Top 10 Things to Survive a Deserted Island
We’ve all played this game: What Would You Bring on a Deserted Island? A favorite book? Chapstick? Your pillow? A never ending supply of Oreos?
What if you could only bring 10 (real) items? What is most important? Here is a list of what I believe are the Top 10 Things to Survive a Deserted Island. Happy (Top Ten) Tuesday.
1. A Big Pot
Surviving on a deserted island includes finding fresh water. If you do not have water within a few days, you will definitely croak. Once you find a fresh water supply, you will want a large pot to boil it in. This will also be handy when cooking fish and any other meats you acquire.
Vegetarians and vegans beware! Sustainable vegetarian options will most likely be rare on the island. Wild boar might start looking pretty tasty after a few weeks of coconut milk and foliage.
You may not think a tarp would be so wonderful, but it can serve many purposes in the wild. Mostly it will be a staple part of your shelter, but it can also be used to collect rain water and keep warm.
3. Swiss Army Knife
It’s entirely possible that you’ll want to pack heat during your time on the island. Personally I find guns intimidating and risky. I’d probably blow off my foot. You also may want to think about ammunition and how it’s going to run out.
For most castaways, a Swiss army knife should suit you just fine. Not only will it help you pop open a fresh pineapple or coconut, it will also help you expertly (or not so expertly) gut and debone a fish before you cook it. You can also trim your hair, cut your fingernails, and fashion small tools out of wood. We are becoming so handy!
Let’s be real: you probably don’t have a lot of survival training. You are going to need to hike and hunt and cook and fashion some sort of shelter. This leaves much room for accidents and injuries. There are also all kinds of mysterious flora and fauna you will be tempted to eat, making it almost impossible not to contract some sort of infection that slowly eats away at your flesh or has you constantly running to your makeshift hole-in-the-ground bathroom. Be prepared and avoid dying a slow, painful, sandy death.
5. Fishing Pole
Like I mentioned before, if you don’t like fish, you should start thinking about how you’re going to learn to like fish. A lot. I am the world’s worst fisherwoman, but I can guarantee I’d turn into one of the best if it were one of my only sources of food.
6. Solar Powered Generator
You may be thinking—What?! How is this a deserted island experience with a solar powered generator helping you out? Remember that you are still sleeping on the sand and eating unseasoned fish for every meal. Also, despite your rockin’ tan, you definitely stink.
One thing you will never run out of on a deserted island is solar power. Go green the native way with a generator capable of powering your ham radio and anything else electronic you manage to bring with you (or you’re fortunate enough to see wash ashore).
Bring the instruction manual.
7. Economy Pack of Lighters
Fire is going to be absolutely essential to your island experience. Not only will it cook your fish and wild boar, but it will be your nighttime lamp and consistent morale booster. I don’t know about you, but starting a fire with two sticks is not something I’m going to magically learn how to do. Bring some lighters and sleep happily by the crackling light of a small fire that will warm you if the air turns cold and scare away predators.
They actually make solar powered laptops these days, but if you don’t have one, you still have your solar powered generator. Use your laptop to improve quality of life by writing, keeping track of the time and date, listening to music, watching preloaded movies, or playing Tetris.
9. Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag is most definitely my least practical choice. You should probably bring an axe instead. An axe will allow you to chop firewood and be a vital tool in building a sturdy shelter. Unfortunately I don’t know how to use an axe or build a shelter, so I’m going to hope there’s a cave for rainy days.
My hope is that a sleeping bag will make nights more comfortable and result in a good night’s sleep. It makes my skin crawl to think about sleeping out in the open air without a layer of fabric to protect me from mosquitoes and bats and other nighttime creatures that are lurking around.
10. A Friend
Take a good look at all your friends and family and weed out the ones who could potentially push you to Lord of the Flies mode. Helpful qualities include conversational cleverness, woodworking skills, medical proficiency, and general dexterity. Read–> do not take Grandma or Snooki or me. Bonus points if you know anyone who has taken some sort of survivalist vacations in Australia.
If this friend is somehow also granted the gift of bringing 10 items, remember to compare notes before final selection so you don’t end up with two laptops because that would just be excessive.