Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Alone Season 2: Reunion

The reunion show didn't reveal much that I haven't uncovered from various radio shows I've hosted with the majority of the cast. The one thing I did find revealing was the portion of the episode dedicated to Mary Kate and her visit to the hospital. From that segment alone it became very safe to say that many people misjudged her injury's severity as it was actually much more severe than the episode let on. 

Desmond- This was vastly different than anything I've ever experienced in my life. “I did talk a lot of smack about the bears but that's just my upbringing.” Every place he went had bear scat and while he was gathering firewood a bear came out of the woods and bluff charged him and he decided to run out of the woods and call for help. He admits he was no where near prepared for large predators and wish he had spent more time around them to prepare.

Tracy- Hears the snapping of twigs beside her and deep breathing so escalates force from sound to flame. Says it broke her heart when she saw that the mamma bear was simply protecting her cub and that feeling of remorse for being so aggressive made her decide it was time to tap out. She also says that she feels lucky to be alive since being between a mother and a cub is one of the most dangerous situations you can be in out in the woods.

Staying Busy To Not Go Crazy:
Mike- His mind must stay busy. Drying rack, elevated kitchen fire, hands free water faucet, bowling, dice football game, boat, table, elevated bed,. Only saw about half the things he built on TV. Once he got to the end of the project list it was time to go home as he didn't have anything left to do but miss his wife.

Justin- Built a gym to use daily and had the day 22 trek up the mountain to raise awareness for suicide awareness. Idea of the Mountain climb came to him on day 12 while he was out there. I personally think this was the biggest project undertaken just because of the sheer physical toll, calories burnt and time required that late into the show.

Build Your ALONE Survival Kit? Start Here:

Mood Swings:
Larry- He really felt truly alone and when the camera was on he just decided to open up to it. Says he really didn't think to self edit like he probably should have. Thinks most of his mood swings were related to a lack of sunlight and also a complete lack of food because once he got a little food his mood improved greatly. Got a huge tattoo on his back of the island surrounded by things that meant the most to him while he was out there including: Pathfinder Bush Pot, L.T. Wright Genesis, Axe, boat, Fish, buck saw, mouse, mushrooms, ferro rod, limpets and his bush spear.

Nicole's Variety of Food Intake:
Ate 25 different plants while out there and also used another 10+ plants for medicinal use. She assumed that all of the other participants were eating like she was and it didn't even cross her mind that others would be struggling with food.

Mary Kate goes to Hospital:
Says she it took quite awhile for the boat to get to her and that she ended up severing the tendon in her hand but didn't damage the bone. The movement of her left thumb is still impaired to this day as she can't move it up and down and her grip is still quite week.

Season 3 Sneak Peak:
Next season in Patagonia looks to be quite an interesting experience for the participants from Puma's to fresh water fishing to deadly reptiles to snow covered mountains to desserts to woodlands. It seems like next year will be able to bring several new skills to the forefront as the ecosystem alone is just so different and allows for a wider variety skills to be utilized. Anyway, I can't wait to see the new season and wish I was able to take part in it.... oh well there is always Season 4 one can hold out hope.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ALONE: Last Four Episodes- Thoughts and Comments

I know I have been absent from the blog for a couple weeks and needed to catch up on the weekly show thoughts and comments. So in the four weeks I have been absent we went from four participants down to a single winner. This years final four were out longer than last years winner, Allan Kay, but you need to keep in mind that last year the participants started several weeks later limiting their long-term food options to what they could bring in from the ocean. Shelters this season were much more substantial, there was a limited amount of storing meat for long-term consumption and trapping seemed to be at a higher level this year. Yet with the added time and more opportunities for food it seemed that some of the participants were always hungry whereas Alan always had a pot full of food every night, granted it was limpets, bull kelp and seaweed. I still can't figure out where the wolf on the beach footage came from as it wasn't shown in any episode and I've been looking forward to that the entire season. Overall this was a great season and I'm glad Nicole made it as long as she did, we got to see all of the projects Mike and Jose came up with and a hike up a mountain to raise awareness for Military suicide prevention.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward, some are strong at the broken places” -Ernest Hemingway

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“You're never more alive than when you're almost dead.” -Tim O'Brien

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” -William Barclay

Build Your ALONE Survival Kit? Start Here:

Day 35-
-Hasn't heard any salmon in her stream since she let the last one go.... now see why I was a advocate for taking all the fish you can and smoking them while the getting was good?

Day 37-
-Had a good sized salmon in her gill net but it was eaten by a seal before she could get to it

Day 38-
-More seal trouble and this time they ripped a massive hole in the net.

Day 50-
-She moved the gill net and the seals are still eating her fish.

-Going to go check out the bear trail and see if she can steal some of their left over food. Getting a strong feeling that there is a mountain lion near her but more that likely its due to her lack of food/energy and it's effecting her mental state.

Day 52-
-Missing her sons 8th birthday, this is the first time she has ever missed any of her kids birthdays and you can tell it is weighing on her heavily.

-Fishing has dried up 100% and her main plant based edibles are all dead because of the weather turning cold on her.

Day 54-
-Going out on a hike to look for some mushrooms in the forest as all of her other sources of food have ran out. Ended up finding a single huckleberry.

Day 55-
-Down to eating just limpets as her only food source.

-Really starting to miss her family since her sons 8th birthday

Day 57-
-Nicole has decided to tap out after nearly two months on Vancouver Island. Says she can feel it in her gut that her kids need her and she is torn because she loves living on the island. In the end she found out what her limit was and that was missing her kids.

-”I might have MS, but it doesn't have me!”

Day 35-
-Boat with outrigger is working extremely well. Headed out to try to find a salmon run and ends up with a leak in his kayak and forces his hand back to shore.

-He is going to try to heat the plastic to try to reseal the hole.

Day 38-
-Has his boat fixed and wants to get his gill net out so he can catch as many salmon as humanly possible before the salmon run is over.

Day 39-
-He says he was using an approach that he tells his students not to utilize. He says he was too focused on the boat and trying to catch the salmon run that he skipped exploiting the resources close to him. With this acceptance he built a setup to start jigging for fish and caught a good sized fish pretty quickly.

Day 51-
-Says the night was quite cold due to the humidity and its getting too cold to kayak because all the time he spends in the boat he has wet feet.

-Found a large blue plastic container while he was out placing a line based line in the bay. Ended up being a big barrel with a net that has a ton of mussels on it (red tide could have potentially poisoned the muscles and eventually cause death). He decided to go ahead and eat the muscles and take the risk as he needed the food.
Day 52-
-He had no ill effects after a few hours so most likely the mussels were not effected by the red tide.

Day 56-
-This was the final day of season 1 where Allan ended up winning the show.

Day 57-
-Got a couple small fish in his gill net, but he hasn't had a large meal in awhile. Says its the worst shape he has ever been in his entire life and called himself a walking bone rat.

Day 58-
-Not a kayak kind of day as the rain would fill his kayak quite quickly.
-Has a pulley system for his gill net that Is quite interesting and allows him to check his net when the tide is up.

Day 59-
-When trying to reset his gill net he somehow flips his kayak and ends up in the cold water a good ways from shore. Current water temperature is 47 Degrees F.

-He ends up pushing the tap out button while still standing in the middle of the bay with his kayak and is still there when the rescue party arrives to help. The first thing that comes out of his mouth is a n apology to his wife saying he tried.

-100% of his clothing is soaking wet so he didn't feel he could make it through the night. I would have tried to get a roaring fire and dried out my clothes but you never know until you're in that situation yourself.

Day 38-
-Hasn't been filming much lately as he has been pretty board and just tending the fire.

-Going to attempt to make a spoon, his spoon turned out pretty well and he added a little hook on the opposite end to taking his pot lid of the pot when its hot.

Day 40-
-Making limpet stew

-Daily agenda is, cut firewood, check traps, process any food, make a fire, boil water, cook any food, eat dinner, make some tea, wait for darkness, craw in sleeping bag and go to bed.

Day 42-
-It's a struggle to get up in the morning as time is barley dragging by

Day 46-
Just sitting here watching the world go by! Says he goes to bed dreaming about and wakesd up thinking too bad I'm still here.

Day 51-
-Still bored and still doing his daily routine

-Starting to worry about his wife and wondering what she is doing back at home.

-Wrote her a very sweet I love you message on the beach to be televised nationally, can't get more romantic than that brother.

Day 53-
-Getting some decent size hail in his camp, he seems to be wearing his headlamp and keeping it on 24/7 these days.

Day 54-
-Not much going on thanks to the rain and cold weather but ends up finding a dead mouse to eat for dinner.

-Doesn't want to eat slugs due to the potential of getting a brain eating amebia, but I'm pretty sure that you cant get those from eating a slug.

Day 57-
-Getting sick of the sound of the ocean and prefers the sound of rain now.

-Fish are simply not biting for him now as the water is getting colder. So he decided its time to just quit fishing and is not just going to eat whatever he finds on the shore. Now he is saying his situation is sheer hopelessness as there is no hope to have a better food supply.

Day 58-
-Says his will has been broken and he has had enough. Starting to have a bit of a breakdown in his spirit, looks as though he will be taping out very soon.

Day 59-
-Seems to be in a little bit better mental state but I foresee a tap out coming soon. Says he is going to burn all of his fire wood, eat a little and just go home then he has a moment of clarity and decides to get his head back into the game!

Day 60-
-Starting to talk to the potential $500k Check that he can see he is just a little ways away. “You go till you die if you don't have a tap out button right?”

-Giving his editorial of his journey on the island so it would seem that David will be this seasons winner as it looks like they are preparing the audience for his departure.

-Resolves to me a more positive person after this experience.

Day 65-
-Larry ends up tapping out on day 61 and breaks down a bit mentally as the crew arrives to pull him out of camp. Says he tapped because he was going to die due to a lack of calories. Says he did his best and left it all out there.

Day 35-
-Has a nice little seesaw setup with that log.
-He is getting pretty good at catching fish and crab theses days. Three decent sized fish in one quick setting.
-Tough break on loosing the fish on the stringer, that's why I always anchor mine to the shore to keep them fresh and in the water.
-Lol Canadian Eagles don't recognize that he is a patriot and are stealing his dinner.

Day 36-
-Caught a couple fish to use for crab bait and as he is casting it out to fish he lets go and loses his line. He then instinctively follows it into the water which is apparently cold (50 F which to me isnt that cold I have done several swift water rescues in with shorts and a t shirt).

Day 51-
-Has mink running around his camp and they are not in the least afraid of him.

-He is looking for new fishing grounds within his cove area and is looking for additional resources. Ended up finding a tidal pool with several crabs which made for a great day of fishing and a huge pot full of crab.

Day 53-
-Getting warm is the activity, It has turned a little cold out so he is having a bit of a lazy day curled up in his sleeping bag in the shelter.

Day 54-
-Needs to make a few pitch sticks. Found the mother load of spruce resin and was able to come up with over a pound of spruce resin. Using an old shell to melt the resin and then adds the ceder bark to the pitch to get a very flammable fire starter.

Day 57-
-Found himself a large nail and made himself a a pink handled prison shank.

-Caught himself a large fish and it looks like a good 5lbs or more of fish and another 30 minutes later he catches one more and into the pot they go!

Day 58-
-Starting to get really lonely and says he needs a hug as he explains Pavlov's hierarchy of needs.

Day 59-
-Isolation is starting to get to him and he is missing basic human interaction. Starting to wonder how long is long enough.

Day 60-
-Starting to have a ton of aches and pains on a daily basis.

-While fishing he has a fish that is trying to get away and he jumps to save it and ends up hurting his knees on the rocks he jumped on.

Day 61-
-His knees are starting to hurt pretty bad, this seems to be a trend this year as Justin also had a knee injury on his climb up the mountain on day 22 of this season.

Day 66-
-Doesn't have any fat reserves left, but doesn't want to disappoint his kids as he has no other way for them to go to college.

-Caught himself a decent sized fish for his last meal on the island.

-Camera crew comes out under the guise of a routine medical check to tell him he has won the competition. Then his daughter starts sneaking up on him from behind to let him know he won!

-Gets to give his daughter the grand tour of where he has been living and what he has been up to. He and his daughter get to take her first helicopter ride to finish their experience off together.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Alone Season 2: Episode 9 Thoughts and Commentary

This past week on History's ALONE was quite eventful to say the least! This week one participant ends their journey on Vancouver Island, two participants have a crab feast, and Jose takes his canoe out on its maiden voyage and Nicole is well no where to be seen.

“Look Deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein

Day 31:
-Ferret getting food from the ocean and he tries to scare it to take a meal of opportunity from him. Getting really hungry now and will eat anything he can get his hands on now.

-Going to try to cook some bull kelp for dinner just for some substance and to hopefully get his bowels moving again as they haven't in several days. 

Day 32:
-Still constantly gets large cedar logs washing into his cove, great for building a cabin but terrible for trying to net fish in that same area. 

-Working on cordage to make a crab line for drag based fishing. Extremely successful as it looks like he caught one in his very fist cast. Ended up catching 6 Dungeness crabs with his simple fishing setup! I can't say I've ever tried this fishing method as I haven't done much coastal survival, but wow I really need to give it a shot.

-Thinks this is a perfect moment he will remember for the rest of his life. Finally has his 2 qt. pot full and a large meal ready for consumption! Just when he was getting down in the dumps, he gets a whole pot of hope!

Day 34:
-The little things getting him excited... the idea of bull kelp creating a good bowel movement makes him happy even though he he hates just pooping in the woods. Weird the things that trigger memories, this statement took me back to an old Dave Canterbury YouTube video where he talked about hygiene in the woods and described pooping in the woods like a dog.... laughed about the way he described it for days.  

Day 31:
-Seems a little pissed today cussing at the seagulls... channel that anger and make some bird traps brother. Really sucks that all they seems to want to show is when you are frustrated, those who know you know what a great guy you are. 

-Has a new mouse close to his camp, so its time for him to go to war with a mouse. Building a few dead falls to take down the mouse and make him dinner! He ended up setting a Paiute dead fall for killing the mouse, the trap looks pretty good for it being his first ever set of that type of trap.

-His dead fall was sprung, but no luck with killing the mouse. Primitive trapping is tricky and exactly why you should take a handful of commercial traps in any long-term self-reliance kit.

-Catches the mouse in his dead fall right as he is getting into be, but the mouse takes off on the run from the rock not killing him. He ends up seeing it in a hole and stabs at him with his spear and ends up stepping on him and fishing him off with a mafia style bow tie.

Day 33:
-Caught a decent fish with his surf line also was able to pick up a couple crabs as well (they were stuck in the bull kelp apparently).

-On his way back to camp he checks his dead fall and gets another mouse, heck of a good food day brother!

-Gets the second mouse clean and hears the dead fall trigger once again and now has one more mouse to add to his day 33 feast

Build Your ALONE Survival Kit? Start Here:

Day 31:
-Kayak is done, calling it "The delicate one" because it has thin skin and could be punctured with one sharp rock

-Hasn't devoted much time to shore based fishing due to his boat building and banking on off shore fishing desire.

-Canoe is very unstable which will be tough in rough water or even pulling in large fish

-Averts tipping over into his cove just barley, looks like he could use a pair of out riggers to increase stability.

-For those wondering the life vest he is part of the safety kit.

Day 34:
-Building his outrigger system and he has a large container for one side and has been praying the last couple days about a second buoyant object and his prayers were answered with a crab pot bouey

Day 33:
-I guess his knee is OK as we haven't heard any mention of it since the trek up the mountain episode.

-Makes a great point about sustainability vs survivability. Finding a whole pot of snails or periwinkles is a great start to that end as you don't have a ton of work in them and there are literally thousands of them along the coast.

Day 34:
-Ate, got water, worked out, got fire wood and is out of stuff to do at only 11am.

-His training is based on surviving 72 hours and get yourself out as opposed to woodcraft/bushcraft. Seems like his boredom is going to be what takes him out of the competition.

Day 35:
-Having trouble staying motivated now that he is in a groove and doesn't have a ton of daily tasks to complete.

-Needs two things as a person- happiness and adventure and the adventure is dying on Vancouver island for him.

-Ends up tapping out so he can move onto his next adventure.

-Thinks he needs to make a few life changes when it comes to priorities.

-Living life to its fullest is a lot more about getting the most out of life, not just getting by day to day. If something is keeping you from enjoying your life then get rid of it.

-The biggest change he is going to make is to cut back on stuff, to the point he can fit most of what he owns in the back of his truck.

Preview of Next Week:
-Larry is counting the days down, saying this place doesn't have many redeeming qualities.
-Nicole has an issue with a seal getting into her net, tearing it up and eating her fish
-Jose's boat leaks
-Dave falls into the cove up to his waist. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Alone Season 2: Episode 8 Thoughts and Commentary

This week on ALONE no one goes home, one participant has more food than they can handle and one had hardly any food to sustain themselves. Justin makes his trek up the mountain for veteran suicide awareness, David can't catch a break when it comes to his gill nets and Jose is getting extremely close to a maiden voyage with his canoe. 

Day 22
-His folding hand saw dwarfs my Bacho Laplander, he is at least having fun joking about using a light saber for cutting his wood. Seems like the lack of food and being alone are really wearing him down.

-Still no fish caught in either of his gill nets, but both are side-by-side I would probably move one of them to a new location.

-He is getting a ton of seaweed in his net, that would make for a great meal while waiting for dinner

-He is getting a ton of lumber (1000 lbs + cedar logs floating into his bay which could be disastrous for his gill net, but on the plus side he could have one heck of a log cabin if they keep coming in!

Day 23
-Both of his gill nets have been destroyed by the heavy surf, hopefully he is able to get them untangled and back in serviceable working order. The net has a ton of holes but he is doing a great job fixing them. Says that all of his gill net skills came from watching season one.

-Losing weight very fast. Says a normal family throws out more food in a week than the total amount he has ate while being there.

-Setting out his gill net that he just repaired in the same exact spot that he has had 0 luck with. I think I would probably change locations up a little bit if there was any other options, preferably close to a stream.

Day 24
-Another day and another gill net disappointment and this time it was knocked down by yet another ceder log, if it were not for bad luck David wouldn't have any when it comes to gill nets!

-Really starting to miss his kids, doing this because he wants to help his kids in some way he hasn't been able to do in the past.

Day 22
-Has a bald eagle near his camp, I have only had a the opportunity to see a handful of bald eagles in the wild and what a sight they truly are!

-Boat build is working out really well, but it seems the tarp is the weakest part of the entire build which if he steps on anything but the frame on his boat he will run the risk of sinking all of his hard work.

Day 23
-Found some sea lion bones in the water and is planning to make a needle from the bone. He has excellent craft skills, would love for my wood crafting skills to be at that level one day!

Day 24
-Installing skid plates to protect his tarp from potentially ripping. Calls his canoe “very homemade” I call it a work of bush art!
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Day 22
-Embarking on his day 22 mountain trek to increase awareness of the 22 veteran suicides which occurs daily in the US.

-Hike up the mountain is nearly straight up and down and extremely slick

-Takes a nasty spill backwards and ends up flat on his back in the weeds, possibly injured his knee and leg may have a torn ligament.

-Amazing view for his climb, but taking a ton of risk on this climb

-Near the summit his knee is really starting to hurt so the likelihood of injury is pretty high.
-Ended up climbing 1300 feet to the summit for the cause of veteran suicide awareness after surviving alone with minimal gear and food for 22 days. Says that for anyone out there struggling you can make that climb, just don't give up!

Day 23
-Plans to take his entire shelter apart and move it somewhere else where there isn't going to be standing ground water seeping into his shelter.

-Decided not to hang it up post mountain climb and feels recharged. Looks like he has one heck of a walk to carry his shelter materials.

-Making a raised bed frame for his hammock so he doesnt have to worry about having flat ground inside his shelter.

-This a-frame shelter is significantly smaller than his last shelter and will essentially just have enough room for his hammock.

Day 22
-Like always she has bears in the stream near her gilll net, I'm surprised that it took that long for one to go in on her net that close. Now the bear is headed her way and he looks like a very large male bear.

Day 23
-Has a huge salmon in her gill net and looks like she will have food for a week or more!

-Trying to balance out her diet by foraging for edibles and medicinal plants. Her plant knowledge is amazing compared to many of the previous participants, what a huge advantage in that environment!

-I think she literally just jumped out of her skin when she heard that salmon jump.

-Has a chance to do a little hand fishing on several very large salmon, I'm sure she had a great reason for leaving them there, but if I'm thinking long term self reliance both of those targets of opportunity would be on the smoker and ready and waiting for the day I'm low on food and hungry

-Good score on yarrow, its one of my most used wild medicinal and I always carry at least a small amount of it dried in my pack with me at all times.

-Another good score with plantain (seemy article here), it will help balance your diet out there so well. Her wild edible and medicinal knowledge is really paying off it appears.

Day 25
-Breakfast of champions of salmon and goes to check her gill net and finds another huge salmon

-I would really really really smoke that fish and preserve it but she is letting it go much like she did with the others she walked by two days ago. When winter comes and there are much less fish available I think she may regret the decisions of this past week.

Preview for Next Week
-Mice for dinner
-Jose takes his maiden voyage on the kayak and seems to do a flip
-David appears to be going hungry

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