Quick, name the first four things you’d hope to have with you if you were marooned on a remote island. Your mind might be swimming with ideas… or it maybe it just went blank. The best answer is: a boat. But you might not be that lucky. Listed below are a few things that many would hope to have if they found themselves in that very unfortunate situation.
Economy is the name of the game in this situation. Things that have many uses and can withstand a good amount of wear and tear for the long-run will be the most handy. Keep in mind that even though this island is deserted, there are likely hundreds of natural materials on land and sea that will be helpful along the way. Bringing items that allow you to fully utilize what the island has to offer is your best bet.
Our list is comprised of double-sided tarp, nylon paracord, a flint fire starter, and a swiss army knife. Here’s why.
The first item we’d recommend is a dual-sided tarp: plastic on one side, warm fabric on the other. Waterproof, durable, and versatile, a tarp can protect you from the elements in multiple ways. You can easily rig it up as a tent, use it as a makeshift umbrella, and wrap yourself in it to keep yourself warm on a cool evening.
Secondly, rope—specifically, nylon paracord. This type of rope won’t get damaged in water and is ridiculously durable. Rope can help you to hang or tie material for shelter at night, it can help you carry food that you’ve gathered, and it can help you explore the island by fording streams and climbing rock.
As you’ll need a heat source, a flint fire starter should be your third pick because with over 10,000 strikes in its lifetime a flint fire starter can last you a very long time. Fires are great for warmth on a cold night, cooking food, and boiling water for sterilization!
Lastly, a multipurpose tool such as a Swiss army knife will likely be a lifesaver. Choose a larger one, with multiple knives and perhaps even a fork attached. This will be handy for cutting vegetation, food, rope, and even whittling wood as a means of entertainment.
Food, clothing, and shelter: the trifecta for survivalists and explorers. The first thing you should look for is a safe place to set up camp. Make sure it’s near water and (if possible) has a naturally formed shelter; a lower tree branch over which you can drape your tarp, for example, or a rock formation which naturally forms a cave-like structure. Set up your camp so you’re partially hidden for nighttime protection.
Choose a hand-sized rock to use as a hammer and use your Swiss army knife as a tool to set up a more permanent camp. Build a distress signal that you can light on fire during the night and fashion a few traps around the island to catch wild game for dinner. Finally, build a fence (made with branches) around your property to keep unwanted visitors out.
Forage the island during the day for coconuts, berries, and edible plants—but watch out for poison. After all, you definitely want to live until the end of this experience! With these pieces of advice and your handy tools, though, you definitely stand a good chance of making it until help arrives!