Neil Deemers, technical superintendent of The Pacific Sharav, regularly spends 28 days on the oil rig anchored in 12,000-feet-deep water off the Gulf Coast. These are his essentials.
1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Skipping one night’s dental scrub is bad. Multiply that 28 times.
2. A Good Paperback
On the 90-minute helicopter ride out to the rig, Deemers catches up on his reading. Currently: Steven Callahan’s memoir Adrift, about surviving 76 days alone at sea in a life raft.
3. Pocket Flashlight
Deemers carries flashlights with waterproof plastic casings, never metal; no one wants sparks from a dropped metal flashlight reaching all that oil.
4. USB Stick
For on-rig entertainment, Deemers never forgets a USB drive loaded with his favorite movies and TV shows.
5. Protective Footwear
Sturdy, steel-toed boots ensure his feet are comfortable, but also safe from any heavy falling objects.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2017 issue of Popular Science.