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History Channel's Alone

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Chris from Chicago, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. As I watched the final episode I wondered who would make it with the extreme cold.
    I saw posted F temps in the -20's and -30's, with a couple wind chill temps in the F -59* range.
    We get temps like this in Minnesota and it is flat out dangerous when things get this cold.

    When Callie started talking about making her gill net, due to the lake finally freezing over, I said to myself....not with bare hands in that wind and those temps.
    Sure enough, she began to make the gill net and quit because her hands simply did not have the dexterity for more than a couple minutes in that extreme cold.

    I noticed the ice thickness grew quickly too. The first hole Roland made looked to be about 4 or 5 inches deep. A few days later he was chopping threw more, and a few days after that it looked to be about a foot of ice he chopped through.

    I would bet the inside of the shelter was not above freezing, even with the fire burning. This means going in to warm up is still cold enough to be a problem.
    The calories burned just to maintain body heat goes way up when conditions are like this.

    Just let that sink in for a bit.
    The outside temp is so cold that it is literally 50-60*F warmer inside the shelter...and it is still below freezing in the shelter.

    Yet here they are, in a position requiring them to go out, collect water, food and firewood every day in order to survive...Brutal to say the least.
    Bruce Racket and Deuce66 like this.
  2. GeetarFreek

    GeetarFreek Forum Resident

    Thanks for this thread, sooooo hooked on this show now !
  3. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    When it gets to the point where you have to eat the stomach contents of a herbivore to get some calories into your system....he used every part of that musk ox, also that late catch porcupine certainly helped (big time). He's made of much tougher stock than I am. Well earned despite not having the best spot of the ten contestants.
  4. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    I didn't quite understand how this was going to work, can it even be deployed on a lake that's completely frozen? Do you just drop the net into a hole in the ice and hope for the best? Also I don't get why she went outdoors to make the net, certainly this task could be accomplished inside where it's warmer.
  5. Borgia

    Borgia The owls are not what they seem...

    With only 4-5 hours of daylight. They had to make every minute outside count. Brutal, indeed.
  6. First, you make a hole in the ice and deploy the gill net. The net will hang on weights, into the unfrozen water, and be secured in some fashion from above. Yes, this would be a lot of work, and a LOT of maintenence to keep the net from being frozen in place because the open water you exposed will be refreezing at a very high rate.

    She tried to build the net outdoors because this is where there is enough space to literally build the net as it will hang in the water...the preferred method of building such a net.
    You could build the net inside the shelter, but it will be all bunched up and really difficult to get right because of that bunched up state.
  7. Yes, this is one more part of the overall difficult task many don't understand because we are used to lights, and other items available to help us cope in the dark hours.
    The predators...predators big enough to take you, the Human, are also out hunting when it is dark...They pretty much hunt when the opportunity presents itself in these winter conditions, but night time becomes even more dangerous for Humans because of our limitations.

    Running around in treacherous conditions in the dark presents a very real potential for injury too. Again, we think in terms of our normal. Twist an ankle, go to the Dr. if needed and rest to get better...Not possible in the wild.

    Fall and break a bone? Call for help, go to the Dr. get fixed up, go home to rest and recover. In the wild the fall may not kill you but lying there unable to get help will...or a predator realizing you are injured by your sounds or actions comes a huntin' and you look like an easy meal...maybe you some how make it back to your shelter and bandage yourself up but now you are hobbled and can not effectively fend for yourself. There is no paved walking trail to follow. The simple act of walking to the lake to get water is probably ten times harder than you would imagine due to the cold, snow build up, uneven terrain, predators, hunder and weakness, and slippery fall conditions.

    Remember, it was VERY HARD to get the necessities when you were fully able and now you are much less than able...You can starve, freeze, dehydrate, get ill because of infection...all from what we currently consider a simple fall or injury.

    4-5 hours of daylight, in -30*F conditions with -50*F windchills is hard enough will all the modern trappings.
    GodShifter, Deuce66 and Borgia like this.
  8. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    We just watched season six. Really enjoyed it especially the winner, his effort and ax fighting :) was great. Now e are on season one and man, the show has really progressed since then. The people in this first one don't have a clue or seem to have motivation and tap out at the slightest trouble. I'm guessing the training for contestants is much better than it was at the beginning.
    GodShifter likes this.
  9. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    Where does season 1 take place?
  10. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    Vancouver Island. We've gotten a few episodes in, so far it's not cold or snowing.
  11. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    Vancouver Island....wimps :D:D winters are mild/rainy in that part of Canada.
  12. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    The big problem for them is the constant rain and wetness. they are having a time getting a fire going. Bears are scaring them to tapping out.
    Deuce66 and Borgia like this.
  13. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    If I was a potential menu item for a grizzly I'd be tapping out in record time, black bears can be dealt with grizzlies and polar bears not so much.
  14. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    So far it's a black bear with two cubs that look like yearlings. They seem to be curious about the people but haven't tried foraging their shelters.
    Deuce66 likes this.
  15. Borgia

    Borgia The owls are not what they seem...

    If I remember correctly, they had winter weather on Vancouver Island, just not severe like on the Great Slave Lake. The thing about those couple of seasons on VI, some people got let out in great places to build a camp and fish, others in some pretty inhospitable looking terrain. Fishing was the main source of food, aside from whatever edible plants you could find. Although most contestants had bows and arrows I don't recall a single rabbit or squirrel killed (or snared) those first two seasons, much less any big game. Matter of fact that one dude Sam pretty much subsisted on mice he caught in his dead fall traps. There just didn't seem to be a lot of small game around.
    On S2 a woman was let out by a stream that flowed into a bay, and every day she caught so many fish in her gill net that she probably had more than she could eat, while others were struggling to catch anything. One day the salmon run was over and her fishing was done. She tapped out a couple of days after that.
    Location, location, location...
    GodShifter, Deuce66 and unclefred like this.
  16. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    One thing I noticed also, no snares. In season six everyone had been trained on snaring and that's what everyone went to right off, very successfully.
  17. GodShifter

    GodShifter Too angry to be saved

    Dallas, TX, USA
    I did my viewing similar to yours but in reverse order. I watched S1 and then jumped to S6.

    I definitely agree the production and the contestants improve over the course of time. I think with any of the locales, it is about location to an extent, but it’s also about resourcefulness. All the locations are picked carefully and have pluses and minuses to them. One might have great fishing and fresh water, but steep terrain and problems with timber, for example. Another might have great timber resources and lots of trapping spots available, but less fishing, etc. I don’t think it’s so much about where you are as what you can do with it. As seasons go on, the contestants are better because there’s a wider pool to pick from. The first season was probably very hit and miss in finding good, qualified bushmen and off the grid types. I think things have progressed nicely, but with more skilled people being chosen, you have to up the ante in terms of difficult locations. The Arctic is perfect in that it’s so rugged and the weather is brutal. Mongolia seemed challenging, but it was hard for the production team to extract people. So you’ve got to find the best of both worlds and in this world, there’s probably not a ton of locations that have almost zero population and no risk of contestants running into natives. There’s also the problem of keeping the show interesting: you can only watch people catch fish and rabbits while still slowly starving for so long. New angles need to be produced (like 100 day million dollar challenge) to keep the show fresh.

    Oh yeah, one other thing: it seems unfair to have these people have to conform to the hunting laws where they are. The idea is these people are trying to survive with minimal items, but they can’t fish with hooks or kill foxes in the Arctic and other places have had restrictions, too. So it’s not just “live off the land” because your hands are tied a bit in that regard. What makes it fair is everyone has to comply to the imposed hunting regulations, but it does cheapen the survival aspect a bit when they are forbidden from doing certain things.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
    unclefred likes this.
  18. Pay close attention to the snare success rates. In a few quick words you will hear one ot two contestants say how many snares they have set up.
    I think Kielyn (dark harid woman season seven) said she had 50 or so snares set up around her area, yet she was catching a rabbit or two every other week.

    When you casually watch the show you may get the impression there are three or five snares set up providing the catches...not so, and by a long shot too.
    Deuce66 and unclefred like this.
  19. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    Yes, the lack of daylight is a huge impediment. I've spent weekends in -40 conditions in a shelter I built with an axe and a shovel BUT I had all the food I needed and the comfort of knowing that civilization was not very far away and that I would be returning to it soon. I had eight hours of daylight and wished I had more because it becomes very boring (and a little spooky) once it's dark. The cold is not a big deal as long as you are dressed properly.
  20. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    I can just imagine how unnerving it must be when darkness comes and the nocturnal creatures vocalize and rummage around outside your structure.
  21. I can tell you from direct experience. Being in your structure, in my case a canvas tent, and hearing the wolves, or coyote, howling and getting closer is unnerving. It gets even more troublesome when you hear them make a kill near enough to your location that you hear them tearing the kill apart and eating it...Then they are literally outside your tent sniffing and talking to each other.

    Mountain lions are a bit different. You don't know they are there because they are very quiet...but you sense something and become alert. As I am laying in the sleeping bag, on my cot, looking blankly towards the flap door trying to listen carefully, I see...in the very dark, the flap move and the head peek in. I am now literally a foot from the Mountain Lion, knife in hand, but still in my sleeping bag. I chose to EXPLODE up out of the bag yelling and landing ready to fight. This quickly scared off the big cat...for which I was quite relieved, but still unable to sleep much that night...or the next...

    Skunks are NOT quiet, or careful. They ramble into camp in a group making all kinds of noise in the nearby brush. I clearly hear them right over there (I am sleeping outside in the open tonight) I roll onto my belly to look outward towards the noise and sure enough, there they are. Three of them gadding about looking for scraps and other things to eat or forrage.
    They appear out of the brush and start making their way towards my cot...I am still and quiet because they are now about 10 feet away and well within range to blast me good.
    They ramble to the left and the right, but mostly they are coming right over to my area.
    One goes left and around by about 3 feet. The other goes right and passes right next to the cot...he stinks, but is otherwise just passing through.
    The third waddles directly under my cot, but not before popping up to look over the edge and check me out a bit. He peeked right over my feet in the sleeping bag and looked right at me.
    I had slowly covered one eye so not to look like a predator. We looked at each other, I stayed still, they all moved on and were gone in about five more minutes...Nothing in this camp to eat for scraps because we keep things clean.

    I have also had a barn owl on the ten pole hooting away...That stinks because it is LOUD and keeps me awake but I really like owls so I left it be.
    The screech owl, on the other hand, could have moved on any time. MAN they are loud and this one hollered literally all night long until about 5am from the branches of the tree ten feet away.......SHUT UP ALREADY.

    I also had bear tracks in the snow all over camp one morning. I never heard this one, but he checked out everything, including the entire permiter of my tent.

    For me the wolves and coyotes present the biggest problem because they are pack hunters who will take big prey as a team...and I am not much of a threat to a determined pack.
    Most everything else can be startled off, or left to wander along, if done right.

    The critters that will give you a heart attack are mice, squirrels, and anything in the weasel family.
    The mice appear in the weirdest, small places and catch you off guard. They also make enough noise at night to alert you and cause you to wonder what is out there...until you realize it is IN here...and then you go searching.

    The squirrels can make so much noise you think a 500lb something is rambling through the woods toward you...then they appear and you chuckle. Unless it is a red squirrel. Red squirrels seem to ruin everything, every time.

    The weasels, well they are kind of like squirrels only not quite as loud. They zip around, moving in and out of tiny places with ease. They will come right in the tent, look at you as if to say, "hey man" "how's it going" then search around taking what they can grab.
    If you grab them they will bite you 1,600 times before you can even let go. If you try to scare them off they will leave for a few minutes, then return and try again, relentlessly until the yget something. Once they get something they will keep returning.
    They are fun to watch though and they are VERY adept hunters too.

    Wolf spiders...well they are a double edged sword of scary, big spider nightmares. If you leave them in the top portion of your tent you will not have many bugs in your tent. They are efficient. If you leave them in the top of your tent they will also eventually crawl over your face, or be in your sleeping bag so when you reach down to scratch that tickle on your leg you get a handful of big spider...and then the high pitched wailing and flailing starts and everyone is awake for the next two hours. I got a shudder just typing this part.

    Much of this is removed when camping in the winter cold. No bugs, and most of the critters are holed up comeplace for the duration...but not all of them.
    Deuce66 likes this.
  22. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Yup, this is just what I imagine being out in the wilderness to be like. I also watch The Last Alaskans and have a lot of respect for people who can handle themselves under such conditions. It just seems so bleak and basic a way to live and I'm spoiled from modern living but these folks seem almost possessed by their stark reality.
  23. If you live like this you are usually wired to live a very minimal lifestyle.
    As evidenced by the way most people live on this planet, regardless of location, we are not satisfied with the bare essentials and minimalist lifestyle...and the Yuppie, uncluttered, tiny-homes minimalist lifestyle does not even come close to the realities of the kind of minimalist existence we are talking about here.

    I think one of the hallmarks of the lifestyle revolves around having no desire for any of the modern trappings. They are not against those trappings as much as simply having no desire for them.
    TV...don't care.
    A/C...don't care.
    Indoor plumbing...dont' care.
    Electricity...if it is here I'll use it, but really don't care.
    Grocery store...don't care.

    It really is a different mentality and view on "the good life"
    Deuce66 likes this.
  24. Deuce66

    Deuce66 Forum Resident

    Roland in season 7 seems like the type who could live 100% off the land with no need for any of the modern conveniences you listed. I've heard the term nature deficit disorder thrown around and I would say that 99.9% of us suffer from it, humans have made great strides in detaching themselves from the true world (our origins). They call this progress but is it really if you think about it? I think losing touch with nature has lowered our respect for it, we are all part of this grande ecosystem and we need to be better stewards in my opinion.
  25. GodShifter

    GodShifter Too angry to be saved

    Dallas, TX, USA
    Who knew @cleandan was Larry Roberts from "Alone"? :laugh:

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