.
- Fine a steady source of drinkable water so you avoid dehydration.
- Have a ton of bushcraft knowledge… most contestants, even the early quitters, are impressive this way.