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#276334 - 08/24/15 12:13 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: wildman800]
tomfaranda Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/14/08
Posts: 301
Loc: Croton on Hudson, NY
Well I'm certainly glad Alan won. My wife and I were rooting for him. Shows you that maturity and a sense of humor are important.

I find it very amusing that because the participants were all given two tarps before they chose their ten items someone posted that they were simply doing "rough camping."

The casting videos for the participants are up on the history channel youtube channel. Alan has a youtube channel called AK Guardian, and Mitch has an excellent channel called native survival. I was familiar with Mitch through his channel for awhile before he was recruited for Alone. I presume that some of the participants were found by the producers through their channels.

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#276338 - 08/24/15 08:34 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: benjammin]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Originally Posted By: benjammin
I think shot placement with archery is more important than kinetic energy, under nominal conditions, when hunting.


Absolutely, but it is a tricky argument. I'm sure one could kill a bear with a perfectly placed .22 bullet, or an arrow shot from a modestly powered recurve for that matter. But that kind of accuracy is difficult to achieve consistently. Using a more powerful weapon gives you a little leeway and helps ensure humane harvesting.

Using a 40 to 50 lb recurve for bear hunting may be legal in some places but it is not something I would recommend or attempt myself. A good broadhead shot from a modern 60 to 70lb compound bow will likely pass clean through most big game, bear included. This will result in massive bleeding and usually a quick, humane kill. A lightweight recurve does not come close in that department.

A high-end modern 70lb compound can shoot a 500 grain arrow at maybe 275 fps, which gives about 85 ft/lbs of kinetic energy. A 40 lb recurve might be able to shoot a 400 grain arrow at 180 ft/lb, so the kinetic energy is a little under 30 ft/lbs (way less than the 50 ft/lbs minimum often cited for big game - bear, moose, elk).

It's really a massive difference and while I do agree that a heavy modern compound is overkill for most game in our hemisphere it's good to have some extra power just in case.

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#276339 - 08/24/15 09:05 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: tomfaranda]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Originally Posted By: tomfaranda
Well I'm certainly glad Alan won. My wife and I were rooting for him. Shows you that maturity and a sense of humor are important.


Agreed, it was not unexpected by any means but I enjoyed the show right to the end. The last four participants all demonstrated some real guts and outdoor skills. But I felt Alan was always a cut above the rest, being able to get food fairly consistently. He also had a decent shelter, not too complicated or energy consuming to make but effective enough.

I think Sam's biggest issue (apart from not finding enough to eat) was his tarp tent. Not solid enough to withstand the heavy wind and rain and built in a spot completely exposed to the elements. I can't really understand why he never bothered to improve his shelter.

Anyway, it's easy to sit back and comment on other people's actions, especially with all the bad rap associated with reality TV. But if anyone thinks that two months of "rough camping" in the woods is an easy thing to do maybe you should try it yourself one day. I find it pretty impressive that four guys out of ten lasted as long as they did, particularly given the time frame (late fall/winter).

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#276340 - 08/24/15 11:57 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: wildman800]
digimark Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/28/07
Posts: 70
Loc: Chesapeake Beach, MD
Binge-watched all ten shows, the short clips on the website and compiled my own aggregate list of what everyone carried before I discovered others had also done this. Searched news for interviews, etc. Watched Joe's, Wayne's and Mitch's 10 list YouTube videos, and Joe's tapped-out video.

Some thoughts:

Joe made the point that everyone took much the same equipment because many of the items available for choosing were just stupid as choices. A comb? Really? Mitch made it clear in the video that everyone brought their own choices for the ten items and, as long as the producers OK'd their choices, they pretty much were able to take their preferred items. Mitch brought his heavy 0 canvas/down sleeping bag with bivvy shell under the belief that would count as one item. When he arrived onsite the producers told him they would be two items. He felt he needed both parts to be effective, so that left him down one item.

The locations were pre-chosen and the participants drew lots to determine where they would stay. Some locations were clearly better than others. Some of the guys who tapped out early had large animal scares immediately after arriving on-location that discouraged them. It wasn't a true survival run in that they had bi-weekly 20 minute visits from a doctor (medical check) and a camera tech plus they had a satellite phone to tap out so in the back of their minds they knew they didn't have to do this. Joe in particular said (when he lost his fire steel) that he knew it was just a matter of short time before he was going to have to tap out because he didn't think he could outlast the others and collect the $500K so no reason to keep going.

The camera tech explains how they were able to get fresh batteries and memory cards, replacement equipment if it broke, etc. -- If they couldn't film themselves there is no show that would seem to be pretty important.)

I wondered where the frying pan came from since it was a special item but perhaps they were allowed to select it as their "pot". According to the load list everyone had two tarps, a 20x20 and a 10x10. Then they could select another 12x12 tarp as a special item and one of the guys (Lucas) doubled up by selecting an extra 12x12 tarp -- so he had four.

Props to the four guys who lasted the longest. Alan was the real find for the show -- so entertaining!

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#276342 - 08/24/15 03:34 PM Re: The ALONE series [Re: digimark]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5964
Loc: southern Cal
"Props to the four guys who lasted the longest. Alan was the real find for the show -- so entertaining!"

Entertaining - how appropriate! competitive elements and all, but nothing bad can really happen, what with sat phones and periodic medical checks. It might be disturbing if anything really bad happened...

Back in the early 80s, southern Arizona was slammed with an unseasonable, poorly predicted storm on Easter weekend that kept us SAR types very busy for several days. As the situation clarified, we were thankful that, while there were several close calls, our victims had suffered no fatalities.

That is, until later that fall, when a hiker in a remote canyon in the Baboquivari Mts. stumbled onto a pitched tent, camping gear, and a corpse. Among his belongings was a volume entitled "Survival Made Simple" but evidently no simple enough. He lacked the requisite sat phone and EMT check and was actually dependent upon his own resources.

What is this "survival" anyway, that is in the title of this forum? It has many manifestations, of course (recovering from a hurricane, adrift at sea, lost in the woods, etc) but key are the elements of isolation and unexpectation- you don't arise some morning and say "I think I will go surviving this afternoon" - you were just planning a short hike.

Personally, I have done a bit of rough camping, mostly in my feckless youth when I was learning. Later on, I dealt with the consequences of the survival epics of others, not all of which ended well. Some were the stuff of nightmares.

Real survival isn't a competitive sport or it would be an Olympic event. As entertainment, it is carefully staged rough camping. Relax and enjoy!
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#276347 - 08/24/15 06:55 PM Re: The ALONE series [Re: Tom_L]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
As with modern firearms, the common advice is to shoot the most powerful gun/bow you can be consistently accurate with. We are comparing apples to oranges a bit here in that the generally accepted minimum for hunting big game with a bow is 40 to 50 lbs draw weight, whereas the commonly selected draw weight is 60 to 70 lbs. As mentioned previous, I would much prefer my compound bow over my recurve because it has sights and is more powerful. If I had a choice, I would take the compound every time, regardless of what I was hunting for. But not everyone can draw a 60 lb compound bow, regardless of the letoff, and so a 40 to 50 lb draw weight has been established as minimums for hunting north American big game. Simply put, that is the minimum legal and ethical limit the govt imposes on the public (ethics being a subjective and personal decision). But I think you would agree that a 100 lb draw weight would be superior for hunting big game to a 60 to 70 lb draw weight, provided you can draw and shoot that weight reliably with a subsequent increase in arrow weight and broadhead size, all things being relative. Ethically, you should use the biggest/best/most powerful you can reliably shoot, and the government concluded that a 40 to 50 lb draw weight shooting a minimum sized/weighted arrow is ethically reliable enough. Lots of people hunt brown bears with 30 caliber firearms; I wouldn't consider it. That's why I have a 375 Ruger and that's all I will use to hunt big game up here with a rifle, because shooting any big game up here could result in having to also defend against a brown bear attack. My wife cannot hunt reliably with that gun/load, and cannot handle much more than a 30-06 power factor, so her ethics are necessarily at a level below mine. I'm okay with that if she is, and people do hunt big bears with even less than what she uses.

Having taught hunting ethics for a number of years, I would recommend to anyone that they learn to use the most powerful legal tool they can master to dispatch game with. Proficiency and consistent shot placement is the most important consideration, within the legal restrictions imposed on caliber/weight/power. If the weapons choice turns out to be more than you can handle, then it was a poor choice.

The fact remains that a 40 lb recurve shooting a legal minimum arrow weight and broadhead can and will reliably take black bear and cougar if the hunter does their part, as the fish and game departments in many jurisdictions have determined. It is not the most ideal choice, unless that is all you have or can handle. A 70 lb compound bow shooting a heavier arrow and a bigger broadhead is not ideal either, when compared to a 100 lb bow, unless the 70 lb bow is what you have and you can shoot it well.

In any case, I would prefer to trap big game rather than hunt if I am in a survival situation. Baiting a bear/cougar/wolf in that environment is as easy as catching a fish, and there are a number of deadfall/pit/kinetic energy trap ideas that would've been easy to implement with the materials available and a couple days of work. Whether or not a bow and arrows were brought, there was plenty of food to be had if any of them would've been willing to go after it. But again, we don't know what all the rules were on what they could do, and in a real survival situation, it would be no holds barred.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#276351 - 08/24/15 09:56 PM Re: The ALONE series [Re: benjammin]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Originally Posted By: benjammin
As with modern firearms, the common advice is to shoot the most powerful gun/bow you can be consistently accurate with. We are comparing apples to oranges a bit here in that the generally accepted minimum for hunting big game with a bow is 40 to 50 lbs draw weight, whereas the commonly selected draw weight is 60 to 70 lbs...


Agreed on pretty much all counts, but let's not wander too far off the subject. My point is that the contestants were apparently limited in the choice of bow and arrows. Namely recurves in the range of 45 to 50lb and six wooden (!) arrows.

I'm not sure I really care about the legal limit, I simply don't believe the above setup is good enough for bear hunting. Especially if you're alone, malnourished and unfamiliar with the area.

None of the contestants tried hunting dangerous game with the setup they had. I don't blame them, I wouldn't either. Expecting otherwise would be unrealistic IMO. YMMV...

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#276368 - 08/27/15 03:03 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: Tom_L]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yep, in this situation the bow/arrow selection was not ideal, nor were the rules of engagement. In a true survival situation I would use whatever I had, even that equipment if need be. Real survival isn't the same as legal hunting. Setting limits for what you'd do to get by is setting yourself up for failure, which is where I think we are comparing apples to oranges in this argument. For how this show was set up, it was unimportant.

I would make a lousy contestant for these sorts of things. Like I stated in another recent post, I don't play by the rules in a survival situation, whether real or simulated. If killing will get me the win, I will kill. Probably best the producers avoid fellers like me. LOL
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#276370 - 08/27/15 06:38 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: wildman800]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2800
Loc: La-USA
I agree with you Big Ben!
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#276392 - 08/28/15 11:53 AM Re: The ALONE series [Re: wildman800]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
That's true, in an all-out survival situation people tend to take much greater risks (out of sheer desperation I suppose). From what I've read, the participants were actually allowed to hunt game, bear included. But none of them attempted that in practice, probably because they felt the risks were too great. And I can't blame them, they still had the sat phone to "tap out" when things got worse than they could handle.

That said (and talking in general, not directed at any post or opinion in particular), I don't think that takes anything away from the show's basic premise. "Alone" was foremost a challenge to see how long people with varying backgrounds and outdoor skills could last in a relatively tough environment with which they had little or no previous experience.

It was not a true survival situation by definition (e.g. an unexpected disaster). Nor was it really presented as such, at least in my opinion. It was made pretty clear that the contestants could quit whenever they wanted. They also had regular medical checkups. That in itself is a good thing IMO. In some ways the show was already close enough to a "Hunger Games" scenario for my liking. No need to push people into absolute extremes (getting badly hurt or killed) purely for entertainment or "educational" purposes.

Regardless of the above, the basic premise seemed real enough. Whether you call it rough camping, surviving or simply staying in the woods basically on your own for a longer period of time is a very serious challenge pretty much anywhere on Earth. It really is hard if you have to make your own shelter, gather food and try to tough it out for a month or two. I don't think that most people who post here, or the majority of outdoor enthusiasts in general, have ever tried that themselves.

Hence I believe it would be a little out of line to denigrate the contestants or overly criticize their choices. We weren't there, so it's hard to judge other people's actions under the circumstances. Also, having that sat phone at hand was no doubt a very powerful factor because the contestants knew they could quit when they wanted to do so. On the other hand, a sat phone does not guarantee your safety per se. The contestants still risked real injuries. You can get mauled by a bear faster than you can dial a number on a sat phone. How is a rescue team arriving a couple of hours later going to help other than zip your remains into a body bag?

IMHO, these are serious concerns all too easily overlooked these days when reality shows and live video feeds make everything appear fake and occasionally less dangerous than it really is. The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if "survival" shows get even more "real" to satisfy the increasingly demanding viewers. Sooner or later, participants will get hurt, possibly killed. I'm not sure that is a good thing at all.

"Alone" seemed to strike a pretty good balance between "reality" and trying to keep the contestants reasonably safe within a controlled experiment. But it still exposed the contestants to real risks, starvation and difficult weather conditions, which was becoming very apparent toward the end of the show. I wonder how many people would willingly expose themselves to that kind of pressure. So I have a lot of respect for the guys who walked the walk and pushed themselves to the best of their ability.

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