Saturday, February 3, 2007

Shipwrecked! What Would YOU Bring?

Nomanisan IslandYou slowly awaken to the warmth of sunlight, the gentle crash of waves, and the taste of salt upon your dry lips. You look around to find yourself inside a half-shredded rubber life raft on the beach of a small tropical island.

You don't know where you are. You don't know how you got there. You have only a vague memory of the roar of strong winds, flickering flames, screams of the dying, and of tossing a few items into the flimsy raft before fear and darkness overtook your senses.

No, you haven't awoken to find yourself as Tom Hanks in Cast Away. Rather this is one of those What If games you have likely played with friends and family, or lying awake in bed trying to sleep.

In this What If, you are shipwrecked on an unihabited, tropical island in the middle of who-knows-where with no hope of rescue. You get to choose any 10 items to have with you (not including a set of clothing you are wearing and the shredded inflatable raft). There are caveats, however.

¤ No item may electronic in nature. That is, you may not take water-proof, solar powered, satellite phones, indestructible, self powered HAM radios, or things like that.

¤ The items must be a real items. No pocket teleporters, no cold fusion jetpacks, no Star Trek communicators.

¤ No item may be bigger than you could easily carry and place into a raft or weigh more than 10 pounds each. So, taking along a fiberglass, double-hulled personal watercraft and 30 gallons of fuel is out of the question. Or, that 240 pound safe full of money and jewels, either.

¤ No All-in-One kits. There are hundreds of survival and camping kits with dozens of items in them you can purchase, but for this game, they are not allowed. You can have multi-function tools, or small kits like a fishing kit with some line, hooks, and a bobber, but not a generic all-in-one style kit. That'd just be too easy!

¤ You may bring only one type of medicine, but you don't have to worry about any pre-existing real medical conditions; your What If avatar is in reasonably good health and physically fit.

¤ One item must be a luxury item that fits within the above guidelines. A picture of your family, a small case of scotch, or a volleyball are some examples. It may not be a tool or have other obvious uses besides being comforting to have, hold, or use.

¤ Other than the 10 items you choose, you only have the shredded inflatbale raft and the clothes on your back (shirt, socks, shoes, pants, etc).

With these restrictions in mind, and having the foreknowledge that you will be on a tropical island for a very long time, what 10 things would you bring?

Here is my list:

  1. Hand Axe - One of those nice camping ones with the rubber grip and saw that fits inside the handle. (Like this one!) So many uses for this.
  2. Multi-Tool Pocketknife - Sometimes generically called Swiss Army knives. A couple utility blades, an awl, small scissors, fish scaler, hooked blade, and magnifying glass at minimum.
  3. Duct Tape - A huge roll of it. The good kind. It sounds funny, but I can think of a hundred uses for it right now on our imaginary island, and probabaly find a thousand more. Used sparingly it could be one of the more important tools.
  4. A Fire Starter Tool - There are many types out there; from simple matches to modren takes on flint and steel. I'd want the Light My Fire tool, preferably the bigger one.
  5. Nylon Cord - The thin kind, sometimes called parachute cord, and as much as I could get, but for this game I'll say 50'. It can be used for fishing, snares, tying stuff together, etc.
  6. Aspirin - The most useful, common drug you can get. Figure at least a large bottle, or a few small ones.
  7. Fishing Kit - Some fishing line and hooks, basically. I'd want something with a good test pull to it.
  8. Survival Manual - Because I know very little about what to do. And, I doubt SurvivorMan or Man vs. Wild has prepared me. (A hard copy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual FM 21-76 would be good. It's online, too.)
  9. Survival Blanket - I can sleep in in, I could 'wear' it, use it for shelter or ground cover. Very useful. (Something like this one.)
  10. Tennis Ball - No, I wouldn't call it Spalding or Penn. This is my luxury item. No real use to it, but I could amuse myself for hours with it. I have one on my desk, right now, that I hold, squeeze, or spin in my hand when I think or an agitated. Like Tom Hank's volleyball, I think my tennis ball would help me stay sane.
I had a few other items I debated on placing on the list: a collapsible shovel, one of those flashlights you shake to make work, a sleeping bag, a tent, a hunting knife. But, I decided the others would be more useful to me.

Share what you would bring with us in the comments section. Even if it's just your luxury item.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 34 days is:



Dawn said...

I like your list. My family plays this type of game all the time. Like what would you pick to drink if you could only have one other drink besides water for the rest of your life. Or if you could only read one author, who would it be. I would bring the same as you except my luxury thing would be a plastic gallon jug of water. I could drink it, then use it to carry other water in.

Jonathan said...

01. 10 lbs of nylon rope
02. Swiss army knife (an expensive, durable one), containing (minimally)
- Magnifying glass
- Saw extension
- Regular knife blade
- Smaller knife blade
- Scissors
03. Wind-up flashlight (the bulb might burn out, but it would be convenient to get me started)
04. Survival blanket
05. A good medium-sized hatchet - small enough to carry for a while, but large enough to get some swing to chop trees
06. 10 lbs of tarp
07. Lots of durable twine/string
08. 10lb Bag of medium-sized thick towels
09. 10lb container of rubbing alcohol
10. Etch-a-sketch: the kind with a magnet pen

I thought about bringing a good compound bow and arrow set, but then I realized that I might wear out the string on it, and the arrows would inevitably become worn and broken, so I gave it up. If there are animals/fish to hunt, I'd try to develop traps and/or use spears (which could be carved from branches using the axe and pocket knife) instead.

I picked the etch-a-sketch because I think it would last a fairly long time and I love to just sit and write when I'm bored... even if I don't save the stuff.

Jon said...

PS... I wrote that last comment (as 'Jonathan'), but Blogger/Google apparently had me logged in under another account. Anyhow, just thought I'd say I've read through your blog a bit and I'm enjoying it.

Zepharia Andres said...

I felt it shelter to speak to you.
See the link below for more info.


Shea Kang said...

You are not a product of your circumstances. You are a product of your decisions.

Jon said...

Unique Outdoor Survival Skills

Don't you find it ironic that even with all this scandalously expensive education, people today know so little?

If they can't even fix their car, how are they supposed to handle a - let's say - long term food shortage?

You can't possibly hope they'd know how to garden and produce their own food, save seeds for next year, and use leaves plowed under to fertilize the soil.

Not to mention trapping, catching, skinning and cooking a rabbit...

These may seem advanced outdoor survival skills now, but back in the days, they were merely called "Living".

Watch this short video now and discover a set of unique and fantastic survival skills used and perfected by our ancestors.

Don't wait for the next crisis to hit and live to regret you had the chance to learn these skills but didn't.

Click here to watch video!

Thanks again.