Day 10 – Day 13
Hopefully, by this time you’ve crafted the basic items you need to survive the elements, as well as craft other items. Winter is only a few days away. The focus now is to begin storing essential materials and selecting a good food source. You don’t have to do anything fancy to make it through the cold days. My first time through it was bare bones, living hand-to-mouth and it worked! You want meat to help keep your stomach full during the winter. Depending on what’s close at hand you may have a few choices. In addition to meat, you want “filler” foods to add to recipes too. This will reduce the amount of meat required to cook a meal. Additionally, combining meat with other items in the Crockpot produces a different meal.
Here are the things we want to work on crafting next. They will help provide and/or support having protein (meat) to add into your crockpot meals.
- Traps (6 to 10) – used to trap rabbits and spiders | 6 grass + 2 twigs per trap
- Thermal Stone – can be heated near a fire to preserve warmth | 10 stone + 1 pick + 3 flint
- Drying Rack – used to preserve meat | 3 twigs + 2 charcoal + 3 rope
If you have time – these are options I didn’t have until my 2nd winter
- Bird Trap – used to trap a bird | 3 twigs + 4 spider silk
- Bird Cage – used to house the bird you trapped to provide eggs | 2 papyrus + 6 gold + 2 seeds
Papyrus is made from reeds found in the marsh. I avoided the marsh my first winter.
Catching Spiders – You should be near spiders if you took my advice of having a forest handy. You can catch spiders without fighting them. My first winter I didn’t craft any special weapons. All I had were my harvesting tools. And while they can be used as weapons, I wanted to avoid combat until I was more prepared. Use 3 traps to catch spiders by staggering them a small distance from a spider nest. Approach the nest to get spiders to come out. When they chase you run OVER THE TOP of your traps to catch as many as you can. When the coast is clear go back to collect the meat and reset the traps. Do this daily – at least!
Trapping Birds – If you were able to obtain the reeds necessary to craft a birdcage then you need to trap a bird. A trapped bird isn’t very useful without the cage. So if you won’t have a cage, don’t bother trapping a bird. To trap you place the trap on the ground where you’ve seen birds land and bait it with a seed. Sometime later you’ll catch the bird who can be placed in the cage you crafted.
Feeding Caged Birds – If you have a caged bird you can make it lay eggs by feeding it cooked meat. Eggs + cooked or dried meat in a crockpot will produce Bacon and Eggs which is a popular meal.
By day 14, you want to be transplanting trees, twigs and grass, closer to your basecamp. This is an activity you can do throughout the winter too. During the cold you’ll want to stay close to camp unless you have the special winter clothing items which you’re not likely to have by now. Improving your base is a good activity to do during winter and it sets you up to be able to explore and look into more advance features when summer comes around. This is also your push to collect excess wood, twigs, grass and berries.
Chopping down trees drops wood and pine cones, and leaves a tree stump. After collecting the wood and cones, switch to / craft a shovel and dig up the stumps. Collect them and replace the trees you chopped down with the pine cones to grow more trees. You’ll want to relocate many of them to be closer to your base but not all in the same location in case of a fire. Each time you cut down a tree there's a chance for it to spawn Treebeard who will attack you. If you go on a tree chopping binge you're more likely to have him make a visit. If he does, run to to the pigs for help. You can't defeat him alone without special armor and weapons. You could try setting him on fire if it you're not close to your base.
After you collect twigs, berries and grass, switch to the shovel to collect their stumps. Again, relocate them closer to your base but in separated groupings in case of fire. Replanting these items closer to you allows you to reshape the environment to your needs.
If you were able to craft the Thermal Stone you’ll be okay your first winter. However, if at all possible you want Earmuffs too. A Winter Hat would be great but I didn’t have that until my second winter.
The Earmuffs should be easy for you to get because you’re already trapping rabbits. *Smile* It only requires 2 rabbits + 1 twig and you’re golden.
Day 15 – Winter
Around day 15 it starts getting cold. You’ll hear the wind pick up. The ground will start to freeze. The rabbits turn white and the snow arrives. Penguins will also make their way on land. Like Pigmen, they won’t attack you if you don’t attack them. If they wander into your base carefully nudge them out. Don’t hit them are mess with their eggs. You’re gonna die if you do.
You should have all that you need now to survive the winter by staying close to home, tending to your traps and using the crockpot once or twice per day. Continue foraging the surrounding area for all resources. Make more storage chests as needed. Upgrade to gold tools when you can.
During the winter don’t stray far from your base without 2 meals, enough twigs and grass to make a campfire, earmuff and the Thermal Stone. All of these can be used to survive the night if you get lost or have to run from something.
The two things I focused on my first winter beyond staying alive was checking out the wormholes (fast travel portals but that drain your sanity) and collecting supplies to enclose my base. The latter being my primary activity. You’re staying close by. What better time than to fortify it for the next stage of survival. Stick to stone if possible. While hay bales (grass) are easier, birds pick at them causing you to have to repair them. They’re also not going to keep very much out of your camp. *Smile*
That’s it! I’m sure I’ve missed something along the way. It’s a sandbox and no two experiences are exactly alike. However, I think this will get you through the first few season changes while you’re gaining experience.