RAGs’ Survival Success on Rare Island

Posted on : April 8, 2016

Over the weekend eight students from four different RAG societies embarked on a non-stop survival experience ashore the pebble-strewn beach of Rare Island -but who would become the ultimate survivor?

Each RAG team competed in survival challenges across the weekend to try and win £1000 for a charity of their choice.


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The experience began with the castaway students lying belly-down on the beach. Standing over them were John and Paul, two former Royal Marines Commandos, who would be their instructors and key to learning how to survive on the island. “You are now castaways” John exclaimed, looking down at them, “and have been washed up on the shores of Rare Island! Rescue is far away, and the weather could change at any moment. So first things first you’ll need to build your shelter!”


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The group quickly headed inland where they worked in teams to build bivvy shelters to last them through the cold of the night, and a communal shelter to keep their kit from the elements.




John then began teaching critical skills to the castaways in order to help them survive, from knowledge on how to light a decent fire to cook food and keep warm, to exploring the island in order to assess resources and how they could best survive from natural materials on the land. Matt, from Birmingham’s Carnival RAG, commented that ”John and Paul are both incredible people who really knew what they were talking about. I learnt a huge amount about how you can make the most of limited resources to make sure you are able to live outdoors in relative comfort.”


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Being on an island, one of the main food resources that became apparent was fish, and Paul demonstrated to the castaways how to correctly gut and cook their fish over their newly made fires. With the sun beaming down on the group and without any rainwater to collect, the castaways also learnt how it was possible to purify seawater using a pot over the fire with a rag.


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Once the RAG teams learnt the basics, each survival challenge became a competition of speed and ability; judged by our survival experts, the team demonstrating the best survival skills in each challenge would win Rare Bullion! The team with the most bullion by the end of the weekend would win the amazing £1000 donation from Rare Adventures to their charity of choice.


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The castaways embraced every survival activity, from rushing around the island to complete an orienteering challenge, to whittling away at wooden sticks around the fire to see who could create the best utensil from a piece of natural material.


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On the final day the fire was lit to a hearty breakfast before commencing further challenges -learning critical skills in knot-tying to assist in all kinds of survival scenarios, and finally creating survival weapons that could be used to catch a potential dinner! The castaways particularly enjoyed this challenge and finding the right materials to build slingshots, catapults and bows and arrows, with Julia from LSE RAG adding “I really enjoyed becoming a two person human, stick-assisted catapult!”




Having successfully survived for the duration of the weekend, the Rare Bullion was counted, and we are pleased to announce that LSE RAG won our ‘Rare Wilson’ trophy, along with £1000 towards their nominated charity, Mind. All teams fully engaged with each challenge and although it was a tough weekend that was non-stop in learning new skills, all of our castaways had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Lewis, from Southampton Solent RAG, summarised his time on Rare Island as ”you are washed up on the island and need to get everything sorted in your team, from getting shelter from the elements to starting your own fire and cooking your own meals. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know a large range of survival skills which could one day save your life.”




If you think you have what it takes to survive on Rare Island, then you can find out more information here!


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    RAGs’ Survival Success on Rare Island
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