Every Alone Show Winner Had This in Their Backpack

by Tommy Grant

There are a lot of wilderness survival shows out there, but one of the best and most realistic to watch is the aptly named Alone.

In production since 2015, Alone is a reality television series that challenges participants in the show to survive in the wilderness with minimal equipment and absolutely no human contact.

The show follows a unique format where people are scattered in remote locations, with each person equipped with a limited set of survival tools and cameras to document their experiences, which becomes the footage used for the show.

The primary goal is to endure the harsh conditions, secure food, find shelter, and ultimately outlast the other contestants to win a cash prize.

Perhaps the best way to describe the show is as a mix between Survivorman and Survivor, in that each participant is living out in the wild as Les Stroud did in the former but where there is only one winner at the end as like the latter.

The participants on Alone are selected for their diverse range of survival skills. Some are experienced outdoorsmen and women while others are novices seeking to test their mettle in the wild.

Related: The Most Realistic Prepper TV Series You Need to Watch

The main theme of the show highlights the mental and physical challenges of living in isolation, pushing the contestants to their absolute limits.

Another notable aspect of the show is how the survival conditions are demanding, with contestants surviving factors such as extreme weather, limited resources, and even encounters with wildlife.

Each contestant is also allowed to bring exactly ten items with them to help them survive.

Every Alone Show Winner Had This In Their Backpack

All of this naturally begs a simple question: what kinds of tools did the winning and runner up participants on Alone use to help them survive?

And what was the most popular tool or item used by the winners specifically?

The answer may surprise you.

The Most Popular Item on Alone

The most popular item on Alone was the same item that every single winner all brought with them to the show.

Want to guess what it is?

A knife? Nope.

Paracord? Nope.

Canteen? Nope.

Water filter? Nope.

Magnesium flint striker? Nope.

Matches? Nope.

Tarp? Nope.

Every Alone Show Winner Had This In Their Backpack

The answer is a sleeping bag.

If you think about it, it’s not hard to see why. A sleeping bag provides you with immediate warmth and shelter. Beyond the obvious comfort it provides, it can play a crucial role in maintaining body temperature, especially in cold or inclement weather.

The insulation they offer essentially creates a microclimate around the sleeper, which prevents heat loss to the ground and effectively shields them against chilly winds. This insulation is particularly vital in preventing hypothermia, which is a very real threat in many of Alone’s cold locations such as Patagonia in Argentina or the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

Furthermore, the compact design of sleeping bags allows for easy transport, making them essential when setting up temporary camps or when changing locations. So if you think about it…it actually makes sense as to why the sleeping bag is the most popular item used on the show.

While a sleeping bag is definitely important for surviving in the wilderness, just having one isn’t enough to guarantee you’ll make it. That’s why this guide is my go-to for learning all the skills I need to really survive in the wild if I have to.

Every Alone Show Winner Had This In Their Backpack

The Wilderness Long-Term Survival Guide teaches you how to prepare for uncertain times and learn from those who made the wilderness their home. It’s packed with essential knowledge for handling tough situations out there. And get this: it’s written by Nicole Apelian, who actually was on the TV show Alone and lasted 57 days on Vancouver Island with basically just her knowledge.

Additional Popular Items

The sleeping bag may be the most popular item used by the Alone winners, but there were several additional items that were very popular on the show as well. Remember that each participant is allowed ten items specifically.

Other popular items included a ferro rod, a fishing kit, a saw, ax, and a two-quart pot. Each of these items were selected by 90%+ of winners, but it’s the sleeping bag that’s the only item that was chosen by 100%.

Every Alone Show Winner Had This In Their BackpackSurprisingly, a knife was not one of the most popular items on the show, with one study finding that less than 65% of winning participants on the show brought a knife.

It appears that the participants favored the ax or the saw over the knife, perhaps because of the increased versatility of both tools.

Other items that you would think would have been popular among the winning participants, but weren’t, are water bottles, tarps, knife sharpeners, shovel, frying pan, hammocks, soap, multi-tool, and a machete. Each of these items were only selected by less than 50% of participants.

In short, it seems that the priorities amongst the winners were to stay warm and dry (hence the sleeping bag), to gather more food (hence the fishing kit), to get a fire going (hence the ferro rod), to boil water and prepare meals (hence the pot), and to chop or saw wood (hence the ax and the saw, in addition to the multitude of other uses that these tools can be used for as well).

So if you think about it, the winners were actually extremely well-rounded in the tools that they selected and made sure that their bases were covered. When putting together your own bug out bag or survival kit, you’ll want to make sure you do the same thing.

To that end, make a list of the priorities you would have in a wilderness survival situation (finding food, purifying water, defense, shelter, warmth, etc.) and then make sure that you have the right tools for each of those priorities.

Alone is definitely a show worth watching so you can see how ordinary people across a variety of backgrounds can survive out in the woods.

If you went on Alone, what would be the ten items that you would bring with you? Let us know in the comments.

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