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You've been banished to a stranded island.... (spin off of "what tool can you not live without")

 
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You've been banished to a stranded island for the period of 5 years.  This island experiences all four seasons, none to an extreme. You already have on your persons a full set of clothing, socks, shoes a hat and a backpack.  If you could have 5 items to help you survive, what would they be?  All items have to fit in your backpack.  

Mine are:

1. A good axe
2. A knife
3. Gloves
4. A good "how to survive in the wilderness" book
5. Seeds of my choice

Edited to add:

- there is a drinkable water source so you don't need to provide water
 
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Hmmmm,

I might be tempted to go with the following:

A good kukri
A multi tool
A pot for water, cooking, etc.
Gloves
Seeds

I might be tempted to substitute a fire starter for gloves

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Upon further thought, I would bring a Schade kukri which is somewhat like a machete and has a fire starter in the kit.  If this does not violate anything I would take that kukri and keep the gloves.

However, I might consider keeping a first aid kit, but I am not certain what I would give up.

Eric
 
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OK so you need water, food, shelter.. I am going to assume that the island is in "My" climate so I already know what I can and can't eat etc, and also that there is a source of water and we are not reliant on rain.

A large machete type knife, can cut small to medium wood and can be used for all knife work as well
A large stainless steel pot with lid. Essential to purify water, carry water, store water and cook in.
Lots of strong fishing line. Used for fishing but also for tying shelters together, snares and even repairing clothes.
Army style sleeping bag (waterproof cover) Sure you can make a romantic bed of leaves, but a 4 season sleeping bag is a lot more comfortable. (and reduces food use)
Seeds/tubers 5 years of fish would get real old...

 
Eric Hanson
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Other items I might consider:

A long flat bladed screwdriver.  I used to carry one with me at all times when I worked in rental property management.  It is amazing what it is useful for.  It can be a digging tool, a prybar, a wedge, etc.

A role of parachord.  There is almost no limit to its uses.

A small LED flashlight.  Not one to light up the world, just a small one to give me some light at night and in dark spaces.  I would want only a small lumen output, but a good battery supply so that it would last a very long time.

The sleeping bag is a great idea.  Is this a part of the tent?

A towel that wrings dry easily.

A rain poncho

Realistically, all the items I mentioned here easily fit in a backpack and if the question was worded slightly differently, I would carry all of these items as I could fit them either in a backpack or on my body.

Eric
 
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As a lifelong carpenter and farmer, gloves would not be on my list of essential items.

It is very possible to do immense amounts of hard labor without gloves. The way to avoid blisters, is to not make twisting/shearing motions against the skin. And to pay attention to one's body, both how it feels, and how it's moving.  It's very possible to keep hands warm without gloves.

Gloves are a perishable item. I would only be choosing durable items to take to the island with me.

 
T.J. Stewart
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The rule is that you can only have 5 total extra items, other than what you already have on your person AND they all need to fit in the back pack.

I really liked the pot that you two both listed.  I looked at my list to see if I could have a pot instead of something else and I really felt that I couldn't trade anything in.  If I had more primitive survival skills I could have traded it in for the book, but that's a no-go at this point.  

 
Eric Hanson
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TJ,

You gave us a tent, was a sleeping bag a part of the tent?  Also was a jacket of some type clothing that was already included?

Eric
 
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Hammock tent
Leather man Multi tool w/ fire starter
Hatchet
iPhone w/ unlimited WiFi
Solar panel phone charger 😉
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Of the things suggested so far, I'd be interested in taking:

Machete: Wonderful tool for all kinds of tasks, like cutting, digging, chopping, construction, harvesting, hunting...  

Stainless Steel Pot: A lovely tool for outdoor living. I'd hope for a lid to go with it as a small critter-proof container. I toyed with asking for a dutch oven, but I like the lower weight of stainless, and stainless is easier to maintain in the boonies.

I'd also ask for:

Large Diameter Magnifying Glass: Used as a non-perishable fire-starting tool. A magnifying glass isn't ruined by getting wet. It's doesn't wear away by being used. In my experience, a magnifying glass has been the easiest method of primitive fire-starting, especially when a piece of charcoal is used as the tinder.  It only works during daylight hours on sunny days, which is the time I'd least want a fire. Coal banking has been known for aeons, so there's no reason I couldn't learn to practice it. When we heated with wood, I used to get up each morning, and kindle a new fire from the previous night's embers.

 
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Machete, smaller fixed blade, a pot, a good flint, a tarp.
There was no mention that I saw of a tent, so the tarp could be used for that, for hauling stuff, making shade, etc.

P.s. My current physical ability is far surpassed by my skill set. It would take time for my endurance and strength to build up - but, I know how to do that, too. In fact, the already working on that. ;)
 
Eric Hanson
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My mistake, I thought I saw a tent listed as a part of the initial gear.

If I could get away with it I would want to dress in layers

If I can’t get away with a good jacket as part of my clothing I would want to have full length set of carharts.

A tarp is also a really good idea.

Eric
 
T.J. Stewart
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Eric Hanson wrote:TJ,

You gave us a tent, was a sleeping bag a part of the tent?  Also was a jacket of some type clothing that was already included?

Eric



No, there's no tent.  Just a empty back pack that you can put 5 items in.  And, sorry but no layers, just a standard outfit.  


Vanessa, there are no cell towers on a stranded island. :)
 
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An Axe
A pot
My homeopathic kit
Good knife
Flint
 
Mary-Ellen Zands
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Thank goodness I would be far from all those EMF’s.
 
Eric Hanson
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OK, my new updated gear with new information included would be:

1). Schrade kukri with Built-in fire starter
2). Full overall style carharts
3). Pot
4). Tarp
5). Seeds

I would sadly ditch the multitool as it is mostly redundant

I thought I originally saw a tent but I was wrong.  I would use the tarp as a sort of makeshift tent

Although I would like gloves, I guess I am going to ditch those as well

I am going with the carharts as they would be be blanket, cold-weather gear, and all purpose protection.  I imagine that cold and wet weather would be miserable without some protection.

My main tool would be the Schrade kukri.  It will become my all purpose cutting tool.  Also it has a built in fire starter.  I hope this doesn’t violate the 5 tool limit.


I think I would plop all my seeds in a bag in the pot, make a little garden and plant my seeds.  Obviously, I would have to garden intensively.

I would try to get a good fire pit established, surround with rocks and keep the fire going basically non-stop.  I would try to get some type of rain protection over the pit.  The goal would not be to have a raging fire, but rather a non-stop slow smolder.

As time went on I would try to make a kiln out of clay (saw this on YouTube).  Basically it becomes a RMH.  I would use this for cooking and space heating.

I would attempt to use the kukri fashion some basic digging tools.

I would hope that whatever clothing I am allowed to wear would be extremely sturdy.  5 years of nonstop wearing would put some heavy wear & year on them.  Especially socks.

I hope this all fits within the basic description.



 
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A good, medium sized knife

A shovel

A large coil of medium rope

An axe

A Bible
 
Eric Hanson
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So my plan would look something like the following:

Assuming I had a bit of time, I would study up on survival, especially on wild foods I can eat and techniques for trapping animals, fish, etc.

Upon arrival I would want to find a spot close to clean running water but not in a floodplain and some trees nearby.  I would begin by establishing a place for a shelter, preferably on soft ground under some tree cover.  I would use my kukri to clear some brush.  With a little luck I could find some vines to use for chordage.  I would lay down some soft leaves, pine boughs or something similar for a floor and place the tarp overhead.  Over time I would try to elevate the floor a few feet and work on a thatch roof.

Nearby I would dig a fire pit and surround with medium sized rocks.  I would collect a bunch of firewood, including small, medium and even large sized pieces of wood, we will assume hardwood.  I would also collect a generous supply of kindling, grass, dried leaves, etc.  The plan would be to start a fire and hopefully it never goes out.  I would place rocks around the pit to hold more wood, store heat it the mass and especially to help establish a really good coal bed so that even if the fire dies down, it can easily be restarted by stirring up and adding fresh fuel.

By this time I would be getting hungry so I would go foraging for whatever I could find, set some traps and hope I can add a few calories before I starve to death!

Probably next step would be to plant the seeds I brought with.  I would include potatoes and sweet potatoes.  I would clear a patch, pull/clear as many weeds as I could and plant a variety of plants.  I would want to have a bunch of root crops as they tend to provide a lot of food in a small space.  I assume that my seeds came in little packets and I would hold on to these so I could harvest seeds and store them for later.

I think that while I am waiting for the seeds to grow I would try to fashion some basic gardening tools, especially something for digging and cultivating.

Once I get a reliable food source I would turn my attention back to my fire.  I would try to make a kiln/RMH near my shelter in order to have a more reliable fire/heat source for winter.  

As winter approaches I would try to make steady improvements to my shelter, including cutting some logs/branches to length and splitting them lengthwise.  Eventually I would have a little elevated cabin.

I would love to know what others thinning!

Eric
 
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Honestly I would be one of the first to go because I have 0 survival skills, but to play the game I would bring
1. Knife.  Heavy duty enough t cut wood, sharp enough to prepare food.
2. Wool blanket.  Keep me warm even damp, also use as a coat, ECT
3. A pot to carry water, and cook with.
4. Largest spool of heavy duty fishing line.  For fishing, snares, and to use to tie things.  Hopefully I would be able to make a hook of some kind.
5. A fire starter  the steel and Flint type.
Have you ever watched the TV show Alone?  They get to bring 10 items .
 
T.J. Stewart
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Your plan looks awesome @Eric!  I had to LOL at Jen saying that she would be one of the first to go.  (and I haven't see or heard of the show Alone... 10 items sounds nice.)

Okay here's my plan.  My items once again:

1. A good axe
2. A knife (with built in flint... I added this)
3. Gloves wool blanket
4. A good "how to survive in the wilderness" book
5. Seeds of my choice

I have .5 survival skills, which is why I really felt like I needed to take the book with me.  I think my plan would be to first figure out what I'm gong to do for shelter.  I'm figuring my book will give me several options to choose from.  I'll start out with the easiest option.  Next, I'd get a fire ring built (out of stones) and get my fire going.  I'm fairly confident that I could get a fire going as long as I have the flint, which is why I added it to my knife.  I would try to make sure that my coals never go cold so that I will always be able to get a strong flame going whenever I need it.  

As a side note, I really think I should trade my gloves in for a wool blanket.  So, I'm going to go back now and cross that off and put wool blanket down instead.  I think @Joseph was right about it being something that would not last and Jen was right about the blanket being important.  

After I get my crude shelter built and my fire going, I think I would turn my attention to figuring out what I'm going to eat.  My book should give me some good ideas about fashioning crude snares and what types of plants I can eat.  I'm assuming that there will be some wild things that I can safely eat.  After figuring that out, I would turn my attention to starting my garden and carving a bowl out of a stone.  My book will help me with instructions for the carving the bowl.  I'll work on the bowl a couple hours a day until it's finished and then I would most likely start working on a stone pot.  I can use the bowl to cook over my fire with until my pot is finished.  

Included with the seeds that I brought would be a lot of things that I could overwinter in a crude hand dug ground cellar. such as sweet and regular potato, winter squash, storage onions, root veggies, and winter hardy greens.  

I would also harvest wood with my axe and begin to fashion tools and utensils with my knife.  I'd use the patterns in my book to help me with this.  I'll also begin working on a better shelter for the winter.  I'd spend a few hours daily on tending to my garden, building my winter shelter, and digging my ground cellar.  

I think this would all help me get a good start to hopefully surviving the winter.  
 
Skandi Rogers
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Skandi Rogers wrote:OK so you need water, food, shelter.. I am going to assume that the island is in "My" climate so I already know what I can and can't eat etc, and also that there is a source of water and we are not reliant on rain.

A large machete type knife, can cut small to medium wood and can be used for all knife work as well
A large stainless steel pot with lid. Essential to purify water, carry water, store water and cook in.
Lots of strong fishing line. Used for fishing but also for tying shelters together, snares and even repairing clothes.
Army style sleeping bag (waterproof cover) Sure you can make a romantic bed of leaves, but a 4 season sleeping bag is a lot more comfortable. (and reduces food use)
Seeds/tubers 5 years of fish would get real old...



Expanding on what I would do (theoretically of course, who knows how I would actually react)

There is a major issue with what time of year you are dropped in, early enough to plant seeds means too early for there to be anything really to eat. This is the classic hungry gap when starvation was a real issue. So I would want to be dropped in in the beginning of summer, when things have leafed out but before any berries or seeds become ready. I think that to begin with probably 90% of the food would come from the sea, mainly shellfish and seaweed. possibly small prawns/crabs as well depending on the type of beaches.

First day, find the water, find some snacks and walk round the entire island (could be a couple of days depending on size)
Pick the best spot for camp, close to water, the sea and preferably sheltered.
Collect a lot of firewood and get a fire going, probably using a bow drill.
Build a simple lean-to shelter out of whatever materials are to hand it doesn't need to be great all the heating and most of the waterproofing is being done by the sleeping bag.
clear out areas to plant and plant half of the quick growing vegetables, carrots, turnips, cabbages for winter and potatoes. All seeds of slower growers and the other half of the sown seeds would be stored somewhere dry for next year.

Now comes a whole load of things that need to be done concurrently.
Build a tidal fish trap, make storage containers, start making salt lots and lots of salt. collect huge amounts of firewood, hopefully driftwood would be plentiful as well. start collecting any storable food, actually a major issue would be food storage, in the climate I have set myself drying doesn't work. 70-80% humidity year round means you cannot keep anything dry outside of glass/plastic storage which I would not have, so only salting/smoking is available as a preservation method, possibly pickling as well, but that is pretty unsafe in such a setting and would require some form of container like pottery, clay may or may not be available, it could be a year 2+ preserving method after first making vinegar.
Build a new shelter, exactly what and how would depend on the island, if it had plentiful stone then use that for first choice, wood as second choice, and turf as last. The shelter would NOT have a chimney but a fireplace in the middle, smoke being let out near the roof or even through the roof. I'm thinking along the lines of bronze age roundhouses or viking longhouses depending on the materials available.

Last collect many things like nettle stems, willow whips, wood burrs etc winter is long and you need something to do, sitting in a shelter for 5 months eating stored food and doing not much else (doing anything costs energy) will soon drive anyone to suicide. mental health should not be forgotten.



 
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T.J. Stewart wrote:

Eric Hanson wrote:TJ,

You gave us a tent, was a sleeping bag a part of the tent?  Also was a jacket of some type clothing that was already included?

Eric



No, there's no tent.  Just a empty back pack that you can put 5 items in.  And, sorry but no layers, just a standard outfit.  


Vanessa, there are no cell towers on a stranded island. :)




Aww nutz! How am I supposed to get my daily dose of Permies? 😖😂
 
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For a five year term... I would take seeds including comfree and wormwood. Along with whatever vegis are allowed. A small "survival shovel with the axe edge. A nice warm synthetic insulated sleeping bag and a fishing kit. My leatherman multi tool and my fero rod.  A pot. If allowed as a comfort item my Sony snoop batteries and my solar charger from my thru hike back pack.  Or on an alternative plan... Put the deep rod in my thru-hike pack and remove the mini bick pulse what is in my pockets every day...lol but in a worst case senario... I could live the five years with the knowledge in my head. You cant loose knowledge... You cant use it up... And if it is taken from you lol... You won't need it any way. I have aplied to be on history channels show ALONE. Any one that has read this far should watch that show. Ps. I BELIEVE that I could win that show. Many one that wants to learn about survival should do a 3 or 400+ mile thru-hike. If you do you will learn things that even if you are told you couldn't understand... Like knowing it is 5 miles to the next shelter and you are in the dark in a Healy wooded Forrest in an ice storm with branches big enough to crush you comming down all around you from the wind and ice... You don't dare pitch a tent for fear of a branch or tree comming down on you... Knowing it is a 2 miles to the top and another three to the shelter... You learn things about your self on notes like that... I strongly suggest testing YOUR SELF it changes a person for the better. Although I also suggest not doing it in an ice storm on a mountain in the dark!!!
 
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A tool that I would choose OVER the axe(hands down) is a silky brand saw... Preferably a "big boy " or "katana" before you dissagree you should watch some YouTube on the silki saw.
 
Richard Stromberg
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Ok... I JUST REREAD THE RULES TO THIS THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: so 1. Seeds. 2 silki katana saw. 3 small pressure cooker type pot. 4.fishing kit with heavyweight braided line. 5 synthetic insulated sleeping bag.    After I was established I would sharpen the back of the saw to get a knife edge. Assuming there are rocks on said island.lol
 
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another fun similar thread

Assuming there is some small game & edible plants on the island & nothing too dangerous trying to eat me at every opportunity I'm going to go outside the typical box. I completely trust my survival training & Sasquatchy skills (because I practice them often) so here goes ...

1. A pregnant puppy almost ready to give birth.

2 & 3. A young rooster & a young hen.

4. A piece of thick solid wire.

5. A combination snorkel mask.

The puppy & her offspring can be trained to do many tasks & also provide good company. Tasty protein supply too. The birds can be bred for more birds. The wire is the best tool for flint napping I've ever found. The snorkel & mask would help with harvesting seafood & gathering all the useful floatsam & jetsam that is sure to be available.
 
Carla Burke
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I wanna revise my list!
A good-sized, strong, sharp pocket knife
Flint
Tarp
1 laying chicken
1 nigora goat, about to freshen for her 2nd or 3rd time

Most of this would be obvious, especially in light of my first post. But, the nigora is for warm snuggling on chilly nights (they're a very mild-mannered, affectionate breed), wool, milk, and optional meat. The 1st freshening is often a single kid, and can be very hard on the doe. But, subsequent ones typically bring 2 or 3 kids, increasing the likelihood of getting both genders, thus the start of a full herd. (*** we shall leave the ethics of 'linebreeding' out of the survival scenario, tyvm***)
 
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