What would I bring to a deserted island?

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Inevitably over the course of my 18 years, I have been asked several times during different icebreaker activities the dreaded question: “What would you bring if you were stranded on a deserted island?” The obvious answers would be food, water, flare gun, etc., as these items are necessities for survival.

These answers are also the easy way out of a very important and relevant question. No one wants to end up like Tom Hanks’ character from “Cast Away,” with a volleyball as their only companion and no entertainment for an indefinite amount of time. So, my packing list must be full of items to keep me sane during my hiatus from modern society. If I were to be dropped in a deserted island in 24 hours with no notice I would be quickly packing my suitcase with these items in no particular order of importance:

– Sunglasses   

Since it’s pretty sunny on a deserted island, I would want to relax in the sun without worrying about developing ocular melanoma. Sunglasses serve a dual purpose: preventative eye care and also a cute fashion statement. My go-to would be the big mom-style sunglasses over the tiny sunglasses – which wouldn’t do much in terms of protection.

– Air Mattress

Given that I won’t have a bed to sleep in on a deserted island, this is a great alternative to sleeping on the sand, which would be uncomfortable. Since good sleep is a necessity, and I won’t have much else to do on the island, this is an important item. To go along with the mattress I would have to also pack a blanket and pillow. A good night’s sleep is important after a long day on my deserted island. 

– Deck of cards

Even though I’m the only one on the island, a deck of cards would still give me entertainment. With my extra time, I could brush up on my Solitaire skills or even try to create some new games if I’m feeling extra creative. I could even finally learn how to shuffle a deck of cards.

– My best friend

Even though a deserted island might be a nice getaway, I know I’ll get bored and need some company. This is a little more difficult since I would have to go through the extra work of trying to convince my best friend to join me on a deserted island. Also, this could be a major drain on resources, which is a downside. Bringing my friend would be much better company than relying on a volleyball for emotional support.

– Matches

This is a practical item. I’ll need to start fires to cook my food, keep warm and even maybe light a candle. Since I don’t know how to light a lighter or rub sticks together to start a fire, this is the best option. Matches would also give me the chance to learn how to breathe fire – something that has always been on my bucket list.

– Hammock

Even though I’m not sure what kind of terrain my island will have, there’s a strong chance that there will at least be a couple of trees, so a hammock would be convenient to have. It would be great for chilling in the sun during the day and for naps.

– An iPod shuffle with earbuds

I chose an iPod shuffle rather than a smartphone or other type of device for music because the battery life is unbeatable. Even though I wouldn’t have service to download music, I could just relisten to my old music until my iPod shuffle inevitably dies since I won’t have any way to charge it. Even though iPod shuffles aren’t the most technologically advanced, I’d be able to at least get a couple of hours of music from it.

– Reading material

Since I would have plenty of free time, I would want to bring lots of reading material to keep my mind active and occupied. I’ve only read about a quarter of my collection of Tennis magazines, and I could use my time to catch up on my reading. I would probably pack my textbooks, too. That way I can still continue learning, even if I’m stuck on an island.

– Notebook with a writing instrument

Since I’m going to have lots of time to contemplate life, a notebook will be handy to write down my thoughts and ideas. I could even write a memoir about my time on the island or take up poetry.

– My Britta filter

It’s debatable, but drinkable water might be kind of important. A Britta is a dorm essential as well as a deserted island essential. Since the ocean water is a health hazard, I can filter my water safely with my Britta and stay hydrated.

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