Alone Follow-Up S3:E1

PLEASE NOTE:  NRS Director Craig Caudill is taking notes as he watches Alone this season and sharing some thoughts.  For those of us that are not on the show Alone, we only see a fraction of what makes it to the show.  It is a TV show and is edited for the purpose of making money.  With that said, this show is one that we believe is worthy of watching regularly.  It offers insight into many facets of survival training that are missing from others.  These follow-ups are intended to help us all learn.  We would like to emphasize that we intend no disrespect for any of the participants as we have only seen a small portion of their experience.  Observations are based on what little information is shared on the show.  

I have only taken the time to watch Episode 1.  I understand that there are is a detailed episode showing some of the background, etc. of the participants.  Upon consideration I avoided it simply because it feel it is an attempt to create a “character” for the show.  Rather than falling into that trap I decided to simply watch Episode 1 and take from it what I can.  Here is a breakdown of the show in general and each of the folks that we saw on this show.

Overall

  • The new site, Patagonia, is going to have its own challenges and rewards.
  • Some of the challenges seen thus far are:  boar (aggressive animals that will charge and cause harm), lots of water (increased humidity for higher snowfalls, colder-feeling temps).
  • Rewards, the area seems more diverse than what we saw on Vancouver island for S1 and S2, lots of water for fish.
  • Like other seasons, out of the 4 we have seen thus far, two are OK out there, others look like weekend warriors who have not experienced much stress in the outdoors.

Jim

  • came across bamboo which is an EXCELLENT source for tools, fire production, containers, torches and more
  • Used a ton of cordage on his first night shelter, would have liked so have seen him use material from the landscape to create a ridgeline (sapling, log, etc)
  • Seems like a weekend warrior type.  Has a high school survival class.   It seems that has some unwarranted confidence.  Classroom work does not directly correlate with Alone time in a wilderness
  • I like his idea of positive mental attitude.  It seems as if it is more of a inspirational thing at school rather than an actual thing he believes in.
  • He is in the middle of an adoption process for 3 boys with his wife.  Let me say right here and now.  Anyone who abandons something as important as that to be on this show….  Is either a bad person, or is going to leave early.  That sort of thing plays on your mind as it should.
  • He put his ferro rod on the ground after making the fire AND it has earth tone cordage on it.  Has this guy NOT watched the last two seasons?  Put some orange paracord on that thing and DO NOT lay it down on the ground…ever.
  • I like the tipi idea, larger area with not as much work (because he has a tarp)
  • He remarked about how bushcraft/survival is a hobby of his.  Again, doing what is expected on this show should not be done by someone who is into it as a hobby.  You will fail.
  • He has some great flourescent clothing to be found by the shows team.  In turn, it is terrible coloring to blend in with the environment.  I think that is an indicator of his mindset.  maybe even subconsciously.
  • The editing indicates he agonizes for quite some time over the decision to leave.  The shadows and clouds in the background show it was actually much shorter time span.
  • He mentioned as he was leaving that “It is much harder there than you think”.  My initial thought was, not really, it was much harder than HE thought it was.  He must have not completed much research on the area before going.

Britt

  • I like it that he took time to investigate the area.  He shows some awareness skills in that he pays attention to sun and wind patterns.  Very important.
  • The B Roll of he and his son indicates he dabbles in tracking.  I always enjoy seeing people who practice tracking.  IMO it is the ultimate in awareness skills.
  • Moss does make for wonderful bedding.  I have used it on a number of occasions.  Just be aware that if the moss is thriving, it is doing so because it is getting plenty of moisture.  That means you should have a moisture barrier between you and it if you use it for bedding.
  • He looked up for “widomakers”.  Very basic camping skill that many miss these days.
  • He finds a bone yard.  This is a plethora of information and tools.  I hope he has studied some primitive skills somewhere to take advantage of that resource.
  • The editing seems to make the noises he hears worse that he feels about it.  Nice for drama, but he actually does not seem overly concerned about it.
  • He set a basic snare trap for wild boar.  This is an indicator he has not trapped before.  That sort of trap would hold a wild boar for about 3 seconds (if that long).
  • The noise he hears in the night is most likely some sort of bird.
  • Going out in the middle of the night may have been OK if he was close to his shelter.  But what happens if he gets turned around or loses his light source or it goes out or similar.  That is a bad judgement call IMO.
  • Says his knife sheath is unsnapped for safety.  That is bad judgement call.  Makes it easy to lose the knife and if he is actually attacked he will not be able to deploy it in time for his protection.

Callie

  • Ok editing indicates she got in the water first, but I do not believe that was the case.  I believe she built the shelter first then got in the water.  Look at her clothes you will see why I think that.
  • As for getting in the water.  I know many  people thought that was crazy.  I did not.  She is one who lives in and off the earth.  She wanted that connection, I actually get that.  IF her shelter was already built I get it.  If it was not, then I don’t.
  • Normalizing is an important word to understand here.  She understands that the sooner she gets to “normal” the less stressed she is, the better decisions she makes, and the more productive she is.  She normalizes her self by getting in the water and building a chair.  I am guessing she had emergency rations to support her the first few days.  Or she would have been foraging or setting up the fishing lines first.
  • She seems humble about her skills.  I like that.
  • The B roll shows here gardening at her home.  Gardening is a fantastic skill but is not as good as foraging and utilizing edible wild plants for survival.  We will see how it plays out.  I am guessing she has skills in that area as well.
  • She mentions she is not a huntress.  Fishing and foraging need to be top priorities for her.  Although I have heard (not sure) that participants were not allowed to kill many mammals on Vancouver Island.  Not sure if that was the case here or not.  If so, I would kill them, process them and eat them without cameras on.
  • She goes for mushrooms.  She seems educated on them which is good.  If not she is playing with fire.
  • She harvests some berries.  GREAT source for carbs, if they are edible.  She did not mention the name, not sure if she actually knew them or not.  If not..again, she is playing with fire.
  • The thing I was MOST impressed with on this episode is the fact that she shows her desire to understand the environment  by opening up the stomach and intestinal tract and examining its contents.  This is HUGE for future success.  Highly important understanding for someone with good awareness.
  • She immediately starts into a groove and recognizing patterns in the environment.  Again, she has good situational awareness.

Fowler

  • Editing at the beginning with suspenders makes him look silly, but I actually like it.  He is already finding ways to enjoy himself while he is there.   Just guessing he is going to have a video or picture of each day.
  • His site is really steep..that sucks.  Rain will come downhill, no flat spots, will have work a lot of muscles each day just to get up and down hill.
  • It seems from the editing that he goes looking for a good spot but leaves essential gear behind.  Not sure if that is the case.  If so, that is a mistake.  Always, always, take your essentials with you.  Even if it is just to head to latrine.
  • He “thinks” he finds boar scat.  I would hope these folks would have studied the area before they went there to understand the animals on it.  Not sure if that is allowed..but if so, he should know if it is boar scat or not.
  • He leaves behind a lovely wife and two very young kids.  Again, he is either an asshole and has abandoned them for success on a show or..it will weigh heavily on his mind and effect him before too long as it should.
  • I like it that he attempts to find his first shelter from the environment and save materials.  He mentions the big log may save him from falling branches.  Not sure if that area has a lot of dead branches or not.
  • He comes across a bone yard as well.  Another cache of tools and resources.
  • It seems his shelter is far from water.  Not a bad idea if he puts up another temp shelter near water.  Walking from water to shelter each day is going to cost him in calories and stamina.
  • He sees an animal’s eyes in the dark.  Some things to note about eyes in the dark.  Try to note the color, size, shape and distance between them to help determine what you are looking at in the dark.  It takes practice.  I am OK here in KY but would be lost in Patagonia I am assuming.  We do not have big cats here, which is what he said the animal was.  I do not know how he came to that conclusion.

All in all a good show.  If I were to pick one of the participants as the winner I would choose Callie over the others.  Right now with what I have seen thus far (again the editing may be making here look like she knows what she is doing).  I am going with her…lots more participants to see though.

c1Craig Caudill is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Nature Reliance School. He specializes in teaching outddoor related topics to include, survival, tracking go-bags, nature awareness and gun safety for private and public groups, and government agencies. Craig is a frequent  contributor to TV outlets, blog sites, magazines and is a popular online outdoor educator on Carbon TV,  and YouTube via the Nature Reliance and Dan’s Depot channels. 
Craig’s first book, Extreme Wilderness Survival from Page Street Publishing, distributed by Macmillan Publishing will be available in March 2017.  Pick up the book, or join Craig in a class so he can help you be safe and enjoy the outdoors more.

 

 

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