Kayak/Canoe Emergency Kits

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by Kona9, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    What is everyone using for an watertight emergency kit in their boats? I was thinking of making a kit out of an old 32oz Nalgene bottle (pre-Non BPA) like I've seen in the store but with some of the things I'd want if I had to ride out a storm or had an injury. So a mix of first aid and survival gear. Obviously not too much room in the water bottle, but it will be an exercise in packing small critical items. Let me know what you all might have in your kits.
     
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  2. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Guide

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    Had never considered having such a thing in my canoe to be honest. But now that you bring it up, perhaps a smallish kit of some sort tied to the underside of a canoe seat isn't a bad idea at all.

    Will have to see what I have around to serve the purpose.
     
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  3. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    Ive always kept a small walmart flip top first aid kit in my pack, customised of course with extra fire materials, tinder and ignition. Little firesteel, waterproof matches, etc...
     
  4. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I imagine you could use any kind of preferably wide-mouth screw top containers. Some might be more durable than others.
     
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  5. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Guide

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    Now I guess I'm wondering what the OP was aiming for. I had pictured something that stayed with the canoe and wasn't in my pack with the idea that if I somehow flipped the canoe and the pack sank, or was lost through some other means, I'd still have something to get me through, albeit uncomfortably.
     
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  6. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    How about a space blanket? I'm planning on putting one in mine. I'm thinking that if I'm all wet, even if I'm paddling in warm weather, my body temp could drop once the sun sets.
     
  7. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Guide

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    Agreed or perhaps a water tight "otter box" of compact but functional size that could be affixed securely.
     
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  8. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Good point on affixing securely. A Nalgene rolling around in my bulkhead will quickly annoy me. I thought about using a dry bag as well. Not as water tight but close and would be less noisy.
     
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  9. Red Wing

    Red Wing Supporter Supporter

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    I was in that situation. Just wanted fire, dont think soace blanket cuts it when already cold.
     
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  10. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Good feedback. I will still put one in as they are light and can be multipurpose. I also often paddle with my kids and while we try to be prepared with what we will need While paddling, you never know what will happen.
     
  11. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx Guide Bushclass I

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    Except for rolling sessions on the lake, I always have a roll of Gorilla tape in a zip-lock bag mainly for emergency repairs to my kayak's skin. It leaks and gets wet, but that's not a problem with that tape. I also have a tow rope and a whistle in my pfd. In the cooler months, I add a space blanket and take a dry bag or dry box with a wool hat, waterproof matches, lighter, and waxed fire starter balls. If I'm headed out on big water, I also add a pump and floatation bags in my skin-on-frame. A spare paddle is always under the deck lines.
     
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  12. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    I don't have one, but should make one. I also would add a small handfull of pure sugar or similar high energy food that doesn't go bad easily (from storage or heat). Nothing moves your body better than one cube of sugar when you are just giving up. :)
     
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  13. Foulwind

    Foulwind Guide

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    For a water tight container I use an emptied plastic peanut butter (16oz size) jar. I have one set up for fire. The jar is durable, can be used as a cup, will keep contents dry and protected. Its small enough to not be a hindrance but can hold a lot stuff. (IE. PJCB, matches, a couple fatwood sticks cut to fit, dryer lint, reg. Bic lighter, and a mag/fero bar) No pictures of the one I made, it's in another vehicle at the moment.
    I think the jar will be tall enough to place one of them space blankets in it also.
     
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  14. Early Man

    Early Man Supporter Supporter

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    I didn't get to go kayaking last year because my wife hurt both shoulders pretty bad. So what's in my walmart orange water resistant box right now is a cold rim cup made of stainless. a walmart match box (orange with a whistle and compass plus it cord. Oh I just now noticed it has a fire steel embed on one side. (never used one yet) A coil of 1/8 inch bungee cord, and a twist tie to hold it. Antacid peppermint flavor in a small baggie . Green garden wire on it's own cardboard cardboard. SOL brand folding knife with a whistle and a led light. 2 cigarettes for the damn blood sucking insects. A cord made to hold eye glasses , An elastic hair tie . 1 folded paper towel (for cleaning glasses.) 2 AA Batteries for my GPS. (1) 6 ft tape measure (for science ;) ) One water thermometer that records temps at depths. 1 clip of some sort for fishing, but it's like a blanket pin. ( I found it on a beach ) . A few sticks and shaving loose as a small kindling.

    The last thing has no place but here it is, 1 Old man In the Mountains Highway token, no longer of any use as a toll token anymore.

    Other items would be added if I was headed out on the water, like a BIC and that GPS, and a little more. There is a coiled plastic lanyard I added to clip it to the boat.

    I like the idea of an old Nalgene wide mouth bottle , and may add something like that to each yak between the hull and the outside of the seats. There is dead space there.
     
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  15. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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  16. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    The kit should be on your person, you could loose the boat along with everything else. PDF kit.
     
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  17. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    I plan on putting one in my 'yak. However, my PFD has a mini PSK setup. I have a stainless fixed blade on one shoulder strap, whistle on the other. The big center pouch (side entry PFD) contains a SAK, Hemlock K60, stormproof matches in an exotac case, mylar blanket and a altoids tin with some odds and ends (fishing). I don't remember what else is in there off hand, but I was going for a pretty self contained setup within the PFD.
     
  18. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    You could always get some velcro strips and stick some to the yak and the other to the bottle. That's what one guy I talked to did with his tackle box on his fishing yak. Just velcroed it to the bottom of his center compartment, in front of his seat.
     
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  19. Max Capacity

    Max Capacity Supporter Supporter

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    Dry bag with essentials and clothing. When I was guiding day trips, between the guides we always had shelter; stove with kit to heat water; some dried soups, hot chocolate, etc.; extra clothing; emergency blanket. You can put together a decent kit in a dry bag and tie it into the canoe/kayak so it's always there if you lose everything else.
     
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  20. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Didn't think of adding a stove. Granted I was thinking what could fit in a Nalgene bottle but if I were to use a dry bag I could put a change of clothes, tarp, stove (I have so many now that I could spare one to sit in the yak), etc. inside. Got me thinking. I have plenty of room in my bulkheads, almost 200L storage.
     
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  21. CKjeep84

    CKjeep84 Guide

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    I usually throw some supplies in a dry bag if I'm going to be out all day. First aid, food, water, tarp, fire making, light weight rain jacket.
     
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  22. gargoyle

    gargoyle Scout

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    Agreed. Your canoe sinks with your gear. All you got is what is with you.
    PFD Kit, something similar to an Altoids kit. Small, and in this case, watertight.
     
  23. YukonMusher

    YukonMusher Scout

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    When I am out either guiding or just for myself on day trips I also have a dry bag strapped to the canoe with some essentials to change clothes, get a basic shelter and boil some water and have some food.
    On multi-day trips I have that kind of stuff anyways, since it is part of my camping gear.

    I find the kit that is on the person (in the pdf!) the most important. People have lost their canoes and kayaks and no way to retrieve their gear. So what you have on you may be all you have to make due. I always carry some means to make fire (bic & ferro rod), a space blanket for shelter and signaling, a knife, some fishing gear and snare wire, some cordage, and a whistle. I also have my bear spray on my belt. I also used to carry my SPOT on my pfd, but now I switched to InReach and that unit is a little too big for my pfd pocket...:-(
     
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  24. Scotchmon

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    Dry bag not water tight??? Sea to Summit bags, and roll them correctly...
     
  25. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I have Sea to Sunnit bags. I can vouch for them being waterproof in the short term. Just not sure for a set it and forget it type of kit that will stay in the boat all season. Maybe and I might be heading in that direction or doing a little of both with real critical items in the bottle and the bottle in the dry bag.
     
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  26. Bryan

    Bryan Tracker

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    I just ordered a Fishing PFD so i would have plenty of space for a "I got dumped and my boat floated away" kit. Tarp, first aid ,flare and smoke, whistle ,space blanket, fire starting kit, light , map and compass, life straw ( may have to find a dedicated attachment for it). Some kind of energy bars. That covers food,water, shelter, warmth and signaling. Map and compass in case it looks like I can walk out.
    If I am really in the boonies I may make a small bag I can attach to the vest across my shoulders. Not big just to get a few more items ashore with me. Something like this 6x9x2.5"[​IMG]
     
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  27. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    I have yet to see a properly closed dry bag leak in a non-whitewater situation. Also can't imagine said dry bag allowing a canoe to sink (non-whitewater) when attached to a thwart - unless you're also shipping really heavy items like a large Dutch oven or a car battery. Nearly all my gear is in dry bags and/or hard waterproof containers, and all is attached to the boat, but can be quickly removed. That which is not in containers will fall out easily and sink on its own.

    When doing serous whitewater, I almost always have extra flotation added to the canoe. But I have never seen a decent canoe with even the slightest amount of flotation just sink to the bottom when swamped in flat water. Seems like they always want to roll upside down and float just at the surface. That would be different, of course, if heavy items such as batteries, motors, or kitchen sinks are attached. Truly - if your dry storage is attached to the canoe or kayak and you are not hauling a ship's anchor, it is not likely to sink out of sight....unless it's getting trashed in big whitewater...and in that case, extra flotation should be there anyway.

    Now, whether you can re-acquire your boat and gear in reasonable time after getting dumped......that's another thing altogether. That depends on your terrain and the character of your river. Or in the case of dumping on a large lake or the ocean, that depends on the wind and what you have done to avoid being separated from your boat.

    A kit attached to your body has to be small enough to not interfere with paddling or swimming, but should have essentials to get you by until you can be reunited with the seat of your boat. Those items are going to be different, depending on your location and activity. What is important to a sea kayaker isn't going to be the same for a river cruiser.

    When I'm canoe tripping, especially solo, I generally keep a knife, a bandanna, multiple fire starting items, mini waterproof FAK, and an energy snack on my person. My PFD has a drinking water bladder pouch attached, and the PFD is always attached to me. On day trips, I will have spare warm clothing in a dry bag - attached to the canoe. Longer trips will have other camp gear and food in dry bags and a small waterproof barrel.
     
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  28. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    Two easy ways to loose or become separated from your boat and it didn't sink to the bottom. It simply floats down river while your trying to self rescue, or it gets pinned with no access to its holdings. Presuming you are running solo. It is nice to stay with your boat in a dump, but that doesn't always happen, and a pinned boat is no fun.
     
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  29. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Just want to point out that no one's bothered acknowledging or thanking the link I posted yesterday, so I'm going to assume that no one's bothered looking at it.

    Go on, OP... click it. Then tell me why it won't work as either a "stay with the boat" kit or as a "wear on your person" kit.
     
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  30. Bridgetdaddy

    Bridgetdaddy Scout

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    I am in the " supplies in the boat, emergency basics on your PFD" school of thought. Only thing I would add is I always have a double edge, partly serrated divers knife on my PFD. I am right handed so it mounts on my left side, kind of cross draw. I can get it or put it back with only one hand and it doesn't get in the way wether canoe or kayak. Can be a lifesaver.
     
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  31. Backyard

    Backyard Supporter Supporter

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    @Seeker, nice thread.

    Not trying to stir the pot, well maybe a little, other than waterproof, what is the difference from any other PSK?
     
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  32. Bryan

    Bryan Tracker

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    Thank you the post was very informative and a good addition to the conversation
     
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  33. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Yes - good ditch kit post, Seeker.



    If you are tripping alone on a wilderness river, recovering the boat can be the most important issue. Having enough flotation (including the air trapped in your secured dry storage) can help a lot in avoiding a pin, or at least making the pin less forceful. If the situation warrants and you are solo, keeping the hardware and cordage for a "z-drag" in a pouch on your person is a good idea. It may be what you need to unpin your boat - or if the boat is hopelessly pinned, it may be what you need to help recover your larger gear.

    In the case of a sea kayaker - the ditch kit should include a portable marine vhf radio and/or PLB, along with emergency strobe. I'm not a sea kayaker, so I'm sure there are other specific items that might be appropriate.

    BTW - it takes some pretty big and technical whitewater to immediately separate you from your boat in a dump - unless the pin is what dumped you and you wash away from it (a situation that can be avoided with basic skill and attentiveness). If you are running that sort of river in an open boat or your skill level is lacking, you should be maxed out in flotation. I fall out of my boat more than most paddlers (because I am often standing in the canoe where dumping is a fair likelihood), and I nearly always find myself within arms reach of the boat - whether it has added flotation or not. As for just floating away while you self-rescue.....this is why there should be painters at both ends of the canoe, folded into bungees so that you can just grab one end to deploy, and swim to shore. Nothing is failsafe - but these are simple precautions that are reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  34. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Sorry, it is too easy to pass over a post with just a link in it. It's a long one so I'll need some time to review. At first glance I'm sure it is a great setup as well.

    I primarily want something that is small and that is always in the boat regardless. Most of my paddles are out and back to the cottage on a small/medium sized inland lake. On longer trips and on bigger water (Great Lakes) my gear is more comprehensive anyway. All of this discussion is excellent as I really want a multi layered approach where I can adapt my gear to the situation. Most of my trips do not involve needing a stove for example as in an emergency I can paddle to someone's dock and call someone on my phone. I won't need to make a meal in that situation. But when I head out to the ADK and paddle in the wilderness I want to have the safety of being able to stay safe, warm, and fed in case something goes wrong. Thanks for your post.
     
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  35. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I also wanted to add that the goal for this summer is to test out as much of my safety gear as possible to get comfortable using it. I want to teach my boys how to use the gear as well so we can learn together.
     
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  36. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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  37. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Well, for one thing, the size... that container is huge for a psk... there's room in that ammo pouch for it and a small tarp/MEST/casualty blanket. I can have full sized stuff inside, instead of minis. Knife. Match case. Lighter. Fire starter. Casualty blanket. Whatever. When the water temp was 33*F, and your manual dexterity is crap because you've got 15 minutes to build a fire or die, "big" helps.
     
  38. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thanks for the post and the discussion and for linking to my related post on a bail out kit.

    I like your idea of outfitting your watercraft with some standard safety gear. It reminds me of the ammo box my granddad kept in the fishing boat at the lake. Filled with repair stuff and what not saved the day when we sheared a pin or had other problems.

    A tough and totally waterproof container is a must I think if it is to stay on the boat. Nalgene could work, but I find them a little small and hard to get into without dumping out the whole thing. Maybe one of those hard cases like pelican or a knockoff would be worth considering. I picture like a 6x3x10 inch box.

    I don't know what you are preparing for in these. Sounds like maybe a day trip goes bad scenario. So think about what might go wrong. Capsize, cold wet people, lost or damaged gear, getting lost, separated party, coming back late after dark...

    I would have some simple first aid stuff, repair items, wire, zip ties, cordage, duct tape. Any replacement parts for ones that could get lost like a clevis pin or a drain plug or the like. Leatherman. Maybe some 5 min epoxy. Then some stuff to help injured or stressed people, like a space blanket (I would go for the heavy duty reusable one which has many uses) energy bar, flash light or light sticks, maybe chemical hand warmers, fire making stuff. Some signal stuff like whistle and mirror. Also some cash and a list of emergency phone numbers is good. We all keep numbers on our phones, but what if that phone is gone? I also add a content list with a pencil to my kits and make a note if I use something so it can be restocked. Add an extra page for misc notes.

    I like the idea of testing them out. Maybe ask the users to try out some items to get familiar, like use the blanket at a lunch stop, or 'test' the energy bar or make a fire with the kit. Anything to get hands on familiarity helps.

    Just some thoughts on the subject.
     
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  39. chekmate

    chekmate Scout

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    I always carry my canoe PSK around my waist. I want something on me in case I loose my canoe.

    My Canoe PSK comes in at just over 2 lbs. This is what I have in it:

    Water Proof Fanny Pack 750 ml Stainless Steel Oval Pot with lid

    Stainless Mora SOL Survival Poncho

    2- Drum Liners Lansky Knife Sharpener

    Magnesium / Ferro rod w/ Striker Safety Pins

    Roller Skate Bearing Compass

    Dental Floss Water Purification Tabs

    Signal Mirror Char Tin with Flint & Steel

    Multi-Tool Whistle

    50’ # 18 Bank Line 20’ Paracord

    20’ Jute Twin 20’ Snare Wire

    Mini Flash Light Head Lamp

    Fishing Kit Coffee & Sugar

    Mylar Survival Blanket 3’ Tin Foil

    Jigsaw Wood Saw Blade Bic Lighter

    Cotton Balls w/ Petroleum Jelly FAK

    Most of the items fit is the oval pot in which I put in a dry bag then a ziplock bag.

    Canoe PSK 1.jpg

    Canoe PSK 2.jpg

    Keep Your Tinder Dry
    Chekmate
     
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  40. TNCanoer

    TNCanoer Scout

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    I keep a small first aid, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a roll of TP double bagged in ziplock bags in my tackle bag.
     
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  41. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    Great advice guys. Keep it coming. My kit keeps growing with each post:)
     
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  42. chekmate

    chekmate Scout

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    One thing I missed, because it changes with the location I'm canoeing. Is a photo or scanned copy of the area in a ziplock bag. If I loose my canoe, with the compass, map, and my canoe PSK I can find the nearest help.

    Keep Yout Tinder Dry
    Chekmate
     
  43. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Scout

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    you forgot the one where a person doesn't tie the boat and during a stop for lunch or a leak... weather rolls in and the wind blows said boat out into the water, no where to be seen...
     
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  44. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Guide

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    I just picked up three topo maps of my surrounding area and two boxes of zip lock bags, tow sizes. I can use my phone but I really like a real hands on dirty map.
     
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  45. chekmate

    chekmate Scout

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    Hey! Bad Little Falls,

    I can't agree with you more. Technology is fantastic! But give me a Map & Compass any day and I'll never get lost! :dblthumb:

    Keep Your Tinder Dry
    Chekmate
     
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  46. Craig Brown

    Craig Brown Tracker

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    On my pfd I have a gerber shorty on the lash tab. In the pfd chest pocket I have a bic lighter and vaseline cotton balls double sealed in plastic inside a large altoid tin. In the canoe I have a small drybag I have a lighter,vaseline cotton balls, space blanket,life straw, small first aid kit, Betadine, large waterproof gauze pads, clotting powder, penlight,compass, duct tape and strobe light. Got cut once bad so I kind of went overboard on the medical stuff.
     
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  47. Sharpster

    Sharpster Tracker

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    I have an ABC Knife attached to my PFD. I have multiple cotton balls sealed in wax with a ferro rod to make a fire. I will add an energy bar this year as well, thanks to another poster.

    I have a dry bag behind the seat with base layer wool clothes, and rain jacket and pants. I also have a manual and electric bilge pump behind the seat.

    In the front bulkhead I have a complete set of lightweight clothes, microfiber towel, leather gloves, food and cookset.
    Under the front bulkhead I have two 500ml water bottles (Collapsable) snacks, camera, and paddling gloves.
    Attached to the bow is a painter line coiled along the deck and placed in the same position for easy grabbing in event of wet exit, to retain the boat. I have also trained to remember to hang on to the boat as a priority item over all else.

    In the rear bulkhead, I have a hammock, tarp, water filtration, 50 feet of rope, first aid, machete, and small chair.

    In seven years of paddling this has failed to go with me twice, and both times I regretted the choice needing the gear, but never took it, cause it was just a short outing.

    Needless to say, I believe in being prepared, and all this gear weighs less than 30 pounds.
     
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  48. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    Just a quick post for those that may have missed it. These were in my PFD as part of my emergency kit when I took a dunk in saltwater. I figured the ferro rod/mag bar would be my all else fails firestarter, but the match case clearly faired better.
    20170428_183854.jpg
     
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  49. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    As a guide, I keep a ditch bag. A dry bag with first aid, fire starter, emergency blanket, toilet paper and extra clothes.
     
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  50. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    I use a roll top SealLine waterproof fanny pack that isn't even made any more. The old ones had a big mesh front pocket that could swallow daily gear (snacks) w/out having to open up the waterproof compartment each time. The new ones do not have the mesh pockets.

    I wear either around my waist, bandolier style (when on land), or buckled around a thwart/deck beam - depending on conditions and risk. It pretty much just replaces my chest rig when dealing with water.

    Worn around like a bandolier with my PSK in it.
    [​IMG]

    It holds my snacks for the day, comms, maps, orientation stuff, PSK, etc.

    It is the black thing at the bottom of this pic.
    [​IMG]

    I can swim with it easily.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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