A couple of weeks ago my uncle and I went out on the Angelina river and did some fishing. While we were out on the river some bad weather came along. The weather was not bad enough for us to seek shelter, but we did steer the boat under some cypress trees to shield us from the rain.
As the drizzle was coming down, I thought about putting together a kit for the boat. What would happen if I were back in some slew, motor broke, and I was stranded over night. I really need to build a survival kit for the boat. Something that does not take up a lot of room, but has the supplies that someone might need to spend an unexpected night in the woods.
Shelter – The first issue with spending the night on the river is the mosquitoes. As the sun starts to go down, the little blood suckers from hell come out in waves. If I could speak mosquito,
I am willing to bet they have little speakers under their wings that plays a variety of music as they swoop in to suck ever last drop of your blood. To defeat the mosquitoes, your going to need at least 2 things, something to build a bug proof shelter out of, and bug spray, something like Deep Woods Off.
The rope used to the anchor can be used to help make the shelter. Or get some 1/4 inch nylon rope or 550 cord for your boat survival kit.
To build a shelter, I would need something like an 8 foot by 10 foot tarp and cord. The tarp would have to be long enough so that it could be folded on the ends to enclose the shelter. If its open on both ends, the shelter is nothing more then a drive through buffet bar for mosquitoes. Bug spray would help, but the little blood suckers hover just over your ears all night, which makes for a miserable nights sleep.
Water – One of the things you do not want to do it drink the water from the slews. There are all kinds of bacteria in the water that would love to make your gut their new home. Either some kind of water filter would have to be stored on the boat, or a water filter.
Typically, several bottles of water are brought in the ice chest.
Fire – Matches break down over time, so maybe a lighter, or fire steel would be in order. There are life boat matches out on the market, but why not just get a lighter, dryer lint, and keep it simple.
As long as the gas can as fuel in it, a stick can be dipped into the fuel to help get the fire going. Since the fuel is a mixture of oil and gasoline, the oil should make the fuel burn a little longer then normal.
First Aid Kit – Something to stop the bleeding and protect the wound.
Flashlight – Some of the local stores sell LED lights that use AAA batteries for about $18, or you can order something like a Surefire G2X pro. One of the things with the flashlights, make sure you use lithium batteries. Some of the lithium batteries on the market have anywhere from a 10 – 15 year shelf life.
With LED flashlights being so inexpensive, there is no excuse for not having one on hand.
Food – If your going to be stranded overnight, why not have something to eat. While the local pizza delivery guy might not be able to find your location, but Mainstay Bars are designed to be stored in warm locations (like a boat), and require no prep time – just open an eat.
The Mainstay 3600 Emergency Food Rations are divided in 9 bars, with each bar giving about 400 calories. They may not taste as good as a Double Whooper, fries and a coke, but its enough to break the hunger pains.
Then there is the food int he backpack I bring on the boat.
Tool kit – some kind of simple tools, crescent wrench, vice grips, multi-tool, screw drivers and duct tap.
Signal mirror – just in case the local rescue teams think your important enough to look for, and a search plane is sent out, a signal mirror can be used to catch the attention of the pilot.
Lets see, we have food, water, shelter and fire covered. What else?
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