Best Item Locations In The Long Dark

Looking for loot in The Long Dark can feel like a game of hide and seek, checking every corner for something you might have missed. But if you picked up everything, your poor character wouldn’t be able to outrun a bunny, let alone a bear.

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Not all items were made equal, and some deserve priority pick-up. There are even a few things that warrant hiking to an incredibly out-of-the-way spot, as they could dramatically improve your gameplay. This list explains which loot you should prioritize, how to get it, and how to keep it in good condition.

Updated July 12th, 2023, Rosa Baumgartl: Tales From The Far Territory is a huge expansion, adding many amazing items and places into the game. Some of the new tools and weapons are direct upgrades to their more commonly found counterparts, and your run should definitely include seeking them out. There are also new locations that these top-tier items can possibly spawn in, such as the Forsaken Airfield. Make sure to trek through Transfer Pass to gather more necessary supplies.

13 Crampons

The Long Dark Crampons Irreparable Menu Repair Scrap Metal

Hinterland may have built Ash Canyon purely to hide some of the game’s best loot. There is only one pair of Crampons in each game and only one place they will spawn. The abandoned Gold Mine is tricky to get to, with plenty of twisting cliff paths and swaying frayed bridges. Of course, the quickest way to get there is by climbing three ropes and sliding down the mountain.

The Crampons are well worth the trip, as they reduce the likelihood of sprained ankles, increase the time allowed on thin ice, and reduce stamina loss when mountain climbing. They only lose durability if you get caught by an animal while wearing them, and they can be fixed using Simple Tools and scrap metal.

12 Technical Backpack

The Long Dark Ash Canyon Abandoned Gold Mine Tactical Backpack Crampons Bed Cave Fire Barrel Player Holding Lit Torch

The only other reason to wander the lofty peaks of Ash Canyon is the Technical Backpack. While the Crampons take up an accessory slot, once equipped, the Technical Backpack takes up no slots and can’t be unequipped. Though, why would you want to unequip it? This beauty adds a whole 5kg (11lbs) to your weight tolerance and even stacks with the Moose-Hide Satchel and the Well Fed buff.

Altogether, a whopping 15kg (33lbs) can be carried on top of the usual 30kg (66lbs) without becoming encumbered, making it possible to stuff more coal into your pockets before exiting the mine. This collectible can be found right next to the Crampons, usually leaning against the workbench.

11 Miner’s Flashlight And Spelunker’s Lantern

The Long Dark Spelunker's Lantern and Miner's Flashlight

Who wants a normal light source when you can have the upgraded version? The Spelunker’s Lantern spawns once per run within a cave system in the Timberwolf Mountain map. It’s red and weighs about the same as the regular Lantern. However, its fuel burn rate is much slower, making it more efficient. You won’t need to carry around spare Oil so often. The light radius is slightly smaller but hardly noticeable.

Mineshaft cave systems have a chance to hold the bright yellow Miner’s Flashlight. This is another unique item variant, providing a super bright light during Auroras and in Glimmer Fog. When on high beam, these Flashlights will scare off any hyper-aggressive animals charging you. Auroras tend to drive predators wild, and normal means won’t frighten them. The battery life on this Flashlight lasts longer, but it weighs 0.25kg more.

10 Access Codes

the last resort cannery in the long dark

There are two access codes in the game, and each needs to be found before you can enter Bleak Inlet’s Last Resort Cannery and Blackrock’s Workshop, respectively. Within these buildings are the only Milling Machines and Ammunition Benches. Luckily the codes are written down and left behind somewhere on the relevant map, but they’ve been stashed in some pretty awkward places.

Initially, the only way to get to Bleak Inlet’s code is to enter the region from the Ravine map via two ropes. There is then a bottleneck crawling with Timberwolf packs to get to the Echo One Radio Tower, where the note is. From here, you will need to provide your own rope to climb down from Pensive Lookout, still surrounded by nipping wolves.

Blackrock isn’t easier and involves a unique affliction: Suffocation. If you played Episode 4, don’t think you can use Mule Bridge to get across the river to the Abandoned Mine. The developers cut the ropes, so you have to rappel into the frozen river instead. There’s a gas leak inside the mine, but with no way to turn the valves off, you have to run blindly through a tunnel and crank the elevator to stop suffocating. The largest room after the gas has lockers and the Access Code.

9 Heavy Hammers

the long dark heavy hammer take it tool

If you get to late-game or attempt an Interloper run, eventually forging is necessary. Gun ammunition and Whetstones are likely to run out far sooner than scrap metal and saplings, though all these things are renewable using Beachcombing. The only way to forge anything in The Long Dark is by using a Heavy Hammer.

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As their name suggests, they’re very heavy, and in the long run, you should keep a hammer at each Forge to avoid carrying one around. Check in places like tool racks in Hibernia Processing and the Forestry Lookouts.

8 Mountaineering Ropes

Screenshot of the Mystery Lake Cabin in The Long Dark

Mountaineering Ropes are another limited resource that is often overlooked. Sure, you can mountain goat down if you’re sporting some Crampons, but is it worth risking your 200-day run? These ropes can be deployed and later collected repeatedly, but there aren’t enough ropes for every deployable rock.

So you should pick up every Mountaineering Rope you come across to deploy in areas you’ll get the most use out of them. Pensive Lookout is a good idea as it’s the only way to leave the region via the Ravine. Setting them out in Timberwolf Mountain will make unloading the Summit loot much quicker.

7 Preferred Weapon

The Long Dark Bear Chasing Down Player Reloading A Rifle On Frozen Creek

With the introduction of the Revolver, you now have four ranged weapons, each with pros and cons. Then there are melee weapons for when you get in a scuffle with Scruffy or Fluffy.

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You can craft ammunition for Revolvers and the Hunting Rifle at Ammunition Benches, and the guns can be fixed up at Milling Machines even when ruined. Other tools can be fixed too, using the Milling Machine as well as Simple or Quality Tools or Whetstones. An aurora is necessary to get these workstations up and running (as well as those access codes), but with some Dusting Sulfur, Charcoal, Scrap Metal, and Stump Remover, your favorite weapons can last a long time.

6 Weapon Variants

The Long Dark Woodwright Bow And Curator's Rifle And Warden's Revolver

It’s very likely that your preferred weapon has an awesome and unique variant hiding in a region somewhere. These variations often come with many advantages, with maybe the downside being it weighs a little more or has slightly less durability.

  • For Bow users, Woodwright’s Bow offers further range, less sway, and double the durability. It’s 0.25kg heavier and is found in the Hushed River Valley. The Sport Bow, found in the Forsaken Airfield, also has double durability and further range but weighs 0.15kg less than the Survival Bow.
  • Revolvers have three variations. Hunter’s Revolver is only found in Prepper Caches and has double the range. Warden’s Revolver has a quicker draw time and weighs less, but the durability is a bit lower. Often found in the Blackrock Prison. The Forester’s Revolver is near Echo One Radio Tower at Bleak Inlet, the only difference being it’s slightly more durable.
  • There are also
    three Rifle variants
    . Vaughn’s Rifle is hidden around the Hydro Dam and Winding River. It’s faster and lighter than the normal Rifle but has 50 percent less durability. In Ash Canyon, you can find a sniper’s dream, the Curator’s Rifle. It has a 33 percent range buff. Finally, Barb’s Rifle on Coastal Highway is the most durable and the heaviest. It also has a cool sight attached.

5 High Tier Clothing

the long dark mukluks insulated shoes storm lantern camp office furnace

Though you can technically craft almost a full outfit from animal pelts (under layers aren’t currently possible), they are often too bulky to move in and heavy. The best clothing in the game are items made before the great collapse, so it’s important to know when you’ve come across top-tier clothing.

In the game, items deteriorate more quickly when not in a container, even if you haven’t found them yet. It’s worth the time and cloth to fix an Expedition Parka up to full condition as the huge warmth, protection, and water resistance buffs will only weigh 1.5kg. Wool Longjohns, Combat Pants, Fisherman’s Sweater, Balaclava, Mukluks, and Wool Ear Wrap should all be kept in good condition in case of an animal struggle tearing them.

4 Moose-Hide Satchel

the long dark moose-hide satchel

You might wonder why this item is on a list of things to find in The Long Dark, considering it can be crafted using a hard-to-come-by cured Moose hide. But it turns out that’s not necessary. There’s a very good reason to visit Hushed River Valley aside from the beautiful sights and scenery.

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In every game file, there is a single Mysterious Signal Fire lit somewhere in this region. There are two possible places that the smoke can be seen coming from; overlooking the Long Shot Falls, south of an ice cave entrance, or above the Many Falls Vista, which can also be accessed by the ice cave. Aside from in Interloper runs, a Moose-Hide Satchel will always be found hanging from a tree near the lit Signal Fire.

3 Bearskin Coat

The Long Dark Bearskin Coat Moose-Hide Cloak

The Bearskin Coat can also be crafted and found. It offers high protection against wildlife, a good warmth bonus, and is very waterproof. The weight and mobility debuff might make you reconsider wearing it all the time, but for higher difficulties where the world is colder, and wolves are more desperate, it’s a very good piece of kit.

A ready-made Bearskin Coat can be found (again, not in Interloper) in Ash Canyon along the winding path that leads to the rope above the Gold Mine. This map has lots of hidden loot in crevices, but this is the most valuable, set on the snow on the right side before the final cave on the path.

2 Cooking Skillet

The Long Dark Kitchen Skillet And Ingredients Flour Oil Salt Burdock Root

Skillets aren’t a unique, one-time-per-run item, but they’re hardly common and are necessary for making a lot of end-game food. They can be found in kitchens all over Great Bear, like the Pleasant Valley Homestead, Milton House, and the Hunting Lodge. They weigh the same as a Cooking Pot but only hold one liter of Water.

Their draw is the dishes you can cook that provide awesome buffs, such as Pies and Fishcakes. These require a bunch of limited ingredients hidden in stores and homes, but the recipes you can make with them are well worth the search. Every long run needs a Cooking Skillet in their main base.

1 Research Books

wilderness kitchen research book in The Long Dark
the fastest way to improve your character’s Cooking Skill is by finding and reading the research book called “Wilderness Kitchen,” this one will give you 10 Skill Points.

You can check your experience in the nine survival skills by opening the inventory and clicking the diamond at the top. These skills offer useful bonuses as you practice them and can eventually make the game much easier.

You can level up by doing related activities, such as successfully lighting fires, harvesting carcasses, or cooking, often awarding a point each time. You can also study by spending time reading research books, which increases experience by ten points. These can be found around the world, though each book can only be researched once, multiples count as individual books to be read too. Practice skills in the safety of your base while your water boils.

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