WATCH: Christen Harper Learns How to Survive on a Tropical Island

Learn how to survive on a deserted island alongside this SI Swimsuit rookie.

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In this episode of “Explore With Swim,” 2022 SI Swimsuit rookie Christen Harper learns survival skills in Barbados.

While Barbados is certainly not a deserted island, Harper is going to learn what she should do if she ever finds herself stranded on one. Survival guide Philip King shows Harper the ropes when it comes to roughing it on a tropical island, teaching her everything from how to find food to how to escape the beating sun.

Harper starts out by meeting King on the beach, where he has her show him what she has brought along in her beach bag..

“So what have you brought?” he asks.

“I brought just the important stuff. A bikini, so I can get some tanning in, a mirror and my cell phone,” answers Harper, who has clearly packed for a vacation, not a survival mission.

King explains that one of the first things you need to do in the tropics is find shelter from the sun. He shows her that the rock formations on the beach could be a great place to find shelter from the sun in a pinch, at least until the tide comes in (at which point you would have to move locations). “Some of our caves actually have running water and the beauty of Barbados is that we do not have any dangerous animals,” he notes.

The duo takes a rest from the sun and then it is time to move to the next lesson. As they walk along the shoreline he gives some sage advice, saying, “Everything you see is a potential benefit. For example, you see a lot of little crabs running around. Look at this. We call it Sea Beef.”

He then goes on to show Harper that small sea snails can be eaten raw as a snack. Turns out, there are many options on Barbados when it comes to scavenging things to eat. Papaya and starfruit can both be found growing in the wild and are both a great source of nutrients for any might-be castaways.

After enjoying a healthy snack of papaya and starfruit, King tells Harper about another fruit that is plentiful in Barbados, breadfruit.

“Can you eat this raw?” she asks.

“Unfortunately, no we cannot eat this raw. So we roast it.” he says.

This brings us to the next lesson of the day, starting a fire with only minimal tools. King shows Harper how to start a fire with dry wood and dry coconut kindling before roasting the breadfruit right in the fire.

To eat the cooked breadfruit, King slices it open and shows Harper what the fruit now looks like. Harper reacts, “It smells like a baked potato. That is delicious!”.

They end the day by enjoying some fresh coconut water while Harper wraps up what she learned. “Today we learned so much. I learned how to find shelter, how to live off the land with the fruits and the vegetables and the little sea critters.”