A few Forlorn Interlopers: Attempting the “Keg Stand”…


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Keg 8 / Day 8

“I’m not dead yet!”

- Nameless old man, Monte Python and the Holy Grail

A blizzard rages throughout most of the day. I label tunnels with tinder plugs and sacrifice my only granola bar, likely the last modern food of the run, to research a few hours of that fire starting book. I still haven’t hit level 2 yet, am I doing something wrong?

It is close to dusk when the blizzard finally lets up, and temperatures rise to a tolerable -8C. I use the tried-and-true technique of getting to the leeward side of the scrub bushes to block the wind while harvesting them.

The blizzards comes back after about two hours, but I have gathered about 40 sticks without losing any condition. Not too bad of a day.

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Keg 8 / Day 9

Outside is a blizzard, so I take stock of my supplies while waiting for it to pass:

Fuel: 110 sticks, 13 pieces of coal

Food: 42 cattails, 4.68 L potable water

Meds: 14x doses Reishi mushrooms (including two teas), 2x doses Rosehips (including one tea), 4x Antibiotics, 1x OMB dressing

Tools: 2x Recycled cans at around 70% and 85% condition. 9x matches(!), 1x Storm lantern at 60% capacity

Extra stuff: 1x accelerant, 0.50 kg gunpowder, some scrap metal, a bunch of hides curing on the floor.

I finish cataloging my (admittedly impressive) stockpiles and peek out the lower exit. It’s a clear day, and the flt is a frigid -28C, but windchill is in the single digits. Not optimal, but tolerable.0D8A5321-884C-4DFB-A374-35677B1A64AD.thumb.jpeg.15c6ff3f99d4f2647c675605deed1b1c.jpeg

I head down to Poachers’, picking up sticks and finding a few extra cattails along the way. D7B0C90F-C425-441D-83CE-C4A324DA3F46.thumb.jpeg.f819532af8460512a977e609b269d91c.jpegA711E9C9-A77E-4C38-9077-A1D71F1490D9.thumb.jpeg.8d7dd54648e71f9e7956a4a865cee228.jpegI am freezing by the time I get there and grab everything useful from my stash, but I want to harvest that deer carcass. 

The wind has dropped, but it’s risky.I take the chance, and I promptly my priorities mixed up. I have to wait an hour for the carcass to thaw, and go for the kilo of meat, instead of the precious hide. The first 0.5 kg steak isn’t even medium rare before the wind spikes and blows out my fire. Not having that hacksaw really sucks.

I try and grab a gut, but panic at my condition loss. I am freezing before I even leave... and so take quite a condition hit when getting back! 683DC4E1-18C2-486B-9742-A0D99ADCCE99.thumb.jpeg.9d9d707e519b1c109a5d0c65e5d9aac8.jpegA few tense minutes later, I stumble into the cave and collapse for the night with only 20% condition remaining and a sprained wrist. I was insanely lucky to get back, since I passed at least two wolf patrol zones. Without my flare, and in the high wind, I would have been helpless.


The run continues, and my previous Kegstand record is broken!

In the next week or so of the run, I want to:

  • Craft deerskin pants and rabbit mittens at Spence’s
  • Use as few matches as possible
  • Find the memento caches and abandoned campsite in hope of matches

I want to check the abandoned campsite and memento locations as soon as possible, but I know that I can’t trust the weather. But every day I delay, the weather will get worse and worse… and so will the items in those caches.



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Keg 8 / Day 10

I awake in pitch darkness and piddle around for a few hours before it’s light enough to see what I’m doing. Stick stocks are at 162, lantern fuel at 30%. Yikes.

Outside is a blizzard, so I make my way down to the southern exit, eat a few cattails, and finish reading Survive the Outdoors, getting Firestarting level 2 in the process.

I poke my head outside in the late afternoon. To my delight, it is a perfectly clear day, the flt is -8C, only one arrow down, and virtually no windchill.

I make my way down to Poachers’ and strike match to light a warmup fire in the barrel. With some hot teas in my gut, I pull some torches and continue down the tracks. I grab every cattail and rose hip I see, who knows when (or if) I’ll ever come back.F7EC90B3-70CD-4B06-919F-6CB853FF5841.thumb.jpeg.d0bcc12489d4959fa15ead814c654dc3.jpeg“Excuse me sir, would you be interested in”-

The bear who is patrolling the tracks notices me and follows me for a bit, but I outpace him. 115C19BE-A6C3-420A-A773-6A1ED498AF0D.thumb.jpeg.48aa7cf9b6405b1988c57c9cb9018c82.jpegPresently, I see a spot on the snow in the distance. The snow shelter? Indeed, it is! And what loot! A pry bar and TWO cans of peaches!

Since I’m cold, I light a fire to make more tea while I harvest the snow shelter… and harvest it again… and then a third time.

A blizzard is rolling in, and without thinking, I enter the snow shelter and sleep for an hour. I then immediately proceeded to facepalm myself repeatedly. What an idiot I am! The game’s logic is confused, it simultaneously thinks I am in and out of the snow shelter.5EF5C442-E4DA-43CA-B855-63DB0BC0CD39.thumb.jpeg.847e7072865876458c700b9cae91f969.jpeg

I click to enter snow shelter… and the game locks up.30668922-6BCA-4277-B844-6FBEEC661A7C.thumb.jpeg.7bedfc175a82a675911f68e3ec41a4d2.jpeg Panicking, I start mumbling a prayer…

Hail Mary, full of grace
Exit, reload, enter snow shelter… and the game locks up.

Blessed art thou amongst women
Exit, reload, enter snow shelter… and the game locks up.

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus 
Exit, reload, enter snow shelter… and the game locks up. But, as I clicked the 0359F445-015B-443A-A80D-6271B004F1CB.thumb.jpeg.1cf66be2096723a64e8b1c48b79f834f.jpegmouse, for the briefest instant I saw an option to exit snow shelter!

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death
Exit, reload, and very carefully look around. There it is! Exit snow shelter!! I’M FREE!!! 01EC7297-9D7E-48FB-9AE2-3D11C5F6ABE7.thumb.jpeg.fc61be8e26e12261437102966124ad6e.jpegWho says that praying doesn’t work?

And not a moment too soon, the blizzard is here in full force. Hugging the cliffside, I make my way up to the path to the radio station… where a wolf is waiting for me. ”Excuse me sir, would you be interested in-“

Oh SHISE!!! Hoping for the best, I duck behind a nearby tree and use another match to light a torch. I wave the wolf off just in time, but there is no chance of saving the match. It’s gone, but it’s sacrifice is not in vain!

I sprint up to the tower and check the supply bin. A battery, a fuse, and some more wires. I could start repairing the transmitter… interesting. But for now, I need to get warm. I find the hollow tree that Keg 6 used in this same position, use my THIRD match of the day to light a fire, pile on the fuel, and try to get some sleep.


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The other day, reading through other Kegstanders’ tales (for research purposes), I found a few references a cave with a possible hacksaw not too far away from Hat Creek. If it is the cave where a wolf showed one of my knights the nearest exit last summer (has it been that long?), then I think I know what they’re talking about.

Let’s hope TFTFT hasn’t taken that away, it could really come in handy. I’m doing fairly well without it so far, but I only have enough lamp fuel for about 2 trips through my cave. It is going to give out pretty soon, and I’m going to have to move to Spence’s (or another warm, outdoors cave?)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Keg 8 / Day 11

I awake around noon, with four hours left on the fire… it must have been cold last night. There is a thick fog, bad weather for travel. While waiting for it to lift, I partially repair the transmitter (and discovered that we have animations for that, nice ;)), and check the backpack under the tower. Crackers and a ruined sports vest, but no matches. This is getting worrying…

I also strip the deer carcass of it’s hide. I don’t need the steaks, I have a feeling I’m going to die one way or another before running out of food.

When I’m finished, I see that the fog has lifted. I survey from the Vista to try and find that cache, and what does it turn up? Not only a supply cache, but a helicopter! I take a cliff path down and to the left, and I soon come across it. 80630A20-5D29-460F-A15D-3FAD55480B78.thumb.jpeg.37ec692fb8bba6b1b613b35b5b23d308.jpegSearching it, I find a pry bar… and that’s it. None of the nearly a dozen containers have ANYTHING. AAARRGGHH!!! feel like Charlie Brown :D.

As you can see, the fog is still hanging thickly. I don’t have much fuel, but temperatures are warm (for now). Fatigue is about 60%, condition about 75%, 6 matches left.

The big decision is… do I hunker down (and face a probable blizzard, fog always gives way to that in my experience), or blunder through the fog and risk hypothermia and chewings?

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29 minutes ago, conanjaguar said:

The big decision is… do I hunker down (and face a probable blizzard, fog always gives way to that in my experience), or blunder through the fog and risk hypothermia and chewings?

In any case, try not to sleep in the heli. (Unless you back up the save before) Multiple people reported they can be bugged and make you never wake up alive…

(I’d probably go for the cave leading to BI, not sure if that’s allowed in your constraints.)

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5 hours ago, AdamvR said:

(I’d probably go for the cave leading to BI, not sure if that’s allowed in your constraints.)

What cave is this you speak of? Not Marsh Ridge, I’m guessing?

I’ve heard rumors of it, but never figured out exactly where it is :D.

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Keg 8 / Still Day 11

Since I appear to be on the inevitable downward spiral that culminates in death by blood loss and shock from a wolf attack, I make the decision. I’m going to hunker down in the cave to Bleak. From there, it looks like it’s a more-or-less straight shot to Spence’s.22DF66D9-D024-43D0-8603-BBC51CAB3BB7.thumb.jpeg.bc65c222b4799ff607a059fa5369a77e.jpeg

Since the fog is thick and I don’t want to get lost I hug the left wall of the cliff and come across a frozen corpse. He has nothing, but nearby are some sticks and Reishi mushrooms, so I grab those.

I arrive at the cave sooner than I could dare hope… 5C07BC77-CA64-43C4-B1E5-214B1A9A7233.thumb.jpeg.06217a194f137629be38b55eef6f1ad3.jpegand the sudden appearance of one of my siblings, bearing news that dinner will soon be ready, startles me, causing me to throw my torch… past the cave’s point of no return. C3282403-9E46-4C6F-B5D4-67F7E3831D7C.thumb.jpeg.c8f35f40ee0efe512f47708f6ab60cef.jpegI am forced to use another match to continue the chain, bringing me down to a total of 5. Gulp.

I explore the cave, grabbing enough firewood to last me through the rest of the night. 972CB609-552B-46DF-998E-40C64BAD7F8C.thumb.jpeg.1ece6077aaae2deea2723c5ebddf0d11.jpegUnfortunately… while I’m exploring a section of cave that doesn’t look like it goes anywhere, I am suddenly teleported to Bleak Inlet!

In a heartbeat, I realize my mistake, hit myself on the forehead, turn around, and enter the cave again. I was in Bleak Inlet for all of two seconds, and didn’t take anything, so I don’t think I’m disqualified ;).

After this unfortunate blunder, I make my way back to the other side of the cave, light up a fire (reserving two pieces of coal), and prepare all of the herbs I had. I must have 20 teas :D. I treat Will to a hot can of peaches for supper, while silently praying that I silently don’t get food poisoning. Fortunately, I don’t.

He was born… 🎶 born… 🎵 born.… 🎶… born to be alive!

(Bonus points for anyone who catches the reference)

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Posted (edited)

Keg 8 / Day 12

I awake in the morning, make two hot teas, and set out. It is a beautiful misty day, -7C flt; weather is as calm as it gets on Great Bear. I can see the bunkhouses in the distance, so I make my way over.

About halfway there, the fog thickens up and I am forced to shelter in place until it lifts.1426DA4D-3523-487A-8CD9-0B4024BFD3CB.thumb.jpeg.f3d892c511cdb811f557a80f11689ae9.jpeg When it does, a few hours later, I can see that I am way off course. I fight an epic running battle with salesmenF65DA52E-6AB0-4CA4-A207-87D45BC6E4BD.thumb.jpeg.0b72bf99f57bc452a825f0c6d8bdf687.jpegHueyF422C0A3-3B7D-467B-A2EE-7DFE4D116F71.thumb.jpeg.d099b22bcb8913b6682bcc930de696e3.jpegDueyE3028BA4-1CB9-450D-A965-C0C510512493.thumb.jpeg.454be1df4f224fd3918e63fd8374f407.jpeg Lewey
(and take breaks to break scrub bushes for net-positive burn time), but I eventually reach Spence’s around 2 AM. Fortune favors the bold, as they say.

I feel gloriously invincible as I light up the forge and sleep for six hours.

Keg 8 / Day 13 / “I apparently am Italian enough for it to work”

I am nervous when I wake up around noon, because today is the 13th day… both in game and real life. The number 13 is renowned as being bad luck for everyone except Italians. I am about 1/8 Italian (as well as Irish, German, and Polish), so let’s hope it’s enough.

The weather is… not that bad. Skies are clear, windchill of -7C, and I can see deer in the backyard. C0F79FC5-1342-4E6C-8857-81E54D7E557E.thumb.jpeg.e836f72225b1eba677c03cfa7e4a8fee.jpegSo far so good.

My initial plan for the day was to gather sticks. However… my curiosity is aroused by crows circling up on a cliff. 39F2F700-DB24-4C08-A0A6-347E6D0D7F98.thumb.jpeg.964280928be3f7e0f77a1f22f99ae623.jpegOdd… I don’t remember ever seeing them before. Since the weather is nice, I check it out. There seems to be a path, so I follow it to a dead deer, and beyond to… my jaw drops.831CAAA1-49D3-4B53-AD62-5E38106E7B43.thumb.jpeg.117811769903a0c08cecc47e7a831333.jpeg A BUNKER!!! Naturally, I am elated, this is my first ever bunker. As I enter to check it out, I wonder if it is one with loot…4A427CBD-CF9D-4BDC-9BC6-A1E9C09376C8.thumb.jpeg.7f3dd2e40e717b282642bf6133aa790b.jpegB51C8E92-F312-4B47-9D90-35F8EA1EC652.thumb.jpeg.0e342b6b9a8ecf3a648f983d0f11035e.jpeg

Indeed, there is loot! Glorious, glorious LOOT!!A9E21BDF-C113-4216-AB9C-67C5056A5A5F.thumb.jpeg.a232a018ea84aca2e880d94d21d7dc29.jpegE0D4AC16-CEF1-4130-BA6D-71F6AD79C24E.thumb.jpeg.9b28c5c85713b43091454fd2794ebf5d.jpeg18BF046A-36D2-4730-AFBE-2D3631B6D9DB.thumb.jpeg.9f522c2609c2438485f2b1e1f04dc428.jpegDBC20079-492A-4E65-9252-628B5D07B2E1.thumb.jpeg.732d18159ed509f50420d14814932e59.jpeg8C72CD01-FEC1-4AE1-AFD0-045E46E1F3C4.thumb.jpeg.e1a0dd0ae630f36ea645ddbe26ec4518.jpeg! I find a workbench, a bunch of rabbit pelts, guts, a treasure trove of food and soda,  herbal tea, cloth, lamp fuel and most importantly, TWO PACKS OF MATCHES!!!BA4AE903-AEBD-416D-BE82-DC4D2A4FA9BE.thumb.jpeg.2960dacf504d085dfe081b42fbef8ede.jpeg

My joy is slightly diluted when I find that there is nowhere to light a fire. Ah, well, nothing is perfect.

I make a rabbit hat,DAC38D53-321E-4E5B-8C2B-5F511765B132.thumb.jpeg.99aa88abe361b4c26c8e9e9039550069.jpeg drink stale soda, and hit the sack. I apparently am Italian enough for it to work, and for that, I am glad.

Edited by conanjaguar
Unruly pictures
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Keg 8 / Day 14

I peek outside. A blizzard, not good. Still, I don’t want to waste the day, so I quickly break a scrub bush and return to the bunker to repair my jeans. It takes three tries, but they are finally back up to 47% condition. I also spend a bit of time organizing and gloating over my food stash, before something hits me: I am out of water!

Fortunately, the weather has cleared up, 1E9B25B6-E238-4338-8D71-76FC0694E396.thumb.jpeg.593688b4202feae5cae087aab9a3fba4.jpegso I gather a few sticks and light a fire right next to the workbench. This way, I can multitask for maximum efficiency, boiling six liters of water and crafting rabbit gloves. I can harvest the work gloves I found and try to repair my shoes, if need be, although they are holding up surprisingly well.

When I am finished near sunset, the weather is still nice, so I start thawing out two nearby deer carcasses. DD9C60A3-28AA-4464-8BBC-787708D1570E.thumb.jpeg.ff09494eabc5943b4ea74ca5b32e84a9.jpegUnfortunately, the wind takes a turn to suddenly blow them out, and I take a bit of a condition hit to take 0.7 kg and drop it by Spence’s; I don’t want to risk bumping into a wolf in the dark.

Returning to my shelter with the loot takes a lot longer than I had anticipated. My condition drops to 20% (for the first time this run, I believe) as the moon grins down on me.3B4ABDE4-807B-44AC-BC68-BE1E917DB5F4.thumb.jpeg.6b86abe1482f5e2bdc5930171c60a2a7.jpeg

I want to start moving stuff from Hat Creek as soon as possible, so after a few seconds of debate, I fill my belly with beef jerky, drink a herbal tea, and hit the sack.

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Keg 8 / Day 15

There was a blizzard that lasted all day, so I piddled around and did random things to pass the time. Crafted a torch, organized gear into containers, harvested crates into cloth, and made graffiti.C33ACBA4-8557-4EA9-A118-638A7417872C.thumb.jpeg.4daa5faead39f2fe56279c257e5aad1c.jpegMaybe someone should request custom graffiti in the wishlist ;).

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Debating on the best way to make it back to Marsh Ridge… I think the way I went last time works well enough, but there are too many wolves for comfort.

I could try and go for the other exit by the Low Blind and make it out of Marsh Ridge the other way. It’ll be more risky in terms of the ice (and bear), but I can probably grab a few extra cattails by that route…518CBC98-4DE7-44CC-8482-67B9E25DBBF1.thumb.jpeg.e54d5454e983f76488f8b52221269de5.jpeg

(Map credit to @Arzanot)

As you can see from my unholy scribble, there is another possible route, going in Hat Creek from the top and coming out the same. It seems to be shortest, but involves TWO rope climbs and a lot of risky thin-ice sprinting… so I think I’ll go with Route 1.

Now we just have to hope that tonight’s session will gift me calm weather :D.

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Was reading through @Drifter Man’s Snowballs in Hell, when I found this:


YES! You can drive a deer or rabbit towards any direction (including towards yourself) with a stone. They run away from the point of impact.

They run away from the point of impact… hmmm… So if I threw rocks carefully, in theory, I could still chase a deer into a wolf.

But is it any easier than chasing a wolf into a deer?

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Posted (edited)

Keg 8 / Day 16

The early morning begins with a gust of wind, but in a matter of minutes, it is replaced with ol’ Grandma Fog. 458B504B-42CC-4849-A2FB-7FFB5C10D34F.thumb.jpeg.baae747ab7853a091c07b9b11960f759.jpegGood weather for traveling, but that gust of wind lasted long enough that I am forced to stop and sacrifice a few percentiles of condition to cold damage at the small shed with all the barrels (not sure what to call it) while I prepare tea.

My fears of wolves are unfounded, but I continue to chain torches nonetheless. I nearly break the chain when I discover that the fancy little number buttons on the side of my mouse have refused to work. I relied on those buttons for chaining torches, equipping rocks, dripping bait, and placing my bedroll, it’s weird   to have to go back to using the radial for those functions.

Aside from that minor mishap, I arrive at Poachers without incident. E3E90CB2-09C8-4AA0-AF87-6C1AE17C0EFA.thumb.jpeg.a4bc5c379f5afd2625669a212eff6225.jpegFinding evidence of my previous passing-by in the form of dropped cattail heads, burnt out torches, and spent fire pits is oddly depressing. It really drives home the fact that you are the last person left alive.E5D11161-6362-4E36-AB0A-B3238669DCDD.thumb.jpeg.41551a6c6b1ca2b5f22560a84ae2bdfa.jpeg37634E6A-72AD-4413-86ED-CFFE40F5CF6E.thumb.jpeg.91dfe79921ffd97f7ec29f71221bc821.jpeg

I make more tea to clear my head of these depressing thoughts, and continue up to Hat Creek, picking about a dozen cattails that I don’t remember seeing before.F19F7D14-A47D-410A-B525-E0324F3A340C.thumb.jpeg.bdb72db4ec5d38509f49f0fe1e50f564.jpeg

Presently I reach the cave and make my way to the main chamber. More coal has dropped form the ceiling, nice, I add that to the mother lode of loot in the main chamber. A whopping 170 sticks and 24(!) pieces of coal, as well as assorted food, a cured deer hide, and some cured guts.40F56EB8-D2AD-4F4E-B994-41A59FC25F84.thumb.jpeg.aab7ba2995883eb09035957558f1cbf1.jpegB8B4029A-0B8C-4706-A7FB-6F62EBE3950F.thumb.jpeg.af1cd8048be036119c9450183e55b69d.jpeg

It takes me the rest of the day to haul the stuff back to the lower exit. I light a10-hour fire to keep using the same match for as long as possible, and that gobbles up about 90 sticks.822091C5-598D-4780-B07C-C52CF617C3EC.thumb.jpeg.fef9b7da295706c8734ca189493fe70d.jpeg I eat moldy deer steaks (cooked up from 0%) for supper and hit the sack.


Keg 8 / Day 17

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, so I read A Sewing Primer for a few hours before going out of the cave. Windchill has dropped to -12C, and there’s a hint of blizzard in the air. Risky, but I’m determined to get down to Poachers today.

A little voice whispers in my ear as walk, telling me that things are going too well. Something is bound to go wrong. I need to be on alert to catch it before it snowballs (pardon the pun) into death. Something… like this. F80B5F85-3827-48D8-A44E-277F44404E55.thumb.jpeg.47559c4299085f214b9800a6fb57d635.jpegI was just saying to THE BROTHER, “There’s a wolf around here, I need to be careful.”  Lesson learned, never lose focus, not even for the benefit of your own family members. Stay alert, stay alive.


Don’t despair if you think the run ends here ;). Did you really think that the mighty Keg 8 could be stopped by something so puny as a wolf and some wind? I’ll write more tomorrow, I’ve gotta keep you guys in suspense, after all :D.

Edited by conanjaguar
I’ve edited this post three times by now 😁. Mostly punctuation errors, that’s what I get for typing with one hand
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Keg 9 / Day 1

I’m just pulling your legs. There is no Keg 9, and if things go as they are, there never will be :). I am invincible! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Keg 8 / Day 17 / Continuation

My interloper reflexes are honed to a razor’s edge. I drop and aim, panicking the wolf just inches away from my execution.A1940B1D-850E-40B0-A312-C03D028379E2.thumb.jpeg.0a4e878576822b4b0b7ded2c1bedf80c.jpegI never said that having reflexes honed to a razor’s edge is good, it hurts more when you slip. And I almost did…

Despite the wind, I continue down to Poacher’s without losing my torch. However, I don’t trust the weather to last, and, if I remember correctly, there are three potential wolves between me and Spence’s. The wind is starting to rise, -13C. That makes up my mind for me, I light up the fire barrel and grab some shuteye.

I keep the fire going for a while, taking breaks to run and grab sticks to sustain it. I don’t dare test my luck any further than that; the weather remains sour until sunset, when FLT rises to a steamy -5C. However, looking at the purple sunset, I remember the old adage.378C252B-E2C5-4CD6-98B5-7B715427CB13.thumb.jpeg.c5b6f1e55e48146d3e63c8b37a12db8b.jpeg
Red in the morning, disco take warning
Red at night, disco delight

And indeed, it is disco weather! CA175CCE-D6B7-47BD-9AA1-27BC575E7B61.thumb.jpeg.67ac434146b528e13869f8e142a8051a.jpegA9493705-592F-4023-A88C-1733F38AA22B.thumb.jpeg.bb930f446e5bb637288cfcb414f9c887.jpeg94CD5B95-32F1-4D19-BF71-BBA0DED8F0FF.thumb.jpeg.b508f87513ad47a5a5f48addd7dc32b5.jpegE31D4311-4C3E-4C67-BBB1-173D3936CBDB.thumb.jpeg.e90e1c061400bd1851555f05ec6b548a.jpegAfter enjoying the view for a while, I break a final patch of scrub bushes and call it a day.

Keg 8 / Day 18

Morning brings a temperature of -8C FLT, but I don’t trust it.9F1B218F-0814-4CBC-85A5-A02A12C800E6.thumb.jpeg.9f3b95a903dcf32de150d65ea9b1f2ca.jpeg My interloper instincts save me; FLT soon drops to -18C, most of that windchill. I have used all 200+ sticks(!), and it is with a heavy heart that I burn four chunks of coal and pass time for three hours, but I want to be absolutely safe. If I can get back with this haul, I am set for life.

When I’m done playing cards, I poke my head out and rejoice. FLT of -6C, windchill -9C. Much better, but it’s still a gamble… and the gamble pays off… kind of. 3DDDC50C-382C-46A7-9B0E-0FA5421CA1DE.thumb.jpeg.29a95cd383b0d3d1c52f09563d18f8f6.jpegA thick fog soon drops over the ‘Keg, and I blunder around blindly in the warm temperatures until I can see the High Blind. There are some cattails and rose hips that I swear I had grabbed earlier, but I guess my memory’s not so good.97856E48-B944-45B6-A483-7CFF98C12D56.thumb.jpeg.7b3c0abc56451c636c8bd1767d47b537.jpeg

I quickly pause a moment to take my bearings and light an incense candle to whichever saint is the patron saint of lost hikers, and the fog lifts slightly, allowing me to make out the orchard. I take advantage of the balmy -3C FLT to break branches and bushes on the way back… as well as finding some rose hips by the destroyed house with the drawers. I distinctly remember gathering those, do they respawn?

I debate leaving my fuel at Spence’s and decide against it, it would be too messy. So I head up to my bunker, and nearly get my face bitten off. I drop my 2% torch, light up a new one, and wave a rock… again, just in the nick of time. 3ACD6D0E-E710-45C1-B998-C261D6E3118E.thumb.jpeg.9aad2e2218f2c0db7ade99f0bb47863e.jpegThat was WAY too close too comfort.

I proceed up to the Lambda Bunker (a fitting name, since I’ve defaced it with the Half-Life symbol :D) without further mishap and climb in just as my lil’ sister asks to play Stardew Valley. 38D9D213-1541-4AB5-9A36-24385282AE34.thumb.jpeg.a8ddc57517c94a01785aa0b0a75985ae.jpegSince I’m a good brother, I just take a few minutes to neatly deposit my fuel in the containers near the exit (I believe I have a total fuel of 60 sticks, 19 coal, 2 cedar, and 1 fir) before neatly laying out my third deer hide and checking the raw one. 98% cured.

I eat my calories like a good boy and go to bed. Tomorrow I will start making some trousers.

Keg 8 says…

I’ve got a stingy system going for eating and sleeping. I eat my 5 cattails, and then eat half a cattail. Then, the next day, I eat half of the half of a cattail. And so on, until the infinitesimal fraction of cattail is too small to bother with. Then repeat with another cattail.

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Posted (edited)

Keg 8 / Ruminations / The Past

I am doing far better than I could ever have anticipated. Just one more week to go, and I’ll hit 25 days, my halfway mark!

The keys to my survival so far have been:

  • The bedroll. The star of the show, main man, the Duke of New York, the A Number 1. Without this beautiful thing, I wouldn’t have been able to take up residence in Hat Creek. I wouldn’t have been able to take  short naps at Poachers’ to refill my stamina. I wouldn’t have been able to go all the way up to the radio transmitters. Credit must go where it is due, the bedroll is key.
  • Chaining torches. This tactic allowed me to carry fire from one place to another, dramatically reducing the amount of matches (gold) I use, as well as saving my bacon from wolves about 30 times by now.
  • The weather. This run, the weather has been extremely kind to me. It’s been reliably light-medium fog at one point or another almost every single day.
  • Careful calorie counting. An intentional alliteration there, but I’ve tried to be a good boy and eat my 752 calories right before bed, unless I really need to recover condition. I think I’ve saved about 5 cattails in this way :D.
  • The bunker. That beautiful thing has saved me from freezing to death in the cot at Spence’s, and saved me about 16 hours of fuel per day that I live there. It has also given me more than enough matches to last 50 days, if I use them wisely.

Enough with the history lesson, let’s look at the future!

Keg 8 / Ruminations / The Future

There are going to be a few concerns down the line.

  • Cabin Fever. I have a hunch that she’s going to rear her ugly head in the next few days. To combat her, I need to have 24 hours of fuel stockpiled so that I can hide by the forge in Spence’s and make enough water to last the rest of the run.
  • Clothes. I have some cloth, but not terribly much, and clothes will eventually wear out. After harvesting the jeans, I believe I will have 6 pieces in reserve, and I will need to ration those VERY carefully. If, by some mad edict of fate, I get another rabbit hat and a second pair of deerskins, then I think I can scrap the socks and the wool toque for an additional 2 pieces. I have 1 piece of leather for my shoes, I’m planning to try for deerskin boots as well. Shouldn’t be terribly difficult, there’s a carcass by the bunker, and usually another one by the broken radio tower.
  • Food. If I ration it carefully, what I have on hand should last me for about two weeks (minus an expected two food poisonings). Bopping bunnies at Hat Creek is barely worth the calories, (I will need to stock up on birch bark at some point, though) but you know what is? Scaring deer into wolves. If I can pull it off, each deer will provide for another week of feasting.
  • Meds. I have two bandages, a liter of antiseptic, some OMB dressings, and about 20 Reishi teas. Food poisoning will not be a problem, and I am equipped to potentially survive the aftermath of a wolf attack, for all that’s worth.
Edited by conanjaguar
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Posted (edited)

Keg 8 / Day 19

I awake and sit bolt upright from possibly the corniest, goofiest, and weirdest dream I have ever had. B8608E69-AF29-42AA-B001-7B87F1341E6A.thumb.jpeg.e0f221e8a1408774dbd4794c66c3a74d.jpegZach? Who is Zach?

In any case, outside is a blizzard, so I begin crafting my deerskin pants.8A5BA5DE-69DC-49DD-9FAE-F9E43F3A11F2.thumb.jpeg.37e78d4fc9035b5f82ef38552d568fd0.jpeg

After about 6 hours of this, it is late afternoon, and I poke my head out. Light fog.  I decide to head down to the broken transmitter and gather sticks. I somehow manage to keep the wolfies off my back while I gather 60 sticks. 912975B2-F127-4D2B-ABAA-B5961FCC5479.thumb.jpeg.78c14ff7d929f3f12758c0c1d5363bee.jpegDE0B5DAD-4B5E-42DE-AF23-BE2DED89D4B3.thumb.jpeg.2994d2ac517a352a59b59bdf714df6e7.jpegChecking in the cave back there is disappointing… it’s the last place I can think of that could have a hacksaw, unless it’s in one of those crates by the Bunkhouses?

I fill up a second metal container with fuel, I have 30 kg and some to spare. I let that sink in for a while while I make some more progress on my pants, and go to bed.

Keg 8 / Day 20

I work on the pants some more. Afternoon brings another light fog. There are deer down in the Homestead’s front yard, and I get an insane notion in my head. BFEB20A7-4C02-44C2-818E-85446AEEF568.thumb.jpeg.21514da8f8c9bce464d9ef17bf439d03.jpegI bounce a rock up and down in my hand for a few seconds. We’re doing it, consequences be damned!

After about an hour of pointless chasing, the unthinkable happens: a big buck deer happens to run up the slope at the precise moment a wolf is around. I hear barking, panic for a second, and then laugh with exultation as I realize it was not meant for me! The wolf actually got the deer!!!84C5BBE2-3443-4A52-9CA9-EFD12025729C.thumb.jpeg.90a0914a7b88911e8ba78099f55f1345.jpeg

After letting him eat a bit, I wave him off with a rock.7BA1BF10-7584-4626-B42F-0E7A15C90032.thumb.jpeg.55c41a1056a86b7482e68f50785c63a9.jpeg “It’s my turn now, buddy.” I start a fire next to the carcass to keep warm, cook, and keep the fluffies away, putting an accelerant in it because it matters that much.A073A572-7C4D-4095-83B2-1E02C28B7F4A.thumb.jpeg.be2f6fe50e25100ac9491d716a085249.jpeg

I manage to harvest about 4 kg before, out of nowhere, a snowstorm begins. I leave the meat behind, cursing under my breath in languages I didn’t know I could curse in as a wolf picks up my scent.

Miraculously, I beat it to the Homestead, thanks to a doe who sacrificed herself for me. 71FF63EE-1D11-483F-B5B7-4CBF2202747F.thumb.jpeg.4049f233c9fd3424c360c6a93b0f0267.jpegBB0E39F2-E996-4F76-940E-DF6C920505A4.thumb.jpeg.b071c4d7a33596f4c94fab112fad2843.jpegI sleep two hours to warm up and save, hoping the wind will pass. It doesn’t.

Nonetheless, I somehow manage to (barely) outrun another wolf and make it back to the safety of the Lambda Bunker.

Keg 8 / Day 21

It’s a very thick fog from the start when I wake up around noon, and FLT is a balmy -4C! I go down to the deer carcass and light up the fire,912975B2-F127-4D2B-ABAA-B5961FCC5479.thumb.jpeg.78c14ff7d929f3f12758c0c1d5363bee.jpegcooking another 5 kg of meat before winds rise YET AGAIN!!!

I carry all the meat back, praying my torch will hold. I almost suffer the same fate as Native 4 when I throw the torch at the wolf guarding the path to the Bunker, but fortunately, the torch hits it on the nose and sends it running off I take my torch back, pleading with it and promising that I won’t harvest it, but I’ll put it on a mantelpiece if it will just stay lit.40C32132-BE66-422F-AA17-345938868011.thumb.jpeg.538397337dc32a275c865e174cd4f724.jpeg

By an act of divine intervention, it does... perhaps the first torch in TLD to last more than 30 seconds in -20 windchill. I duck inside the Lambda Bunker (the name has stuck, if you haven’t noticed by now :D) and finish crafting my trousers. I harvest my sports socks (they were at 9% anyway) and keep my promise to the torch that saved my life. 8F7C53D6-281A-42E2-B7D1-BF2E0DD106DD.thumb.jpeg.62f83c805e53f98f34ee6cb7442b61e3.jpegSince I don’t have a mantelpiece, it goes on the workbench. I eat two deer steaks and hit the sack, my heart thumping and my eyes aching that grueling session.


Edited by conanjaguar
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Time for some TLD science!

I have 26 matches, and want to use no more than one match every three days. Let’s do some algebra to estimate how long I can realistically expect to survive, and how I should best ration them. Yes, I hate myself now for mixing schoolwork with pleasure, and you’ll probably hate me too, if you read it... unfortunately, the bloody spoiler tags aren’t working right.l.

You have been warned…


We have variable M for matches, where M = 23, and variable D for days.

Lets say I strike one match every three days.

M = D/3

D = 3M

D = 3(23) = 69

Wow, if I strike a match every three days, and don’t waste any at all, I could last 69 more days! That’s a very optimistic estimate, because I’m probably going to starve to death or get bored with the run before then… unless I get really good at chasing deer into wolves, of course.

Let’s let D = 2M-6, for striking a match every other day, which is about the pace I’m going through them anyway, and allowing for 6 wasted matches due to high wind or emergency wolf repelling.

D = 2M-6

D = 2(23)-6 = 46 - 6 = 40

A more conservative number, but still too ambitious, and (again) I would probably become bored with the run by then.

If D = 0.5M (because what if the wind blows out my torches every single day)

D = 0.5M

D = 0.5(23) = 11

The most optimistic estimate for matches I can muster is 76 days; the most pessimistic is 13 days. A nice balance is 50 days, or 68 days total. Meme culture demands that I make it 69 days, but I’m resisting for now.


Now, what about calories?

31 cattails (150 cal. each) = 4650

3 beef jerky (350 cal. each) = 1050

5 summit soda (250 cal. each) = 1250

3 peaches ( 450 cal. each) = 1350

5 pork&beans (600 cal. each) = 3000

1 dog food (500 cal.) = 500

1 partially consumed food poisoning (618 cal.) = 618

12x deer steaks (440 cal. each) = 5280

Counting teas, I have a stockpile of more than 15000 calories, more likely closer to 17000, but I don’t want to have to live on tea.

Assuming 1000 calories per day (this allows some margin for healing when the snow hits the fan), I can realistically expect to survive for 15 more days if I don’t screw up. If I’m not dead, I’ll probably bag another deer by then (let’s say one deer every 10 days), and if I can harvest half of the deer’s meat (I’m pessimist), then each deer will give me 6 more kg of meat, or about 5000 more calories, enough to last 5 days.

Fame beckons! Glory awaits! I can practically smell victory!

Life is good in the ‘Keg.

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