( Top 10 ) Things to take on a desert island

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

The 10 things to take on a desert island are, water,  food, sunblock, first aid kit, knife, paracord, fire starting kit, signaling devices, satellite phone, and a tarp. It is also a good idea to get as much information as you can about the desert island. Most of these items you will use to feed and hydrate yourself, once you are able to do that, it is time to build a small shelter with the local materials using your knife, paracord, and your tarp.

If you ever plan to visit a desert island then my personal recommendation is to get a good portable water filter which only needs gravity to work Click here to check it out on Amazon.com

Most people will automatically ignore the first rule of 3’s which is 3 minutes without air, as there is plenty of air on a desert island but what some people forget that there might not be any viable food source on the actual island and they might be forced to fish and in this case your ability on how long you can keep your breath is crucial.
When you ask people what would they take on a desert island they usually only think either of water or some form of entertainment, very rarely you get somebody that would bring items which could potentially save their lives.


Water will be extremely scarce on a desert island if you plan your trip there make sure to bring plentiful water. Altho 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 then 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 on 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 fresh water 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 wait for the morning dew to form and condense in the bottle.

This way you will get fresh water altho 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 ( Home, Garage, Car ) you will find out how dangerous it can be drinking water from plastic bottles which 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 salt water as the salt molecules are a lot smaller than what it can filter out, if you want more information search around my site as I have an in-depth article about it.


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 it either in 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.


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 ).

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.


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 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.

Fire starting kit

Altho my suggestion is in addition to having a fire starting kit is 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.

Signaling device

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.

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.


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 hand. 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 does 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.

In Conclusion

If you are prepping for a trip to a deserted island always make sure you cover your basic essentials, prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. In the case you have become stranded on a deserted island make sure to keep calm, gather the washed-up supplies, search for survivors, and as fast as possible start searching for water.

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