How could I survive and live alone

Survival Guide: How do you survive on a desert island?

The fictional character "Robinson Crusoe" showed the way: survival on a lonely island. Much of what is portrayed in stories and films applies, howeverNottowards reality. Together with survival expert Rüdiger Nehberg, we will give you some tips on how to best survive on a desert island.

Make a fire yourself or catch the food with your own hands: Many people indulge in the romantic idea of ​​living on a lonely island on their own. But how hard is it? What should you definitely do if you get caught in such a situation unprepared? A survival expert will share tips on how to best survive days as a modern day Robinson Crusoe.

1. Keep a cool head: This is how you should generally proceed

If you find yourself suddenly alone on a desert island, try one thing above all: to keep a cool head. Before you panic, there is one thing you should be aware of: you are still alive; It doesn't matter whether you were washed ashore after a shipwreck or made it there on your own.

"You will instinctively do a lot of things right now. That reduces panic," says the author of the bestseller "Survival for Perishing", Rüdiger Nehberg. And that's a good thing, because you need a clear head to prepare for the following steps.

2. Create a practical place to sleep

Temperatures drop at night. It is therefore important that you find a place where you sleep that is as well protected from the wind as possible. Survival expert Nehberg advises digging a hollow and covering it with thick grass to protect it from the cold of the ground.

Grass can act as good insulation. Nehberg therefore recommends adding grass to clothing and using it as a warming sleeping bag. "Bareheaded people like me also make headgear. You lose a lot of body heat through your head," says the expert.

3. Essential: Look for drinking water

Problems with the circulation, the muscles and the decline in our mental performance: the less water our body has, the worse it is.

An adult can survive without water for about three days. If you are stranded, it is therefore important that you get fresh drinking water quickly. However, this becomes difficult when you are surrounded by salt water.

Nehberg recommends digging a hole a few meters from the sea water "until seepage water penetrates". The special thing about this trick: while the first few liters still have to be removed, it is followed by drinkable water, which, according to the survival experts, contains almost no salt.

4. Foraging by the sea and on the island

The good thing first: People can last much longer without food than without water. The survival expert says that you can go without food for up to four weeks and the feeling of hunger disappears after three days. So if you have to go without food for the first few days, don't panic.

Another positive fact: you can find food both on the island and in the sea. So you have several options on how to satisfy your hunger. "Mussels that can be eaten raw are ideal on the seashore," says Nehberg. "They are sitting in bundles on rocks in the sea."

You can also catch fish in the sea. The author recommends using a straight stick with short-cut, sharpened forks as barbs. And you have to be patient. The survival expert explains that you should only stab the fishing gear manufactured when the fish is exactly vertically underneath.

If you are not lucky with your food search by the sea, you still have the inside of the island. For example, you can use a trap to lure animals into a trap. Whichever trap you want to use to catch the animals, Nehberg gives the tip to "force" the animals into the trap for success.

In order to achieve this, "the path is blocked for them (the animals) with branches in a funnel shape so that they have to go through - or over them." And Nehberg adds: "But the world's safest food is insects - the fillet steaks of the starving."

5. Find your way in a strange paradise

Once you've taken care of food, water, and a good place to sleep, the next step should be exploring the island. While doing this, keep an eye out for anything that could improve your situation.

This does not only include other foods. Wood and leaves are also important objects that you should keep a close eye on. The survival expert says: "Perhaps you will find a better place to stay. Perhaps you will find wood and large leaves for building a roof. Or firewood."

6. Effectively prevent dangers

While your private island might look harmless from the outside, you should be prepared for possible dangers. The survival expert therefore advises having sticks or stones ready. Blades can also be knocked out of hard stones. You can use them as a knife, ax or scalpel.

"Dangerous animals are not to be expected on lonely islands," said Nehberg. At most, you might encounter scorpions, snakes, or spiders. You should either avoid them or include them in the menu as food.

Nehberg also has a tip for "encounters with aggressive people": "Small stone fragments, well hidden on the body, are the last weapon of self-defense". He also points out that injuries such as broken bones can be particularly dangerous on a desert island. You should therefore avoid moving through unknown terrain without concentrating.

7. Keep warm by a fire

At night it can quickly get very cold in some regions. So a warm fire is very important. As already mentioned, you should therefore keep an eye out for firewood.

How difficult it is to ignite depends in part on what objects you are carrying. Glasses and tampons, for example, are little helpers here. "Anyone who knows the tampon trick can use it to create embers and fire very easily through friction," says Nehberg. It works like this: Take the tampon out of the plastic packaging. Now loosen the hygiene article, pluck the cotton wool apart and put some ash or sand on it. Then roll it up again. Place a piece of wood on the package and roll it back and forth with it. Use a lot of pressure and do not take a break if possible. The friction creates heat and, after a while, embers. Gently blow into the embers and hold the tinder against it. With a little skill, this creates fire.

The expert explains that fire can also be generated by friction between different hard, dry woods - provided that the climatic conditions are dry and hot. He points out, however, that a speed bow is required for this, in the tendon of which a dry round stick made of soft wood is stretched. "With strong pressure from a stone on the round rod, it is rotated quickly back and forth on harder wood. The smoke generated can then be kindled to embers by blowing on it." The bow rope can be made from a strip of jeans, for example. However, Nehberg points out that intact pants are also important for protection and warmth.

8. SOS Signs and Flags: How to Find Help

Of course you have to get off the island somehow. There are several ways to get others noticed.

For example, you can build an SOS sign on the beach from stones or dry wood. If you only have a few objects at hand, you can also use the sand on the beach for them. Note that the letters must be big enough so that they can be easily seen from airplanes. "Big fires, smoke and a flag to waving are also ideal," says Nehberg.

It is always better to be safe than sorry. So make a note of the survival tips to keep a cool head in any situation. In addition: "Preparing for all conceivable emergencies are just as exciting as the trip itself," says Nehberg.