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4 Important Skills You’ll Need for a Desert Island Survival Venture

In the unlikely event that you end up stranded on a desert island due to a boat or plane accident, knowing basic survival skills is the only way you’ll get through what could be a difficult and testing time. Here at Bushmasters, we wholly encourage our readers to learn basic survival skills – after all, you’ll never know when you’re next going to need them! Below, we have offered four key skills that any desert island enthusiast should master before stepping foot on a desert island survival venture.

You’ll need to know…

How to Swim

For your own safety, Bushmasters would not recommend voluntarily visiting a desert island if you have not yet learnt how to swim, or you’ll very quickly become encumbered by the large body of water that surrounds the land! Swimming is a key survival skill – you’ll want to wade into the water to fish, make fresh water, and more. If you are knocked off your feet and can’t gain your bearings, the ability to swim to shore is ideal to avoid being swept away with the current and drowning.

How to build a shelter

Despite the assumption that desert islands remain calm, sunny, and humid all year round, the sunset can bring a myriad of problems for islands in certain locations. Night thunderstorms can cause hypothermia in the desert wanderer, which is why it is integral that you are able to build a shelter as soon as you arrive on the island. Try to create a shelter that is off the ground, bettering your chances that you won’t be bitten by insects or encounter curious snakes. To create an easy shelter, simply find a large branch and gently lean it against a tree trunk, covering the entire structure with spare leaves or foliage lying around to ensure you are protected from the sun or the harsh nighttime storms.

How to acquire fresh water

You can only survive a few days without fresh water, and this thirst is increased tenfold when in a hot climate. It is imperative that you don’t succumb to temptation and try to drink the ocean water – you will only end up thirstier. Seawater is about 3% salt, and our kidneys can only make urine with liquid composed of less than 2% salt. This ultimately means that our kidneys would have to work faster and harder to get rid of the liquid, using up water already stored in the body and draining vital energy. If the island is your quintessential desert island, you’ll find refreshing coconuts or vines of which you can open for fresh water. In our previous blog, Learning Basic Jungle Survival Skills, we covered how one could acquire fresh water in the wild.

How to give basic first aid

A desert island can be a dangerous place, especially if you aren’t accustomed to the sometimes severe temperature changes and wild inhabitants. If you find yourself with a painful cut, be sure to squeeze the skin together and wash the cut out in fresh water. If the gash is deep, elevate the affected area above heart level to reduce bleeding.

Not sure you’ve got what it takes to survive on a desert island?

With Bushmasters, you can find out for yourself! During a Bushmasters desert island survival venture, our specialist instructors spend time teaching the participants how to survive within the often harsh desert environment. They train the adventurers in a variety of tasks vital for island survival, offering advice on aspects such as starting a fire, catching and cooking a fish, and improvising shelter. The participants then get the chance to test all their newly acquired skills in a real life, practical desert island setting.

If you’re interested to know more about our desert island survival venture, take a look at our Dates & Costs page to discover when our 2017/2018 island ventures are setting sail. Alternatively, drop an email to and the team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the desert island survival venture.