For those days when I feel alone on a deserted island

THE SURVIVAL GUIDE ( Thanks WikiHow, you always save the day. Image

  1. Calm Down. The most important thing is to remain calm and think clearly. If you start panicking, you can lose control and end up losing your chance of survival. You’re not going to do so well if you’ve driven yourself mad. Read William Golding’s novel ‘Pincher Martin’ for a great account of how you can convince yourself of almost anything if you don’t take control of deserted rock because he lets panic get the better of him. Also to calm down you can find something to make a buddy out of. If you make a buddy to talk to it will help you calm down. Your priorities should be Safety, Water, Shelter, Food. In that order.
  2. Look around for safety precautions. Is the area you are in safe? Are there wild animals? Risk of flooding? Establishing physical safety is the first important step.
  3. Look for a clean fresh water supply. Most people start by looking for food, but it is a fact that almost all “lost” people are found in a matter of hours or a couple days. You can live for 2 weeks without food but only 3-4 days without water. If there is no natural source of water, look at constructing a way to collect rainwater.
  4. Create a shelter. You will need protection from the elements and natural predators. This could be a natural shelter such as a cave, or one you construct.
  5. Find food sources. The ocean is filled with life. Try constructing a low V shaped wall out of stones at low tide, with the point of the V pointing out to the sea. At high tide, fish should swim inside but become trapped as the tide flows out.
  6. Evaluate your resources. Do you have a source of fresh water? Do you have a long range radio, satellite phone, or other means of communication? Are there other people? People, if managed correctly, can be your greatest resource.
  7. Act on all approved ideas together. Everyone in the group should work together to ensure that all needs are met, and to ensure that all resources available are put to good use.
  8. Start a fire. This may seem like a trivial thing on a deserted island, but fire has a number of uses. At the very least, it is a morale booster. You have accomplished your first task, which is key for morale. Fire can also be used to distill water (more on that later), cook, and provide light for you and your rescuers. If you can’t start a fire, don’t worry, just move on to the next task and keep trying.
  9. Build a shelter. A shelter provides a home base, somewhere warm and shady to sleep, a place for storing resources, and to hide from animals Try to keep the shelter above ground so bugs don’t crawl on you.
  10. Look for water. Any source of water is good. As long as you have it, you can purify/desalinate it.
    • If fresh water is available, boil it for 2-3 minutes to be sure.
    • If you have a desalinazation device, great! If not, there are several methods to desalinate it.
      • One method is distillation. Construct a solar still, or one that works over a fire.
      • A solar still can be constructed by filling a large, flat container with salt water or even urine which can be re-usable, if need be.
        • Place a smaller container in the center with a rock in it to hold it still. Cover it with a thin sheet of plastic or whatever you have and place a rock in the center above the cup.
        • If placed in direct sunlight, water should evaporate and condense on the plastic running down and dripping into the smaller container.
      • For one that works over fire, create steam and condense that steam by using a piece of metal or glass in the steam that allows the condensed water to run into another container.
  11. Arrange rocks or large objects on a clear path to signal for help. In William Golding’s novel ‘Pincher Martin’, the stranded man builds a figure out of rocks that can be seen by passing ships. The recognized mountain distress signals are based on groups of three (six in the UK). A distress signal can be three fires or piles of rocks in a triangle, three blasts on a whistle, or three flashes of a light, in succession followed by a one minute pause and repeated until a response is received. Three blasts or flashes is the appropriate response. If you are clear view of boats attempt to make a large red X.
  12. Find food… There are lots of edible roots and berries, but watch out! Some are poisonous. Only eat them if you are sure they are safe. The best, and most reliable source of food is bugs. Yes, bugs. They are everywhere and an excellent source of protein. If deciding to fish with the bugs instead, a hook can be fashioned by carving out a stick into a hook shape and putting a barb on it. Tie string to it and you’re in business.
  13. Try to make contact. Build big, unnatural looking shapes using bright colors and shiny things. Use a radio, if available, to contact possible rescuers. Use signal mirrors, fires and flashlights and whatever else to draw attention to yourself. This can be done while you wait.
  14. Never give up. Desperate acts can be lethal to you and others with you. Willpower is what allows people to survive without food for weeks. Without the will to live, you won’t


  • build a hat to keep the sun off you so you don’t burn.
  • Make large piles of wood and start them off with fire to make smoke signals, dry wood works the best.
  • Try and make a fishing rod out of sticks and vines. Then for bait, use things like worms.
  • Each individual situation is unique and needs its own situational analysis. Take the time to think over what you have, who is with you, what you need, and things of that nature
  • or get the lay of the land then build a shelter then find food and water
  • Do not eat berries that are white, most white berries are POISONOUS!
  • Only drink urine as last resort, only when there is no obtainable source of water, should you drink your own urine. Do not store the urine in a bottle as only fresh urine is sterile. Also only drink the first passing of urine, because drinking highly concentrated urine can cause kidney failure. You need to make a desalinator to do this. You have to get the water out while leaving the salt and impurities behind. Otherwise, it’s worse than salt water.
  • Do not eat jellyfish or fish with the appearance of spines, fish that puff up, or fish that appear to have beaks.
  • Leaves of three, let them be!, These plants could be poison ivy.
  • Do not drink salt water as a last resort. The salt dehydrates you and makes it worse only when you have no other water. A Professor from England proved this by sailing for 58 days and only drinking saltwater

Things You’ll Need

  • Knife! A knife is the most versatile tool ever invented. There is nothing you can’t do with a knife. If you don’t have one with you, make one. Breaking rock is a good place to start.
  • Dental Floss! If you have any dental floss in your luggage don’t overlook it as unnecessary. Dental floss can be used to make a D.I.Y clothes line, shoelaces, fix frayed cords, sewn to patches and even cleans your teeth!
  • Rope! A rope can be used for all sorts of things like support!
  • Pots and Pans or even metal cans! They are useful for cooking food and boiling water and also store water.
  • Tarp! they are useful barriers against wind and rain. They can also be used as a blanket or a shelter, such as a makeshift tent(with branches).

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