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Storage for PFDs How-To's

Preparing Your Own Ditch Bag

With all the hubabaloo going around about the end of the world in December, it brings to mind a time growing up when my parents talked about food storage and preparing for the worst. We all made our own 72 hour packs that would sustain us if we got separated from the house. It had some water bottles, trail mix and beef jerky (as these would last a long time and wouldn't get bad), hand warmers, a blanket, flashlight, and a little first aid kit. I am sure that there was more to it, but I haven't kept up on replacing things inside. ... read more

Being out on the water, you don't have 72 hours kits. You would have, what is called a ditch bag. Something that you could throw over board if your boat started sinking and the things inside would not get wet. It also keeps everything you need together and easy to grab if going down. These things inside are basically the same essential items needed to keep you alive until rescue.

For a basic ditch bag:

  1. PLB - personal locator beacon. Great back up to the EPIRB and easier to use inside a raft.
  2. Serrated knife - should  have a blunt tip and a lanyard that is easy to open one handed.
  3. Braided Cord and Tie Wraps. To keep together what you can salvage.
  4. Orange Rescue Streamers - note, once deployed it will continually signal until dead.
  5. A Strobe. Some strobes can and should double as a flash light.
  6. Flares and signal mirrors.
  7. Sunscreen and seasickness pills, they help prevent dehydration (along with bottles of water. Never drink the salt water, you will become dehydrated more quickly)
  8. Cash, credit card, identification and a plastic bag to keep all that dry.
Now that you have the basics for your ditch bag (For Boating Survival), your ready for the end of the world. Just kidding. Happy boating everyone.
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