7 tips if you’re stuck on a deserted island – If someone asked you how you’d survive being stranded on a deserted island you’d probably give them a funny look and laugh it off, that kind of stuff only happens in movies and TV shows. Not quite, let’s not forget about the unfortunate possibility of shipwrecks and airplane crashes, that’s why you should know what to do even in such a rare but still desperate situation.
7 tips if you’re stuck on a deserted island
1. Gather anything that might be useful to you
You’re unlikely to find yourself on a deserted island out of the blue, if you’ve wound up there then something terrible has happened, the most important thing is to stay calm and try not to panic, clear thinking and adaptability will help you through this crisis. First of all look around, there may be some materials or supplies floating on the surface of the water around you.
Anything can come in handy but pay particular attention to tools such as knives, hammers, and axes. Very replaceable if you need to build a shelter, defend yourself or get food also gather any pieces of clothing or fabric that you can find, pick up containers and bottled water, this will help you stay hydrated. Get your hands on anything you can, even if you think it’s simply junk, a sheet of plastic, for instance, can save your life.
2. Get to the island unhurt
The next crucial thing you have to do is get to the shore safe and sound, preferably without any injuries, if you’re in the tropics even a shallow cut can get so infected that it becomes fatal, that’s why you should be extremely attentive when you’re waiting towards the shore.
Chances are the sea bed is covered in corals with razor-sharp edges, Plus be aware of Coon shells they’ve got poisonous barbs on them. Also be on the lookout for strong currents, if you get caught in one it can pull you back to open sea.
3. Find drinking water
Just a few hours with no water in a tropical climate can dramatically decrease your ability to analyze the situation and function effectively, that’s why it’s of utmost importance to find water that’s safe to drink. Luckily most islands have plenty of freshwater sources, just keep in mind the following points.
Rivers and streams contain freshwater but it can be full of harmful bacteria and parasites. You better boil this water before drinking it, smaller streams that flow into the sea are preferable to bigger ones since they don’t carry as much self, do not drink the seawater, the salt and it won’t quench your thirst it’ll only cause bad dehydration.
You can collect and drink rainwater or do, you might also find some water dripping down in caves. If you see plants, freshwater is most likely nearby if you can’t spot any source of it try digging in the ground. You can get enough liquid from the fruit and other foods, for example, coconuts can be a perfect source of hydration.
4. Find or build the shelter
Now that you’re hydrated it’s time to think about shelter, it’ll keep you out of the elements and at least partially protected from wild animals, don’t forget that hypothermia is a real threat, even on a tropical island. That’s because heat evaporates huge amounts of water during the day, which causes severe thunderstorms with freezing cold rain later in the evening.
If you choose to look for shelter make sure that it’s off the ground, there are plenty of poisonous snakes in the tropics. If you decide to build a shelter on your own find a long sturdy branch or stick and lean it up against a tree, keep stacking other branches over it at a 45-degree angle. After that, cover your construction with leaves small sticks and branches to make the walls.
When building a shelter always remember two important things, do not build it under a coconut tree since injuries from fallen coconuts can actually be fatal, do not forget to make a mosquito net, use any materials you have at hand that won’t allow these little bloodsuckers to get into your makeshift home. It could be as simple as a sheep thrown over the roof of your wigwam shaped shelter.
5. Find food
Water? check, shelter? check, now it’s time to concentrate on getting food, hunger really sucks the energy out of you which can hurt your chances of survival, luckily any island has several food sources. Fish, seaweed, mollusks, clams, mussels, and fruit will get the job done. Just don’t forget about the following, you’re most likely to find fish in the shallow water near the shore or in pools left after the tide recedes.
If you find a sharp stick or you have a tool to sharpen one yourself you’ll be able to use it as a spear for fishing, if you have something that’ll serve as a hook then it makes sense to look for worms at low tide so that you can use them as bait. If you can always try to cook everything you catch, this will kill parasites and prevent food poisoning, pay particular attention to shellfish, if they’re hard to open they’re usually safe to eat.
But if their shells can be easily pulled apart they’re probably sick and more likely to make you safe too. Look for seaweed that’s growing in tidal pools, You can get food poisoning from eating seaweed that’s washed ashore, try to search for familiar fruit like coconuts, mangoes, or bananas. If you don’t recognize a fruit and are unsure if it’s safe to eat it.
Rub it on your arm, a rash may indicate that this thing is toxic if there’s no reaction rub it on your lips, if you still feel okay take a tiny bite and hold it in your mouth for a couple of minutes, then wait for several hours, if you don’t feel sick this fruit is almost definitely safe to eat.
6. Create a rescue signal
After you’ve taken care of food and shelter you need to come up with a way to notify potential rescuers of your location, the best way to do this is with the smoke signal. If you’ve managed to start a fire at damp wood to it, this will create a lot of smoke it’s even better to make three fires and position them in a triangle. This is the international distress signal.
If there’s no way to start a fire collect large stones and pile them on the beach, you can also use them to write help or SOS. If there are no stones around, then write this message in the sand with the help of a large stick, if you need to move away from the signal build an arrow from stones that points in the direction you’ve gone.
7. Think about ways to defend yourself if needed
Chances are that there are some dangerous animals on the island, that’s why you should consider how you can defend yourself if need be. The number one rule is to avoid conflict in the first place but it can’t hurt to prepare for an attack, to find a sharpened stick or make a spear for self-defense. Don’t enter caves since that’s where predators often make their den and don’t come close to snakes and unknown insects because they can be poisonous or venomous.
Do you think you could live on a deserted island?.