Mining and fishing are near for those earning low levels of income, however I would recommend fishing. Bots' popularity on RS has increased since FT+W. They'll be stealing your iron rocks as fast as they can. When you're making yourself hair stand up and clicking away at the rock, they won't even be in the computer. So, at least your money will not be taken when you're fishing. It wasn't my intention to turn that to an argument, but felt it was essential to highlight the drawbacks that comes with F2P mining. I hope that I've assisted you in making the right choice.
After completing the quest after you die, you'll receive a menu of where you can spawn. Soul wars can be selected from that list. You'll also be asked which 3 items you wish to keep. You will then be able to keep some items like coins and perhaps essential runes, basic tools and more.
Then your gravestone will be dropped at the place in which you passed away. You'll be given 15 minutes to go there and pick up all of your possessions. This will not happen in soul wars. This isn't the same as losing the minigame, or even leaving the minigame. The best defense against nomads is to use magical crossbow bolts. Then employ your special attack using an melee weapon, most likely an enchanted godsword or bandos sword as it is the weapon that drains his defense.
Familiars are highly reccomended: the general strategy is to utilize a beast of burden in order to carry additional supplies and remove the familiar, throwing your potions and such on the floor , then calling in a kyatt using the unique attack often on nomad. Kyatts are generally thought to be highly beneficial, and more than the other familiars. You can correct me if my opinion is wrong. My advice is mostly anecdotal and therefore could be incorrect, but better than nothing.