Looking at all these tropes, it sounds like Everything Is Trying To Kill You
and making it through without anyone dying is a feat...but back in my eighth grade class, we got to play it (I think it was four or maybe five), and my group finished before anyone else and had no one die. Then again, the teacher seemed surprised.
I think it really comes down to getting everyone on the team to be pragmatic about the situation. Why take the cast-iron stove? It's dead weight and takes up a ton of space. Why not get a few thing Native Americans like to trade for? You'll probably run into a few along the way. Why not get tons of ammo? You'll need to hunt and defend yourselves. Why not bring medicine
of all things?
But we still had kids in our class bringing the stove, or hunting more than they could carry and therefore wasting ammo, or fording rivers that the game tells you is dangerous, and apparently one guy just wanted to piss off all NP Cs
. Maybe it's just the later games, but it seems that the trail only kills you if you really let it.