Time to refresh the safety gear and check for any items that may be coming up for expiration.
I'm curious as to what others might have in their Ditch Bag, or what items I might be missing, essential and/or convenience items.
My Ditch Bag inventory goes as follows (not including items in mechanical bag):
Delorme InReach SE (self explanatory - locator beacon) - worn on belt
ACR ResQLink+ (self explanatory - locator beacon) - worn on belt
Uniden MH5125 Floating VHF (w/ antenna adapter to allow connecting to full size antenna as primary vhf backup)
Garmin eTrex 20 GPS
Digital Compass Handheld
25 ft 1/4" Nylon Rope (braided eye one end, monkey's fist other end) - multi-purpose use, lifeline, etc..
50 ft Orange Paracord - multi-purpose
Emergency Signal Flags
Flare Kit (12 flares)
Note: When using signal flare, carry enough flares to discharge two flares within 10 seconds of each other. If a boater or other persons happen to catch the flare out of the corner of their eye, most will stop, pause for a few seconds "what was that? I think I seen something?", look to see where it came from, this is when the second flare will be seen, catch their attention and identify your location.
6" 12 Hour Light Sticks - Green (qty 12)
6" 12 Hour Light Sticks - Red (qty 12) - May be better seen under night-vision or FLIR?
6" Infrared Light Sticks - (qty 12) - For search and rescue using night vision / FLIR
Having red/green light sticks you could devise make-shift NAV Lights
200 ft 1" Glo-Pink Flagging Tape (multi- purpose, hi-vise steamer can be seen long distance)
200 ft 1" Glo-Orange Flagging Tape (multi- purpose, hi-vise steamer can be seen long distance)
2 - Space Blankets (multi-purpose, warmth, shelter, highly reflective can be seen long distance)
12 - AA eneloop rechargeable batteries (extra batteries for GPS & VHF)
8 - AAA eneloop rechargeable batteries (GPS and Compass)
8" Bolt-Cutters (To cut any fish hook, cable, wire on board)
10" Filet Knife
4" Stainless Lock Blade knife
4 emergency whistles (also included on life vest)
12" Zip Ties (qty. 25) - multi-purpose, tourniquet, repairs, etc
Fish hooks / fishing line
Magnesium Fire Starter / water proof
Stainless hose clamps (fuel line repair, etc)
Lawn and Leaf Bags (qty 4) - multi-purpose, shelter, repairs, if floating in water you could pull these up around you to mask your scent/blood of injured, could make a solar still with a bucket, ice chest, etc, lots of uses
In addition to a complete First-Aid kit (the usual bandages, gauze, anti-bacterial, splint, tourniquet, cold/hot pack, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc..) I added the following;
Hibiclens (32oz) - antibiotic, washing cuts, etc, leaves a protective film
Jellyfish Squish (sting neutralizer)
SPF 50+ Waterproof Sun Screen
35w Surgical Stapler (wound closure) w/ Surgical Staple remover
Transderm Scopolamine Patches (qty 6)
Bonine (qty 12)
Anti-Nausea Ginger Gum (qty 24)
Pure Ginger Pills (qty 24)
The bag floats via waterproof / watertight containers along with pool noodles cut and placed on the insides