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markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 08:51AM
Over the last two years I have been refining what I keep in a "ditch" bag. . .small backpack I keep at home or in car, and thrown in the canoe or kayak when out. The threads on survival trips got me thinking about it again. Here is what is in mine. Any suggestions?

EMG RAIN PONCHO
SIGNAL MIRROR
MED KIT
SPOT
PLB
FLARES
EMG TARP
EMERGENCY BIVY
ENERGY BARS
DRIED FOOD
WATER PURIFICATION
MECIAL RECORDS
PERSONAL ID
HAND WARMERS
TOILETTIRES
HYGIENE ITEMS
SLEEVE STYLE HAMMOCK
EMERGENCY SHELTER/TARP
MULTI TOOL
ESBIT STOVE AND FUEL
FLASHLIGHT
SURVIVAL CANDLE
BATTERIES
BOWL, PLATE, SPORK, CUP
RADIO
EMERGENCY BLANKET
WIPES
BAR SOAP
TOOTHBRUSH
TOOTHPAST
COMB
TUBE COMPRESSED TOWELS
SURVIVAL WHISTLE
SEWING KIT
LETHER GLOVES
DUCT TAPE
MONEY
PORTALE FISH KIT
SURVIVAL RIFLE
TRASH BAGS
COMPASS
PARACHUTE CORD
ZIP LOCK BAGS
FIXED BLADE KNIFE
SOLAR CHARGER
 
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kanoes
distinguished member(24748)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/20/2015 09:21AM
when youre paddling, a ditch kit is something you should be wearing, not something you would need to grab. my kit is in my PFD pocket.

2 space blankets
pj cotton balls
fire steel
flashlight and replacement battery
lighter
folding knife
strong, small diameter cordage
bug dope (tiny pump bottle)
compass/whistle combo
glad freezer bags (water containers)
head net

PLB on my belt
 
OldFingers57
distinguished member(5013)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/20/2015 09:33AM
That is a lot of stuff there in that ditch bag.
Mine is on my PFD:
Knife
Whistle
Small fire starting kit- PJ balls, lighter, fire steel
A couple of Ziploc baggies
A couple of water treatment tablets
A couple of band aids and some gauze pads
a small compass

 
2old4U
distinguished member(1460)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 10:06AM
In 35 years I've never had a ditch bag. As long as the tackle box is well stocked I feel nothing can go wrong...knock on wood:)
 
markaroberts
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01/20/2015 10:11AM
I should have clarified. . . .the list was for an emergency bag that I keep in the house and/or car as well as taking with my on trips.

I have a Kokateck PDF with a pack on the back that is made for it. In the pack is: First aid kit, parachute cord, life straw, flare gun and flares, small air horn. In the front pockets: signal mirror, orienteering compass, Spot, tactical light, knife, marine/weather radio.

The PDF is always on when paddling. The pack is for home/car/camping use when not in the boat.
 
Rustycards
distinguished member (138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 10:26AM
This may be dumb question but what is PLB?

My brother-in-law has a fire starting kit with flint, matches, lighter, cotton balls, and also several small sticks for kindling as this can be hard to find if raining. All fits in a small ziplock to keep dry.
 
01/20/2015 10:28AM
quote markaroberts: "Over the last two years I have been refining what I keep in a "ditch" bag. . .small backpack I keep at home or in car, and thrown in the canoe or kayak when out. The threads on survival trips got me thinking about it again. Here is what is in mine. Any suggestions?

EMG RAIN PONCHO
SIGNAL MIRROR
MED KIT
SPOT
PLB
FLARES
EMG TARP
EMERGENCY BIVY
ENERGY BARS
DRIED FOOD
WATER PURIFICATION
MECIAL RECORDS
PERSONAL ID
HAND WARMERS
TOILETTIRES
HYGIENE ITEMS
SLEEVE STYLE HAMMOCK
EMERGENCY SHELTER/TARP
MULTI TOOL
ESBIT STOVE AND FUEL
FLASHLIGHT
SURVIVAL CANDLE
BATTERIES
BOWL, PLATE, SPORK, CUP
RADIO
EMERGENCY BLANKET
WIPES
BAR SOAP
TOOTHBRUSH
TOOTHPAST
COMB
TUBE COMPRESSED TOWELS
SURVIVAL WHISTLE
SEWING KIT
LETHER GLOVES
DUCT TAPE
MONEY
PORTALE FISH KIT
SURVIVAL RIFLE
TRASH BAGS
COMPASS
PARACHUTE CORD
ZIP LOCK BAGS
FIXED BLADE KNIFE
SOLAR CHARGER
"


You're missing:

1) A map &/ GPS
2) The kitchen sink.
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 11:01AM
again, the items on the list were for a pack that is used in car/home/trips. I would leave it in camp in the BWCA. The items on my PFD are my "ditch bag" when canoeing.
 
jcavenagh
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01/20/2015 11:05AM
I refer to this as a Bug Out Bag. A pre-packed emergency kit. Use would most likely occur in a catastrophe, e.g. tornado, flood...zombie apocalypse ;)
To me a ditch bag is really a ditch kit that stays in the pocket of either my PFD on the water, or fanny pack on hikes. My ditch kit has the essentials, fire, fishing, first aid, blade, rescue signal(mirror& whistle), compass, space blanket, water purifier tablets, and some extra cord.
 
OldFingers57
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01/20/2015 11:22AM
quote Rustycards: "This may be dumb question but what is PLB?


My brother-in-law has a fire starting kit with flint, matches, lighter, cotton balls, and also several small sticks for kindling as this can be hard to find if raining. All fits in a small ziplock to keep dry."


A PLB is a Personal Locater Beacon.
 
wetcanoedog
distinguished member(4444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/20/2015 11:28AM
when i got a locator beacon i took stuff out of my PFD ditch kit!
all the long stay gear has been left out and now i just have a good foil bag and blanket,flash light and a fire making kit plus some life boat ration bars.
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 11:55AM
"when i got a locator beacon i took stuff out of my PFD ditch kit!
all the long stay gear has been left out and now i just have a good foil bag and blanket,flash light and a fire making kit plus some life boat ration bars."

Hadn't considered this point. Need to re think things.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 12:10PM
With so much stuff in your "ditch bag", you might leave it behind a lot because it's just too inconvenient too carry around. Less might be better.

I got an Eagle Creek Quick Trip Toiletry Bag to keep most of those "ditch kit" kinds of things in. Because it's small, I carry it around much more often.

For a trail run, I'll carry it in a hydration pack. For a winter day hike, I might carry a daypack with the "ditch bag", a small tarp and a 40 degree down bag if I'm going our far. For canoeing, I just toss it in the boat bag.

 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/20/2015 12:26PM
Survival rifle? Seriously?

Many of the items on your list are standard gear. Are you saying you pack all this stuff in addition to the gear you use on the trip?
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 06:36PM
With the exception of the rifle, all the stuff on that list is in very small packages. The entire list fits in a small day pack style backpack. I don't take the AR7 rifle to the BWCA. However it is in the pack for trips in KY.

As others have pointed out, some of the stuff is standard for a BWCA trip. As such, I don't bring extras if the items is in the pack.

The point of the PFD with the "ditch" gear is that it is always with you. The point of the pack is that I keep it in the trunk of the car which is either with me or in the garage. When paddling it goes in the canoe. I never have to guess if I have emergency gear I need.

But as above, if in BWCA the 22 AR7 does not accomplish much. That is why most in our group (17 men last year in 3 groups) bring side arms. Mine is a .45 in a special shoulder harness that integrates with the PFD>

 
jwartman59
distinguished member(3149)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2015 10:54PM
all i really need are some matches. with matches i can make a fire, after that everything is good. even in the very remote far north canada or alaska i could get by with just matches. trying to make a fire with other methods is silly and is best left to boy scouts.
 
wetcanoedog
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01/21/2015 12:26AM
i'm with you jw..matches and a Bic lighter as a back up are all that you need.the sparkers are just something campers use to as a fun way to light a fire and why folks would fool around greasy cotton balls is beyond me.
i have a tube of fire paste that has made many trip and a dab of that on a damp wood will get something going.
Bill Mason of canoe fame had the right idea when he said he had matches everywhere,in his spare clothes,cook kit,pockets,just everyplace and could get one fast.
 
wetcanoedog
distinguished member(4444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/21/2015 12:35AM
rather than dig around thru all my canoeing photos here is a link to the Youtubes i did about my ditch kit a few years ago before i got the PLB.
in the next couple weeks i'll make another one,part three,about the changes in the kit with the rescue beacon and not as much stuff in the PFD pockets. my youtube ditch kit
 
01/21/2015 08:03AM
quote wetcanoedog: "i'm with you jw..matches and a Bic lighter as a back up are all that you need.the sparkers are just something campers use to as a fun way to light a fire and why folks would fool around greasy cotton balls is beyond me.
i have a tube of fire paste that has made many trip and a dab of that on a damp wood will get something going.
Bill Mason of canoe fame had the right idea when he said he had matches everywhere,in his spare clothes,cook kit,pockets,just everyplace and could get one fast."


Made me start counting, 2 Uco Stormproof match cases, 2 Coghlan cases filled with strike anywhere matches, 3 ferro rods with strikers, and assorted butane lighters sprinkled thru my gear. Guess I could get a fire going!
Contents of my PFD first aid, ditch kit. I'm in the process of retiring this PFD and moved the gear to a new REI zip pouch again attached to the new PFD.

butthead
 
01/21/2015 08:09AM
matches
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/21/2015 09:42AM
I have storm matches (magnesium) in my PFD bag and in the survival bag.
 
Kiporby
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01/22/2015 09:53AM
Gotta have a flint / steel with cotton balls soaked in vaseline.

I'd rather have that than matches.
 
mooseplums
distinguished member(10177)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/22/2015 10:33AM
I have:

firesteel
cotton balls
small lighter
whistle
space blanket
cheap plastic poncho
small sewing kit
super glue
small folding knife
band aids
 
Squid
senior member (79)senior membersenior member
 
01/22/2015 10:37AM
Brother: "How many ways of making fire do you have, anyways?"
Me: "Not enough!"
 
jcavenagh
distinguished member(4552)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/22/2015 10:56AM
No fire starting ability has always been a deep, underlying anxiety I have on wilderness trips. It doesn't overtake the pleasure I get on trips, but it is always there in the back of my mind. I thought my fear of not having the ability to make fire was just me. Why I thought that, I don't really know. But I see now I'm not the only one. I guess its comforting to know I'm not necessarily crazier than some others...
 
01/22/2015 11:33AM
In addition to many of the the above items, in my Ditch kit I carry contacts, case and fluid. If both eyes are injured, then I am hosed anyway. but I need to see to work out survival/rescue.

mark, if you want a thread on bug out bags, start a new thread. But I will say that I really don't carry a bug out or get home bag on a daily basis. I work 2.3 miles from my house....I figure I can walk that!
 
zooshooter
distinguished member (157)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2015 11:35AM
quote markaroberts: "With the exception of the rifle, all the stuff on that list is in very small packages. The entire list fits in a small day pack style backpack. I don't take the AR7 rifle to the BWCA. However it is in the pack for trips in KY.

As others have pointed out, some of the stuff is standard for a BWCA trip. As such, I don't bring extras if the items is in the pack.

The point of the PFD with the "ditch" gear is that it is always with you. The point of the pack is that I keep it in the trunk of the car which is either with me or in the garage. When paddling it goes in the canoe. I never have to guess if I have emergency gear I need.

But as above, if in BWCA the 22 AR7 does not accomplish much. That is why most in our group (17 men last year in 3 groups) bring side arms. Mine is a .45 in a special shoulder harness that integrates with the PFD>

"


I'm curious now. What do you run into in KY that would warrant a rifle? and why the sidearms in the BW?
 
tpember
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01/22/2015 11:55AM
I like the term 'Get Home Bag' better than 'Bug Out Bag'. If all goes bad, I want to get home and dig in.
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2015 05:32PM
"I'm curious now. What do you run into in KY that would warrant a rifle? and why the sidearms in the BW? "

The AR7 is a collapsible 22LR. We have it on hand for squirrels when in season (eat right over the fire). I typically carry a special stainless 20 gauge for most of the trips in KY, not the AR7. Can be used for snakes, or has rifled slugs if needed.

In the BWCA we typically have one pistol per camp. Usually a 45 auto or 357.
 
kanoes
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01/22/2015 05:59PM
quote Kiporby: "Gotta have a flint / steel with cotton balls soaked in vaseline.


I'd rather have that than matches."

agree. they always start.
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/24/2015 09:25AM
My ditch bag stuff is in the pockets of my PFD. I keep waterproof storm matches in a case, compass, GPS, leatherman on belt. That's about all I should need. Something to make fire, direction, and a knife is all I need if I dump and loose all my gear.
 
markaroberts
distinguished member(830)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2015 08:17AM
Saw this the other day in an add. For those that keep their ditch bags on the pfd's

Blackhawk PFD
 
wetcanoedog
distinguished member(4444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/28/2015 11:52AM
the next big thing in light weight canoe tripping will be the Blackhawk vest,no pack needed!
 
jwartman59
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01/28/2015 12:21PM
about the only time i wear a pfd is when i am running whitewater. if i end up swimming that last thing i need to worry about is crap on my pfd snagging on something.
 
markaroberts
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01/28/2015 01:46PM
"about the only time i wear a pfd is when i am running whitewater. if i end up swimming that last thing i need to worry about is crap on my pfd snagging on something. "

Seriously? Only in whitewater? What about when a distance from shore or colder temps?

 
01/28/2015 02:04PM
I carry a .5 Adventure Med Kit along with a space blanket and extra matches and fire starters inside the first aid kit. This goes in a pocket on my PFD.

I also carry a small Sea to Summit ultra-dry sack in my cargo pocket of my pants that I carry my ID, a few Tylenol, spare matches/mini Bic, ferro rod and fire starter, and maybe a can of Copenhagen.

On my belt I carry a Leatherman Wave.

Around my neck I have my compass and whistle.

On my suspenders, (got to keep the pants up while portaging) I have my Delorme InReach SE with it's built in carabineer.
 
01/28/2015 03:14PM
I may add - PFD is on 100% of the time.
 
SaganagaJoe
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01/28/2015 07:58PM
Let's see....

Two Clif bars double-sealed in plastic
knife
container of waterproof matches with whistle (one unit)
spare compass
bug bite stuff

I think that might be it. It's in a fanny pack which is always around my waist when I'm on the water.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/22/2020 05:49PM
Timely topping for cold water paddling season.
 
Banksiana
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05/22/2020 06:19PM
A lighter.
 
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