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10 must-have items when trapped on a deserted island

We’ve all thought about what essentials we’d pack if we knew we'd be stranded on a deserted island. But what would actually keep us safe — and sane — while living alone in paradise?

As we look to virtually escape to Rio or Paris, or get lost in a far-flung land via our favorite travel movies, TV shows, or books, we’ve come across at least one or two stories in which the main character gets stranded on a deserted island. They usually have few to no supplies, and only their quick wits and ingenuity to aid in planning an escape.

Whether or not this scenario is all that likely, it does make a person think: what would you bring if you knew you’d be trapped on a deserted island? Well, we’ve thought about — so here’s a list of 10 essential items that we think would make that kind of island life just a little easier.

1. A knife

A big ol’ knife is first on our list of essentials to have on a deserted island — one like Crocodile Dundee would have in Australia. Not only could it be used for protection, but also for hunting.

2. A fishing net

Fish are a very healthy protein choice, and having a net will ensure that catching them is easier.

3. A giant box of matches

Who wants to spend hours trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together? To make sure you’ll always have a blazing campfire to relax next to, bring a giant box of matches to our deserted tropical paradise.

A hammock across two palm trees on a deserted beach

4. A hammock

Most deserted islands are filled with trees, and a hammock would provide a comfortable place to sleep those lonely nights away. It would also be above the ground and away from any nocturnal critters.

For more destination inspiration: World’s most underrated vacation destinations

5. A can of bug spray

If you have ever spent any time in the tropics, you know how necessary it is to have bug spray — a no-brainer for a list of deserted-island essentials.

6. A bottle of sunblock

There’s nothing worse than being stranded on a deserted island — except for being stranded on a deserted island with a terrible sunburn. Sunscreen is one item that should not be left out of your deserted-island packing list.

7. An inflatable raft with rows

So you can row, row, row your boat, merrily to freedom — or to catch a beautiful view from the other side of the island.

An inflatable raft pulled up on the shore

8. A flashlight

Not just any flashlight, but one that runs when you wind it up so you don’t need batteries.

9. A spear

It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but a spear would make life on a desolate island so much easier. This item would also come in handy for spear-fishing during a future island vacation in the Maldives.

10. A satellite phone

A satellite phone is a cellphone that can be used anywhere in the world (including a deserted island), as long as there is a clear line from the antenna to the sky. The cost may be pricey — around $1,500 for the phone plus a $30-50 monthly fee. But if it affords you a better fate than Gilligan and his friends, then it’s definitely money well spent.

Looking for that island getaway?

Whilst we might not be able to make that island escape just yet, we can start uncovering island inspiration for travel does open up again. Just enter your home airport, potential destination, or search “Everywhere” to start.

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