( Top 10 ) Things To Take On A Desert Island

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Most people think of desert islands as being a paradise, for the most part, if you have everything you need then a desert island can be a paradise, on the other hand, if you get stranded on a desert island then you will need a couple of things in order to survive until you get rescued.

Desert islands tend to be extremely dangerous if you do not have the necessary tools to survive. In addition to survival tools, you will also need to know a couple of survival skills like starting a fire and purifying water. You have to be extremely careful what you actually bring to the desert island, and the amount of time you will spend on the island will make things either easier or harder, so always pack extra food and water with you.

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The main problem with desert islands is that very few of them have surface water, and the groundwater tends to be contaminated by saltwater. Generally speaking, one of the most useful items which you can bring to a desert island is a tarp, as you can use this both as a shelter and for harvesting rainwater. Depending on the geographic location of the desert island you might get lucky and have plenty of rain, on the other hand, you also might get unlucky which means you will have to dig for water.

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If the desert island doesn’t have any source of freshwater then you have to really on harvesting the morning dew, and you could even use reverse osmosis to desalinate saltwater. An item as simple as a mirror can have multiple purposes on a desert island, a mirror can reflect the sunlight which can be seen from several miles away, making it an excellent signaling device. In addition to this, you can use the mirror to focus a beam of light on some kindling and ignite it that way. Even on a desert island, you will have to clean yourself, for more information check out my recent article How to clean clothes without water ( Top 13 Ways ).

10 Things To Take On A Desert Island

When stranded on a desert island, having the right items can greatly increase your chances of survival and comfort. First and foremost, a reliable source of fresh water is crucial, so taking a water filter or purifier is essential. A multi-tool or Swiss army knife can serve various purposes, from building shelters to gathering food. A fire starter, such as waterproof matches or a flint, is vital for warmth, cooking, and signaling for help. Packing a sturdy shelter, such as a lightweight tent or tarp, offers protection from the elements. Bringing a signaling device, like a whistle or mirror, can attract attention and increase the chances of being rescued.

Additionally, packing a fishing kit or small net enables you to catch food from the sea. Having a first aid kit with basic supplies is important for treating injuries and preventing infections. Taking along a solar-powered or hand-cranked radio allows you to stay informed about potential rescue efforts. A durable container for storing and collecting water is crucial, such as a stainless steel water bottle. Finally, having a good supply of non-perishable food, such as energy bars or dried fruits, provides sustenance until help arrives.

1. Water

Water will be extremely scarce on a desert island if you plan your trip there make sure to bring plenty of water. Although you will find it impossible to carry enough water to the island on which you can survive for a longer period of time. You should also take into consideration that the humidity and temperatures on desert islands are higher than what you are used to, even simple tasks will make you sweat a lot.

In addition to getting water to the desert island, you will want to think of ways how you will get fresh water. If you are lucky enough you will find a small stream or groundwater but you can not rely on always finding one. If you are not able to find a freshwater source then you will need to get water in some other ways. You can collect the morning dew from plants by placing a plastic bottle on a branch with leaves or on the ground in the morning and waiting for the morning dew to form and condense in the bottle.

This way you will get fresh water although you will need a lot of plastic bottles to get enough for your daily needs. In my recent article, How long can you store bottled water? ( In your Home, Garage or Car ) you will find out how dangerous it can be to drink water from plastic bottles that have been exposed to sunlight for a longer period of time. Life straws would be a good addition to your survival tools, however, these can not filter out saltwater as the salt molecules are a lot smaller than what they can filter out, if you want more information search around my site as I have an in-depth article about it.

2. Food

If you are planning to spend several days on a desert island then you will need to bring plenty of food, my recommendation is to get food in powder or dehydrated form. Be sure to pack extra water as these types of foods need a lot of water to be edible and will also use a lot more water while you are digesting it. I have also written an article recently on Can you eat dirt to survive? ( What are Mud Cakes? ), where you will find that you actually can but should be only a last resort.

3. Sunblock

Sunblock is an extremely important item to have on a desert island, but you will need a lot of it. Most of your food will come from the sea and you will probably spend a couple of hours in the water which will wash the sunblock off. My suggestion is to find a shaded place to fish and always wear a hat. In addition to this while, you are making your research on the desert island find out which plants can act as a sunblock. If you are a fan of survival movies then check out my recent article Best survival movies ( Top 18 ).

4. First Aid Kit

You might think that first aid kits are only for emergency situations but most of these have also extra tools that you can use. In addition to that, you will get a lot of bruises and cuts while fishing and building your shelter, and an open cut could get infected very quickly in this environment.

5. Knife

Without a knife, you are making it extremely hard for yourself, as this tool is extremely versatile and will help you hunt, build shelter, tools, and will also be good for self-defense. Just make sure that you have a good fixed blade knife, keep in mind that temperatures on desert islands are higher than usual, and if the handle of your knife is made entirely of metal then it could end up burning your hands or limit you for how long you can use it. Some people also suggest that you bring a spear with you but there is no need to do so, as you can use your knife to make a spear or simply strap on a twig on your knife and you have yourself a spear. You have to be self sufficient on a desert island, for more information check out my recent article How to be self sufficient ( In 14 Easy Steps ).

6. Paracord

You might not think that something as simple as a paracord could be useful but you will be at a big disadvantage if you do not have one with you. You will use this in addition to your knife to build shelter, tools, traps, or even a hammock.

7. Fire Starting Kit

Although my suggestion is in addition to having a fire-starting kit to also have the skill to light a fire without any tools, just like our ancestors did thousands of years ago. In addition to cooking and boosting your morale the fire will also keep off the insects, just make sure to throw on the fire once in a while green leaves which will make the smoke black.

8. Signaling

Always have a mirror, this can be a glass mirror or a metal surface that acts as a mirror. If you need help and you do not have any other communication devices you can use your mirror to signal for help, in addition to this you can use the power of the sun to focus a beam of energy on a piece of wood which will catch on fire.

9. Satellite Phone

Having a satellite phone on a desert island is a must-have as you never know what could happen. In addition to the satellite phone, my recommendation is to get a solar-powered charger in a waterproof bag, as electronic devices tend to get their batteries drained a lot faster in hotter temperatures.

10. Tarp

The weather will not be always the best as these islands are frequently hit by storms which can last for a couple of days. This can be a two-edged sword as you will have plenty of water for a while at least, on the other hand, you will be almost constantly wet and this is where a good waterproof shelter comes in handy. Something even as simple as a tarp will shade you from the sun and the incoming rain, in addition, you can use the tarp to channel the rainwater into your water bottles.

Pro Tip: Information about the desert island, you need to make as much research on the local area as possible, including local flora and fauna, if there is a source of freshwater, how far are the shipping lanes, and how often a ship goes by the island. In addition to informing yourself, you should also prepare your mind and body for it, in the case that something goes wrong things could spiral out of control fast.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize finding a source of fresh water, as dehydration can quickly become a life-threatening issue on a desert island. Explore your surroundings for possible freshwater sources or consider techniques for collecting and purifying water, such as building a solar still or creating a makeshift water filter.
  • Protect yourself from the elements by constructing a sturdy shelter. Utilize available materials like branches, leaves, or palm fronds to build a shelter that provides shade during the day and insulation during cooler nights. It’s essential to shield yourself from excessive sun exposure and potential extreme weather conditions.
  • Equip yourself with basic survival tools that can help you meet your basic needs. This can include items like a knife for cutting, a fire starter for warmth and cooking, fishing gear or a spear for catching food, and a signaling device like a mirror or whistle for attracting attention and seeking rescue.