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#175478 - 06/30/09 04:24 PM My Survival Kit hurt me!
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 500
For my recent 3 day rafting trip on the Rogue River in Oregon, I had a minor incident caused by the way I carry my survival kit. My kit is about twice the size of Doug's PSP, and I carry it on a belt in an AquaPac, at the small of my back.

If you've whitewater rafted, you know that "unauthorized swims" are not highly unusual. Once you've managed to get to slower water, the raft approaches you... you hang on to the grab lines (usually along the side of the tube) and someone inside grabs your lifejacket by the shoulders. One monumental heave, and usually you're back inside the boat.

Not so with me. One monumental heave wedged my Survival Kit belt buckle under the lifeline... making it almost impossible to pull me further into the raft. I rolled around with my back to the raft, and the kit itself hung up. Finally brute force from two people inside the raft broke me loose and pulled me in. No worse for wear, except for an upper back "pull". And, scared! Quite scared!

So I'm going to re-think my carry options.

#175479 - 06/30/09 05:01 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: NAro]
Tom_L Offline

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
That's a really good reason why you should carry at least one fixed blade or one-handed folder within easy reach AT ALL TIMES. Preferably two, on different locations.

A number of people have died in a situation similar to yours. Falling into a fast flowing river, getting entangled in rope, branches, a submerged tree or some such obstacle is no joke. I've heard of a guy who drowned because his boot lace got caught underwater on a rock and he couldn't take it off. Eventually his buddies pulled him out but it was already too late. Folks have burned to death because they crashed their car and couldn't unfasten the seatbelt before the vehicle caught fire. Lots of not-so-pleasant scenarios that can happen almost any time.

Also, keep in mind that any gear that sticks out of your general silhoutette too much is likely to snag on something. I often see hikers who hang all kinds of stuff on their backpack, everything from cooking pots to bags, pouches and whatnot, probably just because it looks cool. Which I think is pretty unwise for the reasons just stated, not to mention it makes crawling through some dense bush unnecessarily tiring.

#175480 - 06/30/09 05:17 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: Tom_L]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
That's happened to me in the water before with knives or buckles from other gear... just gotta be careful and yell at the people trying to rip you in half wink a knife is good to cut you loose too. BUT as you noticed it all happens VERY VERY FAST.
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

#175501 - 06/30/09 11:47 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: Todd W]
NAro Offline

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 500
Good points, guys. Actually, I have/had more knives than I needed... had I needed one. And the boat guide had his Gerber River Shorty handy, too. And I agree about not having gear sticking out: the AquaPac is less than 2" thick, and the buckle isn't thicker than any belt buckle. Still, S&@t happens.

Actually, the problem was prolonged because those in the raft were (appropriately so) doing their thing... but unfortunately without listening to what I was trying to say. The solution was to stop pulling on me and allow me enough slack to self-extricate. I understand though: sometimes the "victim" is the last one the rescuers listen to.

My plan in the future is to have my PSP(s) in my pockets or under my pants or shirt. I could have and should have done so with the rig I wear, as it could have been worn next to my skin and under my shorts or T-shirt. The AquaPac is vinyl plastic, and wasn't comfortable next to my skin, so I moved it. Dumb move, in retrospect.

Lessons learned.

#175518 - 07/01/09 12:35 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: NAro]
Tyber Offline

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 299
Loc: ST. Paul MN

It honestly looks like you hav a good pack and to be honest.. lines get tangled on lines. In my opinion you have a small enough pack and murphy just got the better of you at that moment.

There may be ways to have a small PSP that can hide beneath the life jacket offering a smoother entery. I know that when I go into tight places and areas I have to be careful with what is on my belt and on my person. (add to that the fact that I am 280pounds and not a small person) Quiet often I have to think about how I get into and outof things.

I would not beat yourself up. even putting the pack next to your skin will open the posability for heat blisters or chafing.. and we all know chaifing is not fun.


#175521 - 07/01/09 01:29 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: NAro]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Good to hear you came through the experience without injury NAro.

I have a similar story that happened to a co-worker. My friend was the passenger in a Turbo Beaver float plane that was landing on a remote lake. The plane was on amphibious floats and unfortunately attempted to land with wheels down. The plane immediately flipped over when it contacted the surface of the water and slowly began to sink. The pilot quickly unstrapped his seat harness then unstrapped the passanger as he was struggling to get it undone. The pilot exited the aircraft but my friends equipment belt was entangled in the shoulder harness straps, therefore holding him inside the plane. Without thinking my friend took an old Buck 110 folding knife from his belt pouch and opened it with 2 hands, but before he could cut the straps the pouch tore apart and he was able to exit the aircraft. They both survived with only minor injuries and were rescued quickly.

My friends advice was to carry a serrated one-hand folder clipped to your cargo pants pocket for use when entangled. He also advised that if your outer work belt is attached to an inner belt with keepers , to remove these keepers when flying or working on water; this will allow you to drop the outer equipment belt quickly if required.

I think I may have posted this story on ETS before, I can't remember; good advice worth repeating if I did.


#175535 - 07/01/09 07:41 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: NAro]
Jeff_M Offline

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Originally Posted By: NAro
[snip]My plan in the future is to have my PSP(s) in my pockets or under my pants or shirt.

One of the things I like about BDU style clothing is the covered buttons on the pockets and fly to reduce snagging, as well as the roominess of the thigh pockets. Now, if I could just find some made out of a lightweight nylon,I'd be thrilled.

#175536 - 07/01/09 07:59 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: Jeff_M]
scafool Offline

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
I am glad to hear the worst you got was a scare NAro.
Snagging on stuff is why I don't wear anything on a cord around my neck, why I only wear weak watch straps and why I don't wear rings.
I also have a habit of checking my gear for loops that can snag too.

On a side note;
If you snagged on the raft's grab line others likely have too. It might be worth thinking about a safer way of providing that grab rope feature.
May set off to explore without any sense of direction or how to return.

#175537 - 07/01/09 08:03 PM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: NAro]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
I prefer distributed pocket carry for EDC rather than a "kit".
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#175552 - 07/02/09 01:23 AM Re: My Survival Kit hurt me! [Re: Russ]
raptor Offline

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 288
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Russ
I prefer distributed pocket carry for EDC rather than a "kit".

Me too. I have found it to be the best option for me.

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