Hinterland's The Long Dark has developed a reputation for being one of the toughest, must punishing survival games ever made throughout its time in early access on PC. Now released in full with an episodic story mode on PC, Xbox One and PS4, there are now even more players tackling the game's bitter challenges.

The first season of The Long Dark's story mode, dubbed Wintermute, puts players in the frosty shoes of Will Mackenzie after he crash-lands in the Canadian wilderness. From there, it's up to you to keep yourself fed, hydrated, warm, well-rested, disease-free and so much more, battling factors that could all kill you within minutes. Especially the wildlife.

Rabbits and deer are one thing, and are a crucial resource for making food and crafting items – but the bears and wolves are more than willing to feast on your own corpse after they've finished mauling you to death.

Hunting these beasts is ill-advised without some serious weaponry and a whole lot of bullets, but running away can also leave you vulnerable, or even lost. Thankfully there is a much easier way of escaping a deadly encounter with a wild beast – a flare gun, aka the Distress Pistol.

You can get the Distress Pistol, which is the only weapon capable of scaring off bears, as early as Wintermute episode one "Do Not Go Gentle". Here's where to find it:

The Long Dark story guide: Where to find the Distress Pistol

  1. During a conversation with the Grey Mother (an NPC located in the town of Milton) she will mention the Distress Pistol kept by a former Coast Guard member named Old Henry McDermott.
  2. When this dialogue triggers the Distress Pistol will spawn, but not before.
  3. The quest "Light up the Night" will appear on your map to the North West of the Milton.
  4. Head out of Grey Mother's house and immediately turn left once you reach the path.
  5. Go past the garage and turn right.
  6. Keep heading forwards until you see a purple car.
  7. Enter the house to the right of the car.
  8. Go right out of the kitchen and straight forwards through the main room and into a bedroom.
  9. To the left of the bed and next to the bathroom door you will find a Hidden Cache with a Distress Pistol inside and four Flare Rounds.

You can also watch the route in a video here.