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#232017 - 09/13/11 04:13 AM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: bacpacjac]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
A 3 hour tour? Obviously you need a trunk full of money and a complete wardrobe for this kind of excursion! I don't see you as a Mrs. Howell type, so I'm guessing you'll be MaryAnn, or maybe Ginger?

I think the greatest risk would be a combination of the boat becoming disabled and someone going overboard and/or getting hurt in cold, rainy weather. Shock, hypothermia, bleeding and no communications.

I would suggest that each person bring extra sweatpants, hoody and socks in a dry bag or well-sealed trashbag, with some paracord attached to use as a tether if swimming is required. Even if you don't get wet, the extra insulation will be welcome in 3*C temperatures. If anyone requires prescription meds, tuck a couple day's worth supply in as well.

Building a fire can take time when its wet, which could be a problem if someone is shocky or hypothermic. I'd pack a good supply of chemical heat packs and mylar emergency sleeping bags or AMK Heatsheets Emergency Bivy Bags. These offer better wind and rain protection than just the mylar blankets.

I have nothing against TinderQuick, but I find that cotton balls coated with petroleum jelly work better and are less expensive. Carry them in an old 35mm film container (you might still find some at your local 1-hour photo processor).

I'd also bring several lightweight, woven, poly tarps, like REI and other outfitters sell as groundsheets for tents. The 8x10 ones REI sells are $6.50 each and weigh 18oz, 12x10 are $10 and 23oz, fold up pretty compact (at least when new). They may be cheaper at Walmart or Home Depot. Add some paracord and a folding saw to make shelter.

Lifeboat ration bars? 2400- or 3600-calories supplemented with vitamins and minerals, 5 year shelf life, compact, ready to eat. Though food probably isn't a big priority.

Handheld air horn for signaling?

I don't think carrying a PLB or SPOT would be a bad thing, though assuming you left info on your return time I think that its likely help would be rather quick to arrive either way after you missed your check-in time.

Edited by Mark_M (09/13/11 04:17 AM)
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
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#232020 - 09/13/11 05:02 AM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: bacpacjac]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
it always gets colder than you think out there, so as mentioned above, some hoodies, maybe a Woobie or fleece blanket.


--Bright ass waterproof flashlight or strobe.
--flotation device for everyone (mandatory anyway)
--I personally enjoy swim goggles.
--inflatable pool flotations, especially if kids are in the boat. Lets face it the chance of a ditch is low percentage, however, treading water for more than 15 minutes in a cheap pfd sucks, especially if you have kids under 10 YO. A simple infant sized inflatable doughnut is super small and can be blown up in about 30 puffs and takes away about 80% of your floating weight & energy.
--some cordage. First you never know what needs to get lashed down. Second, it keeps people together.

Edited by comms (09/13/11 05:13 AM)
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#232061 - 09/13/11 06:10 PM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: ironraven]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6580
Loc: southern Cal
What is the temperature of the water at this time of year? If you have a marine radio, who would be listening on the other end and provide assistance. Sorry, I am just not familiar with the way our Northern Neighbor runs these things, especially on inland lakes. Will you be close to the shorline or crossing open expanses of water. Any chance for large waves. What kinds of winds are forecast?

You do have oars or paddles in case your engine conks out, right?
Geezer in Chief

#232062 - 09/13/11 06:15 PM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
Good question -- three hours out could mean out of radio range, so even if a Marine radio is available, who will be on Ch.16?

If the water is cold enough, a note with a reliable friend on when to call for help and where to send them could be a recovery event; cold water is very unforgiving.

** PLB **

#232071 - 09/13/11 07:14 PM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: bacpacjac]
NuggetHoarder Offline

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
On your list you have a flare gun but no flares.

I would suggest adding:
  • PLB
  • some ski rope (floating rope)
  • duct tape
  • sunscreen
  • dry bag - purpose built for your cell phone - you need a bag that is dry and will let you use the phone while you are treading water
  • a second method to make fire

The ski rope can come in handy - if you have to ditch and you have time, you can tie together all the items that float - like coolers, boat cushions, empty gas tank, empty water jugs, etc. This won't make a raft to sit on but it will make a giant debris field that is more easily spotted from the air. If you don't have time to do that then the rope can at least help you keep everyone together as a group.

I imagine you don't want to spend a fortune on rescue gear since this is a once a year affair but there are lots of other items you could add if you have an unlimited budget. Greatland laser, Radar reflector, strobes, sea dye, handheld VHF transceiver, and quite a few more if you browse around the marine retailers sites.

And a final note - if you ditch and swim to shore, then you're most critical task will be fire making since you'll be soaking wet and shivering and a butane lighter may not work under those conditions. I'd add waterproof matches or a firesteel to your bucket.

#232074 - 09/13/11 07:36 PM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: bacpacjac]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
How big of a boat will you all be on? Does it have more than one engine? How old are the engines? Is the boat owned by one of your friends, rented or is this a professionally-piloted charter?

Will it have a cabin with some kitchen gear on board? Will there be much storage room? Will there be a dinghy?

Is it possible to find out in advance what the inventory of safety-survival gear is already on the boat?

My suggestions are in consideration of possible mechanical failure or getting lost in fog -- resulting in drifting (or being anchored) or perhaps spending time on an island if for some reason the boat were beached or ditched.

In addition to much of what has already been mentioned I'd want to have some contingency food on hand -- such as Lipton Cup-of-Soup packets that you could put in zip-lock freezer bags. I keep in my car and day pack packets of a store-brand double-noodle version. Each packet is intended to be made with 4 cups of water but could be diluted and still tasty. Warm up from the inside....


If this were a big boat with ample storage, I'd also be throwing in some Mountain House freeze-dried meals. Seven guys could eat decently for a couple days with the Mt. House meals I can fit in a small daypack.

If the boat does not have a functioning stove and there were ample room, I'd consider bringing my JetBoil.

3 degrees Celsius = 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit

With those kinds of temperatures forecast, do you expect peops will be bringing thermoses?

Everyone should have on their person the means to make fire after spending time in the water. Each should have a LOUD whistle.

I'd want wool or fleece blankets on board. I would not wear blue jeans.

#232081 - 09/13/11 08:59 PM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: Dagny]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
3 degrees Celsius = 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit
That's the air temp, what is the water temperature?

There's a good table at Boating & Hypothermia that lists estimated time to unconsciousness and max survival time given the water temp. Cold water can be very unforgiving.

#232093 - 09/14/11 01:06 AM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Great advice gang. Thanks! I'll think I'll make this kit not only for the weekend, but also for a thank you for the boat owners. (The husband and father-in-law or one of the girls in our group.) They're avid anglers and hunters but not so good at prepping for an emergency so...

I've upgraded to a small dry bag, and I'm adding extra batteries for the radios and flashlight, a magnesium block, vaseline coated cotton balls, life raft matches, rope, some pocket warmers, a small air horn, a couple of mylar sleeping bags, esbit stove and some granola bars and instant hot chocolate. Everyone will have a whistle and immersion-activated flasher on the life jackets too. I only wish I had the budget for more.

Everyone carries their cell phones in waterproof cases, and I'll have my personal EDC and PSK on my person also, in secured and waterproof containers. A fisherman's vest would be comfy on shore, but not under a life jacket, which is an absolute in my books. I thought of using my fanny pack but it's not comfy with the jacket and my newly bum knee, which is going to cause a lot of seated fishing for me this weekend. My belt and the pockets of my army surplus camo pants will have to do.

Clarification: It's not a big boat. It seats 8, has limited storage space and no kitchen or bathroom. With 7 women aboard, there will be breaks to use a cat hole on shore.

This boat does have some electrical ghoulies that show up once and while so there are paddles, lots of rope and extra floaties on board as well. (Extra PFDs and boat bumpers)

No kids, dogs or boys are allowed on this trip. It's only us girls, and we're all outdoors enthusiasts. We've all spent enough time on the water, camping and doing first aid to have a good idea of how to stay safe. That being said, it's a big lake. Wind, rain and fog can roll in quickly and only one of us is familiar with the local area. Better safe than sorry, is my motto. A night in the water, or stuck in the boat or on shore could be a long one.

One of the guys on the lake is a friend of the family and our trip plans are filed with him. Along with our hubbies, he'll check in every night to make sure we make it back ok and, if he doesn't get a taste test of dinner by dark, will send out the local Calvary.

Not sure what the water temp is but the warm weather has only just left us so it might still be warm enough for a quick skinny dip at night without risking a heart attack, but too long to for an unexpected dunking away from the dock. wink
Mom & Adventurer

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#232094 - 09/14/11 01:09 AM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: Richlacal]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Richlacal
Put rubberbands around everything possible,they provide grip when wet,you can slip a banded item onto your hand,finger,wrist,such as flashlight for xtra hands-free ability.Extra tinder fortification of course,& you can shoot them at someone from 1 side of the boat to another or in camp,to get their attention,& if you are a good shot,skeeters/flys & such.

LOL!! I LOVE it Richlacal! Thanks for the idea!
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#232095 - 09/14/11 01:10 AM Re: Emerg Kit for Boat [Re: Aussie]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3599
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Aussie
Sounds like a fantastic trip. "A Three Hour Tour, A Three Hour Tour ...." you say ? Better pack some coconuts just incase !

Great ideas Aussie. Thanks guys!! As always, you're all very helpful and I appreciate it!
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

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