MakeShift Challenge: Survive a Deserted Island: Most Creative Entry

Ben Bond’s Most Creative Winning Entry
by Lee D. Zlotoff
March 30, 2007

Items Used:

Sleeve from waterproof jacket
Something cylindrical (hollow log)
Charcoal, self-made of course


The Charcoal Filter:

1. First you must find something cylindrical that can be packed with sand without losing its shape.

2. Once you’ve found your cylinder, tie a portion of your T-shirt to the bottom, closing that end of the cylinder.

3. You then need to pack the cylinder about 1/3 of the way with sand.

4. Build yourself a fire with supplies from your surroundings (twigs, wood).

5. Now to make the charcoal, you need to cook some wood (but don’t turn it into ashes).

6. Scrape away the outer charcoal layer into the cylinder on top of the sand layer.

7. Continue the process until you have another 1/3 of the cylinder filled.

8. Add another layer of sand on top of the charcoal layer to just below the top of the cylinder.

The Reservoir:

1. Dig a little tunnel just a bit smaller than the diameter of the cylinder (see Figure 1).

2. Line the tunnel with a sleeve from your waterproof jacket.

3. Place the filter on one end of the sleeve and prop it up with rocks.

[This image is no longer available]
Fig. 1: Charcoal filter and water reservoir.

You can now pour salt water in at the top and get fresh water at the bottom that will collect in the makeshift reservoir.

You can also use the other sleeve as a canteen for when you are out foraging for food.

> MakeShift 08: Analysis, Commentary, and Winners