What do you picture starting with? For example, you could indeed learn to fish with a net… if you had a net.
In An Island to Oneself, Tom Neale describes his years spent on the Suvarov atoll in the South Pacific. He, of course, planned his residency there, and didn’t lack for basic survival tools… but even so, he tells the story of his first visitors to the island, two couples dailing a yacht around the South Pacific. He tried to show them how to fish in the shallows with a spear… despite thier best efforts, they could catch nothing, while he was loaded up with fish for lunch for all of them in short order.
Now, admittedly, you’d be more highly motivated, and have longer to practice. But some of the techniques he mentions probably have to be taught.
It’s those kinds of things that make me think there’s something to be said for knowing what you’re about ahead of time.
I’d be just fine. So long as there’s fresh water, fruits & veggies, maybe some fish or crab or big roastable bugs for protein.
No problem. First I’d more or less landscape my little area. Then I’d slowly befriend some critter. A bird, or lizard, or mouse or something. Feed it everyday until it overcame its fear of me, and spend greater & greater amounts of time with me.
Yup. I could live out the rest of my life like that. I’m sure I’d get eccentric. I’d create a sundial of sorts, monitor the time of year. Make up my own traditions, rituals, dances, songs, etc.
When the rescuers came, they’d find me naked, or mostly naked. Elaborately painted, my hair long & braided & dread-locked with twigs & leaves in it, dancing around the fire with my pet bird or lizard on my shoulder. They’d think I was insane.
I think I’d do okay. I’ve read The Mysterious Island six times, so I don’t think it’d take me very long to manufacture nitroglycerine, domesticate a herd of sheep and flocks of fowl, plant a garden, build a pottery kiln, smelt some iron, plant a garden, dam the river, build some bridges, mill my own flour, and teach an orangutan to smoke a pipe and wait on me hand and foot.
When I got bored I’d build a schooner with a full set of sails and go visit other islands with my orangutan.
“[Crusoe] manages to fetch arms, tools and other supplies from the ship before it breaks apart and sinks. He proceeds to build a fenced-in habitation and cave, keeps a calendar by making marks in a piece of wood. He hunts, grows corn, learns to make pottery, raises goats etc”
In that situation, I think I could survive for a while but all alone without tools? Maybe a couple months at most. I have no idea how to hunt, nor do I know what plants are edible. It’d only be a matter of time before I ate some tasty looking berry only to discover its highly toxic.