10 Items to Help You Survive When You’re ALONE in the Wilderness
The Secret to Surviving “Alone”
Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely love the show “Alone” on the History channel. It is by far my favorite show regarding survival as it depicts the raw truth and reality about what it takes to survive alone in the wilderness. Not only does this show portray the ultimate physical limits of a human being, but it also taps into the extreme emotional side of these 10 survivalists. You watch as the 10 contestants quickly realize, “Hey, I am actually alone out here!” You watch as they do their best to quickly adapt to the unforgiving conditions of Vancouver Island with the 10 items that they personally choose for themselves to survive…for as long as it takes to be the last man standing.
This show is a true testament to physical endurance, emotional strength, faith, and most of all….TRUE SURVIVAL.
Season one contestant Alan Kay, a 40-year-old family man from Blairsville, Georgia, outlasted all the other contestants and made it 56 days surviving on Vancouver Island, making him the winner of season one. Watch this scene from the season one finale as he is told he has outlasted all the other contestants and is deemed the winner.
56 days…ALONE…in the wilderness! That’s pretty amazing! Now, let’s talk about the 10 items that Alan Kay chose to survive alone on Vancouver Island.
10 Survival Items Chosen by Alan Kay
1. Hand Saw
The hand saw was used quite often by Alan; anything from cutting limbs to clear paths to cutting bigger limbs and small logs for firewood.
All contestants from season one brought an axe with them to Vancouver Island. It’s a great multi-purpose item for anyone surviving in the wilderness. In my opinion, an axe is a must have tool for any terrain.
3. Sleeping Bag
If you know you’re going to be in the wilderness for a longer period of time, another must have item is a well insulated sleeping bag. It protects you from the cold and wet ground and keeps you warm and protected from the bitter night time temperatures. Weather in Vancouver Island was pretty unpredictable. The contestants experienced many rainy days and nights. Towards the end of season one, they experienced snow and freezing temperatures. Packing a sleeping bag was definitely a wise move.
4. 2 Quart Pot
According to Alan, a pot is one of the top three things a survivalist should bring, if not the most important. Alan used this item daily to boil lake water so it was safe to drink.
5. Ferro Rod
According to Alan, a ferro rod is also one of the top three items a survivalist should carry at all times. I completely agree! In a wet environment like Vancouver Island, a lighter and matches can be destroyed but, a good quality ferro rod will strike every time.
Now, finding dry tinder in a wet environment is a different story. If you collect tinder that is moist or wet, keeping that tinder inside your clothing (i.e. body heat) is a great way to dry it out. A pant pocket or in between shirt layers is a great example.
A canteen can be used for a host of different things – not just staying hydrated. You can use it to cook in a pinch, especially if the canteen is stainless steel or aluminum. You can boil water in it to carry your supply from one place to another. It can also be used to gather food.
7. Small Gauge Gill Net
A gill net is like a large volleyball net that can be set up and left unattended as you go about your day-to-day survival tasks. Fish swim right into it, catching themselves. Not only is it less effort than real fishing – which is important when you’re trying not to burn any precious calories – but, it can also be used as a snare to catch wild game.
It’s important to remember that a gill net that catches fish in large amounts is illegal in most places, and is only to be used in emergency survival situations.
8. 300 Yard Single Filament Line With 25 assorted Hooks
Alan didn’t need to use these items as much, because the gill net didn’t require as much of his time and energy. However, it’s a good backup, especially if you know your location has plenty of fish.
9. 3.5 lb Wire
Alan was the only person who brought wire. It’s just one of items that you stare at for a second as you’re deciding on what to pack for a trip into the wilderness; and you think “ok I need this!”. It’s an extremely versatile item as it can help with anything from building snares to trap game or to construct a shelter.
To go with the 2 quart pot and ferro rod, Alan chose the kukri knife to finish off his top 3 item list. He chose this knife for its ability to perform out of proportion to its size. It’s thick and heavy enough to split wood like a hatchet or a machete, but if you keep it sharp, a kukri knife is also able to perform tasks such as cleaning fish or carving spoons.
If you know you are going to be in a wilderness type environment for an extended period of time, these 10 items will definitely serve you well.
Also, check out our articles for tips on how to survive in the wilderness!