Personally, I will focus on building my base camp before even exploring the island I start with. My first target is always to make a knife and axe. Once those are done, I collect loose sticks, rocks, fibrous leaves, and one palm bunch. From there, I make my shelter first, followed by a camp fire, which should allow crafting a few more things needed to make the water still. I always save my cloth to craft the Smoker and Still as you can always craft a loom later to make cloth.
Once I pick the island that I’ll be living off of, then I’ll begin considering what I’ll build for my main camp. I pick my island based on how many fibrous leaves I can gather per respawn, and what resources are present to start with. Food is a minimal concern, as I always craft a fishing rod (even if it does use up bouys, it’s still good for grabbing deeper fish without wasting an air tank), and my primary weapon goal is a Speargun for efficient hunting (I have better hunting skill with that than thrown stuff in the game). My secondary concern is where my island is positioned relative to the central island. The closer to the central island, the easier it’ll be to navigate (for me) when it’s time to finally consider endgame content (for me, that’s the 3 bosses and ending the game).
I’ll still always craft a smoker and water still on every island I visit, just so I’m never stranded without a water source and can bring back meat without it spoiling halfway home.