Adventurer will live 300 days as Robinson Crusoe

From the Private Islands Blog:
French explorer and adventurer Xavier Rosset is about to embark on a 300 day trip to live alone on a remote tropical island in the South Pacific. His adventures will be filmed and used for a 52 minute documentary.

Xavier’s only luggage will be a Swiss army knife, machete[,] video camera, and a solar panel for charging the camera. He will spend 10 months alone on an island to develop another way of life through an exciting adventure, a return to the elemental sources. Xavier will survive alone on an island without human interference and without polluting emissions.

The ambition of this documentary is to make a reflection on our lifestyle, our current system and our relationship to nature. And the most important thing is to put the dream and emotion at the heart of adventure natural.

He will find timber to build a shelter, feed on the rudimentary fishing, plants and the harvesting of rainwater to survive.

Reminds me a bit of one of my favorite books, An Island to Oneself, about a man who lived off and on for years on a tiny South Pacific island.



  1. “Xavier’s only luggage will be a Swiss army knife, machete video camera and a solar panel for charging the camera. ”

    …and a huge ass weather proof suitcase for holding 10 months worth of tapes.

  2. He spends 300 days filming himself on an island and only gets 52 minutes in the final cut? 300 days of footage should get him a mini-series at least.

  3. I really, really want a “machete video camera.”

    I know it’s a typo, but I really, really want one.

  4. This reminds me of “Into The Wild”. I hope he is more successful than Christopher McCandless

  5. it’s 52 minutes for 300 days because he has got to do everything himself. set the camera up, check the lighting, compose the shot, change the rolls etc. and there will be no filming when he has to use the machete. i figure there will be very little footage for the first couple of weeks as he sets himself up, seeing that he would need to use the machete quite a bit. it should get more interesting once he’s done with this.

  6. what was that film/series(?) set in Alaska? One man building a small log home and wintering alone? In the fifties?

  7. Prediction:
    On the 36th day, the blade of the swiss army knife snaps.
    On the 73d day, the last tool breaks of or is lost in the sand.
    Bravely carrying on, he keeps making daily recordings until he collapses from hunger, thirst and parasite infections.

    The camera, with its solar panels in the sun, keeps recording a snippet each day, which will later be used to create a time-lapse of his body decomposing.

    Or it will be a fun adventure. Whichever.

  8. Doing it for the environment? No environment impact? When he is destroying the local ecosystem, and probably traveling in a plane/ship/CO2-factory for part of his trip there and back?

    Don’t lie to me, he’s doing it cause it’s kick-ass!

  9. #9 “Alone in the Wilderness”. That show kicked eight kinds of ass. They run it on PBS all the time, or did, anyway. Whenever you think you are a real man, watch this and be brutally humbled.

    I think a smart person on a tropical island has it easier. Not much weather to deal with, and abundant food supply at your doorstep, and probably lots of rain for fresh water. But the threat of injury is there, as well as disease. But this isn’t quite the same as AitW, where he had to build a winter shelter in freakin’ Alaska.

  10. So how will he build a fire without polluting emissions?
    enquiring minds want to know

  11. that’s the one, Artbot! Truly a unique man. He had that quality that allowed him to live alone somewhere … like an elephant in the forest.

    I think the festering coral scratch or jellyfish sting is Rosset’s likely nemesis.

  12. This is interesting, I like that it gets some attention and discussion. People should be able to think that this is something they all should do, we’re so well off that we forget to think about things these days. Remember the ancient oaf Henry David Thoreau and his book Walden? That has the same theme as this guys journey could or I guess I’d think it should have. Its a book where you are thought to think out of the box in not just small areas of life, it could be about overcoming oneselves narrow trail of thought and learning how to act upon more real or close to your own feelings and thoughts. Its really a good book, and this is interesting as it is kind of the theory in practice- however Walden is more than just picking another lifestyle away from home where you dont pollute the earth, but its still good (and available) reading.

    Fitting quote: “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.” – Walden is a place where you can read Walden in its original shape, and its highly recommended reading in a lot of aspects of your own persona. :)

    Thanks for bringing this up, however!

  13. of course that is true, but hey, its not how it was meant to read and if you read it like that you spent a lot of time on some really dumb stuff.

    think of it, it would be comparable to reading the bible not thinking (knowing) its a work of fiction.
    or considering to read yet another jk rowling book of magic thinking you might learn a thing or two about ethical dilemmas.
    its of course not like that, and people dont do that, so why would you read a work like Walden which contains so much deep thought thinking it is book of simple entertainment? its just dumb.

  14. @PANOPTACON: When I saw the ads for that movie I thought it would be awesome to watch. When I finally got around to watching it, I thought it would be an inspiration. After I finally watched it, I was sad. It still inspired me, but not in the way I originally thought it would.

    I do recommend to anyone to watch this movie.

  15. “PFFFffff. Les Stroud the survivor man shoots an entire one hour show with similar circumstances (totally alone, no or little food provided, multiple cameras though) in just 7 days”

    That’s nothing. I can shoot a two hour show in under 5 minutes. Watch me!

    What makes this story uninteresting is that the blurb uses the word “survival” when there’s really no surviving being done. It’s all “Xavier will survive” and “He will find timber… to survive.”

    This indicates that there is no chance he will NOT survive, making it more like an extended camping trip or picknick. Still very cool, but nothing to do with survival, unless you count all us office geeks as survivalists as well. Yet another day I keep breathing!

    Also, I’m just posting this because someone else already has the machete camera.

  16. “Why 52 minutes?” 52 minutes + 128 = 3 hours of deat – scintillatin’ prime time programming!

  17. Xavier, if you find an underground hatch with a keyboard and a beeping alarm, keep entering the numbers!

    4 8 15 16 23 42

  18. Commenting anonymously while waiting for my account confirmation;

    He’s not going to be alone on that island – it’s clearly farmed, as the cultivation fields, some of them with freshly turned earth, are visible on google earth, so there’s at least seasonal occupation; There are some high reflectance objects that may be houses or shelters, too. Various sources on the web indicate a population of around 50 people.

  19. Problem with the machete camera is, it only films when you’re chopping with it, and half the time, you can’t see anything on the tape when it’s buried in the thing you’re chopping. They tried to solve this problem with the SONY Machete Camera HDR-FX1 M, where the camera is in the tip of the machete, but this just makes anyone who watches the footage sick to their stomach.

  20. From the look of that island, while it wouldnt support a population of people for long, a single person could grow fat on the abundance evident from the aerial view if one knew how to adapt to the local available food…seafood especially, which I do. Tide is out? Table is set.

  21. Correct me if I’m wrong… but Robinson Crusoe found OTHER PEOPLE on the island and enslaved them. Just another lazy white guy with a Machete-cam.

  22. I am more intrigued with the concept of a machete cam now than I am with a Frenchman living alone for 300 days.

    Who would have thought the simple lack of a comma could possibly influence the future of horror film making?

  23. So a machete video camera is like a fruit-slicing Macbook Air?

    No polluting emissions? I suppose after a few nights without fire, he’ll die of exposure before the diarrhea claims him.

  24. consideredopinion beat me to it. Does he really intend to survive without building a fire? In this context the mandatory nod to greenhouse emissions seems a bit forced.

    realisateur, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Crusoe’s island was deserted but was occasionally visited by a cannibal tribe living elsewhere. Crusoe rescued a native captive from death at the hands of the cannibal tribe, the man he named Friday. In gratitude, Friday voluntarily stayed with Crusoe as his companion and servant. An idealized sort of relationship, perhaps, but hardly enslavement.

  25. If this man is set out to do this, no strings attatched then he is incredible.

    i don’t know why everyone has such a negative response. all you do is sit at home, drive to work, or comment things on the computer.

    he’ll probably accomplish more than most people in a lifetime.

  26. Halloween Jack, you beat me to it.

    Also, where can I get this fantastic machete video camera? I need to get footage of the zombie uprising and protect myself, so why not kill two birds with the same stone…

  27. This island has visitors all the time. I was in the Peace Corps in Tonga, and Tongans and Volunteers would make trips to the Island.

    He will not be alone for long.

  28. According to a very recent news story, there are already people doing this every day of their lives. There are supposedly an estimated 100 tribes throughout the world that have never had contact with the outside world, and one was just photographed aerially for the first time at the border between Brazil and Peru. See this links and be sure to look through the photo slideshow:

    Those are human beings just like you. Think about that as you sit at your computer or listen to your iPod or watch your HDTV.

  29. I’ve thought of that many times. Might not be such a bad thing if there were no hurricanes, and there was a nice little cave like Tom Hanks had in Castaway. Think of the peace and quiet, no politics, no ads on TV, no cars with “thumping” music, no slow drivers in the passing lane, no re-runs, no telemarketers, no long lines at the register or the drive in bank, no protests. A little piece of heaven on earth.

  30. this man is AMAZING i couldn’t even survive this 300 day thing and its a volcanic island, for a 17 yr old i’m totally amazing again

  31. @52…
    There are plenty of fish in the sea. No really. Remember that, the next time you enjoy your Gorton’s Lemon Pepper Filets…

  32. From the looks of things, it looks like he’s going to be living on the edge of an emploded volcano that has already begun to re-shape itself. If the volcano is still omitting gas (it looks like it is in the picture) he’s going to suffer from the Vog (volcano fog) that is full of sulfer. His eyes are going to burn like crazy and he’s going to have a bad cough. Although, it will make for a good 52 minutes of coughing and wheezing!!

  33. I spent 5 days on this island back in 2003, and it is certainly not a deserted island. Tofua is one of the main islands used in Tonga for the cultivation of kava. There are many kava farmers who live there to take care of their crops. That said, there are no formal villages on the island, and it would be a pretty harsh place to live. There are plenty of truly deserted islands nearby, which I would vastly prefer living on over this one!

  34. Umm..I do have a question though… is he gonna wipe his ass?..I mean….ewww..I sure hell aint gonna wipe my ass with poison ivy or poison oaks leaves..UGH!

  35. free on line to read. Have you read it?

    Chapter 1

    I WAS born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called-nay we call ourselves and write our name-Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.

  36. Alone on an island, left to survive for 300 days…just a satellite phone call away.

    It will be an accomplishment if he doesn’t come home crazy. It is kind of like the people who feel the need to summit Everest, they have something to prove to themselves.

    Whatever his true purpose is, I wish him well.

  37. Here’s a little more informative link on Tom Neale and his adventures on a deserted island in An Island to Oneself

    Neale had a bit more to start with than a machete camera, but still was almost done in by illness. I hope this guy brings a way to signal in case of emergency.

  38. Actually, the documentary will be 1 1/2 hours: 52 minutes of footage and 68 minutes of announcers prompting us to buy the latest Machete Camera with wireless communication and archive of medical “how to’s” (which had to be added after this “adventurer” got stung by a unknown specie and had to be rescued from an a so called deserted island)

  39. The point is to allow people to understand what we take for granted. If you have not woke up outside, in the wilderness, without a tent and a whole campground of people then you might not understand. We all derived from tribes, and the wilderness but yet no one really understands that. We are evolving into a species that I am not thrilled about… commerce sucks

  40. anyone else find the mindless anti-French comments annoying? If you must insult a whole people, history, nation, culture and language – do try to be a least a tiny bit witty. More than half.

  41. That is such a great idea. I wish he would have a longer show , 52 minutes will not show us everything has happened. I hope he will change his mind and make a little mini series out of it. We can learn a lot about survival and how to deal with loneliness, how to deal with our emotions. Can’t wait to see it either way. Good luck to you Xavier and have fun. You are much braver than i am. I freak out with power outage.LOL May god be with you every step of a way. Jacqueline

  42. It is a truth universally acknowledged that, when a man or woman undertakes an interesting adventure, all those who live in Mom’s basement will scream up the stairs, “He/she is a douche!” Xavier Rosset embodies all that is offensive to the maternal basement dweller. He must be sacrificed for his good looks, amazing sports ability, spirit of adventure and, presumably, rakish charm. Get Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General. This outrage must not continue.

  43. Reminds me of the time Pauly Shore and I conducted environmental experiments inside that Bio-Dome.


  45. a host of first time commentators with dull,offensive or simply mean spirited non-sayings.
    I take it this item linked/carried to somewhere where this is the norm?

    Get out the tongs.

  46. Listen Up,

    If you have something civil to say that’s not in all caps, we’re listening.

  47. In many ways I can understand the draw to such a beautiful place. It must be so nice there. However, today at 36 years old, I think I’d die within 48 hours from PC & Internet withdrawls.
    Can you really imagine life with NO- PC, Internet, TV, radio, electicity, phone, flushing toilet, running shower or Fridge? I tried it once for a year when I was in my early 20’s and I got pretty nutty by the time it was over. It’s a very hard life going Off the Grid. I have great respect for anyone who can do it without crackin up.
    wiley eyed mountainman

  48. Congratulations to all of you who know how to Google and have discovered that the island isn’t uninhabited and to all of you who quipped that he should bring a ball named Wilson, all of you, all several dozen of you. Perhaps next you would enjoy reading the thread before making the same comments over and over. Or do you only have an output port?

  49. I was trying to decide whether one would have to be a lunatic or a genius to attempt such a feat. Then it occurred to me that he is pretty much certain to have a more fulfilling 300 days than I will have during the same time at work. So hats off to the guy for having the balls to attempt it…though I do think he must be at least half mad for not taking more survival gear…

  50. A Turkish-American adventurer named Erden Eruc just completed a trans-Pacific solo row and set the record for longest duration row at something like 306 days. He didn’t have just an island to himself, he only had a 25ft rowboat! This guy’s a machine.


  51. We had to shut down the thread for a while while Antinous and I cleaned it out. Sorry about that. It appears that we got linked to by a blog that specializes in dumb celebrity stories.

    What got removed: a bazillion repetitive remarks posted by people who hadn’t read the thread. Stupid non-jokes about the French. An improbable number of comments about masturbation, which appear to have their origin in the offsite blog entry.

    Antinous and I may have to do another sweep later.

  52. Thats funny Teresa because neither of my 2 posts had anything to do with masturbation nor were they anywhere near off topic… Do I sense a hint of bias moderation taking place here? If this is the way boing boing is run I’ll pass thank you.

  53. I sleep for a mere 14 hours, and I miss all the fun?

    That’s it, I’m cutting my nap time down to 10 hours a day!

  54. Well, you can disregard that last comment from me, the comments have been dealt with.

  55. Haha! the funny thing now is, because the other comment are all gone, we’re gonna have a slew of innocent “wilson” comments..

  56. “…and a huge ass weather proof suitcase for holding 10 months worth of tapes.”

    tapes? what year are you living in?

  57. Anthony 101, you’re brand-new to the site, you haven’t read the moderation guidelines, but you’re sure you know why your comments were removed? Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Arkizzle, see my earlier comment. The influx was so bad that Antinous and I had to shut down the thread while we cleaned up. If you think the registered commentary was bad, you should have seen the stuff coming in via Anonymous.

  58. I’m enlisting in the USAF for to be a SERE Specialist- that means I’d be teaching high-risk air crew how to survive in the wilderness, evade enemy patrols and get to safety, resist any enemy influence (torture, etc.), and then finally how to escape from a situation if you are captured by the enemy, or simply how to get out of the wilderness. All of this is to follow my dream, which is similar to this guy’s.

    After getting very good with Spanish, I want to be able to disappear into South America, or Canada, whereever, and just survive on next to nothing if I had to. So kudos to this guy for doing something he really wants to do, while using the media attention to bring to light (a little more) global warming and the way our society is run.

  59. I just want to thank STICKYSTYLE because thanks to the typo, I’ve never laughed so hard in a forum. I’m loving the comments, expecially the one about the 68 minutes of commercials. It’s nice to see people with a comical side!:

    “#2 posted by stickystyle , May 29, 2008 9:10 PM
    “Xavier’s only luggage will be a Swiss army knife, machete video camera and a solar panel for charging the camera. ”

    …and a huge ass weather proof suitcase for holding 10 months worth of tapes.”

  60. This question may only make sense if you are familiar with Desert Island Discs – I wonder what his eight records, book and luxury item would be ? Kirsty ought to get him on the show double quick.

  61. I think this is a brilliant idea. More people need to try this out (natural selection kids).

  62. I’m not sure where you people got machete video camera from. My copy of this story has a comma.

    “Xavier’s only luggage will be a Swiss army knife, machete, video camera, and a solar panel for charging the camera.”

    Still it was funny.

    I moved from the site for 30 seconds to create an account and the post I read earlier is gone. I’m looking for the girl that said she would like to spend a year on the island with Xavier. The one that can not get pregnant. If you’re still here and If you’re interested, I’m game…LOL…Good times to all. And good luck to Xavier. I’ll have a cigarette or two for you.

  63. That sound’s familiar it’s kind of like the news update of the native Indians in Brazil that have been spoted with out signs on human contact ever. They should film those people it could be more interesting.

  64. I want to be next—Away from the presidential race away from the crime and killing . Sign me up baby———–

  65. Congratulations to all of you who know how to Google and have discovered that the island isn’t uninhabited and to all of you who quipped that he should bring a ball named Wilson, all of you, all several dozen of you. Perhaps next you would enjoy reading the thread before making the same comments over and over. Or do you only have an output port?

  66. On the typo error, page shows a comma between machete and video camera, so therefore two seperate items

  67. Here’s a thought. Sure, it’ll take several weeks to get a routine down, establish some shelter, reliable food source, etc. Let’s say that all takes a month or a little more. What do you do the rest of the time? What about mosquitos and getting a disease? Snakes. It would definitely be cool to see what happens, but why 300 days? Man up and make it a full year! :D Yeah, having a woman, especially one that can’t get pregnant (Starla…how old are you btw? I’m single! :D) would help pass the time, eh? Blue Lagoon? :D Pencil and paper and/or paints and canvas would be nice. A year to write a novel or paint a series of seascapes. I think it would be FUN sans the mosquitos.

  68. id spend 300 days on an island were no one else is. i may be 16 but id rather go out and get lost in some woods than drive around or watch only problem with me is i hate FISH!!!! lol. but any ways spendin 10 months alone would b fun and boring at same time.

  69. I lived on one of those islands that is inhabitated by about 750 people. No one spoke English, so for the first couple of months I really couldn’t communicate. There is nothing wrong with enjoying technological advancements. I am a city boy. But to be able to appreciate the: sunrise and sunset, horses playing, ocean crashing against rocks, is truly being alive. Unfortunately, I missed my friends and family too much, thus proving another point.

    If you want to get the feeling of what it would be like: set your alarm for 2:00 a.m. Don’t turn on your T.V., radio, computer. Find something to do around your house (inside and out) for two hours. Warning: You may not like what you think about.

  70. Don’t know, but I think he has less chances of going insane than the 6 european astronauts that are involved in the 530 day SIMULATED Mars mission going on in Siberia right now. Can you imagine 6 people living in a space about the size of two truck trailers for 530 days? Except for like 30 days when three of them get to go to a smaller container for the simulated landing and “surface” activities. Never heard of a better way to knock a year and half off your life.

    Maybe that volcano in the picture will errupt, or his island will be invaded by a heard of adolescent boys and somebody kills piggy after they break his glasses trying to start a fire…… Or someone will rescue him and try and re-install him as Frances dictator…. eaten by Samoans.

  71. …Actually, on the third day, he’ll discover that the “lake” in the middle of the crater is only about a foot deep, and the bottom is actually two massive sliding doors that open up to reveal a secret SPECTRE missile base! Then we’ll discover that either the machete has 83 functions – 84 if you count the machete – that will get him out of trouble and save the world, or he’ll be devoured by sharks with lasers mounted on their heads.

  72. #83 Tiger517
    #86 Mark2FLHTCI

    I dunno what’s happening between the website and our respective browsers, but in my browser (and therefore, presumably, others) there is no comma.

  73. I’m closing this thread for new comments due to the volume of junk comments from single serving users.

Comments are closed.