The Ultimate Deserted Island Packing List, by Joe Maher


What is the hardest part about doing one of these deserted island questions? That’s right, not actually being on an island of course. In preparation for this article I spent a month preparing to take a voyage at sea to a confidential, remote island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where I would live out the rest of my life. I specifically chose this island for a few reasons. The first was that it was uninhabited to humans, the second was that it was big enough to not get bored, but it was small enough to not get lost (about half a mile in diameter), and third was it had wifi which would allow me to continue to write for my beloved Ringer The.

This expedition actually ended up being cancelled due to my ride cancelling, thanks a lot Sam, but the packing allowed me to fully understand what it means to bring something to a deserted island. You can’t just bring your favorite cereal, the tastiest candy, the most entertaining movie, the shiniest fork, the longest book, you have to plan ahead, like way ahead, and know what you’re going to want in twenty or thirty years. It was difficult, but this was my entire packing list.

This area was super important in planning and I spent a whole week debating what to bring for myself to eat for the rest of my life. I ended up splitting this category into snacks and meals because I had extra space while packing and thought I might as well splurge. So, for my snack that I would have brought with me to the island I chose those pretzels that are filled with peanut butter on the inside. They are the epitome of flavor and I will never get tired of those (and no one else ever should either).

My meal was a little harder to decide about. Most of the time you have to decide on one meal and just stick to that, but this was my trip so I got to make the rules. I chose to bring an entire restaurant with me and put it on the island. I just really wanted any New York deli. Like any of them I’m sure would keep me well fed, and I probably wouldn’t get bored eating from the same place every day.

I had to be well entertained on this island and even though they have wifi it’s really spotty and I’d probably only use it for writing articles and porn, so I needed to bring a movie that was going to be the last one I’d ever watch. There’s a clear answer here that I would implore anyone to also make. La La Land is the greatest movie of this, or any, generation. It has music, drama, love, comedy, Emma Stone, jazz, all wrapped up into one feature film that has changed my life. I can say that I’ve watched it at least eight times already and it only gets better.

I had no idea what kind of harm is going to be on this island and I needed a tool for survival. I chose a mace because who has ever used a mace and not looked super cool? It’s a ball with spikes in it on a chain that you can swing and hit things with. I know it hasn’t really been in commision since the medieval times, but that’s all the more reason to bring it back. I’ll be a trend setter for the coolest trend since backwards hats.

For music, I thought that listening to one song was a little bit too much like torture and a little less like anything resembling entertainment, so I went with album instead. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West is possibly my all-time favorite album and is definitely the most well produced album in history, so I choose that.

Person (For Consumption):
I convinced my long-time friend LeBron James to accompany me on this trip. He was under the impression that it would just be a fun vacation to this island and that we’d just hang out like the friends we are. I would then take my friend LeBron over to my kitchen that’s inside that deli that I was going to bring and cook him and eat him. I chose LeBron because he’s the most muscular friend that I have and I was pretty sure he could last a few days.

I needed some kind of artistic culture with me for the feng shui of this island. I decided on that one that’s by a lake and has a bunch of people sitting on grass next to trees looking out over the water and The Office remade it to promote one of its seasons. I have no idea what the name of it is and I’m pretty sure it’s all a bunch of dots. I like that one. I also would have accepted the one of the people from The Office. I like that one too, even though it’s a photograph.

Animal (For Companionship):
Obviously it was a must to have a friend with me for my whole rest of my life. I chose an African Elephant because those guys live like sixty to seventy years. We could have been best friends until both of us died on the same exact day. Not only are elephants super smart and faithful one hundred percent of the time, but I could also have ridden it to get around quicker and reach high up fruits. This is the worst part about not going. I know we would’ve been best friends. Sorry LeBron.

Survival Tool:
I thought that the most important tool for survival was just some classic rope. It can be used to hold my painting up, pull things around, tie up LeBron, hold my house together, be a leash for Mr. Elephant, build a raft if need be, and probably more things too. This one was kind of hard to decide on. The other options were a knife, duct tape, an empty toolbox (for visual effect), another mace, a hammer (but I had no nails), and one of those little fans that also squirt water.

Sleeping Necessity:
This was a no brainer. The most important part of sleeping is obviously the pillow and anyone who says differently can take it up with me personally. I could have definitely found a huge leaf for the blanket, every island has those. Plus if worse came to worst I’d just spoon with Mr. Elephant.

I felt like there was one obvious necessity. If I didn’t have a razor I’d start to pull a Cast Away and get real gross. Plus everyone knows that elephants don’t like facial hair that much. This leads me to my next one...

For this I chose… none, so now I can bring a second toiletry and I choose toilet paper. I hate using leaves for that so I’m definitely bringing toilet paper to use and I’ll just bury it or see if there’s a bathroom in the deli.

That was it. That was everything I would bring with me to this island and I’m pretty confident that I could have survived into, at least, my 80’s. Again I would like to apologize to LeBron James for almost eating you, but come on, name me a better person to eat–it’s a compliment.