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MacGyver Challenge

  1. Jan 15, 2005 #1
    OK, so this is not really a challenge but more of a questionaire (sorry to disappoint you). I was going to ask this question in this room and the engineering room to see both sides of the story. But hopefully we will get plenty of both in here. Since I am only posting it in this room, please give a few word background as to your education (student / graduate - physics / engineering / chemistry / ect).

    The Situation:

    You are about to be stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. There are no buildings, commercial power sources, or other people. Assume it is a normal island (located in the middle of nowhere is normal I guess) with the typical animals and landscape.

    All you get to take with you is normal street clothes you will be wearing (jeans, t-shirt, shoes, ect), one book of your choice, and one object (such as a fork, knife, ect) without a power source (meaning if you take a radio, you dont get to take batteries).

    You will have to survive roughly 30 days before you are picked up unless you find a way to signal for help. But in 30 days a rescue party will retrive you if you are still alive.

    What book would you take with you and why?

    What object would you take with you and why?

    I am posting this in hopes of getting some good thoughtful answers but I think the sarcastic ones will be worth reading too. :biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2005 #2
    Hi, I am new here, but here goes:

    Profile: Independent Contractor Engineer in Semiconductor Design & Embedded Systems; College, Engineering Electronics, Background, Immigrant from Asian Pacific Islands

    If I only can take whatever 2 Items to survive here it is:
    1. A knife with a highly reflective finnish - to use to get food or protect yourself, and used it to signal any potential rescuers during daylight (like a mirror!)
    2. A book on survival training - Here's a link from Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/...104-9707263-3463917?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 :wink:

    Anyway, regardless if I had none of the above, I would try to find somehow to obtain drinkable water. Without water you will last only 2-3 days, must shorter than without food (5-7 days). During that time, you should keep yourself busy by planning for shelter and be aware of your surroundings (those critters may want you for a snack!). :uhh:

    I hope this helps.


    "Simplicity, in many ways, is Elegant!"
  4. Jan 15, 2005 #3


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    PhD - Animal Sciences (or if you're looking for more general info, biology).

    US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76
    by Department of Defense

    Well, that or some similar wilderness survival guide. The version sold on Amazon says it has color pictures of the plants described, which seems useful, and the reviews said this one is pretty comprehensive.

    I'm having a tough time deciding on this one. I'm somewhat torn between one of those leatherman tools (has both pliers and a knife in it, which sounds like it would come in handy), a fishing pole (but not sure if the pole, reel and hook would count as more than one thing...not much use if I can't bring the whole set-up), or a big sheet of plastic...ooh, or maybe mylar (would have multiple uses: collecting rainwater to have fresh drinking water, wrap it around myself as some protection from wind, lie it on the ground to keep me dry while sleeping, use it as a blanket, or keep it as just a big shiny thing to attract crows toward a trap so I can eat them). I think I'm leaning toward the mylar, but I might want to read through the survival guide before I make a final decision on that. :biggrin:
  5. Jan 15, 2005 #4
    middle of nowhere? regular animals? penguins? polar bears? I couldn't survive 30 days on a cold iceberg so I'll go along with the tropical paradise.
    Item: Magnifying glass- start me a fire right away,
    Book: something with soft pages. Who has time to read when you are trying to survive? At least this way I wouldn't have to contend with poison ivy rashes on my bum.
  6. Jan 15, 2005 #5


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    Question : Is a Swiss Army Knife "one thing" ?
  7. Jan 15, 2005 #6
    Is a collection of short stories "one book"
  8. Jan 15, 2005 #7

    I am a college sophmore majoring in math ed.

    Only need one thing: GPS.

    edit... but taking a gps system would be no fun.

    What I would really take as my object is... Tyra Banks maybe, hmm have to think about that one. Book, maybe something by Dr. Ruth :rofl:
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2005
  9. Jan 15, 2005 #8
    high school student

    Wilson! of course
    and, of course, the Hitchhiker's trilogy
  10. Jan 15, 2005 #9


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    Mech Eng university student, some survival training... woo!

    - Good knife with shiny blade.
    - The biggest book I could lay my hands on, would make fantastic kindling for fire lighting, and if it was REALLY big with one of those shiny covers perhaps it would double up as a tarp.... (yeah, I said REALLY big...!)
  11. Jan 15, 2005 #10
    Tropical island with plenty-O-trees?

    Something with large lettering because I’ll need to sacrifice reading glasses in favor of other object.

    Quality-made sharpened machete because I cannot have a file and it will take a little time to find a nice rock (or boulder) to keep it sharp with.
  12. Jan 15, 2005 #11
    Swiss Army Knife is one thing. If I said otherwise, MacGyver would kill me. :rofl:

    I would consider reading glasses part of your 'street clothes'. :approve:

    And the many pages to avoid rashes from poison ivy in places you DO NOT WANT poison ivy... thats a classic. :biggrin:
  13. Jan 15, 2005 #12


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    I can't see needing most of the clever things that come in a swiss army knife on this island, but a good machete would be very useful. I would also take a good survival book that way I'll know which leaves won't make me itch. :approve:
  14. Jan 15, 2005 #13


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  15. Jan 15, 2005 #14


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  16. Jan 16, 2005 #15


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    This tool would defintely work with a hungry beast which would try to eat you.Hey,u can tickle his belly with the screwdriver while hitting him in the head with the big book with hard cover and soft pages,preferably the bible...

  17. Jan 16, 2005 #16


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    Problem with these fancy Victornox ones is that you don't want to use them! My cousin bought me one during her trip to Europe, and it even had my name engraved on it (B'day gift, not just a souvenir from her trip, otherwise it may have been one of those "I just got this lousy T-shirt" instances). =D

    Yeah, and I don't really have the heart to use it to...open cans. I already had a cheap dollar store version that I use when I need it. But its blade has dulled already...and I can't be bothered to sharpen it. What did I expect? It's not Victorinox! Catch 22...
  18. Jan 16, 2005 #17
  19. Jan 16, 2005 #18
    1. 1001 things to do on a deserted Island

    2. My superman costume so I can fly away, party, get drunk with superbabe, save the world, kill the badguy and get the girl before returning back to the island on time to be rescued without giving away my secret identity.
  20. Jan 16, 2005 #19


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    Yeah, forget about Kryptonite. All it takes to disable Superman is stealing his costume !
  21. Jan 19, 2005 #20
    If there's a radio tranceiver with design features based on copper and zinc (separate, not in an alloy) I'd bring that. Guess why!
    But I guess there aren't many of those around...and what are the odds of having enough range to be resqued?
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