Desert Island Life

The Island of Lost, the inspiration behind one of our new ‘Set Jetting’ trips, inspires both wanderlust for a remote, tropical get away and questions of what it would be really like to be stranded on a unknown, desert island with absolutely nothing but your wits and what your new home can provide you with.

While the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 had to contend with perplexing polar bears, an eerie cloud of black smoke and the mysterious Others, if you find yourself marooned on an uninhabited island all you have to worry about is tackling and mastering the unknown environment.

While the likelihood of being beached on a desert island with an exciting, completely new way of life ahead of you is unlikely, Epic Tomato are on hand to offer you the next best option. An expert on intrepid travel, Epic Tomato’s Rob gives you his four steps to island survival:



Gather anything you can, debris from your boat, bits of wood, general junk, as everything can be adapted with your ingenuity to offer multiple uses. These random items will come in handy when constructing your bedding, shelter walls, clothes and footwear. For example, wellies are not only perfect for protecting your feet from sharp coral and poisonous cone shells whilst foraging for seafood but can also be used to store rainwater.


While the sandy, dry landscape may be overwhelming at first, don’t lose hope. If your island has vegetation such as palm trees or coconut tress there will be water for you to salvage as well as providing you with large leaves to help capture the rain water from thunderstorms.

However tempting it may seem when you are desperate, never drink sea water. A pit style solar still will help you produce water. Search for signs of dried out river beds and dig a few curved holes exposing the moist subsoil underneath. Fill these holes with plants and place a mug or canteen in the center then tightly wrap a plastic sheet across the top. Place a rock in the center causing the condensation from the plants to collect on the plastic and drip into the container. One satisfying, if long winded, glass of water.



A sturdy shelter is vital to protect yourself from the elements. Get to work using the debris you’ve collected along with branches, leaves and bark to construct your perfect hideaway from the swarms of tropical bugs and torrential tropical rainstorms. Important factors to consider when building your new home include not resting underneath coconut trees and sleeping off the cold floor to avoid hypothermia and possible snakes.


Molluscs, clams, mussels, and fish can all be eaten and will provide you with necessary protein. Search for a rock-pool that fills up with the incoming tide, trapping your next dinner when the tide recedes. However you need to be careful of the poisonous risks of sourcing your own food. Stir clear of venomous sea snakes, suspicious berries and mushrooms. Cook your food wherever possible to kill parasites and denature any poison, using a hollowed out coconut as a pan.


Once you have the basics mastered of clean water, edible food, a sturdy shelter and a campfire not only will survival of this ultimate test of human endurance be possible, you will have the tools to create your own boutique luxury resort equipped with woven banana leaf hammocks, coconut cocktails and the freshest seafood menu enjoyed al fresco around the campfire. The perfect, idyllic place to await your heroic rescue.

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