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‘Alone’ Contestant Shares the Gear That Helped Her Take On Season 10

Season 10 of 'Alone' follows survivalists into Northern Saskatchewan to see who can last the longest. Each season, fans of the show ask themselves what gear they would pack to survive and take home the $500,000 prize. We went straight to the source.

Alone Jodi(Photo/Brendan George Ko, the History Channel)
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According to the History Channel, the current season of “Alone” is the toughest yet. Jodi Rose, a Wyoming-based mom of five and recent contestant on the show, learned the art of bushcraft from her homesteading parents. It’s a story she says goes back generations.

“My parents’ parents crossed the country in wagons and settled in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho,” Rose said. “They were all homesteaders and they created a life from nothing. When my parents got married, they started a homestead and built everything from scratch, including a two-room cabin and everything in it.”

I spoke with Rose about the tools she chose to help her secure shelter, find food and water, and protect herself.

A Lifestyle Fit for ‘Alone’

Growing up in the log home her parents built, Rose was her father’s sidekick. A “self-made man,” Blaine Journal Sanderson always worked for himself. He was an outfitter, guide, and fence contractor. He also built and maintained open-range cattle fences as part of a contract with the government.

“I would ride with him into the mountains for four or five months at a time. Many of my childhood memories are from living in tents in cow camps, and living off the land on whatever my dad could provide,” she said. “My playground was the trees and the mountains of Wyoming’s Wind Rivers.”

According to Rose, when you’re that many miles deep in the mountains, you have to adapt and do with what you have, and you have to make what you need. That, she believes, is what gave her an edge on “Alone.” But her outdoor experiences with her father weren’t her only advantage. Her ingenuity, she says, she owes to her mom.

“She was very creative with a knife, axe, and saw. Growing up, we had all the comforts of home and more because we made it,” she said.

Jodi Rose
(Photo/Jodi Rose)

Prioritizing Gear Choices

“I knew going into this that having the right tools meant winning or losing, surviving or not,” Rose admitted. “I also know that problem-solving, mental preparedness, and adaptability were going to give me an edge.”

In choosing gear to bring on the show, Rose says her top priority was being warm and well-sheltered. “If I can’t stay warm and keep myself sheltered, I can’t stay,” she said. “If I’m freezing, I can’t last there a day.” Securing food, she said, was number two.

For Rose, one of the most important things when it comes to survival in the wilderness — not just for a TV show, but in life — is being comfortable and calm (not stressed out). This sets you up to thrive, not just to survive.

Looking back on Season 10 of “Alone,” Rose said she’s content with her choices and would bring the same tools she chose to survive in the wilderness, no matter the location.

“I chose the tools I brought with the thought in mind that they would help me thrive and live indefinitely in the woods of Northern Saskatchewan. I was making a home. My tools were an extension of me. I couldn’t have done anything I did out there without them.”

Gear to Survive on ‘Alone’: Jodi Rose

Silky KatanaBoy 650

Jodi Rose using the Silky KatanaBoy 605
Jodi using the Silky KatanaBoy 605; (photo/Jodi Rose)

Rose chose SIlky’s KatanaBoy 650 ($329) because she knew that it would make quick work of cutting down trees.

“A lot of people said I was crazy choosing that saw,” said Rose. “But I knew it was the right tool for me. I was able to cut four- to ten-inch logs for my shelter. I wanted a protected place to live, not a shelter made of sticks, and I used the saw to cut firewood — big logs that would burn through the night. I couldn’t have asked for a better tool.”

Rose also planned to use the saw for processing animals, though she didn’t have the chance. She also planned to use the saw to make furniture, though she says that ultimately, “I didn’t build anything amazing out there.”

Silky’s KatanaBoy 650 is in a class of its own. It’s a monster that has the chops to complete tasks typically tacked with a chainsaw. Plus, it takes two hands to operate.

But, the extra large, aggressive teeth cut fast enough to make this a great tool for trailwork as well as for survival. Silky has other saws better suited to animal processing and carpentry. But this big daddy is the tool for the job when you’re building a shelter, like Rose, or dealing with a tangle of trees on a remote trail.

Estwing Axe

“Being a fence builder and working with my father, brother, and husband, I’ve used an axe a lot. Most axes have wooden handles. If you hit the handle you can break it and then you have to fashion a new one.”

Rose called the Estwing “unbreakable,” not only using it for chopping tasks, but also as a lever to move things.

“I used the handle for a fishing pole, and also for digging,” she noted. “Not only will this axe last for years and years, it also keeps a good edge, and it’s easy to sharpen.”

A camper’s axe with a long handle, the Estwing Axe ($60) is solid steel. This axe delivers a well-balanced swing and sharp cut. It’s forged from a single piece of American-made steel with a hand-sharpened edge.

It’s also a thing of beauty — hand-polished to a luminous glow, the Estwing has a vibration-reducing handle designed for comfortable all-day use. A ballistic nylon sheath with a belt loop lets you wear the axe for easier access.

Bayite 6″ Ferro Rod

Alone Jodi Rose using a ferro rod to start a campfire
Jodi Rose using a ferro rod to start a campfire; (photo/Jodi Rose)

A ferro rod is a camper staple. Humans need fire for warmth and cooking. A ferro rod might be the easiest way to get a fire going in the backcountry, as long as you have dry tinder on hand. This tinder can be a birdnest of wood shavings, lint, paper, pine needles, or other highly flammable material. Of course, you’ll also need a striking edge or knife to throw the spark.

Though she could have attempted a bow drill to create fire, Rose ultimately went with the more reliable option.

“A ferro rod ($11) lets you light a fire anywhere anytime,” Rose said. “I considered going without it, but part of surviving is also being able to have peace of mind and not be stressed out.”

Snare Wire: 20 Gauge

“I assumed that there would be squirrels, rabbits, and grouse that I could snare for food using snare wire. I also brought snare wire ($8) to help me secure my shelter. It was great for little projects like building a fishing pole. I needed line guides, and I was able to make them from snare wire. I also made fishing hooks, lures, and spinners with snare wire.”

Wire is the extreme backcountry equivalent of duct tape and zip ties. A spool of snare wire can be used to repair a pack. It could be used to hang meat for smoking. It’s a great resource to have on hand when the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.

40-lb. Recurve Bow

Alone Season 10
(Photo/Brendan George Ko, The History Channel)

Rose chose a breakdown recurve bow so she could hunt small and large game. Along with the bow, she brought rod heads and small game bird heads plus judo points.

“I know that some of the other contestants brought a bow with more poundage. I know that I could pull back a 65-pound bow, but I wasn’t sure I could keep doing it as I was losing weight or muscle, so I brought a smaller bow. I am pretty strong for a woman. Even if there was a bear, my chances of seeing it or being able to hunt it were slim. But I knew I could use that 40-pound bow for rabbits, squirrels, grouse.”

You’ll see many of the contestants bringing along a recurve or long bow. They are some of the few active hunting weapons the show allows. With a lot of practice and precision, they can be an asset, pending the location. For the untrained archer, they might end up being a mistake to choose.

Wiggy’s Antarctic Mummy-Style Sleeping Bag

A warm sleeping bag was key to Rose’s success and survival. She chose Wiggy’s -60 degrees Synthetic bag in long/wide ($295).

“In my experience, synthetic is better than down, which takes forever to dry if it gets wet. This bag was almost water-resistant. I never felt any moisture inside. It’s really thick. I could almost lay sideways in it and could also curl into a ball. I kept all my clothing inside so my clothing stayed dry at all times. It was perfect.”

When you’re deep in the wilderness, a good sleeping bag can provide comfort, which can be otherwise hard to come by. It’s always better to go too warm than too cold, which is what Rose did in choosing this bag, which is rated to -60 degrees F. When a down bag gets wet, the down clusters get matted and they can no longer trap warm air to keep you warm.

A synthetic bag will be warm even when it’s wet, which Rose and anyone winter camping hopes to avoid. But it’s a good choice when the weather and conditions are unknown, and your life may depend on the warmth from your sleeping bag.

Most campers should opt for a bag that’s relatively tailored to their body and preferred sleeping position. A bag that’s more fitted is easier to warm up with your body heat. Rose went bigger so that she could also use the bag for storage, and so that the bag was pleasant and comfortable for hanging out, not just for sleeping.

550 Paracord in Various Colors

Paracord ($0.05/foot) is right up there with duct tape and zip ties when it comes to versatility and usefulness. But unlike duct tape and zip ties, paracord can be used over and over.

Rose brought 550 paracord for two reasons: to make a gill net to catch fish, and to help with stabilizing her shelter. She also used the paracord for projects like hanging meats to dry.

Paracord is one of the most useful emergency supplies you can carry. It’s strong, tough, and bright. In the backcountry, you can repair many things with paracord, hang a bear bag, weave a net, or lay out the walls for a structure you’re planning to build. You can use it to create a measuring stick, to sub in as a shoelace, and so much more.

Solo Stove Pot 1800

Alone - Jodi Rose using the solo stove pot 1800
Jodi Rose using the solo stove pot 1800; (photo/Jodi Rose)

Rose’s Solo Stove Pot ($46) wasn’t just for boiling water and cooking. She also used this 60-ounce pot for collecting and carrying berries, and transporting water to make mortar for a fireplace.

While stainless steel is heavier than aluminum or titanium, it’s dependably durable. Every time Rose needed clean water, she had to carry it from somewhere, and boil it to keep herself healthy.

A 2L pot was big enough so that Rose didn’t have to be constantly carrying and boiling, but not so large that it was cumbersome for carrying. And, as mentioned, it also served her for food collection as well as prep.

Fish Hooks of Different Sizes and Line

Rose knew she’d be near a lake in Northern Saskatchewan. She brought fish hooks and line ($12) to help her land dinner.

“Some fish will swim into anything,” she said. “So a gill net does the trick. Other fish won’t swim into a net if they can see it, so the hooks and line gave me another option for catching fish.”

Fish hooks and line just make sense. These aren’t items that are easy to duplicate in the field and they’re efficient at the task of catching fish. With lakes in the vicinity, you’d be silly not to consider these as an asset.

Leatherman Supertool 300

Jodi using the leatherman supertool 300 - Alone
Jodi Rose using the Leatherman Supertool 300; (photo/Jodi Rose)

“I brought Leatherman’s Supertool 300 ($100) because it’s the best multitool on the market,” said Rose. “I have smaller hands, and this tool makes easy, easy work of cutting things. The knife is long and it stays sharp forever. The files are perfect for sharpening an axe.”

Leatherman tools are dependable, so it makes sense that Rose chose this one. And with 19 tools, this one is a workhorse. All of the Leatherman 300s tools lock into place, except the pliers, which means there’s less chance of getting cut or pinched when using it.

And the Oregon-made multi comes with a 25-year warranty. That wouldn’t have done Rose much good if something with this tool went wrong. But it’s a strong testament to the company’s confidence in its product.

“I used it for all my projects. If I lost all my arrows, I could have made new arrows. I used it to dress animals, gut fish, and it was awesome for carving and whittling too. So the Leatherman was my tool for both survival and entertainment.”

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