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  • Ditch Bag

    Bushboy mentioned a Ditch Bag in another thread about boat safety.

    What items do you put in your Ditch Bag?

    I have always had a smaller boat and never gave it much thought but now I have a larger boat and getting a dingy for the top I need to put a ditch bag together. I have an idea of what to put in it such as basic survival gear, (matches, mirror, whistle, flare gun, small hand held radio, etc) but would like to know what you put in your Ditch bag.

    Mark

  • #2
    Hey Mark,
    In my ditch bag I carry a few things. Water proof matches, a couple of fire starter blocks, couple of packets of emergency water, a day/night smoke/flare, brick of emergency rations, leatherman and a water proof hand held VHF. And all items are in it's own zip lock bag in a water proof float bag. That's all I can think of right now I'll PM ya if I remember anything else. Just remember that the Coast Guard and Air Guard can tune up to marine channel 16 that's why I think the hand held VHF is worth its weight in gold.

    Ken
    In 2011, the United States military finally starts to enforce the no sodomy rule...

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    • #3
      I would

      think maybe some dry clothes. Maybe vacuum sealed, in case you get wet.

      Comment


      • #4
        In addition to what you guys have listed that you carry in your ditch bags, let me add what I also carry;

        A water filtration kit with a couple of empty water bottles,
        3 space blankets,
        a rescue laser with extra battery,
        a 12' X 16' good old "Alaskan" blue tarp with grommets around the edges,
        100' of 1/4" cord,
        a roll of duct tape,
        a First Aid kit,
        an LED Mini Mag flashlight w/ extra batteries,
        medications that anyone onboard is taking (for BP, diabetes, etc),
        a couple of MRE's,
        and at the top of my bag I carry the 3 most important things I can think of;
        my PLB in a Pelican case,
        my handheld VHF,
        and my cell phone.

        As ken210 said - "everything is stored in a Ziploc bag" except for the larger items and they are still in their original plastic bags.

        All of this fits into a dry-bag that could hold any -20 cold weather sleeping bag.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys for the tips. I am putting one together and will have it before my first launch. I had never really given it much thought before. I guess when S--- hits the fan, everything in one water proof bag at the ready makes alot of sense. I will add a SS 357 to the list also.

          Comment


          • #6
            Photo of Ditch Bag

            See attached photos for ditch bag & contents.
            Double check your bag to make sure it is light enough to float.
            The flares are on top inside the bag, and the bag is labeled "Flares"
            This way the flares are considered accessible for Coast Guard inspection.


            On my life jacket I also have the following items:
            (All life jacket items float except the light)

            ACR PLB
            2 waterproof/floatable flares
            waterproof matches in film can
            cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly in film can (fire starter)
            floating knife on tether
            waterproof handheld VHF on tether
            whistle on tether
            ACR C-light (signal light) attached with integral safety pin and tether
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Good info

              This is good info. I keep my portable VHF in my PFD. If it is rough or conditions warrant I will put my PLB in my pocket also, especially on big, open water crossings. My problem with VHF ,as the sole emergency comunication, is it is only line of sight. Many places I go, in PWS, I get very little VHF reception. Because of this, I started carrying a sat phone in a pelican box. My problem with the sat phone is, it isn't waterproof. That is why I purchased the PLB. I purchased the ACR AquaFix with integral gps.
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              • #8
                With Everyones Input, this is what I decided on. I plan to vaccum seal anything that can get wet and put it in a waterproof bag and add some floation to it if it sinks on my first test. I also plan on tieing a rope to it with a caribeaner on the other end for quick attachment to the dingy or person that retrieves it. I don't plan to get in the bag once packed so anything items needed in the boat already will be duplicated, ie flares, firstaid kit etc... this will prevent anyone from convience fishing for something in the bag that they might forget to put back.

                Ditch Bag

                First Aid Kit
                Flashlight (Small Pelican LED Light)
                Extra batteries
                Advil packets
                4 Space blankets
                Blue tarp
                Rope 50
                357 ss revolver and ammo
                Bag of Trailmix from Costco
                4 water bottles
                Hand Held VHF Radio
                Hand held GPS
                Roll of Duct Tape
                Hand warmers
                Fire starter (Cotton Balls and Vaseline)
                Waterproof matches
                Mirror
                Pistol Type gun and flares
                Leatherman
                whistle
                chapstick
                4 wool beanie hats 4 pair gloves 4 Pair Wool Socks (Vacuum Sealed)
                6 Large heavy duty Trashbags

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                • #9
                  Great post Chico

                  I think most everyone is repacking their ditch bags from this post - I know I have made a few adjustments.
                  Thanks again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by titobandito View Post
                    See attached photos for ditch bag & contents.
                    Double check your bag to make sure it is light enough to float.
                    The flares are on top inside the bag, and the bag is labeled "Flares"
                    This way the flares are considered accessible for Coast Guard inspection.


                    On my life jacket I also have the following items:
                    (All life jacket items float except the light)

                    ACR PLB
                    2 waterproof/floatable flares
                    waterproof matches in film can
                    cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly in film can (fire starter)
                    floating knife on tether
                    waterproof handheld VHF on tether
                    whistle on tether
                    ACR C-light (signal light) attached with integral safety pin and tether


                    These are some great items and I had never thought of putting stuff on my flotation device or my childrens but after reading your list and seeing some pics chriso posted of his kids with a scuba knife on their vest I think I will make that change as well. You can never be too safe in Alaska or on the water for that mater.
                    http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o...0junk/reag.jpg

                    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

                    Before taking any of my advice for granted on here research the legal ramifications thoroughly I am not the Troopers nor am I the Judge that will be presiding over your case/hearing. Please read the hunting and sportfishing regulations and feel free to interpret their meaning on your own.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks to your Tread on "Boat Safety" that I had read, I had never even heard of thought of a Ditch bag. But it makes great sense so you sparked my curiosity. Now if I ever have to use it, I can thank you for the soft elbow and saying subliminally "Hey Dude, you might wanna think of putting one of these together, you may need it someday." Thanks Bushboy

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                      • #12
                        Thanks guys

                        Thanks for the post guys. I've been needing to get a ditch bag together for my boat for some time..
                        Alaska Wide Open Charters
                        www.alaskawideopen.com
                        907-965-0130

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chico99645 View Post
                          Thanks to your Tread on "Boat Safety" that I had read, I had never even heard of thought of a Ditch bag. But it makes great sense so you sparked my curiosity. Now if I ever have to use it, I can thank you for the soft elbow and saying subliminally "Hey Dude, you might wanna think of putting one of these together, you may need it someday." Thanks Bushboy
                          You're welcome Chico. Wasn't targetting you with my comment in the boating forum but glad to hear it got you thinking about the possibilities of having to deal with a BAD situation. Glad to see from other posts that other members are doing the same. Nothing worse than hearing about a boating/fishing trip go bad and then become tragic because they didn't have the appropriate safety gear available to them. Alaska's waters are very unforgiving.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just had a chat with former Southeast Alaskan Fisherman whom works at my work site on Survival. He told me to add three items on my list. The first is a couple of road flares (longer burn time the better) He told me that a cold wet survivor first needs a fire and wet wood is next to impossible to start. He said a road flare will get your fire started under almost any circumstance. The second is a fishing handline setup with spare hooks for catching fish for long term survival. Small compact and takes up little room. Thirdly is a tin canteen cup or small tin coffee pot for boiling water. To take up less room, just pack other items in it. They are now on my list also.

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                            • #15
                              life raft

                              Good responses for the contents of the ditch bag. I'm also adding a life raft--the thought of going into that cold, cold ocean is not a warming one. I've found two for small recreational boats--the Switlik Rescue Pod (4 man) and the Revere Canopy Compact Life Raft (4 man) [note: they have larger versions, also). Both life rafts are designed for use closer to shore (less than 3 miles) and are meant to " bridge the gap between the lifevest and the full blown liferaft offering boaters traveling alone or with a few people the smallest, lightest and most inexpensive raft available."

                              Both rafts are award winning designs. I've heard that the AK Dept of Fish and Game carries the Switlik rescue pod in all their airplanes. This one costs about $2500. The other one--the Revere--costs about $1300. The main difference that I see is that the Switlik comes in a version with an inflatable floor (good for insulating you from the cold water). However, either would seem to give you a fighting chance if you have to abandon ship away from shore, a station to deploy your emergency locator beacon and broadcast from your VHF.

                              I hate to spend the money, but my thought is, if your boat is sinking and your heading directly into the water, probably your last thought would be "I'm sure glad I saved that $1300 (or $2500) by not buying a raft."

                              Here is one dealers websites:http://www.landfallnavigation.com/canopycompact.html (for the Revere) and http://www.landfallnavigation.com/noname.html (for the Switlik).

                              Any thoughts on either of the two rafts?

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