Don’t think you need a kayak or canoe survival kit? Think again. Even if you’re just going out for an afternoon trek across the bay, you never know what’s going to happen out there. The weather can quickly take a drastic change, a rogue wave can capsize you, equipment problems can stranded you in a remote location. As the old saying goes- it’s better to have a survival bag and not need it, than need one and not have it… or something like that!
Canoe & Kayak Survival Kits go by several names: bailout bags, safety kits, survival bags, etc. And we’re not just talking about a first aid kit and a cell phone here. A well equipped survival kit should include the following items:
- A handheld marine radio (with weather bands)
- A handheld compass
- A GPS unit (optional)
- Waterproof matches
- Fire starter
- An emergency blanket
- A first aid kit (marine variety)
- A small fishing kit (line, hooks, bobbers, plastic worms, etc)
- Several flares
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- An emergency strobe light
- A air blow fog/air horn
- Duct tape (Red Green would be proud)
- 30- foot length of rope
- Emergency food rations — energy bars, food sticks, etc
- 2- Liters’ of water per person
- Bug repellant
- Toilet paper (not optional)
We know this sounds like a lot of STUFF to be hauling about but you’d be surprised with how much equipment can be stowed in a good 6×12″ or 8×14″ dry bag. Remember, a good dry bag correctly stored serves the dual purpose of adding a little extra flotation to your kayak or canoe.
You can always add to or subtract from the above list. But just remember: a good kayak survival kit isn’t a luxury… it’s a necessity. Like the old commercial says: don’t leave home without it… or something like that so PADDLE SAFELY!