The Long Dark Wiki

Are you the last person alive? You have to know. If only you could get a signal out to someone...
In-game description

Hopeless Rescue is one of eight challenges in The Long Dark.


Recover the Distress Pistol from the summit of Timberwolf Mountain. Fire it from the top of the Desolation Point Lighthouse.
In-game instructions

The Hopeless Rescue challenge requires the player to recover a distress pistol from the summit of Timberwolf Mountain. The player must then hike down to Desolation Point where they have to fire the distress pistol from the top of Lonely Lighthouse.

The player has seven days to complete the challenge.

Challenge Information[]

The player starts in Trapper's Cabin in Mystery Lake, fully rested with 2000 calories. The player has a very basic kit (some medical supplies, poor quality clothes and no water/food).

The player will pass through several regions and transition zones, including Mystery Lake, Pleasant Valley, Timberwolf Mountain, Coastal Highway, and Desolation Point.

The time remaining is displayed in the upper right corner of the screen under the time of day.


Hopeless rescue is set on Voyager difficulty, however hostile wildlife will spawn immediately with no grace period. Prior knowledge of the regions the player must pass through is very beneficial.

The most critical aspect of completing hopeless rescue is to maximize the distance traveled between rest periods. Refilling the player's fatigue when it is completely depleted will take half a day, so every time the player has to rest will consume valuable time. Therefore, traveling as far as possible between rest periods will decrease the amount of resting time required to complete the challenge.

There are several ways to maximize the distance traveled and minimize the amount of time spent resting:

  • Keep carry weight as low as possible, ideally below the 15kg encumbrance weight that is imposed when the player is exhausted. The result is twofold, as it allows the player to travel faster and also slows fatigue.
  • Do not dwell in the same area for very long. All of the items required to survive the seven days can be obtained quickly by looting buildings.
    • There is no reason to hunt, craft clothing or weapons, fish, complete research books, or do other time-consuming activities.
  • Drink coffee. Coffee refills the fatigue bar slightly and reduces fatigue drain for a short period of time. Coffee can be used to the best effect prior to rope climbing. Coffee can be found in tins, or inside microwaves.


Because weight is a critical factor, the hunting rifle may not be the best choice if the player is aiming to complete the challenge in the shortest time possible. Avoiding hostile wildlife, effectively using decoys, and scaring animals away with flares or torches is the best way to stay safe, if a revolver isn't accessible. New players, however, may find the hunting rifle to be necessary to complete the challenge, and be willing to sacrifice the weight.

Once the player has retrieved the distress pistol, which is found with a number of flare shells inside the Tail Section, the distress pistol can be used as a weapon to shoot hostile wildlife.


Tools have little usefulness in a short challenge like this one. A hatchet for wolf struggles, and a can-opener or a hunting knife are about the only useful tools. Firewood can almost always be found near indoor locations or caves, eliminating the need to carry it in the inventory.


In general, during the challenge, the player needs to move quickly through the regions, which also means the player can quickly move between indoor locations to warm up. Good clothing will result in the player needing to seek refuge from the cold less, but will also contribute significant weight.


The challenge is set to Voyager difficulty, which means that there is more than enough food to survive the seven days of the challenge. If the player loots as they travel, they may not need to carry more than one day's worth of food at any time, saving on weight. Once you get to the top of Timberwolf Mountain, with the amount of MRE's and potable water there (located in Cargo containers, which require a Hacksaw), you shouldn't have to search for food ever again.


It may be beneficial to intentionally let condition drain when the player is freezing, dehydrated, or starved if it enables the player to travel further before requiring a stop. For instance, it is not necessary to start a fire as soon as the player becomes freezing, and the player may be better off losing some condition and warming up when they reach the next indoor location or cave.

Possible Route[]

Region Locations Notes
Mystery Lake Trapper's HomesteadCamp OfficeLake Cabins → Mystery Lake Southern Access → Carter Hydro Dam Both routes yield a moderate amount of clothing.
Trapper's Homestead → Unnamed PondClearcutLogging Camp → Carter Hydro Dam
Carter Hydro Dam Environs Carter Hydro Dam → Cave
Pleasant Valley Cave → Signal HillPleasant Valley FarmsteadPrepper's Abandoned Cache → Rope climb to Timberwolf Mountain Signal Hill has high tier clothing and generous food and drinks. The fastest way to get to Prepper's Abandoned Cache is to cross the bridge west of the Pleasant Valley Farmstead. Alternatively, following the river leads to Draftdoger's Cabin, behind which there are two ropes up to Skeeter's Ridge. However, this causes a lot of fatigue.
Timberwolf Mountain Rope climb from Pleasant Valley → Mountaineer's HutWingDeer ClearingSecluded Shelf → Cave → SummitEngine → Mountaineer's Hut → Rope climb to Pleasant Valley Opening cargo containers is not necessary, and would require the extra weight of a hacksaw. In the small cave on the level below the summit is a mountaineering rope, which can be carried down to the level of Eric's Falls, and then deployed to reach the Engine level.
Pleasant Valley Rope climb from Timberwolf Mountain → Derelict CabinsCinder Hills Coal Mine
Coastal Highway Cinder Hills Coal Mine → Coastal TownsiteCommuter's Lament By this stage, the player should have all the clothing needed to complete the challenge, so looting the buildings should be avoided.
Cinder Hills Coal Mine → Log SortMisanthrope's Homestead → Commuter's Lament
Old Island Connector Commuter's Lament → Abandoned Mine No. 3
Desolation Point Abandoned Mine No.3 → Lonely Lighthouse Fire the distress pistol.


  • The distress pistol normally at the bottom of the Ravine does not spawn during the challenge.


Game History[]