What Am I Missing?

Hey, since smarts on the water seems to be an apprpropriate in this forum, I am curious as to what you wear, attached to your body, for your most serious paddle. For me, that means open, big water crossings… in on the edge margins of common sense and conditions. I am mainly curious of attachments, but to condition this, I wear a dry suit with fleece undergarmets, have neo gloves and a fuzzy rubber skull cap. My PDF has a VHF, a couple of flares, a whistle/compass combo, a strobe, a small AAA WP flashlight, a Gerber knife and an empty pocket that carrier either a pentax camera, 2 oz of single malt scotch or a snack. I have a bail out kit in the day hatch, but if seperated from the boat, it is no good…

A portable GPS

Something I’ve considered

– Last Updated: Jun-19-06 8:02 PM EST –

I mostly paddle in the day time. It has occurred to me that the only device I have to communicate trouble in the daytime is the VHF. The aerial flares and strobe are virtually useless in full daylight. It seems to me that I should have a secondary means of communicating distress to other boaters during daylight hours so I now carry two orange smoke flares. They are too big to carry in the pfd so I keep them in a small drybag that I can secure to the pfd.

I think it would be a good idea to also carry an additional 2-4oz. of Kentucky Boubon in the extra space in the smoke-flare bag.

You need…
a satellite phone and an epirb. I would not depend on a cell phone or handheld VHF, in the troughs of six foot waves.

That stuff is not cheap. Hope you would never need it, but it might be your only way out, some day.

some basic stuff for getting warm
a warm hat, lighter + firestarter, snickers bar and bivy-bag together in a small dry bag can help one get warm upon reaching shore.

I’ve also known people to pack jelly powder for the mix of sugar and protein (served as a hot drink)

We gotta meet some day. I swear you are are my long lost brother from another mother. I’ll be in Philly in late July. If you ever get out to the Northwest, let me know. I will treat you to some smoooooth sipping Scotch. Nuttin against Kentucky, but them Scots been at it a loooonnng time and got it down right. Paddle on dude.

attached to your body
Look under “Survival Kit” to get some ideas.


The neighbor’s kids…
…if I get stranded and hungry they can supply 3 days of meals.

roll and leave the bail kit at home

Waterproof fanny pack containing . . .
I have recently acquired a Sagebrush Drygoods waterproof fanny pack that I will pack with survival gear - space blanket, first aid, emergency food (chocolate, energy bars) iodine tablets, warm dry hat, cell phone, 1 bottle of water, etc. that I will wear under the sprayskirt, bag in front, to sit on my lap for long crossings and expedition-type paddling. If I should get separated from my boat, God forbid, I would at least have those things in addition to whatever is attached to or inside my PFD as you listed.


last will and testament
will your loved ones have to deal with your decisions?