Island Survival Ideas

Deserted Island image

Being stranded on a desert island can be a daunting experience, but with the right knowledge and survival skills, you can increase your chances. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips and ideas that will help you conquer the unknown and survive on a remote island.

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Build a fire

Making a fire is one of the fundamental aspects of island survival, for various reasons.

Firstly, it provides warmth during cold nights and can help prevent hypothermia. Additionally, a fire can be used to boil water, cook food, and signal for rescue.

To start a fire, gather tinder such as dry leaves, grass, or coconut husks, and use flint, or create friction from rubbing two hardwood sticks together to ignite the fire. Once you have a fire, it’s important to stay near it and keep it lit to increase your chances of being rescued.

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Building a shelter

Constructing a shelter is essential to protect yourself from the elements and provide a sense of security. Look for suitable materials such as logs, branches, or vines to construct a shelter.

A simple lean-to shelter can be made by propping a long log against a tree and covering it with smaller branches and leaves. This will shield you from rain, wind, and potentially dangerous animals.

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Gathering first aid items

To ensure your well-being while stranded, it’s essential to collect first aid supplies promptly. Begin by scouring your immediate surroundings for medicinal plants like aloe vera for soothing burns, and comfrey for wound healing. Seashells can serve as makeshift bandages, while coconut husk fibers make excellent natural sutures.

If you’re fortunate enough to find discarded debris from a shipwreck or other materials washed ashore, salvage any useful items, such as bottles, cloth, or even sharp-edged fragments for cutting. These supplies may prove invaluable in addressing injuries and illnesses as you navigate your path to survival on the island.

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Finding drinkable water sources

When marooned on an island, finding a source of fresh potable water is of utmost importance. Days without water can have a significant impact on cognitive function. The human brain is made up of approximately 75% water, and proper hydration is crucial for its optimal functioning.

When the body becomes dehydrated, it can lead to decreased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, resulting in cognitive impairments. Some common symptoms of dehydration affecting cognition include difficulty concentrating, reduced memory function, slower reaction times, and impaired decision-making abilities.

Therefore, it is important to stay adequately hydrated to support brain health and maintain optimal cognitive function.  Here are a few ways you can obtain safe drinking water and keep the right mindset:

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Collect rainwater

Rain is a valuable source of water that can be collected using various techniques. Place containers, such as coconut shells or improvised receptacles, outside during rainfall to collect and store water. It’s important to find a method to filter the collected water to remove any impurities before consumption.

condensation image

Create a solar still

If you’re unable to find a natural source of water or collect enough rainwater, you can create a solar still to purify seawater or groundwater. Dig a hole in the ground and place a container in the center. Cover the hole with a clear plastic sheet, making sure it’s secured around the edges using rocks. As the sun heats up the hole, it creates condensation on the plastic sheet, which drips into the container, providing you with drinkable water.

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Find natural fresh water

Exploring the island for natural water such as rivers, streams, or springs should be a priority. Follow the sound of flowing water or look for areas with dense vegetation, as they are likely to indicate the presence of water.

Be cautious of stagnant water, as it may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that could make you sick.

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How to build a raft to escape the island

As you settle into your survival routine on the remote island, your thoughts may inevitably turn to escape. One of the most viable options for leaving the island is to construct a raft. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of constructing a sturdy and seaworthy raft that can carry you away from this isolated haven and back to civilization. With determination, ingenuity, and the right materials, your self-made boat can become your ticket to freedom.

bambo pile

Find materials

Look for suitable materials such as logs, long branches, or vines to construct the framework. Choose sturdy, buoyant materials that can withstand the water currents and support your weight. Larger pieces of wood are better for strength. 

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Construct the framework

Begin by lashing the logs or branches together to form a solid base for the raft. Use vines or other flexible materials to tie the pieces together securely. It’s important to create a stable and balanced structure that can withstand the rough ocean currents.

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Add flotation devices

To increase the buoyancy of your raft, attach additional flotation devices such as empty containers or inflated bags to the framework. This will help keep the raft afloat and prevent it from sinking.

food being cooked over a fire

How to find food on a island

Finding can catching food is crucial for survival on a remote island, without food your body wont have the energy to survive. Here are some ways you can catch food:

sharpening a spear

Create a spear

One of the most effective ways to catch food is by spearfishing. Find a long and sturdy branch, sharpen one end to create a spearhead, and use vines or other materials to secure it in place. With a spear, you can catch fish in tidal pools or other small animals on land.

Berries on a bush

Search for edible plants

Exploring the island and identifying edible plants can provide a sustainable food source. Look for fruits, berries, nuts, and other vegetation that is safe for consumption. However, be cautious as not all plants are edible, and some may be poisonous.

Wooden fish trap

Use improvised traps

Constructing simple traps using sticks, rocks, and other materials you find on the island can help you catch small animals for food. Research and learn about different trap designs suitable for the island’s wildlife and set them up in strategic locations. Patience and observation are key when waiting for potential prey to fall into your traps.

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Be Aware of Predators on the Island 

When on an island, it’s important to be aware of the presence of predators. Islands are often home to various species of animals, some of which may pose a threat to humans.

For instance, in some parts of the world, islands are inhabited by large carnivorous animals like bears or crocodiles. These predators are not only powerful but also unpredictable, and encounters with them can be dangerous or even fatal.

It’s crucial to familiarize oneself with the local wildlife and understand the behaviors and habits of potential predators before venturing into their territory. 

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