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Old March 10th 04, 05:52 AM
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Default Safety gear for using your kayak in the open ocean?

"bkr" wrote in message

I won't go ballistic about a first aid kit, but I would recommend at
least a basic one in EVERY situation. I carry one any time I'm going to
be away from "civilization" in any aspect, even a day hike in local
parks. You never know when you may have an accident with a dive knife
that isn't life threatening but could cause some other worse problem.
Besides, it's not a lot of weight when using a boat so not a real bother.

OK, I'll consider the first aid kit but you raise a better idea...

What you have listed that you already carry is a good start, but
requires power. I would say you always need at least one
signalling/location device that doesn't require batteries. Which one is
your personal choice but keep in mind the llimitations of each. Flares
are great at night...mirrors less so without a decent flashlight.
Mirrors are good in the daytime if they are large enough, but on the
water, there is a lot of glare so a small mirror will just blend in with
glare off of waves. Strobes are again, good at night but less helpful
in the day unless you have a colored lense or bulb on them. Dyed smoke
is good only if it can be seen, so that's a daytime device but a highly
visible one if there isn't a strong wind.

Obviously, a second set of batteries for each device would be a good idea.
You're going to need them anyway so why not buy them ahead of time and pack
them with you.

I was thinking a singling mirror and a strobe would be a good next step. I
believe I've seen strobe/flashlight combos and that seems to make sense. As
far as dye goes, I've been considering a device that's like a long strip of
plastic carpet. It comes as a small rool but unrolls to a 1'x40' red,
platic sheet that you would tow behind you. Any opinion on that.

Just consider when you are likely to be out and purchase your gear
accordingly. If it were me, I'd take a strobe (which every sea going
boat should have in my opinion), a mirror (and flashlight) as well as a
flare. Split this up between the boats (assuming you're each in
singles) if you want, but remember that you can also be separated from
each other.

We intended to each carry a basic set of signaling gear but you do raise an
interesting question: if blown out to sea, would it be a good idea to tie
the boats together to avoid separation? If so, then how? End to end?