Netflix’s survival competition reality TV show Outlast claims it’s a show without any rules. However, very early in episode 1, the show’s narrator makes it clear there actually are quite a few rules for the sixteen Outlast cast members to follow. Here are all Outlast‘s rules explained for Netflix viewers.
“Throughout history humans have existed in groups. But what happens when these lone-wolf survivalists who prefer to work alone are forced to work together as part of a pack. Welcome to Outlast, the survival competition with a million dollar prize on the line?” the show’s narrator asks at the beginning of the show.
Contestants can quit at any time by using their flare gun to call for show production to rescue them from Alaska’s Neka River rainforest region. In order to become the Outlast winners, however, contestants have to remain on a team.
Outlast‘s Rules: Contestants Have To Make Teams Of Four
“These sixteen players will not only have to survive the unforgiving wilderness of Alaska. They’ll also have to put their faith in complete strangers and survive as part of a team. Will they sacrifice and band together for the greater good, or will they resort to selfish tactics in order to defeat their opponents,” the Outlast narrator explains.
The sixteen Outlast players at the start of the game had to pick a team of four.
Team Bravo formed when construction worker Brian Kahr, bartender Corey Johnson, bohemian nomad traveler Javier Colón, Coloradan Tim Spears joined together.
Underdog Team Delta were the leftover cast members who didn’t have a camp, including rancher Dawn Nelson, biomedical engineer Joel Hungate, construction worker Jordan Williams, and hunter Paul Preece.
How the teams decided to govern themselves was up to them, so there were no rules about stealing and cheating in the game.
“Each team is assigned a squadron of the playing field. They can establish their base camp anywhere within that area. To establish their base, they’ve been given identical gear sets consisting of a hatchet, a knife, a tarp, a wool blanket, a flashlight, a bow and arrows (eight), a medical kit, a flint, two tin cups, a map, bear spray (one for everyone), and four flare guns.
Outlast‘s Cargo & Mission Drops Explained
The players are put in a remote area of Alaska in the fall with the most densely populated bear population at a time with dropping temperatures and lots of rainfall. The competitors need to try and set up shelter, start a fire for heat, get clean drinking water and secure a steady amount of food intake.
Players equipment is supplied from cargo drops, the first one arriving the day the competition started via helicopter. Other drops provide challenges for the teams.
The first challenge drop involves the teams needing to make a raft in order to try and make it to an island with crap pot traps. Actually, contestants revealed that another cargo drop occurred before the mission drop happened three hours before launching the rafts. The cargo drop gave them supplies to help build their rafts, as well as the sleeping bags contestant’s suddenly had, without any explanation in the show’s edit.
Eliminations never involved voting, but instead when contestants ran into health issues, gave up, or didn’t have a team willing to take them if they lost all of their own teammates (which is a vote in itself, technically).
“You can change teams at any time, but you cannot win this challenge alone. Start with these provided kits. Be on the lookout for additional resources,” the narrator instructed at the start of the game.
Most of the other drops in the game involved giving camps’ messages from teammates getting medical attention and no longer joining the game.
The second challenge drop also was a cargo drop supplying the last two teams with fishing gear. In this challenge they needed to catch fish in order to stock up food supplies for winter.
Outlast‘s Rules Change In Final Challenge
Outlast‘s show production letting teams fend for themselves led to the game descending into an adult version of Lord of the Flies. Jill and Amber face fan backlash for attempting to steal Bravo Team’s sleeping bags. Javier claims they were worse than what cameraman captured in the final cut. Despite Javier claiming the ladies were cheating, Outlast‘s production said they didn’t break any of the rules set by the show.
After over a month in the wilderness, the Outlast production flipped the game’s rules on its head by having the remaining teams run a race to a checkpoint using a map and a compass at daybreak the following morning. Perhaps they wanted to show the competitors some mercy after they looked incredibly emaciated.