The AfterEllen Huddle: Desert Island Items


Let’s play the ever-popular desert island game! If you were implausibly stuck on an island all by yourself, and could only bring three items with you for your stay, what would those things be? (No people!)

Dana Piccoli: Chips and salsa (which counts as one thing, dammit!), a copy of Tipping the Velvet because I can read that a million times, and a guitar so I can write satirical songs about the lesbian television shows I’ll have to make up in my head.


Grace Chu: A solar powered stove/grill, a fishing rod and a rifle. I can’t subsist on nuts and berries.

Dara Nai: A house, an infinity pool and a satellite dish. If I’m going to live on a desert island, I’m going to live on a desert island.

Kim Hoffmann: The innate knowledge I’d need to survive by building a treehouse, brushing my teeth with the island grass, and cultivating some kind of weird desert island farm, a tarot deck, and some kind of electronic device that constantly lets me play a huge library of music.


Jill Guccini: A journal and pack of pens (ALSO ONE THING), a tent, and my dog. If my dog counts as a person, because she pretty much does, then I’d replace her with my copy of Simon & Garfunkel‘s Greatest Hits in a magical discman that never dies. Yes, I just referenced a discman.

Ali Davis: Fine. I’ll be the practical one. I’m bringing a Leatherman Wave. I’m also bringing a copy of The Annotated Alice and counting “one hell of a lot of paper” as one thing, and if you don’t think I just spent my entire lunch hour genuinely fretting about whether I could carve my own pen nibs and crush my own inks, you don’t know me.

But I can and I will. That way I can send little paper boats over to your islands to ask how you are and to tell you that things are going well with my new monkey friends (oh, THERE WILL BE MONKEYS) and also to let you know that I have once again injured myself with my Leatherman Wave.


Lucy Hallowell: I like that we seem split between genuinely useful survival supplies and entertainment. I’m going with the latter. Pencil and notebook because how else am I going to process exactly how my karma got so fucked that I ended up stranded on a deserted island. Harry Potter (all of it) because if I have to read one thing for all eternity you can be damn sure it’s going to have Hermione Granger. Oh fine, for practical reasons a knife. God, can you imagine being stuck with a dull pencil?

Bridget McManus: The Hunger Games trilogy, my tricked-out Swiss Army knife, the warmest blanket in the world.

Elaine Atwell: I would need a machete, for protection, utility, and so I would feel like a warrior badass every day. I would need a book on wilderness survival, to tell me which plants to eat. And I would need a copy of The Little Prince, because it is beautiful and calms me down and it is about the things you can learn while you are stranded.


Nicole Schultz: I would take a hardcover copy of Stephen King‘s IT. Not only is it a great read, but it’s sheer volume makes it a great tool for cracking open crabs or securing a shelter. To survive island life I would bring the ultimate tool, Crovel Extreme II. This thing is mental. It works as a shovel, saw, bottle opener, axe, chisel, crowbar, hammer, and knife. But that’s not all. The handle is wrapped in a paracord and is hollow for storage of important items like that Twinkie I’ve been saving. And I couldn’t survive without music, so I would bring my iPhone powered by a solar powered charger. It would allow me to listen to sweet tunes while sipping my self made fermented tropical drink from a coconut.

Karman Kregloe: My cat (she only thinks she is a person, so still qualifies), pens and paper (already established above as a single item) and a solar-powered music playing device  filled with all of the music ever created.

Heather Hogan: OK, so. A Kindle loaded up with like a zillion books and TV shows and albums (the most important thing being Harry Potter, of course). A bow so I can practice being Katniss Everdeen. And my teddy bear.

Eboni Rafus: I wouldn’t last very long on a deserted island. I’m afraid of guns. I’m not very stealthy so I’m sure I would scare off any fish I tried to catch. And although I could decorate a makeshift home very well (with decorative vines, sprigs of berries and art I created out of mud and leaves) building one is a whole other matter. Therefore, I would just resign myself to living my last days with as much joy and comfort as possible and bring the following: 1) The love of my life, my terrier-pup Stella Rue, who I am confident would survive until she was rescued because she’s an excellent ratter and hunter. 2) A solar powered iPad stocked with music and books and television shows to entertain me while I waste away. Also, I would use it to write my memoirs before I became to delirious from hunger and sun exposure. 3) A canopied four poster queen-sized bed with a comfortable orthopedic mattress, luxurious bedding and tons of coordinated pillows. Because if I’m going to die on this god-forsaken island, I’m going to do it in style.


Valerie Anne: This question always confused me. Why am I agreeing to go to a desert island? Why is the person making me go to a desert island letting me take things? Why only three? Can I choose a tropical island instead? Better yet, can I just stay on the island Manhattan? Of course I’d love my three things to be my Nook loaded up with every book ever; my laptop boosted with extra hard drive, solar charging abilities, and weatherproofing and so I can write; and my iPod, also solar powered, loaded up with millions and millions of songs and every Broadway musical known to man. But in reality, if you picked me up right now and dropped me off on a desert island, all I’d have would be two hair elastics, whatever book I was reading at the moment, and a lot of electronics that would die by the end of the second day.

Trish Bendix: What better time than on an island as a sole lesbo to read some poetry by Sappho? I’d bring a collection of her writings to gain some perspective. I’d also want an ax, because I’m sure it would come in handy. Lastly, a pen/paper combo. Most necessary to not go insane!


Erika Kimpel: My amazingly high-tech laptop that gets solar powered wi-if in the middle of bumfuck nowhere so I can continue to troll OkCupid, my dog and an unlimited supply of snacks, so I don’t get bored or hungry.

What three things would you bring to a desert island?

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