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S03.E06: Along Came a Spider

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2 hours ago, dgpolo said:

When Dave was making his smoking rack I wondered why he didn't incorporate the wire grid he seems to have. Wouldn't it be better to lay the fish down flat to smoke, rather than hang it over a bamboo rod?

All I know is that when I saw the fish camps in Alaska and the women were preserving the fish they did hang the fish over long racks like that to dry them out.  I don't know if they were salted first, or if they dried them out a bit before smoking them, but I do believe they were smoked while on the racks.

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raven said:

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6 left at 50 days!  Better casting or because of the location, what do you all think? 

I think they started the challenge earlier this year.  In season one and two, it was about one month before winter hit.  This year in Patagonia, we're already at day 51 and still no snow (at ground level).  So either the snow is late or the Alone producers decided to give the contestants two months of autumn to prepare before winter hits.

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13 hours ago, raven said:

6 left at 50 days!  Better casting or because of the location, what do you all think? 

I think so far this has been a much better location for fish and berries.  And the weather has been pretty mild and dry too.  Days on end of pouring rain or freezing cold, wind, and ice would make a big difference.  So far we see none of that. 

I think it's amazing that after a month and a half  7 people look and act like this.  If Greg and Dave would wash they'd look like vacation campers like Callie, Dan and Fowler. (certainly compared to seasons past!!)   I don't care how prepared or clever or experienced these folks are --  surviving  is not that nonchalant at 45+ days without a decent source of food and good conditions.  JMO  

As for the casting..  I do think they did a little better this season.  It's hard to compare because of the better conditions this season, but I honestly don't think Jose and Nicole (who appeared to have great skills) had plans to stay any longer than they did regardless of the conditions.  Many of them were recruits last season. and had 'survival schools'.   Randy's father had to talk him into going  and I think Justin was put in as the 'beefcake Veteran' and he actually was kind of a prince-y wuss.   Off hand I would say that Jose. Nicole, Mike ,Justin and Randy  would have been gone by now even here in Patagonia.  They just were not in it to win it.  

We will see when things get tough this season who is there for the win.  

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I keep clinging to the hope that Callie is going to be okay and not have to tap out.  She really is having such an awesome experience and deserves to win it all.  Swollen glands are not necessarily an indication that an infection is systemic, but just that the immune system is in high gear, trying to fight an infection, one that may still be local.

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I don't think it was necessarily Dan's strategy that did him in. We've seen some very 'busy' people tap with similar speeches, like Mike last season who built all sorts of inventive shit before going home to Barb.

Active or not, most people can only be alone for so long.

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4 hours ago, seasick said:

I think so far this has been a much better location for fish and berries.  And the weather has been pretty mild and dry too.  Days on end of pouring rain or freezing cold, wind, and ice would make a big difference.  So far we see none of that. 

I think it's amazing that after a month and a half  7 people look and act like this.  If Greg and Dave would wash they'd look like vacation campers like Callie, Dan and Fowler. (certainly compared to seasons past!!)   I don't care how prepared or clever or experienced these folks are --  surviving  is not that nonchalant at 45+ days without a decent source of food and good conditions.  JMO  

As for the casting..  I do think they did a little better this season.  It's hard to compare because of the better conditions this season, but I honestly don't think Jose and Nicole (who appeared to have great skills) had plans to stay any longer than they did regardless of the conditions.  Many of them were recruits last season. and had 'survival schools'.   Randy's father had to talk him into going  and I think Justin was put in as the 'beefcake Veteran' and he actually was kind of a prince-y wuss.   Off hand I would say that Jose. Nicole, Mike, Justin and Randy  would have been gone by now even here in Patagonia.  They just were not in it to win it.  

We will see when things get tough this season who is there for the win.  

Hmmm, hadn't really thought about it, but it may be true that we have more people expressing appreciation for the beauty of the area instead of how hard it is. Oh, there's still the occasional "must have protein!" But just seems this batch is more likely to comment on the stars or the beautiful sunrise. It may just be that, for the most part, folks have their ration packs, and are finding enough to eat with foraging and fishing.

Each season we've seen an improvement in the screening process. Season one half the people didn't appear qualified. Oh, they were campers and hunters, but none really knew what they were getting into. Season two a couple amateurs with skills and determination and a bunch of very skilled folks who weren't really in it to win. This time, I think we have skilled amateurs, but mostly people who enjoy the outdoors and who would like some money. I'm coming up blank thinking of folks this time around who make their living as wilderness survival instructors. Some folks make their living in the woods, and some off gridders, but are there any professionals? And, no military that I can think of.

In the past predators were a big thing to a lot of contestants. Think of all people from the first two seasons who quit because of predators in the first few days (or even hours). I mean, a couple folks had mama bears and cubs come into camp - yes, that might freak me out a bit. This time predators are a non-event. We've had a couple times where people have seen glowing eyes watching them out of the dark, but no big bad bears coming to eat them. Actually, I think the only fearful reaction came from Megan, who reacted to feral hog scat and noises by erecting a boma type barrier, and next week it appears she gets a little freaked when she sees a fox who is probably attracted to rob fishy smelly stuff from camp. I'm hoping the preview is manufactured drama. Here where I live, fox have had a den by a water tower on the outskirts of post housing for years... no biggy, they steal food from pets occasionally, and people need to protect little dogs and cats, but nothing to get excited about. And the rabies sound bite - the film shows a fox running away when light hits it. It doesn't look like what I think of when I hear of a critter with rabies. It looks like a critter who was nosing around camp hoping for something to steal and the big mean human scared it away. If I were camping and saw that, I doubt rabies would even cross my mind. And hey, if it finds something it will no doubt return, just like Greg's foxy. I mean really, no bears or wolves, pumas are too shy to be caught on camera, so best the producers can come up with to manufacture drama is the occasional hog sign and trap/camp robbing fox... at least so far we haven't, at least as far as I know, seen stock footage of broken beak eagles or wolves.

Another biggy, these folks aren't having to struggle for water. We've seen folks struggle to light a fire to boil water, one guy drinking tidal water and having to tap (a BIG diasappointment, Brant from season one whose bio talked of National Guard and Coast Service, including time teaching survival, never got fire and drank salt water), and a favorite,  Mitch, who had to built a raft and make his way across an inlet to get to his water. Either this season the abundant water is safe, or maybe, no problems starting fire and not worth showing them boil the water.

I often unfairly think less of these folks as they quit after a couple weeks because they miss their families, or find it hard camping out and living in primitive shelters. After all, I was separated from family for months, even over a year on a couple occasions in the Army. Twice I lived in tents for over ten months. On more than one deployment I went a couple weeks between shower runs, riding miles in the back of an open truck on dirt roads... you were covered with dit and dust when you got back to camp AFTER your shower,  but you smelled better. Then I remember the mental stress they have with all the "ALONE" time. During my time away from family, I was surrounded by others, had a job to do, could sit around and talk, read, or play cards off duty... actually had little time to sit and think about missing home. Heck, part of my job as an NCO was to watch to make sure soldiers didn't withdraw and sit by themselves and mope. Yeah, I lived in tents, but I always had supplies, potable water and food (even if it was C's or MRE's) delivered at least once a day. So, I have to remind myself my experience and theirs are like apples and oranges. 

******Gross alert******* thinking of shower runs, just had a horrible thought. It doesn't appear as though Greg has washed his clothes since he arrived... if he DOES manage to kill any game, just think what he'll look like after butchering it.

Edited by SRTouch · Reason: Left "unfairly" out of sentence - which totally changed the meaning when talking about my Army experience
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I forgot about Dan... what an unpleasant douchebag!  Not someone I would ever want to be around in real life.  So negative and unhappy.  His final speech about feeling fulfilled was such BS; if that's you when you're feeling fulfilled, which is generally a happy emotion, then I'd hate to see you when you're unhappy!  I'd imagine he's telling everyone about how well he did.  Sorry, you didn't do well at all.  Nothing really to show for your time there.

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I think they may have prepared people better with flora and fauna this time with a 1/2 day walk through the area pointing out the poisonous mushrooms as well as the edible ones. 

As far as water, I am pretty sure one person, probably Fowler, said that they stopped boiling the lake water. On the other hand, there are few varieties of fish and the fish learn to keep away from an area that is being over fished. 

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Farewell, lazy Dan. I'm sure no one's going to miss not having you on the show. 

We're six episodes deep and still haven't seen much of Meghan. Either she's dull or she's among top 3 or 4 and will be featured more in the later episodes like Jose. 

I really hope Callie and Greg are fine. I remember last season David fell into the water and freaked out about having hypothermia but didn't even talk about it in the next episode as if it never happened (just like how Greg got lost in the woods and never talked about it in the next episode). Or maybe next week we have 2 tap outs?! I really hope not cause I'm rooting for both Callie and Greg to be in top 3 with Fowler. How many episodes do we have this season? 10 or 13? They have weekly check-ups, assuming the check-ups are done on 7th day every week, that means they just had one on day 49 - just in time for Callie. Maybe they checked her infection,  think it's not that serious (or it has improved) and decided she can stay hence why we're on day 50 and she's still not tapping out. 

Fowler started a thread on BushcraftUSA yesterday introducing himself as one of the Alone contestants. At this point, i already made up my mind that he won. I read 2 other survival and bushcraft forums that talked about this show and he's on both of them. Plus, he's also on reddit and seems to be doing a lot of interviews. C'mon, that just screams winner to me. I don't think an eliminated contestant would be actively talking about the show on forums. They don't need forums, they already received enough criticisms on fb/Twitter. Callie made a brief appearance on a forum (can't remember which one) till she got overwhelmed by everything and decided she need to take a break from Internet which seems like eliminated contestants 101 to me. So I'm convinced she's not the winner. But hey i could be totally wrong though. After all I predicted Larry and David amongst the early tap-outs last season so...... 

Edited by Joan Z
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Chris Weatherman from season 1 was very active on forums and he went out pretty early, so I wouldn't read too much into it (although I would not be surprised if Fowler won, as he seems like one of the few on this show who isn't super hungry).

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I don't think the winner would dare run his mouth and risk losing it all by breaking the confidentiality agreement. I'm friends with someone who's on Top Chef right now and he won't tell me squat.

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36 minutes ago, cooksdelight said:

I don't think the winner would dare run his mouth and risk losing it all by breaking the confidentiality agreement. I'm friends with someone who's on Top Chef right now and he won't tell me squat.

Let me preface this to say that I have been wrong on my predicted winner for the last 2 seasons of Alone, however, if he doesn't breach any of the rules set forth by his contract, then there may be nothing in the contract which stops Fowler from talking about anything and everything except anything that hasn't aired yet. I know that Jose put out a lot of video commentary last year too, not as much as Fowler's overall media presence though. I still think it is because he won, but I have struck out 2 times already! So, what do I know!  For what it is worth, I think Top Chef is a much bigger, well known, multi-season show with bunches of spin-offs and successful chef winners who have gone on to other shows and a lot of success. Alone is a smaller, niche thing (IMO).  Perhaps the contract is much more rigid for Top Chef? 

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1 hour ago, ClareWalks said:

Chris Weatherman from season 1 was very active on forums and he went out pretty early, so I wouldn't read too much into it (although I would not be surprised if Fowler won, as he seems like one of the few on this show who isn't super hungry).

Also, I seem to remember he came back a few times afterwards to critique - sort of like the pre- and post- shows they had on Deadliest Catch for a while. As I remember they would have two or three contestants who would comment on the weekly episode. Viewers would see him and wonder who he was. Ah, he was the guy who always had a gun when he went into the worlds, then freaked when he got to VI.

1 hour ago, ClareWalks said:

(although I would not be surprised if Fowler won, as he seems like one of the few on this show who isn't super hungry).

And the only one who didn't take extra rations

Edited by SRTouch · Reason: Wording changed
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23 minutes ago, Joan Z said:

We're six episodes deep and still haven't seen much of Meghan. Either she's dull or she's among top 3 or 4

Really can't find a decent excuse for 50 days/ 6 eps  and about zero on Megan.  There are 10 contestants. We know they're there. 

35 minutes ago, Joan Z said:

I really hope Callie and Greg are fine. I remember last season David fell into the water and freaked out about having hypothermia but didn't even talk about it in the next episode as if it never happened (just like how Greg got lost in the woods and never talked about it in the next episode).

 I'm sure you recall the editors are terrible with follow-up..  It's not necessarily so that the contestants didn't even talk about it--but more that the editors just moved on like it never happened.     I would hope they follow up with Callie's issue but it wouldn't surprise me if that's the last we hear about it and she's all fine and moving on the next time we see her.  

 

55 minutes ago, Joan Z said:

that just screams winner to me.

Frankly I suspect the same thing. Lot's of interviews, etc.   Although I think he's a big contender and i like him, I hate the hint of a spoiler.  I keep reminding myself it doesn't prove anything.   (but it's got that scent of   "I  Won!" enthusiasm )     

He hasn't said anything that would give things away--and many of the contestants were on forums during the airing.  David was on forum last season so what Fowler is doing is certainly within the rules.  

1 hour ago, Joan Z said:

They have weekly check-ups, assuming the check-ups are done on 7th day every week, that means they just had one on day 49 - just in time for Callie.

Someone brought up the fact that since the contestants are so close and many on the same lake, can't they see/hear  if a boat is coming to a camp (for a tap-out.)   So I'm hoping that the producers have been wise enough to do med checks at more random and unpredictable times for each Aloner so the others cannot determine if it's med check or tap out.   It would really ruin things if they could tell who else is gone or still there.  

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What's annoying for me about the lack of Megan is the bits we have seen with her have been quite informative.  I feel like I could have done with a lot more Megan and much less of Greg complaining about being cold, Dave sucking up raw fish with filthy hands, and Dan complaining about everything and generally being a dick.

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I think the location has something to do with the number of contesants but I also think that the contestants are better prepared. We have seen people making baskets, nets, fishing traps and the like. They are showing far more initiative in their fishing approaches then we have seen before. The shelters are a great deal better then the shelters we have seen in the past. Several people have made pretty impressive shelters without bamboo. We are seeing mantles and fire places which we have not seen before. There were rocks and the like at BC but we did not see the fireplaces. 

Season One had a major water theme but not season two. I think they made sure that each site in the second season had a good water source. That was a lesson learned by the Producers. I would be interested in knowing the start date for filming. If they made some type of change in order to make it easier for people to last. 

All of that said, these folks seem to be legit interested in lasting a good long time. They did better in their screening since only a few have left for family reasons or they were bored or missed their life. We are seeing the strong survivors who are mentally into it enough that they are out there longer and fighting legit physical reasons (spider bites and hypothermia) to stay in the game. 

I am enjoying what we are seeing and excited to see where it all goes.

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On 1/14/2017 at 2:07 PM, SRTouch said:

 Season two a couple amateurs with skills and determination and a bunch of very skilled folks who weren't really in it to win. This time, I think we have skilled amateurs, but mostly people who enjoy the outdoors and who would like some money. I'm coming up blank thinking of folks this time around who make their living as wilderness survival instructors. Some folks make their living in the woods, and some off gridders, but are there any professionals? And, no military that I can think of.

The big irony of this statement is I was telling my husband about how I would love to participate in a wilderness/survival class taught by Callie or Fowler.  I would even take my seven year old daughter, because I would love for her to learn some of their skills.

Season 2 was a big disappointment for me.  It was obvious some people were only there to promote their various businesses.  Jose did himself no favors coming on this show.  He ended up looking like an OCD loon, with no practical survival knowledge.  Also his boat (which has been brilliantly name Jose's Folly on this board) was not that impressive. He would not even have been able to use it if the empty Clorox bottle had not washed up on his beach.  The last I heard, the great Native American societies that built those types of boats dd not rely on people polluting the oceans to make them float.  I understand trash is a great resource in a survival situation, but it was not a testament to is skill as a boat maker.

Dan probably thought he was at least in the top three when he tapped and hoped for that bragging right.  It was probably a shock to him that he did not even make to the top half.

The guy who tapped out in three days probably feels a little relieved about his decision.  There was no way he was going to out last any of these people.

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3 minutes ago, qtpye said:

Jose did himself no favors coming on this show.  He ended up looking like an OCD loon, with no practical survival knowledge.  Also his boat (which has been brilliantly name Jose's Folly on this board) was not that impressive. He would not even have been able to use it if the empty Clorox bottle had not washed up on his beach.

It's so true. I was unimpressed after Jose 1) took FOREVER to make this damn canoe, and 2) said that if the tiniest stick brushed up against it, it would break. Why even bother making a boat that weak? Especially if it takes you weeks to make the damn thing. 

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Which is funny because Callie is teaching a class with Nichole and Jose and Mike in a few weekends.

Being alone, exerts different pressures on different people, these guys were up against a man who was being well fed and really needed the money, his children were grown and he was going through a divorce, which made home not as appealing, heck when I was going through a divorce, if I could have stayed someplace alone, even if difficult, I would have even if it was difficult. And mine was a friendly one.  No one was going to beat Dave. 

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2 hours ago, qtpye said:

The big irony of this statement is I was telling my husband about how I would love to participate in a wilderness/survival class taught by Callie or Fowler.  I would even take my seven year old daughter, because I would love for her to learn some of their skills.

Ah, but would they be teaching wilderness survival, or how to make a home in the woods with just ten items and a crap load of camera stuff?

Edited by SRTouch · Reason: Deleted some of quoted text

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I would be thrilled to get even a few minutes with NIcole to share her extensive knowledge of edible and medicinal plants.  It's obviously a lifetime study so you could only expect to get some basics.

What would the others teach?  I think "a clever use of your surroundings" maybe but I'm not sure they're up for  true 'survival" 

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Patagonia certainly seems to be an easier location than Vancouver Island.  I think a lot of that is the weather and the inherent nature of the local predators.  It was kind of constantly nasty-windy-wet on VI, so that didn't allow for a lot of sophisticated shelter building.  That led to a lot of "hurry up and get a dry spot" shelter building.  That constant damp made it very hard to keep a fire going to boil drinking water, and that constant effort musr have been exhausting.

 

The character of the predators is very different too.  On VI, you had bears and cougars.  The cougars would mostly leave the survivors alone, but the bears were a constant presence seeking food and attracted by the scent of food.  On VI, the survivors had to have sleeping quarters separate from their day, or cooking camp, with two separate fires to maintain, and they had to hang their food to keep it away from bears.  In Patagonia, they're smoking fish inside their shelters!  So I figure the panthers and wild boar aren't a constant threat, just an immediate threat that you can't do much about if they're determined to attack.  Carleigh alluded to that whem she saw the eyes yet continued to sleep on her beach, under the stars.

 

Oh!  And the bamboo!  That's a third big factor in how Patagonia offers better resources and opportunities than VI.

 

All that said, I do think this season has a better prepared cast as well.

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I don't know, Fowler built a quick camp and then went and built his regular camp. The folks on VI could have done that. Heck, Lucas did just that. At least, I think it was Lucas. He built a camp and then built his wigwam/teepee design. It was a pretty nice shelter. I believe he had a good fire pit in it and the like. He left because he had thought through the issues that had driven him to accept the challenge and because he wanted to fix the things he had left broken at home.

I think that is what disappointed me about the first two seasons, the people who seemed to be able to show how you could not only survive, but thrive left early because they were bored. They set up nice camps and were in a good place but then they left because they had did what they wanted to do and were not driven to win. This season seems to have found the folks who have the skills and the desire to stay. Maybe it is because they found Survivalists who have a good support system at home but who are not in an emotional vulnerable position.

I have no doubt that Jose had a great camp, we never really saw it but I would not be surprised to find out that it was well built and he was in good shape. His canoe was over the top. It took mad skills to build that thing but it was not practical. It was not going to get him any where or accomplish anything. Greg's raft is rickety but it works. Fowler's duck boat is flat out awesome and show great ingenuity.

I suspect that the folks who are still out there in season 3 would have been fine on VI because they have legit skills and a legit mindset. Fowler would have found something other then bamboo to work with to build his shelter. And let's face it, the others have built very nice shelters using different materials. Their fire places would have been built in VI or Patagonia.

I also suspect that the weather has been bad enough in Patagonia but we are not seeing a lot of that since it is not causing people to drop. At least, not yet. Winter will probably change that. A real snow will make a difference for some folks, like Greg. Last year we did not see a ton regarding water and food collection because it wasn't a real issue. People were catching enough fish and gathering enough plants and had good watering holes. So we did not see as much about those issues. Essentially, the show doesn't show the hardships that are not causing people to drop. So it could be crap weather but if people are shrugging it off then why waste time on it.

Casting did a great job this season. They found people with legit skills and the ability to learn those skills and the right mind set and sent them out. Yes there were no bears but there are predators that are plenty dangerous. The folks are not freaked out by them. Heck, there were contestants not freaked out by the bears on VI and lived near them just fine with a good deal of caution.

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13 minutes ago, ProfCrash said:

Casting did a great job this season. They found people with legit skills and the ability to learn those skills and the right mind set and sent them out. Yes there were no bears but there are predators that are plenty dangerous. The folks are not freaked out by them. Heck, there were contestants not freaked out by the bears on VI and lived near them just fine with a good deal of caution.

Yeah, the people this season are doing such a good job that it almost looks too easy.  I have no doubt most of these people have legitimate survival skills.

 

32 minutes ago, ProfCrash said:

I think that is what disappointed me about the first two seasons, the people who seemed to be able to show how you could not only survive, but thrive left early because they were bored. They set up nice camps and were in a good place but then they left because they had did what they wanted to do and were not driven to win. This season seems to have found the folks who have the skills and the desire to stay. Maybe it is because they found Survivalists who have a good support system at home but who are not in an emotional vulnerable position.

A GIANT word to all of this.  I hated these type of tap outs most of all.  I do not think you are a real long term survivalists if you do not have a mental game plan.  I am sure many of these people thought they would be happy to live in the woods forever and it was quite a shock to their system that it was not the Utopia they expected.  I often wondered if "I came out to do what I needed" was just code for "F-this, I want a flushing toilet, a warm shower, and food that I do not have to butcher myself."

This is why I am so loving Callie and Fowler.  They talk the talk and walk the walk.

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1 hour ago, qtpye said:

I often wondered if "I came out to do what I needed" was just code for "F-this, I want a flushing toilet, a warm shower, and food that I do not have to butcher myself."

You got it! Would you admit on national TV that you were a wuss?

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1 minute ago, cooksdelight said:

You got it! Would you admit on national TV that you were a wuss?

It would be particularly hard to admit if I had built an entire identity on being a tough outdoors person who does not need creature comforts.  Many of the contestants are not like this, but we have had some who were delusional in their mental ability to cope (looking at you trapper Dan).

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I suspect that the folks who are still out there in season 3 would have been fine on VI because they have legit skills and a legit mindset. Fowler would have found something other then bamboo to work with to build his shelter. And let's face it, the others have built very nice shelters using different materials. Their fire places would have been built in VI or Patagonia.

There are alders growing everywhere on the Island.  Basically the weed of the trees.  Anywhere there has been a clear cut, alders will take over in a couple of years.  Also salmon berry thickets.  Both plants, while not as straight as bamboo, are thin and bendable, so weaving a wall out of them wouldn't have been too difficult.  Also mosses and ferns are all over the place as well, so chinking material would have been readily available.  The only bad thing is the damp and cold.  Mostly the damp.  It just eats away your energy and will to live.

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