Blair Witch features numerous puzzles, but perhaps the most arduous and confusing is the Steam Donkey and fallen log conundrum in Chapter 8. We'll show you how to clear the path, turn on the Steam Donkey and find your way out again.
How to Escape Sawmill Camp A
The objective here is simply to get that log blocking the rail cart out of the way, as the cart will allow you to escape the woods and get to a less risky area. To do that, you'll have to activate the sawmill machinery so that the log will be dragged out of the way. However, the damaged and abandoned nature of the mill means that you'll have to repair the key machine involved, a hulking old device referred to as a Steam Donkey.
What is the Steam Donkey?
For our purposes, the Steam Donkey is a large, coal-fed machine that powers the crane that moves logs around the sawmills. There's actually two of them in the wider area in different sawmills, and part of the puzzle involves harvesting parts from one to repair the other.
Finding the Red Tape
Before you head to the Donkey itself, turn right from the stuck cart and walk down towards the old hut with a table next to it. The door is locked, but on the table outside is a Red Tape, entitled "The Machine". Tell Bullet to seek if you can't see it, though it's not exactly hidden, laid in plain view for you to find.
Using the Red Tape and Getting into the Hut
The Red Tape actually serves two functions in this area, the first of which being to open the hut's doors. Pause it at 00:44 when the man in the video opens the hut himself, and you should be able to access it too now, the locked door now invitingly open. Inside is a document telling Ellis where to find a spare valve and pressure gauge, the two parts needed to repair the Steam Donkey close by. How helpful!
Finding the Pressure Gauge
Now it's time to leave this area. Walk around the fallen log and follow the track where your cart would have normally been able to go if not for the obstruction. This should take you to the Maintenance Shed, where the pressure gauge is being kept. Be careful when you get to that area, as there are multiple shadow demons ready to attack. Fight them or run away, but remember to keep Bullet close to hand either way, as you need him to get the gauge.
Once you're at the maintenance shed, you'll see it's dessicated and destroyed. Walk around to the back of the building to look through a window, and you should see the gauge - a large, clock-like device with a pipe sticking out of the bottom. You can't get to it yourself, but you can command Bullet to retrieve it with the Right Trigger button. He'll squeeze in through a hole in the wall and bring it out to you. Now you need a spare valve.
Finding Sawmill Camp B and Fixing the Fuse Box
Once you have the pressure gauge, go back to the track that led you here. Don't return to Camp A, but keep walking instead in the direction you were already going.
Eventually you'll make it to Camp B, though this is a large area. Once you arrive there'll be another attack by shadow monsters, so deal with them however you want and head into the camp. One of the first things you'll see is the wrecked carcass of a shed with a broken fuse box. Remove the busted fuse and look to your left for a red toolbox on a wooden deck. The fuse is inside that, simply bring it back to the box and you'll turn on the lights in the camp.
Finding the Spare Valve
Now you have the lights to help, you should see a path winding through the piles of timber beyond the broken fuse shed. It looks ominous and confusing, but don't be fooled - it's actually a linear path with no monsters, though it does wind around a little bit and at one point you'll have to walk up a flat log onto one of the lumber piles. At the end of this little walk is a second Steam Donkey. Walk around it until you see the valve wheel, and interact with it to pull it off the side. Now you have everything you need to fix the Steam Donkey, head back to the rails and retrace your path to make it back to Camp A.
How to Fix the Steam Donkey
Once you make it back to the Steam Donkey in Camp A, walk over to the side right of the furnace to get prompts to install these new parts. Once you've done so, you actually need to bring the Red Tape labelled "The Machine" out again, this time scrolling back to the 00:13 second mark when the Donkey is being lit. Lower the camera, and you should see that the furnace is fired up and ready to go.
How to Move the Log with the Steam Donkey
At this point you have to operate the valve while keeping the pressure in the green, marked on the dial you installed. There's no penalty for failure beyond having to restart, but if you want to get it done quickly, use small, careful motions on the valve. There's no exact spot where the dial won't move, so carefully get it into the green and tweak the valve back and forth as needed to keep the dial from going too far one way or the other. Do this for long enough, and the log will be dragged off the track, allowing you to get back onto the rail cart and continue your horrible, harrowing journey.
Congratulations on your escape! However, there's other threats lurking in the Burkittsville woods - keep our guides close to hand if you want to make it out alive, such as this one on fending off the leaf monsters, or this one about finding your equipment at the third camp. Alternatively, check out our guide on the game's various endings to see how monstrous things can get in the forest.