As the Dead Sleep - Slow Run


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Long time reader, first post. I am inspired by other writers, especially DrifterMan, to tell you about the challenge I am embarking on. I finished As the Dead Sleep in about 10 days on my first second try, and have thought about going for a long run. My goal is to finish the challenge in over 100 days.

I’m going to try to balance a loot-and-scoot mentality with the thought that I’m probably not going back to most places, so I want to move slow enough to get most things of value. My high-level route is to head for the summit (I will probably drop into the ravine on the way, and maybe even to upper Bleak Inlet), to the forge in DP, and then to take my time on my way to HRV and then BR.

The biggest challenge I will face is the no rabbit and deer problem. My early loper strategy is to get some rabbits curing going early and to loop back to where I dropped them after 5 days (I call it the ‘loper loop’). That’s out the window. I also rely heavily on chasing deer into wolves. Early on I will scare off the wolves, and later I will shoot the wolf for the 2-for-1. I will have to find new ways to hunt wolves, bears and moose, especially since the AI has changed for everything recently. I think a flare gun will still ruin a bear’s day, so at least I have that to fall back on. I have no idea how I will get to cooking level 5 (I don’t shred), but if I do, I am set.

There are deer carcasses, so I can harvest hides and guts from the convenient ones (I am thinking near the Dam, up in TMW, and in parts of CH), leave the guts to cure, and turn them into pants and boots when I return. I’ll also need some guts for a bow, which I will want eventually.

Questions: does anyone know if we can fish, if snares work when there are no live rabbits, and if cabin fever is on?

Off I go.

Day 1

The broken lighthouse main floor only has dusting sulphur. Pass. I quickly head upstairs to grab some firewood. Weird, the stairs seems glitchy, I’m bouncing around. The secret of the lighthouse is off for this challenge, I don’t head all the way up. Out I go, bounding down the hill. It’s very cold. I head to the fishing hut on the right (there’s always at least a marine flare), with a little run I can usually get to the residences without losing any condition. But this time I am behind, and the wind is in my face part of the way. I have to sprint and lose some condition.

I warm up, collect some cloth, boil a bit of water, and head out to grab the hidden coal. I head north to the cabin, but see the bear on my route. I turn east towards the bear cave, and see the deer carcass is inside. Should I? What the heck, I can always restart. I thaw the carcass, collect some ‘shrooms, and cook some meat. It is very nerve-wracking, I keep running outside to see if I can spot the bear, but the hill to the right makes it impossible. Oh well, back to work, quickly!

The bear does not return, and I continue my trip to the cabin. It’s been windy all day, but my torch survives. It’s getting a little late when I get in sight of the cabin, and drop left onto the pond towards the deer. I start a sheltered fire, throw some coal down, and immediately the wind shifts and blows down the fire. ARGH.

I am freezing, abandon the fire, and head to the cabin for the night. It’s still very cold in there (I like how there are two zones in the cabin, pretty realistic). I sleep for a few hours, then venture outside in the middle of the night to see if the deer carcass above the cabin is there. It is not. I do find some cans of food at the picnic area, but have to retreat to the cabin again. Back to bed.

I'm wondering if this cabin is worth the trip. There's another option where you try to get out of BI as fast as possible. Then after you are geared up, drop into the Ravine, upper BI and return to lower BI to loot it properly. Hmm, not sure. Let's see if I make it out of here.

I am not very good at remembering to take screenshots. I might try a little harder, we’ll see.

Also, the journal feature is off. I can’t see my exact condition? I’m guessing around 90%


 
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Day 2

The cabin has a sewing kit, so the morning is for crafting improvised hand wraps and clothing repair. A baseball cap is enough to ward off head-bite. It is very cold and windy out. But by noon, the wind settles down and I head to the carcass on the pond. This time I harvest the meat without incident as light fog settles over the Inlet. This is much better, I can work with this.

I chain torches and make my way down along the bottom of the cliff (under the lookout), and still have not seen any timberwolves. I check the pond near the shortcut, hoping to find another carcass, but don’t see it. I turn towards the bridge to the cannery and almost stumble over a snowshelter. I had planned on warming up in a car or the truck, but this will do nicely. Warming fire, then along the bridge, collecting food in the cars as I go.

As I approach the cannery, I pause the game (sorry to any no-pause purists). I was originally planning to raid the cannery, but it will cost me a blue flare or two, and takes a few hours. It is getting late already. I know I will find a toque and sardines, and I might find matches. Hmm, I have only 3 matches left, thought I was being more careful. I’m starting to get cold again, I’ll have to make a fire in the cannery somewhere, costing another match. If I don’t find matches, I could be in trouble soon (flares can also light fires… but I still running low). I chicken out and walk on by.

A few steps past the cannery, the wind really picks up. I think I made the right call. I stumble along the road to the trailers, don’t find much, and take a quick nap to warm up. The sun is setting, but I want to get to the washed out trailers for the night. It is not far, but it is really cold and windy now, and I drop some condition on the walk/run over. Although I have heard there can be matches in either set of trailers, I get nothing. Tomorrow, I need to try to get to Spence’s.

Condition around 85%

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Day 3

More clothes repairs, but I am failing more than I am succeeding and my cloth supply is running low. I go out mid-morning into the bitter cold and scout my route. Moose. Right over the ridge outside the trailer. Okaaay, back inside. I take a quick nap and then head out around noon, heading the long way around the trailer and down near the ice. I know the exit is off to the right in the frozen tundra, and it’s a long ways away. I will need at least one fire.

It’s windy, but I don’t run into any wolves and make good progress. My temp bar runs low and I find a nice rock to make a fire behind. Drop some coal, and… wind shift. I am really grouchy now. What the fudge, Evil Wind! I’m almost freezing, low on matches, out of coal, and not entirely sure where I am. I starting jogging, and see a familiar looking valley. I think I stumbled into the exit. I lose some condition before making it to the cave, and am super-relieved to see the tool-tip “Leave Bleak Inlet”.

I didn’t see any timberwolves, so I light one of 3 marine flares (which end up being dead weight if you aren’t hanging out in Bleak Inlet), then warm up at a fire. I go back out to grab some edibles, and then head towards the Muskeg.

When I emerge on the other side, the wind is maybe worse than in Bleak Inlet. I won’t get far in these conditions. It’s also late afternoon, and I’m tired already? I collect mushrooms and cook them over the fire, and make my way back to the pine bed. I’ll make my move to Spence’s in the morning. (I thought about skipping Spence’s and going straight to mystery lake, but I really need the matches, and I am expecting bingo matches in ML. So Spence’s is a necessary detour right now).

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Day 4

I stumble through the dark cave in the morning, trying to find the exit without using a match. When I make it to FM, it is cold and windy again. What happened to warm foggy FM? I do more clothes repair, and run out of cloth before finishing. It is close to noon, and snowing, but not as windy as before. I head out towards Spence’s, moving slowly to get around a wolf near the cave exit.

I’m almost freezing by the time I get to the next cave, so I start a fire inside. Then a blizzard starts outside. Not great. I had originally planned on raiding Spence’s and trying to get all the way to ML today, but that is not happening now. I boil water, teas, and wait. The blizzard breaks in early evening, and I head over to Spence’s with a lit torch. Staying against the hill, the torch stays lit despite the wind.

Near Spence’s, there is a deer carcass I desperately need. I haven’t seen many cattails, and I am out of food save for two bad cans I am trying to avoid eating. I approach the carcass and get barked at. Oh boy. I start a fire and the wolf is closer than I first thought, he is already holding ground. Fire fails once and I get it going again real fast. I hope the wolf doesn’t get bored waiting for me…

This still seems a little anti-thematic, but I imagine my dude standing there brandishing the torch as he slowly pulls sticks out of his pack, and maybe a bit of accelerant. Once the first is going, he starts chucking lit sticks at the wolf. I could see a hungry wolf unsure what to do, and then running in panic once the fire starts flying.

Get the fire going, and… wind shift!! Ahhhhh retreat to Spence’s, I will figure that out in the morning.

Spence’s has a ragged ski jacket that will become useful once I repair it, matches, and fuel to help me survive the night. I sleep for a few hours, and when I wake up the wind is quiet. New plan! I grab a torch in the middle of the night and return to the carcass. I harvest it without hearing from the wolf, and return to bed. This was a lot more scary than I made it out to be.

I sleep until the fire is close to running out, break a couple boxes to get to the safe and dog food, and back to bed for the rest of the night. I always have interesting nights as Spence’s.

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Day 5

The plan today is to get to Trapper’s, but it’s a long way, and when I wake up close to noon I am still not fully rested. I grab some torches and head north through the outbuildings on the ice, finding a lantern, cattails and the next deer carcass. As I harvest that one, a deep fog rolls in. Now I’m really in trouble… I don’t want to go back to Spence’s, I’m not sure there is enough fuel (and possibly food) to wait another night. I brew some more tea, and then headfirst into the soup.

I move slowly, listening, straining, grabbing cattails and rosehips as I find them. I think I know the way to high-blind. As the sun drops lower, I see trees in the distance start to take shape. I think the fog is lifting. A few more careful steps… bear? The fog is lifting, yup, bear nearby, off to the right. And a wolf to the left. And.. where am I? I need to split them to head in the direction of the tracks. I’m losing time, crouching, watching them both path. I make a break for it.

Once I am past them, I focus on re-orienting myself. I think that’s the derailment up ahead, how did I get so far left?! I start thinking of new plans… broken railroad is quite far, so is Marsh Ridge, and I don’t have a bed-roll or enough cloth to make a shelter. I’m not sure where all the abandoned shelters can appear, I haven’t lived in FM much. My only option is to continue to Trapper’s via Poacher’s camp. Up to the tracks, grabbing cattails as I go.

The sky is a dark pink by the time I get to Poacher's, and I see another bear. Hope he doesn’t come close to camp. Poacher’s is a bonanza! Two flares, an improvised knife (jackpot!), a book and food. It’s warm enough outside I don’t even make a fire, I just keep moving. The bear is almost on the tracks, I take cattail detours and slowly get around him. It’s night by the time I get to ML, and then I have a slow and stressful trip to Trapper’s. I am red-lining fatigue, so I have to drop water, tinder, some metal. Ooo, my boots are frozen from ML, better fix that at Trapper’s.

My fatigue bar is empty and draining condition. Weather co-operates (a quiet, bright night), no wildlife at all. The strange glowing lights at Trapper’s are a welcome sight.

I fall into bed, condition around 75-80% (I have well-fed now)

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Day 6

I try to wake up in the middle of the night to check on that carcass, but blizzard. Back to bed.

[breaking the 4th wall a bit… today was not my best day of the long dark. Read on to discover the extent of my mistakes 😛 ]

When I do wake fully rested, I realize I am running a little low on water. I dropped a lot on the trip from FM. I have teas, which will last a day or two, but it would be better to save them for the warmth bonus. The plan today is to get the carcass, then a 2nd carcass (hopefully over the north ridge, if not, maybe the one further away at the pond… but that one takes steel cajones). So I should be able to make some water at the fires.

First I loot trapper’s: finding a crowbar and thin wool sweater in the safe, then boots in the locked locker, and then I notice the hacksaw on the floor. Wow, good deal. I head out to the carcass in the late morning and build a sheltered fire in the outbuilding. I forget that I have both a knife and hacksaw, and assume that I have to wait until the carcass hits 50%. I run around grabbing sticks (not many in the immediate area), and scouting for the bear.

Apparently, I did a terrible job of scouting, because while I am harvesting the first piece of meat I hear the bear coming. I stay crouched, practice retreating to the crawl-space, and deftly combine ‘3’ and right-click places to keep the meat moving. The bear sometimes seems to turn towards me, but never aggros.

While the bear is wandering away, I eat the first piece of cooked meat. Food poisoning! What?! No… [I look it up later, 3% chance food poisoning if cooked meat is between 75% and 20%] I did not check the state of the carcass, is must have been almost busted. Ok, time for risk management. I quickly drink some reishi tea, now I need 10 hours of rest. But my fatigue bar is quite high, I need to kill some time. All the while, my condition will drop. Not great…

I decide to move on to the next carcass to kill the time. Over the ridge I find another carcass, and settle in. This time I remember I have a hacksaw, and get to work quickly. This carcass goes smoother, and while the meat is cooking I run over to grab a nearby maple. I get back and decide I have time to grab the hide too, which I hope to carry with me and eventually turn into pants.

This was almost certainly another mistake, because now my fatigue is lower than I expected, and I have a bit of a trip back to Trapper’s. Damn, by the time I make it back I am red-lining fatigue again. By the time I get to bed, I think my condition is below 50%. Rough day.

[to make it worse… when I leave in the morning, I totally forget the maple and deer hide curing on the floor. They will be waiting for me when I return here in 50+ days, but wasted effort now. So many regrets!]

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Plan today is to get to Camp Office, and possibly the Dam. Although, if mystery lake is clear of wolves, spending an afternoon harvesting cat tails and returning to the office is not a bad way to spend the day.

I wake up to a raging blizzard. Make what repairs I can with the limited cloth at Trapper’s, then decide to go to the cave to stock up on coal. I normally don’t go out in blizzards (I can’t quite find my way and am worried about reports of wolves sticking around), but this is an easy and short trip.

I bring my 2nd lantern, collect coal, and even cattails on the river to town until my temp bar is half empty (there’s a blizzard in Milton too). Back to Trapper’s, and the weather finally clears with maybe an hour of daylight.

It’s a fast and stressful walk as the night descends and I lose visibility in the snow. But it’s warm, and I make it without seeing any wolves. I heard a bunch off near deadfall, it was quite eerie.

Camp Office has a bedroll, and this random item placement:

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Huh, find new things each play through.

No magnifying glass, which means it is in the lookout. I don’t think I will go there, it’s pretty far out of the way, I hope instead to find a firestriker at the overlook cave.

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Good to see disciples of the notorious @Drifter Mantaking their first steps to stardom. +1

Some more screenshots would be cool. And you should carefully read the master's AARs to pick up more vocabulary and start speaking 'Driftermannish'. Like calling Coastal Townsite 'Wolfen Wolfsite' and so on. I'll be following this...

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Day 8

Today I head to the dam, remembering to grab a rope from the overlook. If conditions are good, I want to raid mystery lake, but I can also save it for my planned return (after PV, TMW, CH and DP, I’m coming back through here on the way to Milton)

It’s cold and windy in the morning, so I fill up on cloth, repair the bedroll and rest of my clothes. I’m especially happy to fix up my ski jacket I found at Spence’s. Starting to get comfy, but I still have hand wraps… In a real loper game I’d be working on my rabbit mitts around now. I need more gear!

Off to the overlook in early afternoon. I’m pretty familiar with this woody path now, I used to have a lot of trouble finding the cave. No bunnies… very strange feeling.

The book guy in the cave also has a firestriker! I wonder if this is a guaranteed part of the loot table where the mag lens is in the lookout. Probably yes. I’ve glanced at the loot tables in the past but I’m not going to look on this run. Firestriker is in the 30s%. It’ll last until I can reload on matches in PV, and now I really don’t need to go to lookout.

It is quite windy still, so I can’t harvest the carcass up here. I climb down the first rope, grab the 2nd, and goat down the rocks to the right towards the lake. I personally don’t like to take these goat paths, but this is one spot where it’s not too steep, and it saves me a lot of time compared to going around.

The lake is swarming with wolves, I see at least 3. It’s way to windy to start a fire, so I head north to the Dam.

The wolf at Alan’s cave is blocking the way, so I hit the blind. He notices me and I have to skirt the clearing and make a run for the exit, skipping over another deer carcass. I hope to lose the wolf as I make my way towards the trailer, but I hear him on my tail.

And the trailer wolf is there too. I’m surrounded, the wind is howling, not good. I ready a flare and head right to try to outflank the trailer wolf. He spots me too, but I have the angle, and I run around and then into the trailer.

Huff puff huff puff.

I do a 15 minute tea craft to give the wolves the time to lose interest, and I hear the wind die down. New plan! I head to the Dam yard to harvest the deer that is always(?) there. I get barked at again, and slam the gate. I’ve heard the wolves can get in here now, so I start the fire quickly, and try to figure out where the growling is coming from. He’s outside the fence (for now?), so I taunt the wolf as I cook the deer. I’m expecting to get humbled, but the wolf never does find the way in.

I also get the guts and hide and start curing them in the dam. If I go down to the ravine I might be able to hang around here long enough to start working on deer clothes.

I use the lantern I brought with me to explore the upper floor of the dam late into the night, and finally roll out the bed roll (not on wires 😊 ) for a good night’s sleep.

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On 3/11/2020 at 8:14 PM, DsnowMan said:

The biggest challenge I will face is the no rabbit and deer problem.

The funny thing is when I completed this challenge, I actually DID find rabbits in Milton.  But I've gone back and done a few throwaway attempts, and have never again seen rabbits.  Near as I can figure it was some sort of memory glitch, because when I first spawned in I fell through the ice due to still being unfamiliar with Bleak Inlet.  I trashed the attempt immediately, loaded up a throwaway Ultra-Pilgrim custom game to familiarize myself with the delta, then started the challenge again.  And boom, rabbits.  But I've tried doing that again deliberately and have never been able to replicate it.

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19 hours ago, Hotzn said:

Good to see disciples of the notorious @Drifter Mantaking their first steps to stardom. +1

Some more screenshots would be cool. And you should carefully read the master's AARs to pick up more vocabulary and start speaking 'Driftermannish'. Like calling Coastal Townsite 'Wolfen Wolfsite' and so on. I'll be following this...

I agree, it is great to see more practitioners of extreme interlopism and deadmanship turning up to report their adventures. Needless to say, I keep coming back to read @DsnowMan's account.

Everyone is free to explore their own writing style and vocabulary though! Many landmarks still wait for appropriate names...

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Day 9

When I wake, I briefly consider my options. I could head for DP, but I don’t have a hammer yet. I could also head straight to the summit, but I am right by the ravine, with the rope, and I haven’t eaten much in the past two days. I expect the ravine to have 3 easy carcasses… ravine it is!

I dump a lot of gear, grab the rope, and head out early for the ravine. It’s 3 arrows down, but the plan is to get to the first carcass and drop a coal in the fire. It is cold, but bright and still, so the harvest goes smoothly. I put the guts and hide in the cave and move on to the rope attachment. It’s close to noon now, and I want to get all the way to the lookout in upper Bleak Inlet, or possibly the control hut, but I think I have time for the carcass at the top of the rope. I harvest it completely as well, planning to bring the guts and hide down the rope to cure. I dump more gear at the top of the rope (why did I bring my lantern?) and shimmy down.

I collect the flare gun, stim and some cattails as the wind starts to pick up. I now realize I was lucky to have low wind for two full carcasses…  I start a fire in the lower cave to warm up (and drop the guts and hide), but skip this deer carcass due to the time and the wind. I can get it on the return trip.

I tag the grave (one down, four to go!), and return to Bleak Inlet. It’s windy, but bright and not too cold. I grab some cattails in the upper delta, turn left towards the hidden cave, but find only fire wood. I head for the lookout and see timberwolves on the path, so I turn to the right towards the pond.

There is another deer here, so I build a sheltered fire and get to work. But the wind quickly shifts (Evil Wind returns!), and I realize it is getting late as the snow starts to fall. The meat on the fire doesn’t finish cooking, and I can’t stoke the fire. I guess I’ll try to get it going again on the way out?

I decide the control hut will be easier to get to from here, and slide along the rock wall to keep wind exposure down. I don’t see the wolves again and make it to the parking lot. Not much in the cars, and I push through the swelling blizzard as night falls towards the control hut.

I get inside the hut and it is pitch black, so I light a marine flare (I won’t be needing them much longer). I take a quick look around… where is the bed? There’s no bed?! Ok, check for my bed roll… no bed roll? Oh no.

I think I left my bed roll… in the Dam? I must’ve assumed there would be beds anywhere I could stop. Oh not good, not good.

In a bit of a panic, I loot the hut as fast as I can as the marine flare dies out. I almost lose track of where the door is, and burst back out into the dark almost-blizzard.

Oh man, I am screwed.

Ok, the cars are an option, but it will be tough to keep a fire going. I might have enough cloth for a snow shelter, but same fire problem. The lookout is not that far… and I still have two marine flares. Let’s go!

I can’t see anything, so I just follow the right wall. I am freezing shortly after the parking lot ( I didn’t recover much temp during my visit to the hut), and start a sheltered fire against a cliff. I drop a coal [I was a little sad when they changed it so you could add coal immediately, but I am not sad right now!], and only spend a few minutes next to the fire. I warm up a tea, and head back into the black soup.

The lookout comes into view, and I stumble up the stairs. When I wake up, a beautiful but probably undeserved sight:

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Happy to have you following my story Drifter Man.

Day 10

After the lovely sunrise I make my plan for the day. I’m going to try to find the carcass I left on the pond, although I’m not 100% sure how to get there from here. Then back to the Ravine to get the carcass by the grave, then use the stim to get up the rope and return to the safety of the Dam.

I had found one tin of coffee in the Upper Dam, which I plan to use after the stim wears out. I’ll save the rest for emergencies, or making the summit.

I take a look out the other side of the lookout. Go away doggies!

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I read a book to pass an hour. Good, doggies are gone. I head down in the cold windy morning and hear crows to the left. I go investigate and find a little secret tunnel. Inside the clearing on the other side is a 3kg deer. Very nice! I start a fire in a corner I think will be windproof from most directions and harvest without trouble.

It’s after noon by the time I get moving again with a full belly and a couple steaks on me. Hopefully not enough to attract the guards. I head a bit towards the control hut and turn right and up a hill to get to the pond. I find the raw meat from yesterday and try to start a fire in the howling wind. This time the fire lasts long enough to finish cooking, and I wonder whether carrying 5 steaks towards the Ravine will be a problem.

I hug the left wall, and make it to the delta safely. I am starting to freeze, so I run along the log bridges and drop a little condition before getting to the warmth of the lower Ravine cave.

After warming up a bit, I start working on this carcass, which is also 3kg! As I cook, I reflect on this little adventure into Bleak Inlet. I was hoping to find lots of loot In the control hut, but I did not find anything useful. Instead, I have a food surplus now. A quick calculation… across the deer and cattails I have on me and in the Dam, I think I have over 10000 calories. I could stay at the Dam for a few days and wait for the deer hides to cure, and make some clothes sooner than I had planned.

As I wait for the last steaks to cook, I harvest the guts and hide of this deer to make my 4th set. I probably should have had two fires going in the cave, because it is starting to get dark, and snowy. I finally pack up and head for the rope. I am almost blinded by the snow when I apply the stim, and can’t even tell if I am on the rope. I lose precious seconds, but eventually start climbing in the pitch dark.

I make it to the top, grab some stashed supplies and make a run for it. I can’t see where I’m going, but know if I follow the left wall I will find the upper Ravine cave eventually. Stim runs out, so I drink coffee and keep running. I’m overweight and drop a bunch of water and meat, hopefully I can find it tomorrow Temp bar running out too. I’m straining my eyes trying to figure out where I am. Two desperate late night almost-blizzard sprints in a row? I’m getting rusty…

I make it to the cave in rough condition, just a little temp and energy left. I’ll have a nap here and then continue to the Dam. Roll out my … Ahhhh no bed roll! Still in the Dam. Oh crap.

I drink another coffee, light a quick warming fire, drink a tea, ready the flare gun and burst into the night again. I stumble my way out of the Ravine, wondering how I got myself into this spot again. Again again.

Near the trailers, I get hyper vigilant, trying to listen or see the wolf, flare gun at the ready. No wolf. Into the trailers for a good night’s sleep.

Condition is back to around 50%, despite the boost from the stim. Going to be a long time until I find another stim. Have to be careful now. But I am looking forward to a relaxing few days around the Dam. At least, I hope they are relaxing.

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My writing and long dark play have taken a hit because of the virus. Lots of stuff to do at home. Well, next installment!

I have pretty much decided to stay in the Dam until my hides and guts cure. I think about what I should make. The boots are cheaper (2 hides and 4 guts) and provide +2.5/2, but I already have good work boots at ~+1.7/0.8, so the net benefit is only around 2 degrees Celsius.

The pants are 3 hides and 4 guts, give +2/2, but will be replacing jeans which are at 0.7/0, so the net benefit is over 3 degrees in the wind. The net increase in protection is also larger.

I have 4 hides and 8 guts, but the 4th set is the freshest. I decide to wait until 3 sets are ready, and that will leave 2 guts to carry with me for my eventual bow or fishing line (I think there might be fish out there).

I roll back time, and figure I harvested the 3rd set from the top of the ravine rope around midafternoon on Day 9, so I have to stay here for three days total. I make a list of things I can do to occupy myself:

  • Collect all the food and water I dropped in the Ravine in my blind panic.
  • Loot the lower Dam
  • Collect the carcass outside the lower Dam
  • Grab all the cattails in front of the Dam (guarded by Trailer wolf)
  • (possibly) head to the Look Out to get the mag lens
  • (possibly) find some deer along the railroad on the way to the Look Out
  • (possibly) head down Winding River to get a deer

Lots to do! I don’t think I’ll get bored after all.

First stop is back to the Ravine, since I’m hungry and know there is deer meat on the ground somewhere. I head out in the early morning, spot the trailer wolf but don’t get spotted, and head to the Ravine cave. It’s cold, I’ll need a fire before and after I collect my loot and decide to boil more water while I’m at it.

Here is most of my collection (I’m reasonably surprised, I’m in good shape for now!)

20200322100228_1.thumb.jpg.2ed5d80c4c8e17a4491477ad5b1d2f1f.jpg

 

I decide to leave the guts curing in the cave, and on the way back to the Dam, drop the cooked meat at the entrance to the Ravine so that I don’t aggro the wolf. It will be easy to pop back out here to get some food when I’m hungry.

To recover some temp, I loot the lower Dam. There is one spot near the emergency exit where I hit a bonanza. I find the hammer, matches, a wool toque, food and a scarf all in quick succession. I took this picture to remind myself (yay pictures):

 20200324090454_1.thumb.jpg.4c3cb30adc3bc255a67562ab72dfb9c7.jpg

 

I head out the back of the Dam and across the ledge to get to the carcass. It’s windy (blowing out the torch I have been chaining since the Ravine) but not too cold with my near gear, so I harvest only the meat without a fire (I have a hacksaw, so it’s quick work). I’ll cook it later when I have my next fire going.

Back to the top of the Dam, and I try to go outside to raid some cattails, but get chased back inside by the Trailer wolf. Hmm… if he stays out there the whole time, I’m not going to get to the rest of my list and I will get bored. Hopefully I can sneak out tomorrow.

For now, into my bed roll after a productive day.

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Day 12

Day 2 out of 3.5 camping in the Dam. I try and go out in the morning, but get barked at. Hmm, including the crafting time I am going to have to be here longer than I planned, I’ll get deep into my cattail reserves. I would really like to get down to the river and maybe down the tracks to a deer carcass or two.

I sit inside, find more cloth and do some more repairs. I often wait until I get the full value of the cloth, but now I am being less picky.

Then blizzard.

I read to pass the time, and run out of things to do. I don’t need firewood, and pass time until the night when the blizzard passes. I look out to see if I can sneak down to the river:

20200326184944_1.thumb.jpg.b6a022cd1c1d9e190b275569e2f85e36.jpg

I don’t think it’s a good time to go to the river. I am getting flashbacks to a couple nights ago. I head inside and go to bed.

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Day 13

When I go out this morning, it is cold but quiet and bright. I don’t mind this weather, even though I will probably need a fire while out collecting food. I am hoping the blizzard displaced or de-spawned the wolf, and cautiously move between the trailers.

No wolf yet, but he could be down on the river or across the bridge. I start collecting cattails, and there are more than I expect. I also hear crows coming from the tracks, and I realize the river gets closer to the train car then I thought. I am getting cold, so I climb up the bank and (cautiously, again), approach the train and deer carcass nearby.

Start a fire, and get to work without seeing a wolf. This is all good news. I cook-eat to fill my belly, and head back to the river and under the bridge to collect more cattails. Up the north bank and onto the bridge back to the Dam, no sign of the wolf…

I take this opportunity with a lit torch to start another fire in the Dam yard and cook the steaks from two days ago. While I wait, I realize this is an excellent opportunity to grab the hides and guts curing in the Ravine. I will be stinky, but if the wolf has really de-spawned, it will be safe and I can get to work as soon as they are done.

I leave the cooked deer for food tomorrow, and off to the Ravine. On the return trip, I am triple-stink bar with 6 fresh guts on me, but the wolf really does seem to be gone. I breathe a sigh of relief when I make it back to the Dam, and settle in for the night. The 1st set of hides and guts is done, the other two will finish during the day tomorrow, and I can make some pants!

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Thanks for hanging out at with me at the Dam. More excitement coming soon. Deer pants are not good bear repellent!

Day 14

Some more reading as I wait for the hides and guts. I repair my hacksaw, sharpen my knife, and finally run out of things to do. I finally just pass time while standing over 99% guts. This is taking longer than I thought. Pass time. Still 99%. Grrrr…

Ok they’re done, off to work. I craft until it gets dark, then turn on my lantern and work until it runs out. Not a great use of the lantern, but it’s not coming with me and I’m sure I’ll find another one in a map or two. I’ve also got another at Trapper’s.

I was hoping for an Aurora, but I don’t think I have had one yet. Maybe they are off for this challenge?

I am looking forward to finishing the pants. Here’s my gear right now, I can’t believe I still have my handwraps! I’ve even repaired them once:

20200324091332_1.thumb.jpg.9aa08ce52286f634a58dce189156fdc2.jpg

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Day 15

I wake up and it is already light out. Back to work. Pants are finished a little after noon. I gather up my gear, leaving one set of hide + guts to finish curing, a toolbox, and not much else. I remember the birch sapling this time, and head off to Winding River. I have 2 cured guts with me, either for fishing or eventually a bow.

It’s cold and windy on the river despite being mid-afternoon and me sporting my new deer pants. I go down the right side to avoid the wolf, then double-back up the left hill to get to the deer on the ridge. It’s too windy for a fire, so I just quickly hack off the meat and make a ‘run’ for it (not actually running), hoping the stink bars don’t draw the wolf too close behind me.

Temp bar is dropping, but I use wind shields to move fast along the river, and make it to the cave.

I light a torch, planning to make a fire at the deer carcass in the cave. I get all the way through the cave without finding a deer carcass… I thought it was always here? Weird, I have read about how some carcasses are bugged and only show up when you enter the cave a 2nd time. Oh well, I don’t need it. I want to keep moving now.

I get to the far end, and peak out at Pleasant Valley. It is later than I hoped, the sky is a deep pink. I haven’t cooked my steaks yet.

I don’t want to just bee-line to the radio hut, I think there is a deer near the hill cave not far from here. I don’t really want to spend the night there, or risk travelling at night with steaks on me. I take the prudent approach and return to the cave to spend the night.

I cook, boil water, and rest up for a big day tomorrow. I hope the weather co-operates and I can get to at least the farmhouse, if not further.

[I realize now that I am writing this I probably had time to go back and see if the deer was in the cave now... oh well]

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Day 16

I check my gear and read a bit to pass the early morning hours. I check the weather: cold, with light wind and snow. Any weather that isn’t a blizzard is good travelling weather in Pleasant Valley… I head out.

I haven’t been to this part of the valley in a while. I follow landmarks trying to find the hill up to the blind. Oh, lucky, I find it pretty fast. From the blind it’s easy to find the hill cave with the deer carcass out front. I think I see a wolf in the distance, but he shouldn’t come over here.

I take a small risk and start the fire next to the deer (I considered the cave, but the weather is holding up for now). I cook-eat off this deer too as the wind whips around me but never gets strong enough to put out the fire.

Off to the radio tower, paying careful attention for the bear. I am starting to realize I have seen a lot of bears in this challenge; I wonder if I have seen more bears than wolves. Maybe that was the ‘surprise’ the devs had in mind in the trailer: extra bears!

I don’t see the radio tower bear as the weather clears and I start to work on the deer carcass near the tower. I keep hopping up and checking the path up to the tower for signs of bear. Safe for now.

Once the deer is harvested and the last batch is cooking, I run inside for a quick loot. Oooo there’s a lot in here. More food, a book, clothes to pick through, and I almost miss… combat pants! Those are an excellent find! Now I don’t need a second pair of deer pants, I could be set for clothing now.

Quickly back outside to the fire, collect the last steaks (I’m full and carry a couple with me), and down the hill towards the Farmhouse. I don’t like taking the rope down, I once dropped right in front of the bear down there. That was a scary experience… It’s not much further along the ridge to the steep hill down anyway. Weather nice and clear, I should have no problem getting to the Farmhouse.

Then I glimpse something moving off to the left. Bear! Despite my steaks, I don’t think he has noticed me yet. I move on by, but then I am compelled to stop. I look at my flare gun. You know… I don’t shred to level up my cooking, but I could cook an entire bear without eating it to get a whole bunch of cooking points. That’s only kind-of gamey. And, I could eat a bear steak in an emergency, but I do have lots of food right now.

I turn around and head back to the bear. I get very close before he notices me, rears up, and BLAM! Nice shot, SnowMan. The bear runs off in a fiery panic (sorry no screenshot, I keep forgetting in these exciting times). Reload flare gun immediately 😊

The weather quickly turns for the worse. Wasn’t it clear skies a moment ago? Now there’s clouds, snow and strong winds. Time to scoot to the Farmhouse! I get to the road and see the new barn. I could stop there, but I don’t think I need to. Along the driveway, scanning the orchard for any signs of wolves. I am getting cold, and hustle towards the Farmhouse. When I get to the porch, I stay outside and craft a few teas instead of going inside. I’m worried about bugs that might let the bear live instead of bleeding out from his wound.

Once inside, I still have enough light to loot the top floors. I’ll get to the basement tomorrow morning. I don’t find anything I don’t already have, but it’s always nice to top up supplies. I leave some stuff in a cabinet, collect some curtain cloth in the dark and go to sleep for the night as the wind howls outside.

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Day 17

I wake up, thinking about how I am going to go about getting the bear harvested and cooked. I could quarter it, and haul it back across the fields. Or cook the quarters in the bear cave. Or possibly cook as I harvest meat right off the bear. I’m really not sure what is best. I don’t even want the meat, yet…

When the light dawns I loot the basement, finding matches and quality tools. Too bad, they are probably staying here. In the early morning cold, I head back towards the bear cave. I have to stop in the new barn to warm up, then continue across the road.

The bear is easy to find, but I am not happy about WHERE I find it:

20200402203730_1.thumb.jpg.ec19a67ece944196cb97f1bb8ab90a29.jpg

I can’t put a fire on this hill, so cooking as I harvest is out. I could put a fire further down the hill, but PV weather will almost certainly blow it out. I try to quarter it. I can’t quarter a frozen carcass? Uh oh…

I’m running out of options. I quickly decide to start a fire in the nearby bear cave (still a bit of a walk), and run first 4 and then, as the weather warms up, 6 pieces of bear meat back to the cave. I almost drop condition on one trip, but I get into a rhythm:

20200402211125_1.thumb.jpg.a0184f2b5e5b6f1fc7fa1d62a3a416ae.jpg

As it gets later, I keep an eye on the weather. I note landmarks so I can find my way back to the barn. It’s good I do, because a blizzard sets in while I am cooking, with about 3 trips (~8kg) left on the bear.

I stumble through the blizzard and find first the sign where the driveway hits the road, then remember the new barn is off to the right. I almost get lost, but find the barn too. I sleep here for a few hours, then continue to the farmhouse in the middle of the night once the blizzard passes. I didn’t bring enough food or firewood, and need to refill before I go back to finish the bear tomorrow morning.

[I got cooking level 4 today. I am much closer than I thought to level 5, and then easy going. On reflection, this is a key moment in my run. I was worried how I was going to get enough food to last on a long run. Once I summit, I'll have enough flare pistol rounds to take down 10 bears! I can eat like a king, and food won't be the limiting factor in getting to 100 days. I am sure my bravery or stupidity will be the real problem...]

Edited by DsnowMan
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Day 18

In the morning I grab what’s left of my firewood and food, and head back to the bear to finish. It could be another nice day, very un-like Pleasant Valley. Once I finish harvesting and cooking the bear, I leave all the meat in the cave and head back to the Farmhouse. If I ever return with cooking level 5, I can kill or outmaneuver the bear and start hauling the meat to a base.

It’s afternoon, and I realize I can get up the ridge towards TWM before nightfall. I grab all my equipment, leaving behind a quality toolbox, and drop down to the river cutting through PV and head for the new path up to the burned ridge.

There is a wolf near the new burned out cabin on the river, so I carefully collect cattails and crouch a bit to avoid detection. It’s getting late so I decide to skip Draft Dodger’s and head up the path. Without any rabbits, I don’t think there’s much reason to go there anymore.

I start a fire at the deer carcass outside the cave. The night starts to fall and the wind picks up as I cook-eat off this deer too. While the last steaks cook, I briefly explore the crash site. I find another pair of gloves in a nearby suitcase [I don’t think I mentioned that the Radio Hut and Farmhouse each had gloves, so I am all of a sudden up to 3 pairs after having none for the whole run].

The sky is turning a scary green and I start to worry about where I will spend the night. There is the cave right here, but I will probably need an overnight fire that I don’t have a lot of firewood left for. There is Skeeter’s Ridge, but there’s almost always a wolf there that has surprised me a few times. I’m worried an aurora is looming…

I decide to head over the hill at the nose of the crashed plan and up to the bunker. I pause at the top and look for the bear, then drop into the valley and turn right towards the blind. It’s cold and getting dark, but I should be able to make it.

Then I notice something in the snow. Footprints! [I really should have taken a screenshot… ]

Bear prints, heading the same way I am. I am following a bear. Oh, this is not good. This might be the first time that I noticed a predator only by the footprints. Fun! But not good.

The prints are on the right, so I move left and crest a hill. There is the blind, and there is the bear. Ok, I can sneak around. Temp bar dropping, this is going to be tight. I crouch a lot of the way to the blind, and the bear finally turns south. I take off at a small run, and hope I don’t run into the wolf that spawns near the bunker.

No wolf, and I make it to the bunker after a small condition loss. Condition around 40% now. I am happy to be here, I dodged the infamous PV blizzards, and am ready for TWM!

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Day 19

A morning blizzard delays my departure, but it clears by noon and I head out into the cold, windy, snowy day. I leave a few things behind in the bunker, including my 2nd pot. I like having 1 pot in the mountaineer’s hut, otherwise water can be a pain to keep stocked. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging out at the hut, in both Stalker and Interloper. I know the area really well, and love the extra challenges of figuring out when you can sleep without fire and keeping the hatch full of sticks. If I’m not careful, I might get too comfortable here and never complete the challenge 😊

I cross over into TWM. I am greeted with fog and snow that quickly changes back to howling wind and snow. Not great, I need a warming fire sooner than I had planned.

I grab sticks along the path and hit my weight limit, so I just hustle across the landing gear valley and settle into the mountaineer’s hut. Matches, books, clothes, and look what I found:

20200407130058_1.thumb.jpg.5cef2bb409c0b077726d66e67d2eb6e6.jpg

I can’t reach it. Bah, maybe it will just stay there, I have plenty of matches.

I get organized and warm up. I’m going to need more firewood, and head back outside to grab nearby sticks. Ooo, we have a visitor:

20200407130403_2.thumb.jpg.338cff6ae25801c27507684f0b8e114c.jpg

This is an interesting development; I had hoped I would run into this bear. I have killed him a couple times in previous runs, and he always dies in convenient locations somewhere between the hut and the wing. Will he be enough to get to cooking level 5?

Problem is, until I get to level 5, I do not want to risk even the 1% chance of parasites. I assume it will need 20 days of treatment, and I’ll lose 40% condition, a death sentence. I am far enough into this run I don’t want to chance it. I check my dwindling food supplies, and come up with a plan.

I’m going to kill the bear, harvest it, but not cook it yet, and head for the summit.

It’s getting really cold as I race across the lake towards the bear. Two graves down, three to go. I pause and wonder for which of us this bodes poorly:

20200407130519_1.thumb.jpg.2860b65416555af13ba4c4ac6eadd47a.jpg

I provoke the bear, and land my first flare gun shot again. Too easy… good thing there are a fixed number of these flare shells.

I turn around and RUN for the hut, my cold bar is almost out. I hear funny sounds, is the bear running this way too?

I just make it to the hut without losing condition, but I hear terrifying sounds. The window glows red. The Bear. Is. Right. Outside. AHHHHHHH

20200407130653_1.thumb.jpg.1776d149aae5e579b91a0264cf88e4fe.jpg

I calm down a bit and watch as it lumbers away

20200407130712_1.thumb.jpg.3479fe613a74f3902bd9e434dbffd6e4.jpg

No fire yet, I don’t need it. Instead, I read a cooking book to pass the time and warm up. When I peak outside again, I can see the bear has died on a small hill across the lake. Very convenient 😊

What a day. Tomorrow I’ll try to quarter the bear and harvest the meat in the safety of the hut, then head for the summit in two days.

It's warm enough that I don't need a fire to sleep. It's 10C in the hut, I sleep for about 7 hours (I assume the temp will drop by about 1.5C per hour), wake up, squeeze a few more hours in, then wake up fully rested without needing a fire.

Edited by DsnowMan
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