Desert Island Research


I’m trying to come up with ideas for another book (once I finish this one and the next one I have already planned and intend to write this year) and anyway… I have a couple of characters that are going to get stuck on an island.


So – this is more of an ideas post – I’m wanting to know what you would take as everyday items on a boat that could possibly assist you. My characters will obviously have their mobile phones with them, which won’t get wet because they are going to run aground, and break their hull – so they’ll be able to jump off. But mobile phones aren’t exactly useful tools for survival now, are they? (Apart from phoning for help!) I just can’t decide if they’ll still be able to retrieve a few things from the boat before the tide sweeps it away and sinks it first or not.


I’m wondering if perhaps I should watch or read Robinson Crusoe again?

So – if you were going on a boat trip – with the potential to get stranded on a desert island – what would you take?


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  1. Depends on the dudes, a little. I work with (*shudder*) a bunch of engineer types. A whole range of them have things like Leathermans, which they carry around on a daily basis, looking for excuses to use them. That’s a popular idea, for a certain type of person.

    A lot of people have headphones on their person – make snares or something, I don’t know, from the wire.

    Belts, laces, buckles.

    If they can get stuff from their luggage, it might not get much better – aerosol deodorant (fire), lighter, cigarettes, makeup, more clothes for exposure. You might have one or two that have a solar-powered USB wossit for charging things, iPods, laptops at a stretch. Nintendo 3DS for a kid.


  2. Your island picture is beautiful — but I would not want to live there during high tide or during a storm. They’d have to build a house in the trees to be safe. I think a few things from the boat is a must — a tarpaulin, matches or flint (which none of them know how to use, except they watched Survivor, so they might get it to work, if they can find enough dry grass or coconut husks), a few clothes, and a shovel (to build a latrine). One of them brought salad greens (she believes in health-food) and pineapples, but no pots and pans; one of the guys brought his fishing pole and net, which might be useful for catching fish, if they can get the fire going and figure out how to cook the haul, let alone know if those fish are poisonous or not. I like Anthony’s zippo lighter idea, but it’s way too easy, when stranded on a desert island.


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