Canadian Canoe Routes

Emergency Bag?
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Author:  VA paddler [ October 9th, 2019, 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Emergency Bag?

After having the unfortunate experience of losing a canoe and half of our gear early on in a trip (luckily the situation only lasted 24 hrs), my paddling partner and I were discussing the benefits of carrying on our person some kind of emergency bag. Anyone do this? I was thinking something secured to the back of the pfd that had a nalgene, iodine pills, small container of deet, space blanket, first aid, protein bar, etc). Trying to think how to rig it so it wouldn't be in the way most of the time, or get torn off in a rough swim. Additionally, does anyone separate personal gear into different boats? My partner goes heavy on the clothes packing, which worked out well for me because otherwise I'd've been in my wetsuit the whole time, and I was lucky he brought some things from his fat period that I could squeeze into. Or, does anyone split up the kitchen into different boats? With one boat down, we were without stoves, pots, pans, etc, though we still had food stuffs - just no good way to cook it. During said incident, we nearly lost both boats. That would've gotten really ugly.
Interested in any thoughts...

Author:  recped [ October 9th, 2019, 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emergency Bag?

When I travel in a "group" of solos I am self-sufficient 100% and I expect those with me to do the same. There may be some shared group gear but only extras (large tarp, gravity water filter etc). Even if there is to be shared meals I can either share them with myself should I end up on my own or give them to someone else because unless it's a very long trip I will have my own backup supply of meal in a bag.

As for a ditch kit, I think there are many old threads with many suggestions for both style of"bags" and contents suggestions. There are many opinions out there on both but as usual they come with bias because what is most suitable for one style of tripping is perhaps useless for another. For example quite a few people use a thwart bag but this presupposes you will never actually lose your boat other than for a short period of time and within relative easy reach.

For your usage you need something that remains attached to you at all time so the cheapest and easiest thing is a fanny pack that you actually wear on your fanny. I have seem some pfd's that had matching pouches that attach to the back. There are pfd styles (mostly "fishing") that have quite a bit of pocket space that would work for a small kit.

Personally I don't use either, I do carry in my pfd, a knife, a lighter and most important my communication device. I figure that if I get permanently separated from my boat and all my gear I'm pushing the button and as long as I can make fire I can survive for the potential several days until help arrives.

Keep in mind, my bias is that I think like it's always a solo trip.

Author:  nessmuk [ October 10th, 2019, 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Emergency Bag?

Required gear to be carried attached to one's person during the Yukon 1000 mile canoe race includes: whistle, knife, signal mirror, compass, waterproof fire starter, small mylar or SOS emergency shelter bag, credit card, $20 cash each US and Canadian, maybe some other items that I can't think of now. Most of it fits easily in the pocket of a Kokotat PFD that I like to use.

For an actual bag shelter, google "bothy bag emergency shelter" and watch the youtube video demo.

Author:  Paddle Power [ October 10th, 2019, 1:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emergency Bag?

“Ditch kit” seems to be the most common term for such.

I have one and have been carrying it for about half a dozen years since I started going on single boat canoe trips.

You should be able to find more information by searching Myccr for “ditch” kit.

I wear a Kokatat Ms Fit Tour.

With an add-on rear pocket. An older style of this.

I like the low profile design of this rear pocket.

Author:  Paddle Power [ October 10th, 2019, 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emergency Bag?

For years I did 6 people, 3 tandem canoes, trips. It’s easy to put one stove in each canoe, etc. so redundancy is achieved.

The main reason I started carrying a ditch kit was because when I switched to doing 2 person 1 tandem canoe tripping there was less redundancy and safety.

When I do group solo canoe tripping it’s helpful if everyone/every craft is self supporting/self sufficient. That way the group has some level of redundancy, and no one is bound to camp together.

Likewise for my overnight trail runs.

Author:  VA paddler [ October 10th, 2019, 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emergency Bag?

Thanks for the suggestions!

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