Andy’s Flippant Guide to Desert Islands

It has happened to most of us, so we all know how it goes. Your family disown you, the life you thought you loved no longer brings you joy the sight of people makes you want to start mowing them down with a machine gun. You need to get away from it all and where better than a deserted island? But wait, before you book that flight, think about what you need in this new island paradise. Or better yet, just read my guide to desert island survival.

No island living would be complete without the ability to hack away at the plant life with this easy to use machete. Lets not dwell on how you can get it through customs in the first place, lets just assume it’s here and ready at your disposal. Not only will it slice, dice and splice anything you need it to, but there’s nothing more manly than sweatily walking through the jungle with one of these bad boys down your pants.

Trees, don’t get me wrong, I love them as much as the next Greenpeace member, but let’s be honest they are made of wood and sometimes really get in the way. That’s when the axe comes in handy. If you really want that palm coffee table then hack those pesky trees down – there’ll be no Swampy on your island to scupper your plans.

Sharpening Stone
Blades, like lives, get duller with age and like your wits, they sometimes need sharpening. More importantly however, sharpening stones are quite hard and are ideal for bludgeoning wild boar to death with.

It’s a well known fact that all deserted islands have Wild Boar (see ‘Lord of the flies’ and ‘Lost‘). Now all professional wild boar hunter-type people will tell you that the best way to catch one is with a lasso. Granted. its probably not the easiest way but I can guarantee its infinitely more impressive to do. Lassos can be cunningly fashioned from rope, thus rope is essential on this island. Oh and apparently its useful for tying things up, but you will too busy lassoing wild boar to worry about stuff like that.

Needle and Thread
One word.. Rambo.

Now it doesn’t take a genius to work out what these are for.. that’s right, Hats. There’s a school of thought that says that bowls and other such liquid-containing devices are first and foremost designed to actually carry liquids. But anyone from that school of thought would clearly die of sunstroke on your island. stick it on your head, there’s a good chap.

Cooking Pots
There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect island paradise and discovering the local cannibal tribe is getting sick of coconuts. Play the buggers at their own game and take this handy cooking pot. Cannibal soup, anyone?

Salt and Pepper
Now, I’m no horticulturist, I’ll be honest with you. But I reckon where there is a garden there’s a slug. We all hate slugs, and what sort of island paradise has slugs eating the stuff in your garden. Kill those buggers with this easy to use Salt and just in case you are a bit peckish, sprinkle seasoning on it too.

Since the dawn the dawn of time, seeds have been, well the seed to life. Without seeds the ancient peoples of Egypt wouldn’t have survived at all. Without seeds, the romans would have had to eat more fish than they really had the stomach for. So its obvious the key ingredient in getting regular food are seeds. Simply sprinkle some seeds on the floor to lure birds. Once they have taken the bait use your sharpening stone to bludgeon them to death and hey presto! Bird Soup (assuming you can make soup).

Sleeping Bags
I know what you are thinking, how the hell am I going to catch coconuts in this new island paradise, and more importantly, where am I going to store them, once caught. Well think no more, intrepid islander, because with a sleeping bag you can do both. Simply hang your sleeping bag from a low branch on the palm tree and proceed to smack it about a bit, within minutes your sleeping bag will look like Santa’s sack (assuming Santa was en route to a village in desperate need of coconuts).

Magnifying Glass
There’s nothing guaranteed to take the wind out of a person’s sails more than catching a fish and it looking like one of those you win in a plastic bag at the fun fair. This can lead to depression, which can lead to a total lack of motivation, which would cause your little island paradise to turn into a re-enactment of Castaway and nobody wants to be Tom Hanks. Simply look at your fish with this magnifying glass. Gasp in awe as you realise the worryingly small fish you thought you had is in fact a prize whopper. But be careful, prolonged viewing using a magnifying glass may result in the spontaneous combustion of your fish. You have been warmed.

Before you haemorrhage in confusion, no, this isn’t that first thing you thought, nor will we be needing a rubber duck. I mean, if you really feel you should bring a rubber duck feel free to replace the rubber with it. But be warned, you will not be able to tie a rubber duck to your feet to replace the soles of your shoes when they wear out.

Metal Cutlery
I don’t care you are or where you are going, you don’t go anywhere without your knife, fork and spoon. The Roman army was built on that principle (probably) so its one we will stick to. We all know the classic nursery rhyme:

One, two, carry a spoon,
three four, also, a fork,
five six, oh and a knife.

Water Bottles
There’s an old saying, “You can take a horse to the stream, but there’s no way on earth he is going to be able to help you get the water back to your house” and besides that, even if he could help we don’t have a horse on our list, so we are going to need water bottles. and lots of them. And make sure they are full when you set off, there are ways to “collect” water from nature once you are on the island but to be honest its not as nice as the bottled stuff.

This is another fairly obvious addition to any desert island itinerary. How else are you going to get the sand in your bowl to make sandcastles? Also, if your sharpening stone isn’t at hand, this is a really useful tool for beating up the wildlife.






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