How To Survive On A Deserted Island

So, what do you do if you’re stranded on a deserted island?

Order for pizza, perhaps?

An unlikely possibility in the real world, as you would’ve noticed if you’re a fan of the television series, ‘Lost.

Anticipating a situation as unlikely as being deserted on an island can be considered as wildly neurotic but you just never know.

So let’s say you do get stranded on a deserted island, what next?

Make a boat with imaginary bamboo shoots and pray the mermaids appear to take you to safety.


But seriously, being stranded on an island is an unenviable position to be in if not completely disheartening to say the least. Yet there have been many people who have been in such a situation and have been rescued.

So what do you do in the meanwhile to survive until ‘your ship comes in’?

Here are a few tips that might be useful if you ever find yourself in such a situation:

This is the first thing that you should look for as soon when you land on shore. If you’ve arrived on the island by way of a raft, by boat, or a plane – these can give you protection from the elements and wildlife that surround you. Many islands have trees, rocks, vines, bamboo, thick grasses, and other natural supplies that you can use in building a suitable and strong shelter.

Consider the following method to construct a suitable shelter when stranded on a deserted island:

1. Find branches that resemble the letter “Y”.

2. Stick these branches down into the ground rather deeply, making sure that each one is approximately five to six feet away from the other one.

3. Find a long limb of branch that is light enough to be supported by the two “Y” shaped branches, and place it on each so that it goes across.

4. Now, you have a basic frame. You will want to find long branches that can be rested on the limb that goes across on either side.

5. Once you have all of the branches in place, simply search for a vine or something that can act as a rope to tie everything together and secure it.

6. Finally, gather leaves, boughs, palm tree fronds and similar items to cover the structure with for additional security.

7. Take leaves and fronds from trees and line the inside of the structure in order to make a “floor” to rest on.

Water Collection

The next step is to find water which is essential to staying alive (yes, more important than food). Perhaps this saying rings a bell: “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink.” Any nitwit would know that seawater is not conducive for drinking as the salt and other chemicals will leave you dehydrated. So it is important that you find a freshwater source which might not be readily available.

What do you do then?

Creating a solar water still is a very good idea. Here’s how:

  1. Select an area that is higher than where the tides come in that is exposed to a lot of sunlight on a daily basis.
  2. Dig a hole that can be used. This hole should be about three feet deep and three feet deep.
  3. Find a bucket or other type of container that can be placed in the very center.
  4. Now, go around and choose healthy green plants that can be placed around the container.
  5. Place a piece of plastic sheeting over the hole and then put rocks and sand on the sides in order to ensure that the plastic stays in place.
  6. Then, put a rock in the center of the solar water still and a small hole. Water will now drip down and the green plants will help produce more.

If you’ve made a strong shelter and have found a good source of fresh water, the final step is finding food. Obviously, the ocean can be a good source but you can never be certain that every living creature will be good for consumption, so here are few tips to keep in mind:

1. Avoid consuming fish that have the appearance of spikes on their body.
2. Avoid eating jellyfish.
3. If a fish puffs up for protection, do not consume it.
4. Fish that appear to have “beaks” on their faces are also not a food type that is safe.
These are three simple steps that you can follow in order to survive on a deserted island. However, you will find yourself having to use your creativity in order to make a shelter, find water and food.

Remember anything goes here… as there won’t be any Luigi’s pizza delivery boy making his way in record time to satisfy your hunger!

What is the first thing you would do on a deserted island to survive?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • aj


  • lucy

    if u find water in the ocean u should find a pot or something to hold the water in and make a fire and boil the water so its safe to drink:D

  • admin

    That would be nice if you happened to be stranded and floating just above Atlantis or Betty Crocker’s underwater cave, haha.

  • sony

    hi im a 8th grader DON’T BOIL THE SALT WATER because the wat will evapurate and u will only get salt

  • tita

    where you going get the pot anyways??????

  • http://pie pie

    You will get the pot from wreckage. (If there is any)

  • cutiepie

    yea the 8th graders right dont boil the water unless u want only salt. but wat im wonderin how did salt get there any way nd this was an awsome site i now know wat to do

  • Solid

    Damn, there would be no reason for living if that happened! We all know everyone needs pizza! xD

  • sha-zam

    You could boil the salt water but you have to have a metal sheet slant above it , so that when you boil it the salt water condonsates on the sheet then slides down into a smaller cup its a process but as long as you keep the fire going and the pot full of water you can have fresh water all the time and keep it ready for when there are times you can’t have a fire. also when it rains keep something out to collect water multiple things if you can help it. If you can find running fresh water you might be able to have something other then fish if you can handle killing something which means having to make yourself a nice little weapon and maybe a trap. Plus if your stranded somewhere don’t be afraid to adventure. ALWAYS REMEMBER WHERE YOUR SHELTER IS. If you go around you can find more things to work with to make your little “stay” at least some what comfortable.

  • admin

    Great tips Sha-zam, thanks!

  • pablo


  • ddd

    well hope you survive, yolo

  • Monchez


  • ZeSilverfox

    Or you can just go further into the jungle and look for a water vine there very easy to find

  • Typical Gamer

    Awesome text but it lacks detail, if I wasnt smart I would have not understood half of it. I suggest that you add detail to it. :)
    Good Luck :D

  • S

    You can use a sail to protect yourself against sunshine, and even pick-up the water from the same sail. Then you don’t have to have 2 sails.

  • drkangl87

    thanks sha-zam for liberating these people even though i would stay on the island if i could get stranded remember there is also other ways of finding fresh water in the ground that has been filtered should not be too difficult remember the island is surrounded by water so if you can dig deep enough you will find it, but if you know you are going on a boat trip you should take the essentials with remember magnifying glass haven’t you guys watched lord of the flies waterproof matches two cans of food cans could be used later on for purifying sea water or cooking food remember you are at the ocean so for food look for tropical fruit trees if any crabs should not be too hard to catch just watch out for the pincers if you can put a piece of fishing line and a hook in your survival kit you can catch fish use the left over crab as bait just watch out what fish you catch if it does’t look like a normal fish don’t eat it look out for spikes on fish and blow up fish seriously not good. look for rocky areas to find shelled creatures hopefully you are nor allergic to sea food LOL remember to find wood and if there isn’t any dry wood start breaking branches that would dry out in a while and if there are no hope of somebody finding you remember to replant the plants you ate make a big sign so people can spot you from the air or sea that’s if you don’t want to stay and be free, remember seabirds and their eggs you could make a nice living on an island if you just think. m. building shelter should not be too difficult and if you can find a cave you are a very lucky person hopefully it is not inhabited with some wild creature if you think about it you would have allot of time so use it wisely don’t waste your day waiting for a ship or plane explore the island to find more sources of food or water if you have somebody with you that would be a bonus look for people on the island many island are inhabited by people they just might not be where you are stranded. if you have any queries on how to survive e- mail me

  • julia

    what about food, fire, tools, shelter, and a rescue plan. other than that good discription

  • YOYO


  • http://naver PSYfan

    FANTASTIC!!!!!! It really helped me:D TY

  • Faies234

    I found this helpful for the project I have. wish me luck. Plus you could use Distillation.

  • boomshacalaka

    awesome i had to do a research project and this really helped

  • jake

    Typical Gamer, if your stranded and your laptop has 5 more miniets to live you don’t want detail. you need quick facts to survive.

  • Shay

    You don’t have to boil the water until only salt is left, just until the water has reached boiling point. (112 F) And if you do not have a pot to boil the water in, you could always use half of a hollowed out coconut.

  • Jay

    Great idea about the coconut Shay but how to know the water is 112 without thermometer?

  • smexy

    lol like wut r we supposed 2 do if me and my hubby get stranded and we wanna have kids? do we just hve sex in the open? also, should i take a bath in the open? thx :*

  • Zoie

    I wish you would add more to this because I need to know about the first aid and fire because I can’t find any sites that have that

  • Lammmf

    If u take a sock and have had a fire u can use the ashes and place them in the sock and pour water into ther top of the sock and drink it out of the botom

  • Lammmf

    Jake if u had your laptop why not send out a distress call num nuts

  • common sense

    do you guys know about grammar? you should use it. but boiling salt water and collecting the steam will result in distilled water, which will kill you after a couple of days. the boiling point of water is 212 F, and you will know when the temperature is right because the water will boil. the idea of putting ashes in a sock and pouring water through it would work, but you need sand to help filter out the salt. just drink from a stream that empties into the ocean, that water is safe to drink. always make a pile of dry wood which you can light if you see a ship, plane, or smoke on the horizon, as this will make a smoke stack and could get you rescued.

  • Sha

    ohh this is super good imformation thanks for giving it to me

  • Tesla

    Don’t swim. You’ll be eaten by sharks.(^^^^^)

  • Kyndall(;

    Hahah . c;
    So , In my 8th grade reading class we are reading Lord of The Flies ! We have a project on “How to Survive on A Deserted Island”
    This Helped Quite A Bit ! ☺

  • Frank Staples

    So where do we find the bucket and the plastic sheeting??? On a deserted island??

  • Mike Franklin

    When I was a kid we’d swim and wade out to dredge islands in Galveston Bay and camp out ’til the water ran out. There were pools of rain water but we were kids and didn’t mess with that. The biggest problem was shelter. There were short scrub plants and drift wood. We took tarps with us to make tents. Other than that there just wasn’t shelter. IF I were stranded on an island I’d hope for more resources.

  • NakedToad

    The basics are always food, water, shelter, and fire. The priorities are situational dependent. Depending on the island you might not need much of a shelter if any at all. Water, fire, and food just might be higher priorities if you are in the tropics. Shelter and fire if you are on a frozen island in the Aleutian chain.

  • NakedToad

    In your survival kit that you always keep with you.

  • Paul Smith

    With all due respect, this is one of the more useless articles on survival I’ve ever read.

    Palm fronds can be woven into hats and blankets to keep the sun off of you and is probably priority #1 (shelter and water retention).

    If your island has green vegetation, you can dig a hole in the sand down about 3 feet and often get water to pool in it. If not, hope it rains a lot or you get rescued quickly. You can also drink coconut water if you can a. get them and b. open them without losing all the liquid. Get up before the sun and you might get some dew off grasses and other greenery.

    Fibers from Palm fronds can be woven into ‘string’ which can be used to tie staves to use as forms for fish baskets You can use anything dead and decaying to attract the fish/crabs. Secure them to the beach with rope made from Palm frond strands.

    All islands have birds. That fish basket can be modified to catch them. . .

    You’ll want to cook your food and you need a fire to stay warm. . . (sure hope you have a pocket knife) or (without the knife maybe)

  • Harry

    During the time in the 1960’s when the TV show Gilligan’s Island originally aired, the U.S. Coast Guard actually received letters from viewers urging the U.S. Coast to rescue the fictitious castaways. During the time I had my boyhood in the 1960’s, Gilligan’s Island was one of my favorite TV shows and I thought it would be fun to be a castaway. But, as a grown man I now know better. In real life those castaways would be living a hard ordeal to survive, if they could even do do so at all. They would be lucky if the island even had a source of fresh water. They would have to desperately search the island for insects, crabs, fish with a wooden spear, and look for edible plants, to have anything to eat. They would face realty of such diseases as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and elephantiasis. They would plagued by by such annoying creatures as mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. If any of the castaways were injured, they would be unable to get to a doctor. Even all of the Howells’s wealth could not help them in their situation. In other words, being a castaway would not be the unexpected vacation as it was inaccurately portrayed on the TV show Gilligan’s Island, but be a rough ordeal to survive and Mother Nature is one mean bitch! One of the things I did not notice as a boy watching Gilligan’s Island, but today does not make sense to me is why would Mr. and Mrs. Howell pack up all of their belongings on the skipper’s boat, when they only intended to be away for three hours? The interesting coincidence is that the producer of Gilligan’s Island, Sherwood Shwartz was also the producer of that other fantasy realm TV show, The Brady Bunch! Go figure.

  • Ddenney1

    Exactly!!!!!!! IF you can not find a fresh water stream or pond you DIE in about a week!!!!! DO NOT take a cruise might be better!!!

  • Ddenney1

    On a downed plane or a sinking ship where would that kit be????

  • MikeS

    and buckets

  • mofaki

    Instead of a purse my wife uses a bucket just in case.

  • oaking

    First thing that I would do is evaluate my situation and determine what resources are readily available. I would look for a water source before building a shelter.

  • oaking

    YOUR everyday carry, do not count on others to have what you need.

  • elkhunt


  • Jeff Conz

    You would be amazed at the trash that shows up on small islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

  • Jeff Conz

    All ships including the Navy’s of different countries all dump their trash at sea. Usually 50 miles offshore is the standard or used to be when I was in the Navy.