How Long Would You Survive on a Deserted Island?

By: Elisabeth Henderson
Image: Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Let’s admit it: our ancestors had a lot more know-how than we do. Most Americans rely entirely on the grocery store and restaurants for their food supply and hire a handyman when something breaks in the house or car. A few generations ago, most Americans would have known how to milk a cow, but these days a stunning 7% of Americans—16.4 million people—believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to the Washington Post. Needless to say, we’re a bit disconnected from our food sources. 

How does our disconnection from where our food comes from and how our homes work translate into our potential to survive? If your only experience with finding food is choosing between brands, then it may be quite a challenge to forage for edible plants or trap animals in the wild. Likewise, if your home maintenance know-how consists of finding the handyman’s number, you may have trouble constructing a lean-to. 

Maybe you’re not disconnected from the elements of survival, though. Maybe you’re the person who everyone wants close by when disaster strikes. If that’s you, then you know that surviving in the wild doesn’t happen by accident. Survival depends on cultivating the skills to find food and drinking water, construct shelter, and keep sane while nature unloads the unexpected on your vulnerable body. 

Take this quiz to find out what you’re made of! 

If you find yourself lost in the woods, what do you do?

How would you construct a shelter if stranded on an island?

When the toilet breaks in your house, what do you do?

How familiar are you with what edible plants grow in your area?

If you do not have matches, how will you light a fire?

Why would you want to build a fire?

How do you feel about sleeping outside?

How long can a human survive without water?

How would you go about finding water on a deserted island?

How would you find food on the deserted island?

How comfortable are you with sleeping on the ground?

What does the prospect of being far from civilization bring to mind?

How would you purify the water you find on the island?

What is the most natural way you get your food?

If you need bookshelves for your home, what do you do?

How would you protect yourself against the sun on a deserted island?

What is a likely source of protein you could gather if stranded on an island?

If you were unable to find fresh water and you were getting dehydrated, what would you try?

If it got cold at night and you were stranded without any provisions, how might you try to stay warm?

What would you do to keep your mind occupied if you were stranded alone?

If you fell into a narrow canyon and had your hand irretrievably stuck between a boulder and the wall, what would you do?

What kind of exercise do you do that may come in handy on an island?

If you spot a ship in the distance, how might you get its attention?

What is the most extreme situation you have survived?

Would it be better to be alone or with others if you were stranded?

Which type of reality TV would you be most likely to watch?

What is the most crucial ingredient to gather for building a fire?

How might you use clothing to gather water?

What would you do if a wild animal approached your shelter at night?

What should you be careful of when eating a lizard?

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