Woodland Survival: Guide
This is a guide intended to give some advice to anyone hoping to live without much contact with the city. This is a tough lifestyle, but can be very rewarding, and - more importantly - safe, once you have the basics down.
These are some of the bare basics you will need to live in the wild. These are more or less mandatory, unless you have a specific variant playstyle in mind, or an additional ability (mutatation, bionic, etc.) that allows you to bypass the problem:
- A butchering tool - Your pocket knife is ideal, but basically any bladed weapon will do. This is to allow you to butcher animals for meat, sinew, and other useful things. Grab a steak knife or combat knife if you can though, or better yet a hunting knife. If you started with a profession that doesn't include a knife, either go raid the town or craft a makeshift knife from scrap metal or a stone knife by using this recipe.
- A tent or shelter kit - These allow you to survive acid rain in the absence of more permanent accommodation. NOTE: because acid rain are disabled right now, tent isn't that necessary, though it'll help against conventional rains and wildlife.
- Stone pot - This allows you to boil water and cook meat. Pots and frying pans also do the trick, if you can get hold of them. Tin and aluminum cans can also be used to boil water, and a sharp stick can be used as a tool to roast meat if you cannot find anything better.
- Source of fire - This will allow you to set wood on fire. Lighter\matchbook is perfect, but it will run out eventually, so be prepared to go look for more, after a month or so, or make fire drill or much sturdier camp fire drill, but you'll require some time to start fires with these tools.
- Watertight container - You will need at least one container for holding water, two if you can't boil water on the spot and have to carry the dirty water with you. Glass jars\plastic bottles hold 500mL of water, enough for one drink, glass bottles hold 750mL, enough for three, small waterskins are craftable and hold 1.5L, or six drinks of water, and also! they are wearable. Keep an eye out for a jerrycan or gallon jug (Unload a jug of bleach, rotten milk, or ammonia from the inventory and pour it on the ground) and keep it at your base.
It's possible to live without these, but they are helpful. In some cases living without them will take a lot of skill.
- A wood axe or stone axe - This will allow you to chop down large trees, making for better firewood, and construction materials.
- Shovel (a normal, stone one, or an entrenching tool) - This will allow you to build pits, which will catch small animals, but also can keep you safe at night.
- Bear traps - These will also catch small animals, and can be a useful defense if you are attacked by an actual bear (or other beasts).
- Wood saw - This will let you break logs down into usable construction material, so is essential for building more permanent shelter.
- Sewing kit - Not necessary, but repairing and creating clothing is always helpful. Unless you started with one or find one, with survival skill level 1 it is easy to create a bone needle, functioning exactly the same. You can find thread such as plant fiber and sinew.
- Ranged Weapon - This will let you hunt, and defend yourself. Anything from a nail gun to a crossbow is viable, as long as ammunition is plentiful and, preferably, craftable. Throwing weapons such as spears should work as well, assuming you are willing to invest in the throwing skill.
Good Camp Locations
A good camp needs three things:
- Water Source - This can be a lake (a small collection of River tiles), a river, or a swamp, as long as you have some way to clean it. Stay away from rivers and swamps unless you have a way to deal with hordes of giant insects & other marshland critters--preferably a quiet way, because they spawn based on noise--or turn Classic Zombies on in the Options to disable them altogether.
- Distance from town - You don't want Zs wandering in at night. If you want to raid the city every now and then at night, a decent, but not too far, distance is recommended.
- Distance from spawn zones like swamps, or slime pits - Swamps especially can be brutal, even to experienced players. Avoid fungal blooms, fungaloids aren't deadly in combat, but fungal parasites aren't fun. Ant hills and Triffid groves can be hazardous too, both are technically an extra source of food, and a way to hone your combat skills, but usually it isn't worth it. Later, you can raid these sites and destroy the queens, to totally prevent any further spawning of these monsters near that area.
Sometimes you can find and take control of an existing shelter:
- Cabins without much else near them - Cabins have good storage space and are a good place to sleep. Disregard it as a safe base if it has any dangers near it, such as swamps or a fungal bloom.
- Farms - With farming available, this mother lode can provide a great sustainable food source, but go in strapped because Farmer Maggot and his dogs are probably still hanging around. Many useful tools spawn on farms.
- LMOE shelters - These are built for just this sort of thing. Since they're underground, you can operate somewhat closer to spawn zones (the world only operates on the same z-level as you, so sleeping undergrounds pauses surface activity).
You can forage underbrush in forests for stuff\food\etc., you can find glass\plastic bottles, kindling for fires, plants which are important in treating different ailments, and food.
If you're into farming, these foraged plants, if you are skilled enough in survival, can be used as source of seeds\spores\stems. Note that most of them aren't available in forests, requiring you to raid gardening stores if you ever want to plant these.