emergency bivouac

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by fester, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. fester

    fester Paddler

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    Like many paddlers out there, most of my time on the water is restricted to day trips in familiar areas. I don't get out nearly as often as I'd like to more remote,exposed coastal areas for multi day expeditions. Because of this I tend to vary my choices for essential gear. I always carry a bare minimum first aid/boat repair/survival kit.

    Obviously if you are expeditioning you will have everything and the kitchen sink. I am curious to hear how others prepare themselves for unplanned stopovers in remote coastal wilderness.
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    (limited experience here):
    i bet a lot of the question would be answered by whatever is assumed to be essential in the backup kit.

    but if i had the money, one thing i would take is one of those tiny hennessy hammocks. they weigh abt a pound or so, give rain protection and shelter and warmth depending on setup. hang things to dry under.
    flat ground not necessary. (a real experienced guy may just substitute a tarp)

    the next would be say always have an extra 2-3 litres of water(filter anyone?)

    the next would be say a litre of trail mix.

    the above is just to make it thru an unsheduled night or so.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Geared up for cold water, I figure my farmer john, paddle jacket, and associated insulation is good for a bivy, with some protection from wind ... behind a log, or under/in my boat. A small tarp would be gilding the lily, but useful for keeping the wet off. Ahead of that, I'd add to my signal gear, figuring the weight/volume of a radio, flares, and, especially smoke would be more useful. Then would come firestarters and similar.
     
  4. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    On the one occassion I've had to bivy, my neoprene sprayskirt made a tolerable sleeping pad, and with my farmer john suit, the body heat of a pair of similarily benighted paddlers, and a tarp draped over us, we passed a quite comfortable night. It was warm and dry. Had it been raining, I'd have had to use the tarp as, er, a tarp, so it would have been less comfy, but survivable.
    I always have something that can be made into a roof with me (my sails and various bits of line), something to make fire with, some spare food (even if it's only power bars). In my old age, I've installed Therm-a-rest style seat pads for my rear and back - they could be de-Velcroed from the boat and used to insulate me from the ground.
     
  5. sea2sky

    sea2sky New Member

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    the basic nine essentials

    i always (well almost always) carry the following with me. usually kept in a couple of dry bags.
    1.) a fresh set of clothing + towel, and thermos of hot herbal tea sweeted with honey---this is called my 'I'm going over' kit. appropriately named after my friends son who declared he was going over before capsizing in Indian arm.........also,
    2.) First aid kit
    3.) firestarting kit, old dryer lint,wind/water proof matches
    4.) pocket knife
    5.) self inflating pad
    6.) my guide tarp with I use with a paddle
    7.) water and some snacks
    8.) adventure medical 'delux' bivy sac
    9.) signal mirror, flares, VHF and cell phone

    I know I'm missing something really important....and will remember once I hit 'submit'
     
  6. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Re: the basic nine essentials

    Dryer lint is great stuff - especially when 'mixed' with a bit of vaseline. I've never had a fire-lighting attempt fail when using these accelerants.
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Re: the basic nine essentials

    I have a band of nieces who give me each Xmas a couple paper egg cartons full of dryer lint, saturated with paraffin wax, poured in hot and allowed to cool. They really rock as firestarters, broken off into smaller chunks of two or three egg-units.
     
  8. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    Re: the basic nine essentials

    i use the same idea but with cedar hand plane shavings instead of dryer lint. i usually make up a tray every time i carve a paddle.
     
  9. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    I'm in the process of putting together a ditch kit.
    What kind of flares do you guys recommend? The hand held ones?
     
  10. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

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    The general rule of thumb Darren seems to be to carry both while paddling, but you might be limited to carrying the smaller handheld ones in a ditch kit. I carry 2 para flares in a piece of 3" PVC pipe secured behind the seat and 4 handheld flares in my vest that would be with me if I ditched and got separated from my boat.

    Brad
     
  11. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Cool
    Thanks for the response Brad.
     
  12. clw54

    clw54 New Member

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    Re: the basic nine essentials

    I find drier lint saturated with wd40 is an excellent fire starter. Stored in a plastic film can I have used them up to 6 months old .
    cheers
     
  13. cyberhun

    cyberhun Paddler

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    Kayakers don't need to ration every gram like back-packers have to --- bring a blowtorch. Not many fires won't start at the behest of a blowtorch.

    Dryer lint and wax sounds good --- I'll have to try that. Pine pitch or birch bark also works well to start fires, if available.