Desert Island SCUBA Gear Picks

Imagine you’ve been marooned on a desert island and you’re allowed only one book, one movie, and one album to entertain you, what would you choose to bring? Coming up with answers to that question is one of our favorite ways to pass time here at Dive Maui, as our answers always seem to change. In fact, we’ve recently been inspired to put our own SCUBA spin on it: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three pieces of dive equipment would you bring with you?

The answer isn’t as simple as it might first appear. There are far more than just three essential pieces of diving equipment, so limiting yourself to only three means you will be forgoing something needed to actually pull off a dive. But hey, it wouldn’t be a fun question if you didn’t have to make a difficult choice!

At this point we should mention this is all just a thought experiment, a fun topic to banty about with your fellow divers and colleagues, and not actionable survival advice should you find yourself stranded on an island like a character from Gilligan’s Island—or Tom Hanks when he was a FedEx executive. So, be sure to join the fun and read on below for our desert island SCUBA gear picks. 

Mask and Fins

The first item we would want on our desert island exile would be a good set of basic dive gear such as a mask and fins. It may seem like cheating to combine these two different pieces of gear into one entry, we’ll allow it as this sort of basic gear is normally packaged together to be sold as a set anyways. While these items may not have as obvious of a novel use as other gear we highlight below, they make the cut thanks to their importance to diving alone.

Additionally, both of these items can be thought of as allowing divers to have greater freedom of movement on the water. The mask is a must-pick as it is vital for underwater exploration that could be important if stuck on a desert island. Likewise, a pair of fins allow divers to maneuver in the water more easily and with greater speed. So, when we inevitably get hungry on our desert island, using a mask and fins to spearfish is probably preferable to hallucinating our fellow castaways have turned into a hamburger.


Think a wetsuit would be pretty useless on a desert island? Think again! We picked a wetsuit as our second item as we believe it is a fairly versatile piece of equipment. Of course, it can be worn conventionally to protect yourself when diving, but that isn’t all you could do with a wetsuit.

Wetsuits are hardy and rugged, and yet lightweight and pliable. This is largely thanks to their construction, which is usually made of a specialized petroleum-based rubber or neoprene. And since we are stuck on a desert island there are many ways we could utilize our wetsuits for something other than swimming. 

A wetsuit would of course still provide protection from exposure or the elements, a valuable attribute if on our desert island. Additionally, it could be used as a bag to ferry supplies about, a portable screen from the sun, or as an added bit of bedding on those lonely and cold desert island nights. And if you want to get a little mad scientist-y about it, the number of things you can repurpose a wetsuit into are nearly endless (hello new beer cozy!).

BCD (Buoyancy Control Device)

Our third pick, a BCD, is sure to invite some controversy for its rather limited range of use. 

Also known as a buoyancy compensator, or buoyancy control device, a BCD is what divers use to control their buoyancy both above and underwater. This may seem like a specialized piece of diving equipment, and it is, but it is also one of the few things we would never choose to dive without. 

And depending on what type of BCD you are using, you may be able to repurpose some of its components for alternative uses, such as any weights or nylon straps.

We’re Always Here to Help!

There you have it, our three picks for desert island SCUBA gear, let the debate begin! We are sure everyone has their own opinions on what three items of dive gear they would take, but these are our picks.

Do you agree with our picks, or would you have chosen different gear altogether?  Feel free to reach out and let us know what you think. And if our little game has inspired you to get some essential dive gear yourself, we are an authorized Aqualung dealer and our expert staff would be happy to help you get kitted out with some of the best SCUBA gear around! 

If you’ve enjoyed this article, we sincerely hope you consider us at Dive Maui for all your SCUBA trips, snorkel rentals, and whale watching needs. As always, thank you for reading and, until next time, Aloha!