Emergency kits

I am in the process of modifying and expanding my emergency kit for my touring boat. So far, here’s the inventory:

Nalgene lexan 1 qt wide-mouth (for contents & water collection)

Cup to fit over bottom of bottle (boiling water)

Duct tape

Cord, 1/8 in x 50ft

Rudder cable

Cable clamps

Asst. nuts & bolts

Space blanket

Trash bag (giant size)


Glow sticks

Rubber bands

Pliers (small)

SAK (w/screwdriver, awl, blade etc)

Boullion cubes


Signal mirror

Waterproof matches

Fire starter paraffin wads

Small coil of wire

Waxed poly whipping twine

Needle & thread

Misc Fastex hardware


Velcro lash straps

Stuff sack to protect the bottle

Some of my paddling buds kid me about how much junk I carry on daytrips (I have not mentioned my first-aid kit or signal kit yet!). Anyone else out there as anal as I in this department?

Jim A

As Frank Lehrer wrote and sang,

Be Prepared,

Thats the Boy Scout’s marching song,

Be prepared, as through life you march along

Be prepared to hold your likker pretty well,

Don’t write naughty words on walls if you can’t spell…

That was TOM Lehrer. Had a senior moment there.


Kits & Lists
I’m probably less prepared than I should be in the repair department…and over do it in the first aid area. I won’t list all the stuff, but when I’m packed for a wilderness trip, I’ve got you covered in the event of a burn, bruise, blister, broken bone, dehydration, loss of dental filling, eye injury, intestinal cramping, throat obstruction, bee sting (with accompanying shock), frostbite, snake bite, bug bite, animal bite, gunshot wound, ax wound and childbirth.

First aid is great if you expect the ambulance to arrive in the Golden Hour. If it’s going to take longer than that…well, some extreme measures may be in order.

I hate it when things go wrong. I’m hoping there is an inverse relationship at work: the more I’m prepared, the less likely it is to happen.

First Aid kit
Mine is basically the same as yours with the addition of a small water-tight first aid kit that has all the essentials. I have it all in a small red dry bag that has a shoulder strap and a lanyard.

One item no one’s mentioned

– Last Updated: Feb-17-04 5:19 PM EST –

is toilet paper. To me, its an emergency if you don't have it!!

I thought I was doing good, but my kit is nowhere as comprehensive as yours:

Toilet tissue
leatherman tool
space blanket
waterproof matches
signal mirror
4 AA batteries
small first aid kit
small roll of duct tape
emergency strobe light
small bottle of 100% DEET bug repellent

Water purification tablets and some kind of fine wire are a couple of things I've been meaning to add.

**Edited to add this is what I take for an afternoon or day paddle! Overnighters call for a totally different list that's loooonnng!


Wow, we really could decend into a debate over exactly where to store your TP. Mine goes into the First Aid Kit drybag with the heavy=duty reflective bivvy sack. The “EMERGENCY” kit I am assembling will live in the kayak all of the time, secured to thh front bulkhead in the fromt compartment. As they say at the University of Sea Kayaking, “What works for you…”.


I also carry epoxy putty
Just tear off a chunk and knead it till colors uniform. You can patch or glue with it. It fits right intoan M&M minis tube for storage. I also carry a magnesium fire starter.


I keep a box “handy” but only pack out of it for the environment for which I’m paddling’ going on the assumption (we all know what “assume” means) I won’t need the snake-bit kit this winter. There is such a thing as packing so much “stuff” that you no longer have room for items ssential for your particular trip.

Stay safe on the water,