1000 Days in the Dam: An exercise in inventory control

Drifter Man

Recommended Posts

EDIT: The start of this discussion thread vanished with the change to new forum. To explain this post: I'm playing in Voyageur mode, trying to survive in the Carter Hydro Dam (without bed, only bedroll) for 1000 days using quantitative approach to resource management. I employ a very conservative playstyle, avoiding unnecessary risks, with the objective to survive for as long as possible.


I’ll use 5% of a bedroll every day (resting once a day). That’s 5000% in a thousand days, or 50 new bedrolls. I will never have so many, but I can add 30% to the bedroll each time I repair it, at the cost of 2 pieces of cloth and 10% of a fishing tackle, saving my sewing kits in reserve. Therefore, one fishing tackle + 20 pieces of cloth = 3 new bedrolls, or 60 restful nights. I’ll need 17 fishing tackles (easy) and 334 cloth (hard) to make this work. In addition, each extra bedroll I find gives me up to 20 nights (based on its status) + 10 cloth when I eventually tear it up.

Summary of bedroll maintenance requirements:


  • 1 fishing tackle (= 1/3 scrap metal and 1/2 gut) = 60 days of bedroll repairs
  • 1 sewing kit = 120 days of bedroll repairs
  • 1 cloth in 3 days
  • 1 bedroll = 30 days in cloth + up to 20 days left in the bedroll itself


Clothes compete with bedroll for repair resources, but I don’t have enough information on their degradation rates yet. I wear 5 pieces of clothing that require cloth for repair. I will be tracking their degradation and include them in the system later.


In Voyageur mode I need about 3100 Cal per day, or 3.1 million Cal in a thousand days. If a deer averages 9 kg of meat = 7200 Cal, I’ll have to kill 431 deer! A bow degrades by 2% per use, I’ll need 9 of them. An arrow can be used 6 times until the shaft breaks: That’s 72 shafts, or 24 birch saplings, plus 72 feathers, in 1000 days. Of course, this assumes that I never miss, never use my bow against a wolf etc. Guts and feathers are easy, so I will not count these.

I’ll be harvesting fresh carcasses, losing 2% of knife on each use (I take everything from the carcass because I’ve read that the deer respawns faster that way). Once I raise my sharpening skill to get 5% gain per each sharpening, then 1 whetstone = 1 knife, effectively.

Summary of hunting equipment requirements:


  • 1 cured maple sapling in 116 days
  • 1 cured birch sapling in 42 days (or 1 arrow shaft in 14 days)
  • 1 new whetstone or 1 new knife = 116 days



I takes 20 minutes to cook a venison steak. Since I am going to eat 3875 steaks, I’ll need 1292 hours’ worth of fire, or 1.29 hours per day. In addition, at 1.88 liters of water consumed per day, I’ll need 1880 liters in a thousand days. 1 liter of water (melting + boiling) is made in 30 minutes of fire, which translates into 940 hours of fire in a thousand days for water.

2232 hours of fire can be made with 2232 pieces of cedar (1116 kg), 1488 pieces of fir (1488 kg), 16740 sticks (2511 kg), 4464 pieces of reclaimed wood (1116 kg) or 2232 pieces of coal (670 kg, but another fuel is needed for the first 30 minutes of the fire). Sticks are preferred since they save the hatchet (and possibly time and calories). At least 17 have to be picked per day, which should be easy. I am currently checking whether the cave system in the Winding river region can be used as a regular source of coal – that would be convenient, although dealing with the wolf patrolling the river may cost extra resources. Most importantly, I don’t know if the coal respawns at a sufficient rate.

I think an efficient plan is to kill 2 deer in quick succession, then make a fire to cook that meat, which should last for about 4-5 days. 6 hours of fire for the meat plus 4.5 hours for 9 liters of water. 1 day for hunting, 1 day for cooking. 1 tinder and 1 match will be needed, plus about 80 sticks. Then I will have 2-3 days to do anything else. 216 matches and 216 tinder plugs will be needed. I will be watching the degradation of matches but hopefully by 'discovering' them gradually I can kick this problem down the road for a few hundred days.

For the time being I have some tinder plugs but at some point I may be forced to get them by hacking cedar and fir limbs, which will bring the hatchet into the play.

Inventory overview

  • Fishing tackle (incl. hooks and scrap metal): 35.8 pcs / 2148 days
  • Sewing kit: 3.85 pcs / + 462 days extra
  • Bedroll (incl. cloth): 6.64 pcs / 133 days
  • Bow (incl. maple saplings): 6.70 pcs / 777 days
  • Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings): 28.82 pcs / 403 days
  • Knife (incl. whetstone): 4.65 pcs / 539 days
  • Match: 40 pcs / 186 days
  • Tinder: 34 pcs / 158 days
  • Rifle ammunition: 4 pcs
  • Flare: 6 pcs
  • Hatchet: 2.45 pcs
  • Lantern fuel: 7.80 liters

Obviously, I need to collect as many pieces of cloth as possible.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 613
  • Created
  • Last Reply

If the numbers change, the results will change, too. But it turns out that the game has enough surprises in store for me even without a new version released every few weeks :)

There were a few discussions regarding the forge (how many players live long enough for the improvised tools to matter), or which item is the most critical in the long run. The game is thrilling in the first few days (or weeks), when one has to struggle from day to day, but once the player gains a solid foothold, everything looks safe. Things change slowly and the player may fail to notice that one type item is going to run out much earlier than others. Perhaps I will be able to give some answers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 60 (38th day in the Dam)

Some of the last few the last eight days were spent cooking - the calculations look fine in this regard. I realized that there is birch bark in the Ravine, so I stopped tracking tinder. Coal has turned to be a disappointment, 10 days after my first visit to the Cave system in the Winding river I only found a few pieces. Fortunately, I am consistently able to collect more sticks than I need. Fuel and tinder are not an issue.

I took two round trips to collect everything of value I left in the Mystery Lake region, mainly cloth. I took apart the chairs in the lake cabins and in the camp office. I collected cloth from the old bedrolls in the logging camp and also brought some matches and other stuff. I had to deal with a lot of wolf encounters and lost an arrow that ran away with an injured beast. Time, matches, bow and arrow life were expended. Two (nearly) useless wolf pelts and meager 7 kg of meat were harvested. I don't like wolves.

There still are some supplies in the Trapper's cabin left for a later time.

Hunting was difficult, as if the game wanted to prove my planning wrong. First I was delayed by bad weather, so I had to make an extra fire. Worse yet, two deer collapsed onto the arrow that hit them. I couldn't recover the arrows. I had hoped I'd find it once the carcass is gone, but that hope was in vain. Counting the one lost with the wolf, only 4 arrows are left.

  • Fishing tackle: 44.61 pcs / 2677 days
  • Sewing kit: 3.85 pcs / + 462 days extra
  • Bedroll (incl. cloth): 11.01 pcs / 220 days
  • Bow (incl. maple saplings): 6.52 pcs / 756 days
  • Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings): 41.00 pcs / 574 days
  • Knife (incl. whetstone): 4.48 pcs / 520 days
  • Match: 61 pcs / 284 days
  • Rifle ammunition: 4 pcs
  • Arrowheads: 4 pcs
  • Flare: 6 pcs
  • Hatchet: 2.39 pcs
  • Lantern fuel: 7.52 liters
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 60, second entry

I used some extra time to thoroughly search the Dam with a lantern. I found a good hunting knife, a can opener and six rounds of ammunition. I dropped five rounds, though, because I think they couldn’t have been there when I searched for the first (and second) time. A bug, probably.

Since I want to spend some time testing routine activities (without collecting new items), I updated the inventory with the new loot before I start. It will serve for later reference.

  • Fishing tackle (incl. hooks and scrap metal): 44.61 pcs / 2677 days
  • Sewing kit: 3.85 pcs / +462 days extra
  • Bedroll (incl. cloth): 11.01 pcs / 220 days
  • Bow (incl. maple saplings): 6.52 pcs / 756 days
  • Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings): 41.00 pcs / 574 days
  • Knife (incl. whetstone): 5.36 pcs / 622 days
  • Match: 61 pcs / 284 days
  • Rifle ammunition: 5 pcs / ---
  • Arrowheads: 4 pcs / ---
  • Flare: 6 pcs / ---
  • Hatchet: 2.39 pcs / ---
  • Lantern fuel: 7.52 liters / ---

Day 61 (39th day in the Dam)

The Ravine has been deer-less for two days in a row. This hasn’t happened before: whenever I finished harvesting a deer, another spawned immediately. Maybe each animal has limited number of spawns, and if you hunt a lot in one place, they will stop appearing until they recharge? Maybe. I need to find out before I run out of food.

Anyway, I needed to eat, so I decided to try (first time) and steal a kill from a wolf without killing it. I located a suitable wolf and with lot of maneuvering and luck, I steered it into a deer conveniently close to the Dam (you need to crouch, then the deer won’t notice you – and the wolf gets a chance to go for it). In phase 2, I approached the kill, torch still burning. My plan was to lure the wolf away and enter the Dam, then wait for an hour or two and come back to bag the deer. As expected, the wolf abandoned its kill to go after me. As not expected, it attacked me from behind on the doorstep. I fought it off, but from now I’ll remember – a burning torch plus walking away from the wolf is still no guarantee of safety.

I fixed my wounds and returned to the deer for neat 9.2 kilograms of venison. As for the wolf, I looked for it, but the only ones I could find were very much alive and kicking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 83 (61st day in the Dam)

Knowing I have at least 100 days before I need to worry about anything, I decided to study deer in the Ravine. I started to keep a “deer log” to monitor how fast deer appear in the Ravine and whether they can feed me like I planned. As a backup, I prepared 10 snares and asked a dead guy near the bridge to keep an eye on them for me. This activated an interesting bug, so I had to take them from him again and drop them on the ground instead.

I quickly recognized some patterns: there are two deer in the Ravine, which can be distinguished by the paths they take while walking and especially running. I call them Anton and Bruno. These poor fellas only exist in the world to be my food, and they must feel lonely: when one spawns, the other is already cut up and resting in my locker. But most importantly, each shows up 4 days after their previous instance has been killed and completely harvested, meaning I can catch 1 deer every 2 days and few hours. I built a 5-day cycle around this mechanic:

Day 1: get Anton, harvest everything

Day 2: do nothing

Day 3: get Bruno, harvest everything

Day 4: cook Anton & Bruno + about 9 liters of water in a 10-hour cooking session

Day 5: do nothing

I repeated this routine twice and tracked the caloric balance:

[table=width][tr=][td=]Day[/td][td=]Cals collected[/td][td=]Cals expended[/td][td=]Notes[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]73[/td][td=]6864[/td][td=]3251[/td][td=]Anton 8.58 kg[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]74[/td][td=][/td][td=]2478[/td][td=]do-nothing day[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]75[/td][td=]7808[/td][td=]3060[/td][td=]Bruno 9.76 kg[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]76[/td][td=][/td][td=]2504[/td][td=]cooking day[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]77[/td][td=][/td][td=]2487[/td][td=]do-nothing day[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]78[/td][td=]7080[/td][td=]3212[/td][td=]Anton 8.85 kg[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]79[/td][td=][/td][td=]2499[/td][td=]boiled 20 liters of water[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]80[/td][td=]6480[/td][td=]3280[/td][td=]Bruno 8.10 kg[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]81[/td][td=][/td][td=]2505[/td][td=]cooking day[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]82[/td][td=][/td][td=]2471[/td][td=]do-nothing day[/td][/tr]


I’m breaking even – 485 Cal spared in 10 days can hardly be called a gain. I need to add rabbits to the menu. I have to make reserves for contingencies (bad weather, no deer appearing, food poisoning, I don’t know what). I also have to turn at least one “do-nothing day” into a “do-something day”. That something is, of course, preparations for an expedition to gather more resources (cloth).

Fortunately, I did not lose any more arrows. I learned to hit the deer directly from behind, which (hopefully) makes it unlikely for the arrow to be crushed under the body. In addition, it almost always results in an instant kill.

Some modifications to the system:

  • I’m no longer tracking sewing tools, they outlast all other critical items by a wide margin
  • Knife loses 1% per 1 hour of use and breaks before dropping to 0%. My first knife broke at ca 12%.
  • Water consumption modified to 1.85 liters per day (not important)
  • Matches degrade at 0.5% per day in a container, meaning that their % status is currently limiting life, not their count
  • 1 arrow can be used 4 times until it breaks, rather than 6 times

[table=width][tr=][td=]Bedroll (incl. cloth)[/td][td=]9.75 pcs[/td][td=]195 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]6.32 pcs[/td][td=]733 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]38.81 pcs[/td][td=]360 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]5.02 pcs[/td][td=]505 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]53 pcs[/td][td=]136 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]6 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]2.38 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]7.12 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

Matches are a special case. I don’t need them to survive in the Dam, but I will (almost necessarily) need them when I travel to gather resources in the future – to deal with wolves. Yes, there is another option (bait), but I understand that having raw meat on yourself only attracts wolves all the more. Anyway, I wouldn’t feel comfortable among the wolves at all without a torch that can be lighted in an instant. Firestriker would be the answer, but I have none. For now, I know I don’t need to spare matches and I can use “do nothing” days to make lots of water. When there is about 20% life left in my last matches, I’ll have to get going and find some more. That will happen in about 110 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 98 (76th day in the Dam)

Rabbit is a small creature, but it has tipped the scale decisively in my favor. By placing 4 snares on each first hunting day, and collecting 3-4 rabbits on two days later, I collected an excess of 3254 Cal over 10 days. I’m winning the game now, at least in terms of calories. This is very good news, especially considering that the deer I’ve been catching lately were all somewhat on the thin side. I no longer have to cut activities to conserve energy.

The predictions for knife life were adjusted again, though, to account for the calories I’m now getting from rabbit meat. A 100% knife that breaks at 12% left now means 100 days of life. Similar adjustments were made to bow (114 days) and arrow life (10.3 days). Snares are free.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Bedroll (incl. cloth)[/td][td=]8.77 pcs[/td][td=]175 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.98 pcs[/td][td=]740 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]36.16 pcs[/td][td=]373 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.87 pcs[/td][td=]489 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]47 pcs[/td][td=]126 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]6 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]2.37 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.89 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

I’m concerned about bow and especially arrows. I’m running through them at an alarming rate, way above my 1 shot = 1 kill assumption. I need to focus better while shooting. Do birch saplings eventually respawn, or are they a finite resource?

The Ravine and Mystery Lake are separate regions. It seems that when I place snares in the Ravine and leave, the game only evaluates the status of the snares the moment I come back to the map again. So even if I come to check two days later, all the rabbits caught are fresh and only few % frozen.

I have only had one wolf encounter (resolved peacefully) since the struggle three weeks ago. There is one wolf whose patrol zone skirts the approaches to the Upper Dam. And then there is another patrolling the Winding River. These are the only ones I have to worry about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 112 (90th day in the Dam)

Today was a nice day from the morning, so I broke the routine and went to look for prepper caches between the Carter Dam and Mystery Lake. I was hoping for a lot of clothes, of course, a firestriker and rifle ammunition. I was very lucky to find a bunker above Mystery Lake, although the contents were a bit of a letdown: the clothes found there only yielded 3 pieces of cloth, and there was none of the other items. I did find some things of use, however – a knife, two hatchets, two flares and two boxes of matches, one of which I left untouched. The rest included three useless toolboxes (what are they for in the game?), food (mostly close to expiration date), two lanterns with a ton of kerosene and some medical supplies that I have plenty of anyway. I managed to avoid wolves by sneaking, although it was more of a sport than anything else, and returned home safely except for the unavoidable price in ankle and wrist sprains.

I spotted an error in my calculations. The bedroll gives 30 additional days in cloth for repairs when finally harvested, but the last bedroll doesn’t work like that – after it there is no bedroll left to repair. This and the newly found matches make the bedroll the most critical item again. 130 days left.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Bedroll (incl. cloth)[/td][td=]8.00 pcs[/td][td=]130 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.88 pcs[/td][td=]728 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]35.00 pcs[/td][td=]361 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.76 pcs[/td][td=]476 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]54 pcs[/td][td=]166 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]8 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.28 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.89 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

And it gets even worse with the data on degradation of clothes and their repair requirements finally complete. Keep in mind that these figures depend on how you wear clothes, how often you get caught in blizzards etc. So take them with a grain of salt if you decide to use them.

  • Basic wool scarf: lasts 157.14 days, takes 1 cloth to repair by 60%
  • Cotton long underwear: lasts 78.57 days, takes 1 cloth to repair by 40%
  • Heavy wool sweater: lasts 289.47 days, takes 1 cloth to repair by 30%
  • Toque: lasts 59.78 days, takes 1 cloth to repair by 75%
  • Wool socks: last 92.73 days, take 1 cloth to repair by 55%

The crafted clothes deteriorate at a much slower rate, and most importantly, don’t need cloth for repairs. In addition to 0.33 cloth per day for bedroll, 0.093 cloth is needed for clothes, a substantial increase that brings my actual “cloth life” down to about 100-110 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 123 (101st day in the Dam)

A perfect day. The deer hunt in the morning was quick and easy and I returned to the Dam with 9 hours of daylight left. The skies were clear, so I grabbed my lantern and went to the Winding River to get some sticks and coal. The local wolf took a day off, I proceeded unobstructed and I came home in the afternoon, encumbered with 89 sticks and 13 pieces of coal. Some 24 hours’ worth of fire altogether.

The cost of keeping my wardrobe in good shape is now part of the model. I converted each piece of clothing into a “cloth equivalent” – expressing how many pieces of cloth are saved by the clothes being in good shape before they need repair – and did the same for bedroll. I’ll spare you the details… the results are below.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]43.26 pcs[/td][td=]101 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.74 pcs[/td][td=]710 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]33.26 pcs[/td][td=]343 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.65 pcs[/td][td=]463 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]48 pcs[/td][td=]158 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]8 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.22 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.63 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

Sticks o tree limbs? I’d say, sticks all the way, for they are free. But are they? I took notes of time and calories spent on gathering sticks (Ravine again) and concluded that the cost of sticks is about the same as the cost of cedar firewood: 60-70 Cal and 15 minutes for 1 hour of fire – of course it depends on where and how you are gathering them. Fir firewood is better: 42 Cal and 10 minutes for 1 hour of fire. Branches are totally out of this league (164 Cal, 39 minutes for 1 hour of fire) and I see no reason to touch them.

I’ll stick with sticks, they don’t wear the hatchet down. I’ll add some fir when I need more firewood than I can gather.

How small a piece of meat is worth cooking? All take 20 minutes to cook, whether they are 0.01 kg or 1 kg. If 20 minutes of fire cost 21 Cal (cedar firewood or sticks), then cooking anything smaller than 0.03 kg (venison, wolf) or 0.05 kg (rabbit) is a waste of fuel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 134

I didn’t sleep in the Dam tonight. So this is not a day in the Dam.

When I left home yesterday, the weather was good and I decided to forgo the scheduled hunt for a trip to the Trapper’s Homestead. I haven’t been “out there” for weeks – except for the short bunker search – and it struck me again how “wolfy” this country is. I avoided detection all the way to Trapper’s but it cost time.

I arrived at Trapper’s Homestead, entered Trapper’s Cabin and harvested Trapper’s chair. I also took three pieces of cloth I had left in a drawer three months ago, a vest, which would yield another two, an MRE pack (still at 71% after such a long time), some jerky and two boxes of matches (30%-ish). A whetstone, too. With all this bounty I set out on my way home.

It was afternoon already and the weather was getting worse. With 4 hours of daylight left, I stopped at the cabin between Unnamed Pond and the Clearcut. I found another chair there waiting for my hatchet –six more pieces of cloth – and decided I’d stay overnight. Which also meant that the “saved” pack of MRE did not survive to see the Dam.

Finally, I returned home next morning. I had to walk part of the way like an idiot, with a flaming torch in my hand and a hungry wolf on my feet – but that’s the order of things in The Long Dark. 17 pieces of cloth buy me 40 more days in the Dam. There is no more cloth in Mystery Lake or the two adjacent transition zones. Any days past day 240 in the Dam will have to be supported by resources obtained elsewhere.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]55.74 pcs[/td][td=]131 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.68 pcs[/td][td=]702 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]32.46 pcs[/td][td=]335 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]5.22 pcs[/td][td=]529 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]66 pcs[/td][td=]150 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]8 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.14 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]7.62 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

I think that matches degrade at a slower rate than I had observed. Did I make a mistake? It wouldn't change much, but I'll start making notes again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice experiment. Didn't read all in detail, but a few hints: Save arrows by hunting deer with wolves: You've already found out you can steer deer into an wolf, and the wolf will take it down for you. You have several methods to lure the wolf away without a fight. One is by aggroing it away by coming closer within its vision. Use the torch to drive it away. Will cost you a match though. If the wolf brings down the deer close to a building, you may aggro the wolf and run into the building. Sleep an hour, get back out and have free deer. Or try to sneak close to the wolf from behind until it stops eating and wait for it to smell your wolfskin jacket and run off. This doesn't always work, though - sometimes the wolf turns around and you have to fight.

Since the degradation of your sleeping bag is crucial, do not repair clothes. Just use the crafted clothes and let anything else rot, then harvest it.

Obviously, for 1,000 days in the dam you must procure more cloth. Go to CH and you'll have a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Save arrows by hunting deer with wolves.

Thanks for the tips! Your post allows me to explain better the basic idea of my survival tactic. It is obvious that it is inefficient and cannot be sustained indefinitely, but this experiment is more than just a self-imposed challenge. I am aware that the often prefered way to obtain food in this game is letting wolves hunt it down for you. Unfortunately, this tactic inevitably leads to frequent wolf encounters. And each wolf encounter entails a risk - a small one perhaps, but a risk nevertheless.

According to the stats, I've had 54 wolf encounters and 4 wolf struggles so far. In four cases out of 54, something went wrong, and I got hurt - not seriously, of course. Let's assume that 3 struggles in a row will get me killed, and that the probability of a struggle in an encounter are 0.074. What is the probability of 3 consecutive struggles in a row of 1000 encounters? The answer is something close to 0.31. It's not small, and 1000 encounters are going to happen over the course of a few hundred days if I live like you propose :)

Living in the Dam allows me to survive without even seeing a wolf on most days. It minimizes the chances of bad things happening to me.

And I'm actually thinking of getting rid of some of my basic clothes. Not all of them - the wool sweater, for instance, gives a nice warmth bonus and needs little maintenance. But some others will probably go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 147 (124th day in the Dam)

I’ve been caught in a blizzard a few times in the Ravine while harvesting a deer I had just brought down. When the weather looks it could soon turn into a blizzard – heavy snow, gusts of wind – I only take 2-4 kilos of meat at once and check the weather before going on. If the blizzard does break out, I seek shelter from the wind, but unless it is early morning, the cold air in a blizzard is easily manageable at 18-20°C temperature bonus provided by clothes (at least in Voyageur). I keep a storm lantern next to a rock that I like to use as a wind shelter. The lantern can give me a +5°C bonus for up to 4 hours when I get in trouble.

Thanks to this, I’ve never been forced to abort a hunt due to bad weather. The deer are also appearing on schedule and I have all the food I need.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]49.98 pcs[/td][td=]117 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.52 pcs[/td][td=]681 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]30.73 pcs[/td][td=]317 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]5.08 pcs[/td][td=]513 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]60 pcs[/td][td=]142 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]8 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.13 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]7.01 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 154 (131st day in the Dam)

Hotzn is right... I can do away with most of the basic clothes and it will be for the better.

Until now, I'd wait until my clothes deteriorate to a state at which repair makes the most use of the material. If the wool scarf is repaired by up to 60% using 1 cloth, I'd wait until the scarf drops to 40%. This would apply to crafted clothes as well. As a result, my temperature bonus could drop to as low as 15.35°C and windchill bonus to 10.45°C, if all clothes hit the bottom at the same time - not good! Nine pieces of cloth and 12 repairs required in 100 days.

So I wrote a crude optimization script and imposed the following restrictions: no more than 3 pieces cloth can be used in 100 days and no more than 20 repairs. How far should I let each piece of clothing drop to get the highest minimum temperature bonus possible?

The correct answer would have me repair all the crafted clothes almost constantly, so I had to relax the criteria a bit, but the new optimized system tells me to:

  • repair deerskin boots and wolfskin coat at 95%
  • repair deerskin pants and rabbitskin mittens at 90%
  • repair basic wool scarf at 60%
  • repair heavy wool sweater at 75%
  • do not repair any other items (cotton underwear, toque, wool socks)

This way my temperature bonus won't drop below 18.48°C, windchill below 13.45°C, I'll need 3 pieces of cloth and 13 repairs per 100 days. What's more: It will free up 1 kg of my carrying capacity, thanks to the clothes I won't be wearing anymore.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]49.31 pcs[/td][td=]136 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.46 pcs[/td][td=]673 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]30.00 pcs[/td][td=]310 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.90 pcs[/td][td=]506 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]56 pcs[/td][td=]138 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]5 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]8 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.13 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.92 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

I've also solved the 'lost arrows' problem. When your arrow vanishes under the fallen deer, search really carefully around the carcass. Chances are you will be able to pick the arrow, even though you cannot see it. I haven't lost any more arrows this way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 165 (142nd day in the Dam)

The plans for a looting trip to Coastal Highway begin to materialize, although the day cloth runs out is still far away. Yesterday I went to Coastal Highway for the first time, with supplies. My goal is to establish a few supply points in the Highway region so that I don’t have to waste time (and take risks) hunting for food later.

It takes 2 hours to get from the Dam to the Coastal Highway region, and 2 hours back – leaving me with 6 hours at the objective plus reserve. I visited two trailers (one in the train loading area and another further down the road). These will make my first two supply points.

  • Trailer 1: 2050 Cal, 4.50 liters of water
  • Trailer 2: 1750 Cal, 4.75 liters of water, 6 hours of fire

The food is either non-degrading food I brought from the Dam or food found locally and left on the shelves. In addition, I collected 23 pieces of cloth and a box of 12 wood matches. A rifle round and a flare were found on a body in the train loading area. I brought all this back to the Dam, although I could have left the flare there as well… will be more useful on the Highway than in the safe zone of the Dam.

Those 23 pieces of cloth were the low-hanging fruit of the Highway. Trailers often contain old bedrolls and pillows that can be easily turned into cloth. I guess will be less successful next time. Eventually, I will have to move to the Highway for a few days to search it thoroughly. The supplies I'm bringing forward will help me.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]68.01 pcs[/td][td=]187 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.36 pcs[/td][td=]660 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]28.73 pcs[/td][td=]296 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.68 pcs[/td][td=]481 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]65 pcs[/td][td=]174 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]6 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]9 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.13 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.92 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Day 194 (171st day in the Dam)

An uneventful month has passed since my last entry, but I have been all but idle. I tested my optimized cloth repair schedule and it works great - all variation in clothing temperature bonus is gone. Also, my skills with the bow have improved and on average I'm now getting 3.4 deer per arrow (the original assumption - 4 deer per arrow - would be the optimum). Still, arrows are turning out to be the next critical item after cloth and matches.

At one point I noticed that bedroll actually degrades by 5.5% per day rather than 5%. Realizing that I regularly sleep 11 hours a day, I did a quick test and confirmed that the bedroll degrades by 0.5% per each hour of sleep. Therefore I reduced my sleep to 9 hours a day, saving 6.67 pieces of cloth per 100 days. On the other hand, my calorie consumption has increased accordingly by 100 Cal per day (125 Cal is the cost of a waking hour, if you stand still, compared to 75 Cal per hour of sleep, in Voyageur mode). I'm now working with a daily average of 3050 Cal. All this means I need to snare one more rabbit every 5 days :)

I also observed degradation of matches and concluded that the normal rate is closer to 0.4% per day rather than 0.5% assumed previously.

[table=width][tr=][td=]Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing)[/td][td=]57.20 pcs[/td][td=]174 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Bow (incl. maple saplings)[/td][td=]5.06 pcs[/td][td=]512 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings)[/td][td=]25.00 pcs[/td][td=]213 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Knife (incl. whetstone)[/td][td=]4.40 pcs[/td][td=]454 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Match[/td][td=]50 pcs[/td][td=]195 days[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Rifle ammunition[/td][td=]6 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Arrowheads[/td][td=]4 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Flare[/td][td=]9 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Hatchet[/td][td=]3.13 pcs[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr]

[tr=][td=]Lantern fuel[/td][td=]6.92 liters[/td][td=]---[/td][/tr][/table]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drifter man, interesting challenge. Matches are a real trouble with their degradation, what helps is NOT to pick them up (but making a note where did you find them) as their degradation starts AFTER being picked up. They of course might have some degradation on them, but this number (checked in more ways) was constant (the game made it random in the first spawn).

Although now most new matches are far from you and you need trips to get them, maybe this info could help.

Couple of questions: where do you sleep in the dam? First room or by the fire barrel? Or somewhere else?

Also, would you be so kind and share the calculations file? I presume it's in a spreadsheet? Many thanks, I am in the dam now in Stalker mode :) Not doing this challenge but the calculations would possibly help me in the long run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, I'm glad you like the Dam, too :) Generally, whenever I see a box of matches lying around (not found in the container), I don't touch it. There are four of them right now, three in ML and one in Winding River, waiting to be picked later. I also have one spare bedroll in the cave system in Winding River, just for case I am forced to spend a night there. I'm not counting in any of these.

I sleep right in the first room after the door to the Upper Dam and keep almost all my stuff in the lockers in the room behind. I'll describe my home in my next entry. Could you share how the numbers differ in Stalker? Are you getting enough calories from the Ravine? I'd be happy to learn about what you find out.

The spreadsheet evolves constantly so it's a mess :) The first few sheets serve for my notes, the calculations follow. Most things are easy to figure out, but let me help you with the concept of cloth equivalent, which essentially is the amount of cloth you save because your clothes and bedrolls are in good shape and don't need repair right now.

B ... number of bedrolls (B = 2)

b ... sum of bedroll status (b = 0.88 + 0.67 = 1.55)

minb ... minimum status at which bedrolls have to be repaired (xb = 0, extreme case)

rb ... amount of bedroll repair per 1 cloth (rb = 0.15)

bws ... basic wool scarf status (bws = 0.88)

hws ... heavy wool sweater status (hws = 0.79)

minbws ... minimum status at which bws has to be repaired (minbws = 0.6)

minhws ... minimum status at which hws has to be repaired (minbws = 0.75)

rbws ... amount of bws repair per 1 cloth (0.4)

rhws ... amount of bws repair per 1 cloth (0.25)

C ... pieces of cloth (or clothes that I don't wear and can turn into cloth)

Cloth equivalent Ceq = C + (B-1)*10 + (b-minb)/rb + (bws-minbws)/rbws + (hws-minhws)/rhws

Ceq = 36 + (2-1)*10 + (1.55-0)/0.15 + (0.88-0.6)/0.4 + (0.79-0.75)/0.25

Ceq = 36 + 10 + 10.33 + 0.70 + 0.16 = 57.19

Now we turn this into the number of days left, D:

xb ... bedroll degradation per day (xb = 0.045)

xbws ... basic wool scarf degradation per day (xbws = 0.00644)

xhws ... heavy wool sweater degradation per day (xhws = 0.00144)

D = Ceq/(xb/rb + xbws/rbws + xhws/rhws)

D = 57.19/(0.045/0.15 + 0.00644/0.4 + 0.00144/0.25)

D = 57.19/(0.3 + 0.0161 + 0.0058) = 178 days

As I was checking it, I spotted a small mistake - I have 178 days left in cloth equivalent rather than 174.

1000 days.xlsx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 201 (178th day in the Dam)

"One with nature", they say. I'm one with the Dam.

Two hundred days ago I spawned into existence close to this place, between the Train Bridge and the Loading Area. The night had just started, snow was falling heavily and the winds were strong, so I was freezing rapidly. Going to the Carter Dam was not an option because its previous tenant would object, and I spent the night at the Logging Camp instead. Soon after dawn, I moved cross-country to the Camp Office and looted the cabins at the other side of Mystery Lake. I saw the first wolf that day in the evening.

Next day I moved to the Trapper's Homestead, where I found a rifle. I stayed there for a few days, living off deer and wolves, but there were few and I was low on ammunition. I decided to look for more ammo and for arrows as well since I had none. Via Unnamed Pond, The Clearcut (with a stop at the Forestry Lookout) I returned to the Logging Camp. There I remained for a while to process two "wolf+deer combos" I scored in the area. It was also there and then when I first struggled against a wolf - we met unexpectedly and there was no time to light a torch. Fortunately, my deerskin boots took the brunt of the attack and I escaped unharmed.

My search only yielded a few rifle rounds and still no arrows, so I finally made a move into the Dam. Fluffy was downstairs, stuck running in place, barking and growling in vain. With a rifle shot, I put her out of her misery :( Having no bedroll with me, I had to leave and fetch one from the Camp Office.

Although rifle ammo is still a rarity for me to these days, I found arrows at the Dam and some more around - eventually I collected seven arrowheads, of which I have lost three since, as I had described in earlier entries. The Ravine turned out to be as reliable and easy a source of calories as I had imagined in my Pilgrim days. Gradually, I came to the conclusion that the advantages of the Dam outweigh the need to deal with the bedroll maintenance problem and chose to stay. A while later I decided to turn it into a "survival story".

My five-day routine has not changed much since I first established it. Two days are for deer hunting. In between there is one day for collecting snared rabbits and firewood. One day is for cooking and on the final one I can do anything I want. You can think of it as of a five-day week with a Sunday at the end.

I keep my bedroll in the first room at the entrance, the only room that receives decent sunlight. Next to it there is my reserve water - almost 400 liters as of today. I am not piling it senselessly: in my 11.5-hour cooking sessions it is not possible to cook all the meat for five days AND boil 9 liters of water - usually only about 6. So I strike another match the next day after cooking day ("Sunday") and boil more water for another 11.5 hours. At this point I have more matches than I can use before they expire, and it is better to use them this way that to let them degrade. One day I will get low on matches and save by tapping into that water reserve.

  • Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing): 54.88 pcs / 170 days
  • Bow (incl. maple saplings): 4.98 pcs / 465 days*
  • Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings): 24.26 pcs / 206 days
  • Knife (incl. whetstone): 4.33 pcs / 446 days
  • Match: 48 pcs / 190 days
  • Rifle ammunition: 6 pcs
  • Arrowheads: 4 pcs
  • Flare: 9 pcs
  • Hatchet: 3.13 pcs
  • Lantern fuel: 6.92 liters

*I corrected another error in calculation here, hence the big step when compared to the previous entry.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well.. this is why I still play this game :D

I enjoy your story and adapt and learn aswell.

You should prepare a quick trip to coastal highway to get cloth (lots of pillows, curtains and clothing). And same question as above.. why do you put non degradable things into lockers (easy acces or too much space :)) )

Great read and stay alive!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should prepare a quick trip to coastal highway to get cloth

I'm working on it... actually, birch saplings will be as important as cloth.

And same question as above.. why do you put non degradable things into lockers

Easy access AND too much space :) This way I see at a glance how much I have. I can burn 180 sticks in 5 days, it makes sense to keep them organized.

Great read and stay alive!

Thanks! I hope I won't let you down :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 220 (197th day in the Dam)

Yesterday I spent the last match of the lot I collected early in the game – I only lost two to expiration. 200 days is the number to remember – about this long they will last if you keep them in containers. I’ve confirmed that matches degrade at slightly different rates. Between days 172 and 219 – that’s 47 days – I tracked five sets of matches in the workbench drawer. They degraded by 18 (cardboard), 15 (wood), 20 (wood), 19 (wood) and 19% (wood), respectively. One box clearly degrades at a slower rate than the rest, but I have no idea why. I continue to assume 0.4% per day for all matches.

  • Cloth equivalent (incl. bedroll and clothing): 48.67 pcs / 151 days
  • Bow (incl. maple saplings): 4.82 pcs / 448 days
  • Arrow shaft (incl. birch saplings): 22.24 pcs / 189 days
  • Knife (incl. whetstone): 3.96 pcs / 417 days
  • Match: 37 pcs / 172 days
  • Rifle ammunition: 6 pcs
  • Arrowheads: 4 pcs
  • Flare: 9 pcs
  • Hatchet: 3.11 pcs
  • Lantern fuel: 6.92 liters

With matches taken care of, I decided to make another trip to Coastal Highway on the first suitable day, to bring supplies there and return with any useful loot I can find.

And it just so happened that the first suitable day was today. There was thick fog in the morning. In my subjective experience, foggy mornings foretell nice days. It makes sense, because you need snow and wind to make a blizzard, and these usually do not appear without warning. I quickly went over to the locker room, got rid of the bow and arrows, took on about 15 kg of food and supplies and set out for the Highway.

My forecast was good, the fog started to lift as soon as I arrived in the map. According to the plan, I turned right straight away and followed the Bear Creek, searching two corpses on the way (tin of sardines, matches at 82%), until I reached the cabin below the Bear Creek Campground. I turned the cabin into my next supply point. The whetstone I found there will also come in useful.

  • Bear Creek Cabin: 4000 Cal (venison at 95%), 1100 Cal (non-degradable or not touched), 5.00 liters of water, 3 flares, 1 torch, 1 wood matches (not touched)

Then I searched the Campground, carefully avoiding its eponymous owner, and proceeded to the cabin at Rabbit Grove. I found a hatchet there, a flare and some canned food that I left untouched, again.

  • Rabbit Grove Cabin: 750 Cal

Although I found two maple saplings nearby, no birch saplings and no cloth could be found anywhere and the fog fell again. I continued to follow the Bear Creek downstream but repeatedly kept running into the bear. In the end I met it almost nose to nose (good thing that bears are so noisy, otherwise I would probably have joined the bone lot at its den) and concluded that playing hide-and-seek with a bear in fog in unfamiliar territory does not aid my long-term survival prospects. I turned around and with a stop at Trailer #1 to drop some supplies, I headed for home.

  • Trailer #1: 3000 Cal, 5.50 liters of water

A wise decision indeed. I returned to the Dam with the last rays of sunlight and tired to the death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.