What's In Your Wallet, er, Bailout Bag?

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by kayakwriter, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    I was so impressed by the collect wisdom of the WCP hive mind on the “What’s in your first aid kit?” thread I thought a similar discussion on bailout kits might benefit us all. To get the bag rolling, here’s my current kit.

    Since I carry a VHF, and on more remote trips, a PBL, both on my PFD, the idea was to create a kit that would keep me alive for 24-48 hours on the well-watered PNW coast, with the assumption I’d been separated from my boat, but had made it to shore. Everything goes into a Sealine bags Sealpak. http://cascadedesigns.com/sealline/pack ... ak/product. I’ve tested it fully packed to confirm it’s positively buoyant, even in fresh water (it’d be ironic to be dragged down and drowned by your survival kit.) It rides clipped to the daisy chains on the back of my PFD (if you don’t have it on your person, you don’t have it.)

    Roughly clockwise from top left, the contents and their intended possible uses include:

    An Integral Designs Siliponcho http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_ ... N=99279112 It can be tarp/tent, a wind/rainshell, and a location marker/signal flag – I choose yellow for this reason.

    Coghlan’s wire “Commando saw” (cutting wood for fires and shelters) To be used in conjunction with the knife on my PFD.

    Eyeglasses (I wear daily wear contacts while paddling and would eventually have to remove them. Being half-blind in a survival situation would be awkward). In the eyeglasses case ride several hanks of Amourcord, a very thin and light cord to be used for rigging the tarp/tent and poles.

    MEC Turtle light, which has a flashing mode for signalling.

    Several tablets of Aquatabs water purification. Each treats one litre.

    Coghlan’s “storm” water and windproof matches.

    Several firetabs for starting fires in wet weather.

    A Tatonka cooking pan with waterproof latching lid, which holds pretty much all the kit contents aside from the poncho, glasses and waterbottle.

    A couple of wrapped candies for quick energy.

    Several packets of bouillon. Less for food energy than for a hot drink.

    Several bars of lifeboat rations, vacuum bag repacked from the original foil 20-bar pack. These bars are formulated to maximize food energy while minimizing thirst.

    One litre folding water bottle, sized to match the purification tablets.

    Two Mylar “space blankets” for windbreaks, body wrapping, and reflecting heat from fires.

    FYI, I know from spending a night bivied away from my main camp that the neoprene deck of my sprayskirt makes an adequate fetal-position sleeping pad.

    Additions/modifications I’m contemplating include:

    Oral rehydration salts. I carry some in my main First Aid kit, but I wouldn’t have that with me in an abandon-ship situation. I know from a near drowning experience that swallowing salt water can make you puke yourself pretty dry.

    A Primus Ignition Steel Fire Starter in lieu of the matches. I’m getting pretty good with this lighting my Trangia stove, and unlike matches or a lighter, there’s not much to go wrong with it.

    So, what sayeth the collective? What obviously useless stuff have I got and what outrageous oversights have I made? (Bare in mind that the carrying capacity of my kit is pretty much maxed out, so if you suggest an addition, be prepared to suggest an offsetting removal.)

    Let the games begin!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Great topic! I'll reply with mine a bit later, just wanted to mention that those Seal Line bags are apparently not waterproof! I've been using one over the past year and I like it, and it's kept my stuff pretty dry, but reviews I've read say they will not survive an immersion.
     
  3. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    That's why I keep the critical stuff - matches, flashlight, etc - inside the latching pan and lid (a silicon gasket on the pan lid makes it watertight).
    If I didn't have the pan, I'd seal anything that would damaged by water in ALOKSAK baggies (http://www.loksak.com/). We sell them at MEC.

    If they made a bag in a size and shape suitable for a kayak bailout bag, I'd use one from Watershed (http://www.drybags.com/) I have several I use in the kayak. They're full-on submersibly waterproof and very tough.
     
  4. DarenN

    DarenN Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    ARRGH!
    i just wrote a diatribe on survival kits and then lost it.
    i'll try again.
    loose the packaging.
    Weber or Zip BBQ starters will light with a flint-and-steel, and burn long enough to heat water. even in the rain. so you could loose the matches, but add a ferrocerium rod.
    those cable saws are'nt worth the price paid. get a bigger knife for your PFD. mount it to a shoulder strap.
    there was a lot more in the original attempt. i'll try some more later.
     
  5. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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  6. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Looking forward to your expert input.

    I know from having trashed one that they're semi-disposable. My thinking was I'd be cutting the odd sapling or thin piece of driftwood for shelter/firewood, not homesteading. There is a better option - the bike-chain style Supreme Pocket Chain Saw, but it's heavier and bulkier.
     
  7. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Don't underestimate the saw blade on a swiss army knife. Mine has come through surprisingly well a number of times.

    Also consider adding a small bic lighter. Matches are great, and so are fire steels, but a small lighter can light hundreds of fires compared to the dozens that a pack of matches can.
     
  8. KayDubbya

    KayDubbya Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Great first list Kayakwriter. I've usually "preached" that you should have a bail-out kit that is reflective of the conditions that you are about to go paddling into, as opposed to a "one size fits all" circumstances style of kit. Having said that...

    My basic components include;
    - Adventure Medical Emergency Bivy Sackhttp://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...4442622539&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302696025. It's bigger than a typical mylar blanket, but much more durable and can be used lots of different ways.
    - Pen flare launcher with three flares
    - "Strike anywhere matches" that have been dipped in melted wax at least half way up the length of the stick. I've found that "Waterproof" matched might not light until they are completely dried out and almost always require the striker strip.
    - A Bic lighter and a decent Swiss Army knife.
    - small, basic First Aid kit (a couple of band aids, "Nu-Skin" patches, aspirin & bendryl, butterfly sutures, polysporin spray)

    Beyond that I'll put together a few other things before I head out depending on my level of confidence in the outing. If I'm paddling with new paddlers I'll pack a larger backpack style bail-out kit with a group tarp, some food (e.g. Cliff bars) a spare fleece top, etc. If I don't know what to expect for weather (fog, tides, etc.) I'd pack some method to cook a meal and a bit of food to go with. I've also found that planning a bail-out kit before you paddle is a good way to analyze your trip and make sure you're thinking ahead.

    I love your idea of some thin (strong) cordage. Nothing beats a good rope.
     
  9. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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  10. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    A poncho is probably one of the more useful items. Collect water when it rains; keep dry; stay warmer, You can even sit under it with a candle to provide heat.
    Useless item. Build your fire with small pieces of wood. Dead twigs still attached to the tree are probably best. The forest and beach is full of pieces of wood of all shapes and shades of dry.
    Useless item. Most water is safe to drink. I wouldn't worry about it in the urgency of survival. Even gaurdiasis isn't life threatening. Also I wouldn't assume finding water on our 'wet' coast. Lots of dry places particularly in late summer. Too, you can survive for several days without water. And you have your PLB.
    Useless items. In my unhappy experience waterproof matches are also fireproof. A flint and steel works all the time. (Is that what the ignition steel fire starter is?) I used to light my stove with such for years till the price way outstripped that of wood matches. Coghlan sells flint mounted in a bar of magnesium for about $10 and lasts for a season of frequent camping out. The magnesium can be used as a fire starter (I've never tried to do this). Your knife is made out of steel (right?).
    I find birchbark in a ziploc works as fire starter.
    May I recommend a heavier duty poncho? If you want to reflect heat from a fire build it against a rock.
    See, you've got a pot so you don't need a water bottle.
    Problem is most of this stuff has an expiry date or will eventually go off due to dampness, even the rehydration salts. You can survive without food for several weeks so this is low priorty stuff. You might be better off with a fishhook and piece of line.
    Excellent idea. I wonder how many people have such in their earthquake kit.
    That is a good idea. Something to sit on while under your poncho.

    You mention that you have a knife. I would recommend a good steel knife with a sharp blade. The knife on my life vest is coated with vaseline but it still tends to rust and I'm not confident it will cut much without effort. Too it is covered with chrome so I'm not sure it will react with flint to make sparks.

    It's a good idea to think about but much of this can be improvised and if your plan is to call for help you won't be on the shore for more than a night. (unless you are in trouble because of tsunami event in which case you are on your own because there won't be resources to help)
     
  11. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    I weaved a fob for my swiss army knife out of paracord. Very handy, especially for fishing the knife from my pocket. It's 16 feet of 7 strand paracord, so that's 128 feet of strong cord if I take it apart. Very easy to weave.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPO19rXgaIo
     
  12. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    For those that would rather purchase than put it together from scratch, there is Gear Pods. These kits are more suited to keeping in the kayak or strapped to the deck than on your body, but they seem pretty bomb-proof and the containers should be waterproof. I have a full "Wilderness" kit which includes some basic first aid stuff, fire-starting items and a variety of other survival items. I have taken the system apart and every tiny bit of capacity in these containers is used. These things are absolutely stuffed and it's a tad tricky getting everything back in. It all seems pretty well thought out too. The containers are available for purchase on their own, but a good 'ol BPA-laden Nalgene would do just as well (in my humble opinion).

    I can upload pictures if interested.

    I intend to head off into the wilderness one of these days this fall without much gear in an effort to field-test the Gear Pods.

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  13. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    I think everyone is forgetting something obvious! Car keys, cellphone/satellite phone and wallet/passport! Maybe it is on your person but not in your "bug-out" bag(Old US Army term).

    I too use the Seal-line bag. Wife always has it strapped to her waist with our ID's, cash, cellphone, pocket flares, energy bars, two 355ml bags of water. My fishing vest carries the rest of the survival gear, which can all get wet.

    Nobody mentioned having their tow-rope attached to them? Guess it doesn't do you good if you are going solo! I don't go solo into the ocean either for fishing or an afternoons paddle.
     
  14. pryaker

    pryaker Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    A few weeks back I found this thread to be thought provoking and told myself I needed to add a few items to my ditch bag. As usual I did a great job of procrastinating and didn't do anything to follow up on this. Then yesterday while organizing the gear stash I came upon my ditch bag and proceeded to check out exactly what was in it. Needless to say my previous thoughts were correct and it needs work.

    One of the things I don't currently have is a cup or pot to heat water in. I have fire starting supplies but then nothing to boil water in. I could just throw in a cup or small pot but like the idea of a seal able box/pot to provide extra protection for my stuff.

    So I'm posting to see if anyone can recommend a waterproof box that can double as a cooking pot? I've searched for the Tatonka pot that KW mentioned but haven't been able to find it.

    Thanks
     
  15. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    I haven’t seen them lately either at my local Tatonka retailer – they may have been discontinued. You might try googling “tiffin tins” (kind of an Indian lunch box) and see if any are small enough and watertight.
     
  16. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    A bit far from Powell River but Yoko Yaya in the International Village in downtown Vancouver has some nice steel bowls with plastic sealing lids that can serve as a pot. Probably not fully waterproof but you could seal up the edges with tape. I've used them to put together several mini survival kits.

    If you ever make it to that store they have lots of neat stuff that can be repurposed for kayaking. Last thing I got there were these nifty little silicon finger grips for grabbing hot pot handles.
     
  17. pryaker

    pryaker Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Isn't everything? :lol:

    Thanks steven for the lead. Next time I'm down there I'll check it out. Vancouver was my only hope for KW's idea also, although as I write this I remembered there's a hippy/holistic/healthfood (I say that with love) kinda place on Marine Dr. where I might have seen some of those stacking lunch set ups, so maybe I can find what I need here in PR.

    Rog
     
  18. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    Can't believe I forgot to suggest this as an option - especially since we sell it! Case, pan and bowl/cup in one!

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_deta ... 4302782731
     
  19. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    Re: WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET, ER, BAILOUT BAG?

    How about a coffee can? Duct tape the lid on for the waterproof seal.

    There are a few companies that sell tin cups with folding handles that are sized to fit over the bottom of a Nalgene. Stuff your old BHP-laden Nalgene with ditch-kit supplies and slip the cup over then end, taping in place so that it doesn't go amiss. Just a thought.
    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  20. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    I was repacking and replenishing my ditch kit in preparation for an upcoming trip and I remembered this thread, and how I'd always meant to come back to it.

    My thoughts on a ditch kit are that it always has to be on my person, I can't rely on grabbing an additional bag. And if it's small enough to always be on your person then it can't cover all bases. So mine is geared towards getting a fire started and attracting attention, and doesn't include any food.

    [​IMG]

    Going from the top across I have: Signal mirror with sighting grid, duct tape, survival blanket, waterproof paper (2 small sheets), mini-sharpie felt pen. Then, in a ziplock, five band aids, an antiseptic wipe, and a small packet of polysporin, mini bic, four wax emergency tinders, a tea light (the baggie is to keep it from melting wax everywhere, not to waterproof it), a flint match, a waterproof "peanut" lighter, a red MEC turtle light, another small white led light (both lights have the battery protectors still on them, to prevent turning them on and draining the batts), four aquatabs, a pea-less whistle, a small swiss army knife, two red flares and a pen launcher.

    All this fits into a medium MEC pocket drybag that then goes into the pocket of my Kokatat pfd.

    [​IMG]

    To cover any needs for cordage and for another whistle I usually wear a paracord bracelet with whistle buckle:

    [​IMG]

    I've been carrying this setup for a couple of years now and so far have used the band aids, the lighters, the duct tape and two aqua tabs for when a filtration pump gave up. The bag itself is not submersible (and packed too tightly to close fully) so there is the possibility of stuff getting wet, hopefully nothing critical.

    Any thoughts, suggestions or comments welcome!