We bet there’s a few of you out there who’ve walked on one of Sri Lanka’s lush tropical beaches on a moonlit night and asked yourselves: What would it be like to do a Tom Hanks in Cast Away?

It’s never going to happen here, obviously, and certainly not with Pledge Holidays … but just in case, we’re posting The Telegraph UK’s just-in-case survival guide for upmarket types who like to hedge their bets.

Former Royal Navy lieutenant commander Paul Hart writes: “Spending time lying on a palm-fringed beach, with tropical blue waters lapping at your feet, might seem like the perfect holiday!

“But what if there was no umbrella to keep the sun off your head, no waiter to bring you a frosted glass of beer and no hotel to retreat to in the evening for a welcome shower and hot meal?”

His first words of advice—easy to say—are: “Don’t panic. The first thing to remember, if you find yourself alone and in a survival situation, is that a positive and optimistic frame of mind can be the difference between life and death.

“There are many examples where people with no survival experience have managed to remain alive for extremely long periods before being rescued.”

And the keys to survival? A pair of wellies (knee-high rubber galoshes), and coconuts—which we’ve got a lot of (see below)!

He writes: “I used to run an exercise that tested participants on what piece of equipment they would choose first if their boat was wrecked on a coral reef, near a desert island. Invariably, they would choose water or something to start a fire.

“The correct answer was a pair of wellies, so that they could wade ashore without getting cut on the coral. Just as bad on such coasts are cone shells, which shoot out poisonous barbs – some of which can kill an adult.”

He concludes: “There are many more ways to make survival a reality if you find yourself trapped on a desert island. If you can somehow make sure you have your iPhone, a solar-charger and the SAS Survival App installed on the phone, then your chances of survival will improve massively.”

Read the full guide here.

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