ALONE: History, Allowed Gear, Prohibited Items, Skills, & Benefits

The reality show “Alone” is a survival competition that tests the skills and endurance of ten contestants as they try to survive in the wilderness with limited resources. To make the competition fair, the show has a strict list of allowed gear and prohibited items.

Contestants are placed in remote locations with limited survival gear, with the goal of being the last person standing. The show aims to showcase the unique challenges that come with survival in the wilderness, as well as the strategies and skills that are necessary for survival.

In this survival guide, we will dive into the allowed gear list and prohibited items of the “Alone” TV show.

What is the History of the “Alone” TV Show?

Alone TV Show History

Alone is an American reality TV show that airs on the History Channel. The series premiered in June 2015 and features ten participants who are dropped off in the wilderness of Vancouver Island, Canada with one goal: to survive as long as they can without any help.

In each episode, contestants must build shelters, find food and water, and fend off predators while competing against each other for cash prizes. Contestants are supplied with cameras to document their experiences.

With a grueling three-month time limit hanging over them, the contestants must push themselves to the limits if they want to survive. The last person standing at the end of the challenge will win a grand prize of $500,000.

The show has been popular among viewers since its debut due to its authentic portrayal of solo survival skills and tactics needed in order to survive in an unfamiliar environment.

It also has a unique format compared to most other reality TV shows, making it enjoyable to watch regardless of an individual’s level of interest in the topic of wilderness survival.

Allowed Standard Survival Gear List in “Alone”

Allowed Standard Survival Gear List

The Alone TV series has many seasons, and in each season, the contestants are allowed to bring certain items with them to aid in their survival.

Below is the standard gear on the “Alone” TV show. It includes clothing, camera gear, safety equipment, and some protective and survival gear.

These items are not counted in the TEN special items.

1. Clothing

The clothing items allowed on the show include basic essentials that are necessary for survival in harsh weather conditions.

  • 1 T-shirt: A basic item of clothing that is lightweight and breathable. It is an essential item for comfort in warm weather.
  • 2 wool, fleece, or cotton sweaters: The contestants can wear additional layers of warmth on top of their shirts to keep themselves warm in the colder months.
  • 1 Fleece/wool shirt: This item is perfect for keeping the contestants warm in cold weather. It is made of a material that is both warm and durable.
  • 2 hats (brimmed, wool, fur, Arctic, or baseball): Hats are essential for protecting the contestants from the sun and cold weather.
  • 6 pairs of wool socks: A must-have item for keeping the contestants’ feet warm and dry in cold weather.
  • 1 shemagh OR scarf: These items can be used as a head covering to protect the contestants from the sun or cold weather.
  • 4 pairs of gloves: A must-have item for keeping the contestants’ hands warm in cold weather.
  • 2 pairs of underwear/briefs: A basic item of clothing that is essential for personal hygiene.
  • 2 buffs or neck gaiter (no balaclavas): These items can be used to protect the contestants from the wind and cold weather.
  • 2 pairs of outdoor bushcraft pants/bibs (can unzip into shorts): These pants can be used in both cold and warm weather and can be converted into shorts if needed.
  • 1 waterproof un-insulated shell/Jacket: This jacket can be worn in wet weather to keep the contestants dry.
  • 1 insulated parka-style jacket: A heavy-duty jacket that is perfect for keeping the contestants warm in extremely cold weather.
  • 1 pair of fully insulated or waterproof winter pants/bibs: These pants are perfect for keeping the contestants warm and dry in cold weather.
  • 2 pairs of thermal underwear (long top and bottom): This is an essential item for keeping the contestants warm in extremely cold weather.
  • 1 leather belt (or synthetic equivalent): A basic item of clothing that is essential for holding up the contestants’ pants.
  • 1 pair of gaiters: A protective item that is worn over the pants and boots to keep snow and debris out.

2. Footwear

Footwear is a critical aspect of survival, and the show Alone provides contestants with two options for footwear:

  • 1 pair of waterproof Arctic winter boots
  • 1 pair of high-leg hunting boots

The high-leg hunting boots are ideal for hiking and exploring the wilderness, while the waterproof Arctic winter boots provide warmth and protection in harsh winter conditions.

Having both options of footwear allows contestants to switch between them depending on the environment they find themselves in.

3. Tracking and Safety

These items are provided by the “Alone” team to each contestant to ensure their tracking and safety.

  • Camera equipment
  • 1x Rules and regulations guide
  • 1x Emergency flare
  • 1x Backpack
  • 2x Safety tools (may consist of a canister of wild animal repellant, an air horn, and/or 1 flare)
  • 1x Emergency personal flotation device
  • 1x Camera pack
  • 1x 20×20 canvas bushcraft tarp.
  • 1x Small mirror
  • 1x Satellite phone
  • 1x First aid kit (military type – tourniquet, wadding, ace bandage, alcohol, plastic bag, etc)
  • 1x Emergency rations pack to include water and food
  • 1x 10×10 tarp for protecting camera and equipment
  • 1x Headlamp
  • 1x GPS tracking device

4. Personal Items

  • 1 personal photograph: A reminder of home and loved ones that can help boost the contestants’ morale.
  • 1 toothbrush: An essential item for personal hygiene.
  • 1 pair of eyeglasses: An item that is necessary for contestants who wear glasses.

Allowed Individual Survival Gear List in “Alone”

Each participant must carefully select TEN items from the list that follows. Once they have made their choices, there will be no room for negotiations or second chances.

These TEN items will be their only hope, support, and tools for survival. The fans are watching, and the contestants must shine.

1. Shelter

Shelter in Alone

To build a shelter, contestants are given some basic materials.

  • 8-mm climbing rope – 10M: This rope can be used for building a shelter or for other survival purposes.
  • 3-mm cotton cord – 40m (non-waxed cord): This cord can be used for a variety of survival purposes, including building a shelter.
  • 12×12 ground cloth/tarp: A basic item that is used as a ground cloth for the contestants’ shelter.
  • 550 Paracord – 80m: This cord can be used for a variety of survival purposes, including building a shelter.

2. Bedding

Bedding in Alone

Sleeping comfortably is an important part of survival. The contestants on Alone are allowed to bring a few items to help them stay warm and cozy while they are out in the wilderness.

The following are the bedding items that are allowed on the show:

  • 1 multi-seasonal sleeping bag: This is the most important item on the bedding list. A good sleeping bag will keep the contestants warm and protected from the elements, regardless of the temperature. It’s important to choose a high-quality bag that will last throughout the entire competition.
  • 1 sleeping pad: A sleeping pad is a foam mat that provides insulation and cushioning between the sleeping bag and the ground. This is an important item to help prevent the loss of body heat and to provide comfort.
  • 1 hammock: A hammock can be used as a sleeping platform or as a place to relax and escape from the elements. It’s a versatile item that can be used in many different ways.
  • 1 bivi bag: A bivi bag is a waterproof cover that fits over the sleeping bag, offering extra protection from rain, snow, and wind. This is a crucial item for contestants who will be sleeping out in the open.

3. Cooking

Cooking in Alone

Cooking gear is essential for preparing food, and contestants are given a set of items to cook with. These items include:

  • 1 steel frying pan: This is used for frying food and is a common cooking tool. The steel material is durable and long-lasting.
  • 1 large pot: This is used for boiling water and cooking food. The large size is convenient for cooking a large amount of food at once.
  • 1 enamel bowl for eating: This is used for serving and eating food. The enamel material is safe for use with food and is easy to clean.
  • 1 flint or Ferro rod set with standard-sized striker: This is used to start fires for cooking and warmth. The flint or Ferro rod is a reliable way to create sparks and start a fire.
  • 1 canteen/water bottle: This is used for carrying and storing water. The canteen or water bottle is important for staying hydrated in the wilderness.
  • 1 spoon: This is used for eating and serving food. It is a basic tool that is necessary for basic cooking and eating.

4. Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene is crucial for the contestants on Alone, and they are provided with some basic hygiene items.

  • 1 40-mm roll of dental floss: This is used for cleaning teeth. Dental floss is important for removing food particles and plaque from teeth.
  • 1 face flannel: This is used for washing the face and body. The flannel material is soft and gentle on the skin.
  • 1 bar of soap: This is used for washing hands and the body. Soap is an important tool for maintaining good hygiene.
  • 1 towel (30″ x 60″): This is used for drying the body after washing. The towel is a basic item for personal hygiene.
  • 1 8-oz tube of toothpaste: This is used for brushing teeth. Toothpaste is important for keeping teeth and gums healthy.
  • 1 comb: This is used for combing hair. The comb is important for maintaining good personal grooming.
  • 1 small bottle of bio shower soap: This is used for washing the body and hair. The bio shower soap is made from natural ingredients and is gentle on the skin.
  • 1 shaving razor (and 1 blade): This is used for shaving. The razor is also important for maintaining personal grooming.

5. Hunting

Hunting in Alone

The show Alone provides its contestants with a limited set of hunting gear to help them in their survival journey. The following items are included in this category:

  • 1 300-yard roll of a single-filament fishing line up to a max of 20 lbs weight test + 35 assorted barbless hooks (no bigger than size 7/0, no lures.)
  • 1 small-gauge gill net
  • 1 Primitive Bow Recurve or longbow + 9x Arrows
  • 1 net foraging bag
  • 1 slingshot/catapult + 30 steel ball bearings + 1 replacement band
  • 3 lbs of one solid block of salt
  • 2 lbs of 20 or 21-gauge trapping (snare) wire

Having a bow and arrows for hunting can provide contestants with a means of obtaining food, and the fishing line and barbless hooks can be used to catch fish.

The gill net and slingshot can also help in acquiring food. The foraging bag, snare wire, and block of salt can be used for gathering and preserving food.

6. Food

Contestants are allowed to bring a maximum of below food items.

  • 2 lbs of biltong (protein)
  • 2 lbs of hardtack military biscuits (carbs/sugars)
  • 2 lbs of GORP (raisins, chocolate, peanuts)
  • 2 lbs of beef jerky (protein)
  • 2 lbs of dried pulses/legumes/lentils mix (starch and carbs)
  • 2 lbs of chocolate (simple/complex sugars)
  • 2 lbs of pemmican (traditional trail food made from fat and proteins)
  • 2/3 lbs rice / 2/3 lb sugar / 2/3 lb of salt (all separated)
  • 2 lbs of flour (starch/carbs)

These food items provide contestants with a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and sugars for energy and survival. The pemmican and hardtack military biscuits are traditional trail food and can provide long-lasting energy, while the chocolate and GORP can provide quick energy.

7. Tools

Tools in AloneTools in Alone

The below tools are allowed for the survival journey.

  • Small sewing kit
  • Pocket folding knife
  • Multi-tool
  • Pair of ice spikes
  • Sharpening stone
  • Hunting knife
  • Roll of duct (or electrical) tape
  • Carabineer
  • Small shovel
  • LED flashlight

Also Check: Bushcraft Essential Gear List.

Prohibited Items

While contestants are provided with a limited list of survival gear, there are also items that are strictly prohibited on the show. The prohibited items are crucial to maintaining the fairness and authenticity of the competition.

These items are banned because they would give contestants an unfair advantage over one another. Here is a list of the prohibited items on “Alone”:

1. Compass

Compass not allowed in Alone

A compass is an essential tool for navigation, but it is prohibited on the show. Participants must rely on their own survival skills and instincts to find their way around the wilderness.

2. Fuel and Matches

Fuel and matches are important items for starting a fire, but they are also prohibited on the show. Participants must find alternative ways to start a fire, such as using friction or natural materials.

3. Bug Spray and Sunscreen

Bug Spray and Sunscreen not allowed in Alone

Bug spray and sunscreen are essential items for preventing insect bites and sunburn, but they are not allowed on Alone. Participants must find natural ways to protect themselves from the elements.

4. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a convenient way to protect the eyes from the sun, but they are prohibited on the show.

Participants must find alternative ways to protect their eyes, such as using leaves or other materials to create shade.

5. Beauty Products

Beauty products, including makeup and hair products, are not allowed on Alone. Participants must embrace their natural appearance and focus on survival skills.

6. Maps

Maps not allowed in Alone

Detailed topographical maps are prohibited on Alone. Participants must rely on their own sense of direction and memory of the landscape to navigate their way around the wilderness.

7. Unapproved Technology

Any item with a battery or engine, such as cell phones, computers, and watches, is prohibited on the show. Participants must rely on their own skills and resources to survive.

8. Professional Snares

Professional snares are not allowed on Alone. Participants must find alternative methods for catching food, such as fishing or hunting.

9. Firearms

Firearms of any kind, including ammunition and gunpowder, are strictly prohibited on the show. Participants must rely on their own skills and resources to protect themselves from danger.

10. Animal Poison

Animal poison is not allowed on Alone. Participants must find alternative methods for catching animals for food, such as hunting them.

11. Professional Fishing Rods/Fishing Lures and Bait Kits

Professional fishing rods, fishing lures, and bait kits are prohibited on Alone. Participants must use the limited selection of fishing equipment provided or find alternative methods for catching fish.

12. Food and Beverage

Food and beverages, except those provided in the selection list, are also prohibited on the Alone show. The show’s creators want contestants to rely on their own survival skills and resources to find food and water.

Providing food and beverages would not only make it easier for contestants to survive but would also take away from the challenge of the show.

13. Decoys

Decoys, including animal calls, are not allowed on Alone. Participants must rely on their own skills and resources to find food and protect themselves from any danger using the allowed items.

14. Tree Stands

Tree stands are not allowed on the show. Participants must find alternative methods for hunting and gathering food.

15. Professional Bows and Crossbows

Professional Bows and Crossbows prohibited in Alone

Professional bows and crossbows are not allowed on Alone. Participants must use the limited selection of hunting equipment provided or find alternative methods for hunting and gathering food.

16. Scopes of any kind

Scopes are prohibited on the Alone show because they are considered a modern advantage. In a survival setting, contestants are meant to rely on their own skills and resources to survive.

Scopes, which are used to magnify an object and make it easier to see, would give contestants a significant advantage in hunting and fishing.

17. Coolers and Food Storage Boxes

Coolers and food storage boxes, except the optional bear canister, are also prohibited on the Alone show.

The show’s creators believe that allowing contestants to bring these items would make it easier for them to store food and would take away from the challenge of finding and storing food in the wilderness.

18. Inflatable Boats

Inflatable Boats prohibited in Alone

Inflatable boats are also prohibited on the Alone show. Inflatable boats would make it easier for contestants to explore the wilderness.

Moreover, it would take away from the challenge of surviving in the wilderness.

19. Tents or Shelters

Tents or shelters are not allowed on the show as the contestants are expected to build their own shelter in the wilderness.

The contestants must find materials from their surrounding environment to build a shelter that will protect them from the elements.

20. Stoves, Pressure Cookers, or Other Cooking Appliances

The contestants are not allowed to bring stoves, pressure cookers, or other cooking appliances. They have to cook their food over an open fire or any other fire that they can create.

21. Hydration packs

The contestants must find their own water source and are not allowed to bring hydration packs with them. The contestants must find water from rivers, streams, or any other water source available to them.

They then have to purify the water before drinking it.

22. Fire Pits

Fire Pits not allowed

The contestants must create their own fire pit to cook their food and keep themselves warm. They must find dry wood and tinder to start a fire and keep it going throughout their time in the wilderness.

23. Electric or Propane Lanterns

The contestants must rely on the light from the fire that they create or from the moon and stars.

This provides a realistic experience of how people used to live in the wilderness without the luxuries of electricity and modern appliances.

24. Filtration, Purification Devices, Iodine Tablets

The contestants must find their own water source and purify it before drinking it. This adds to the challenge of the show and requires the contestants to have basic knowledge of water purification.

The contestants must find a way to purify their water to avoid getting sick from contaminated water.

25. Ammunition

Participants are not allowed to bring any type of ammunition, whether it be for firearms or otherwise. This is to ensure the safety of all participants and to prevent any accidents from occurring.

The show’s focus is on survival skills, not hunting, so having ammunition would only distract from the true nature of the show.

26. Explosives or Gunpowder

Explosives or gunpowder are also not allowed on Alone. Like ammunition, this is for the safety of all participants and to prevent any accidents from occurring.

Moreover, the production crew wants to make sure that the show remains true to its nature, and the use of explosives or gunpowder would only detract from the experience.

27. Fishing Traps

Fishing Traps not allowed

Participants are allowed to bring fishing gear, but they must use traditional methods of fishing. This means no fishing traps, which would give participants an unfair advantage over others.

Additionally, the use of fishing traps could result in the trapping of non-target species, which could have a negative impact on the ecosystem.

28. Animal Calls

Participants are not allowed to bring any type of device that can be used to mimic the sounds of animals in the wilderness. This is to ensure that the wildlife in the area is not disturbed or scared away.

Allowed Survival Gear and Prohibited Items Table

Allowed ItemsProhibited Items
Hunting equipment (knives, axes, machetes, etc.)Compass
Fishing gear (hand lines, hooks, etc.)Fuel or matches
Sleeping gear (sleeping bags, hammocks, etc.)Bug spray/Mosquito repellent
Cooking equipment (pots, pans, etc.)Sunscreen/Chapstick
Personal hygiene itemsBeauty products
Optional bear canister for food storageMap (detailed topographical)
Unapproved technology (anything with a battery or engine)
Professional snares
Firearms of any kind
Explosives or gunpowder
Animal poison
Professional fishing rods
Fishing lures, flies, bait kits
Fishing traps
Food or beverage (except options from the selection list)
Animal calls
Tree stands
Professional bows or crossbows
Scopes of any kind
Tents or shelters
Stoves, pressure cookers, or other cooking appliances
Hydration packs
Fire pits
Electric or propane lanterns
Inflatable boats
Filtration, purification devices, iodine tablets
Coolers or food storage boxes (except optional bear canister)

What are the Challenges Faced by Contestants?

Each episode focuses on different contestants as they go about setting up camp, gathering food, building tools and weapons for defense against predators (and other competitors), navigating difficult terrain, and fishing for sustenance, all while trying not to crack under immense pressure.

Some contestants have even had close calls involving wild animals such as bears or cougars. At times we’ve seen them break down emotionally due to fatigue or stress. This can be even more draining than physical exertion when there’s no one around to help you through it.

Ultimately though, it’s every contestant for themselves when it comes down to who will make it until the end. The suspense builds up episode after episode as we watch these brave individuals try their best against insurmountable odds.

What Skills Are Needed?

Knowing how to use your survival gear is just as important as having it in the first place. After all, there’s no point in carrying around a knife if you don’t know how to sharpen it.

Must Read: 10 C’s of Survivability

To ensure success with using any item on your list, do some research beforehand so that when the time comes you know exactly what steps need to be taken when using each tool during an emergency situation.

In order for contestants on Alone to survive as long as possible, they must have a number of different essential skills. Some of these include:

Fire starting

One of the first skills that contestants need is the ability to start a fire from scratch using natural materials like wood or flint stones.

Fire Starting Skill

This knowledge is important not just for warmth but also for cooking food and boiling water which are both essential components of staying alive in the wild.

Shelter building

Contestants must also be able to create their own shelter using whatever materials they can find such as logs, leaves, branches, etc.

Shelter Building Skill

A shelter is not only necessary for protection from animals but also provides much-needed comfort and safety from inclement weather conditions such as rain or snow.

Check our article to learn the art of shelter building using natural materials in the wilderness.

Food gathering/hunting

The next skill that needs to be acquired is finding a reliable source of food either by hunting animals or gathering edible plants/berries/nuts etc that can be found nearby.

Hunting Skills

The ability to catch fish or hunt small game is especially beneficial since this will provide you with a dependable source of protein. It will help keep your energy levels up and aid in recovery from physical exertion.


Knowing how to read maps, use compasses, and recognize landmarks are all important skills that can help you stay oriented if you ever become lost or disoriented during your journey alone in the wilderness.

Navigation Skills

However, for the show “Alone”, you need to focus on remembering the landmarks as using a compass and map is not allowed.

How Can I Learn These Skills?

If you’re interested in learning some of the same essential wilderness survival skills featured on Alone then there are several options available depending on your budget and location.

You can take classes at specialized schools such as NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). It offers courses specifically designed for those wishing to learn how to survive outdoors and build upon existing knowledge if you already possess some basic skills like fire starting or navigation techniques.

Alternatively, there might be local organizations near you offering lessons in these areas as well. It’s always best to do some research before signing up for anything though.

Lastly, if you’d prefer self-teaching methods then there are plenty of books out there ranging from beginner guides all way up to advanced techniques depending on what your desired goal is.

Health Benefits of Participating in “Alone” TV Series

Alone allows viewers a unique insight into what life could be like if we had to live off-grid. This can be an empowering experience that promotes self-reliance and learning new skills.

Additionally, Alone features activities that promote physical health such as hunting for food sources or building shelter, activities that are often overlooked by modern-day society but still necessary for subsistence living.

Through these activities, we can also see how diet can affect our overall health. Participants who eat well tend to perform better than those whose diets consist mainly of processed foods or junk food.

Why Fans should watch Alone?

For fans of reality TV, Alone provides an exciting new twist on the genre by focusing on individual skills rather than interpersonal relationships or gameplay.

1. Immersive Look Into Survival Techniques

The show also provides an immersive look into survival techniques and outdoor lifestyle through its stunning cinematography and thrilling challenges that test even the most experienced outdoorsmen.

2. Interesting Perspective on Human Nature

Alone also offers an interesting perspective on human nature, watching contestants struggle against extreme odds highlights our ability to overcome adversity despite being pushed beyond our limits.

This is a very inspiring message for viewers.

3. Learn about Wilderness Survival Techniques

Alone encourages viewers to learn more about wilderness survival techniques so that they can be better prepared should they ever find themselves stranded in a similar situation (though hopefully not).

Alone also offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in learning wilderness survival techniques or just looking for some entertaining reality TV drama.

Each episode features different challenges that keep viewers intrigued as well as plenty of beautiful landscapes from around the world captured with stunning cinematography so no two episodes are ever alike.

FAQs about “Alone” TV Show

Contestants stay in the wilderness for as long as they can, with the last person standing winning the grand prize of $500,000.

If a contestant is injured, they can call for medical help by activating their emergency beacon. The crew will then assess the situation and determine the best course of action.

No, contestants are not allowed to talk to each other during the show. In fact, each contestant is dropped at a separate remote location so there’s no contact.

Moreover, each participant must rely on their own survival skills to survive in the wilderness.

The purpose of the show “Alone” is to test the survival skills and endurance of contestants as they try to survive in the wilderness with limited resources.


Alone has been an incredibly popular TV series because it provides viewers with an exciting yet realistic insight into what’s required in order for someone to successfully survive alone in a hostile environment with limited resources.

The Alone’s allowed survival gear list and prohibited items are crucial to maintaining the fairness and authenticity of the competition. Viewers have access not only to watching contestants battle through difficult conditions with limited resources but also to gaining valuable knowledge about essential outdoor survival tips.

Whether you’re a fan of the show or just interested in survival skills, the “Alone” TV show is a great way to learn about survival and the challenges of living in the wilderness. It guarantees nail-biting drama up until its thrilling conclusion every single season.