What would you do if you were stranded on a desert island?


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This is just one of those things that we think about.  I am by no means an expert on survival.  This question was asked in a forum one time and this was my response.  This is off the top of head as if it happened and I had to deal with the situation with my limited knowledge.


If I was stranded on a desert island the first priority would be survival.  If it is assumed that I wasn’t just dropped off and maroon on the island, then I would search for things that would be useful in the craft or the wreckage of whatever got me there.  Hopefully there would be something of use.  The craft itself or the wreckage may have the core material for a shelter if a natural one isn’t found.  I would create some sort of signal as soon as I could.  A fire and maybe the word HELP built as big as I could make it on the beach. 

I would have to find sources of food and water, and I would have to find shelter.  I am not an expert on survival so I would likely be in big trouble.  If I found a fresh water lagoon that looked clear and running; I’d probably drink from it.  There are probably many reasons why that one act would end my adventure quickly and painfully but, being ignorant; that’s what I would do.  I also would have trouble if the eatable food wasn’t obvious; like bananas or coconuts hanging from a tree.  If I had to guess what I could eat and what would kill me; I may end up very dead very fast. 

Should, by some miracle, I find food and water then shelter would be a major challenge.  If I was lucky I would find a cave.  Many islands of the Pacific are volcanic in origin and would have steep slopes that could contain caves.  Of course the caves may already have occupants.  I may have to do battle to secure shelter or sleep out in the rain.  

I hope that through all of this that I would remember to keep myself as covered as possible.  Getting severely burned by the sun or getting eaten up by insects could create a great deal of suffering if no medication is available.  Being sick is not an option when you must gather food and water or die. 

If I had building materials from the wreckage and maybe something to use as a tool; I would probably try to construct a better shelter, but that would be quite a challenge.  I am the world’s worse handyman so my chances of building anything of use may be quite small.  The greatest value may be the emotional stability the effort might bring me. 

Now, with all the luck in the world I have food, water, and shelter; what next.  I would expand on the help signals.  Maybe I would try to reach the highest point on the island and build a fire there.  Of course it would be quite funny if I got there and found a Sandals resort on the other side of the island. 

Barring that miracle I would explore the island.  I would also attempt to create something to help me stay sane in my isolation.  I would take a hint from Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away”.  I would create a friend to talk to.  Like Wilson, it would have to be small so I could carry it around and I would have to find some way to put a face on it.  I am sure I would need someone to talk to even if that someone is a rock.




Pete is a retired software developer, a writer, and a martial arts instructor. He lives in Maryland with his wife Cathy and they are enjoying their retirement. Pete is the author of four novels, "The Teacher", 500 Years from Home", and "The Long Journey Home" are available at Lulu.com; and "Pioneers" in available at the Kindle Book Store.

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