What Alone Contestants Are Allowed To Bring With Them Into The Wilderness

The point of "Alone" is for contestants to try and make it as long as possible, or at least longer than the other contests, in the great outdoors with minimal supplies. To survive in these rough conditions, those who go onto the show must be tough and have plenty of experience in the wilderness. It's also important that they bring the right gear with them. 


However, contestants can't just take whatever they want. The team behind the show has a set list of permitted and prohibited items, and they are very specific about them, which means contestants have to make the right decisions and be able to use what they're allowed to their advantage.

The items contestants pick can easily determine whether or not a person makes it through the season or not. Having a good attitude and the ability to adapt helps, but without the right tools, an "Alone" participant won't be able to catch food, stay warm, or build a shelter, so they need to choose correctly.

Gear included for all Alone contestants

To start with, every "Alone" contestant gets several standard items. This includes everything from eyeglasses to items to help with sanity like photographs. Clothing is also included on this list.

The clothing allowed is very specific, detailing if they can be waterproof, the material they are made of, and even if participants can wear things like a layered jacket. In addition to specific limits and kinds of clothing, tarps, first-aid kits, and backpacks are also available as they are important emergency supplies that can save lives while people are camping, or competing on "Alone."


For the most part, contestants have to bring their own gear. So while the items on this list are standard, there is some deviation in the exact products. Additionally, the way contestants decide to use this gear is up to them. While specific items are provided, such as a toothbrush, whether someone decides to simply use it to brush their teeth, or as, say, a fishing lure is up to them.

Category 1: shelter, bedding, and hygiene

The gear "Alone" participants get to choose from is broken up into three categories. The first is Shelter/Bedding/Hygiene. This category includes everything one needs to feel clean, to have a warm and safe place to sleep at night, and several very useful items for all aspects of the competition.


For example, while tarps are included in the standard gear, there is the option for an additional 12x12 tarp. A sleeping bag, a necessity amongst every contestant to date according to The Prepared, is also on this list. Additionally, contestants can choose tools such as specified amounts of cotton cord, Paracord, and climbing rope. Bivi bags, sleeping pads, face flannels, and hammocks are also on the list related to shelter and bedding.

As for the hygiene aspect, toothbrushes are already included, but toothpaste, soap, dental floss, shaving razors, towels, and combs are other options people can add to their list. Most contestants ignore these items in favor of more multi-purpose tools like the Paracord or gear from another section. Though it isn't chosen often, the right kind of soap can be useful, as it is one of the stranger things you can use as fishing bait.


Category 2: hunting, cooking, and food

The next category is hunting, cooking, and food. These items include everything a contestant might need to gather and cook meals, as well as easy-to-eat options and flavor enhancers. For easily accessible foods, most options are available in portions of two pounds. The choices are beef jerky, dried legumes or lentils, military biscuits, chocolate, pemmican, and GORP. One pound of flour or fat is also an option, or they can choose to have a third of a pound of rice, sugar, and salt, or a three-pound block of salt. For the above food, there is an additional rule, which is that contestants can choose no more than two of the available options. 


In addition to easy-to-eat foods, fishing line, up to 300 yards with 35 barbless hooks, a slingshot with 30 steel bearings, and a primitive bow and nine arrows are three options to help contestants catch their own meals. A net foraging bag, small-gauge gill net, and two pounds of trapping wire are also potential choices. A few additional items, like an enamel bowl, a spoon, a cooking pot, a ferro rod, a steel frying pan, and a water bottle are also included in this section. 

Of these items, the cooking pot, ferro rod, and hunting gear are common choices among the top contestants of every season. A pot and its lid are campfire cooking essentials for a reason, after all. 

Category 3: tools

The final category for contestants is tools. This covers any additional items "Alone" participants might need, including weapons and tools to build a shelter. Small knives, hunting knives, multitools, machetes, and a two-handed draw knife are some of the weapons one can bring with them. However, saws and axes get picked more often. Other tools contestants can pick are hatchets, adzes, augers, shovels, sewing kits, and a sharpening stone. There is also gear to make life a little easier, such as a flashlight, ice spikes, carabiners, and duct tape. These are rarely chosen, especially by those who make it near the end. 


Every person in first and second place on "Alone" to date has picked the sleeping bag, ferro rod, saw, and ax (via The Prepared). The pot, fishing kit, wire, and multitool are also pretty popular. Some of these items are good to have with you as hiking essentials in case of an emergency. If someone picks all of these items, they are left with roughly two spaces on the list for contestants to choose gear to make life a little easier for them, like paracord, a bow, gill nets, or food rations. A knife is used on occasion, but not as much as one might expect, with the multi-tool being a more efficient option. 

Prohibited items when on Alone

While pretty much anything not listed in the standard and optional gear is prohibited, there are specifics mentioned by the History Channel as examples. This includes items like firearms, poisons, compasses, maps, sunglasses, hydration packs, and water filtration tools. Purifying water when out in the wild is one of the reasons so many contestants bring a pot, though there are other ways to find the best water to drink if you don't have a purification system or a pot.


Interestingly, while eyeglasses are approved, they must be regular glasses. No goggles, prescription sunglasses, or transitional lenses are allowed. Other items banned specifically by the show include beauty products.

The items prohibited generally have to do with avoiding giving contestants advantages. They're also in place to protect the surrounding wildlife from things like explosives, decoys, animal calls, scopes, and tree stands. Tents are also banned, as it's expected that contestants build their own shelters. Since a poorly built shelter can lead someone to tap out, having a tent could make the challenge far too easy.