Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Feb. 26 2007,17:33
"THE OCEAN NEVER LOSES"
Great. This is exactly right. And here are some of the "must takes" that occur to me (and btw, I am just as guilty as anyone else as failing to always do so)...
1. By law - PFD, sound producing device (whistle), source of light at night.
2. Spare paddle
3. Enough pool noodles for floatation in the hold
Now some comments. I'm as guilty as anyone in not always wearing my PFD, and there are surely some places and circumstances (like on a broad flat in calm conditions) where it's all too easy NOT to. But since those days I finally bought a nice Revere inflatable (which comes with a built in whistle and strobe) which gives me the best of both worlds - uninflated until it's needed, and then with a simple pull of the ripcord.
Whistle - now I've seen and tested those cheap, high pitched toy whistles most yak shops sell. And those big "super loud" models that leave your head ringing. Don't like either.
I am now convinced that the ONLY whistle to wear round your neck is the English Acme - the official whistle of almost every sporting event in the world. Just $3.95 (I tend to buy 3 or 4 at a time, give em to friends). It's loud without destroying your hearing and has that VERY official sound that really stops motorboaters in their wake.
I mean it. Three quick, very "official" sounding blasts and the boater honestly thinks the Coast Guard is present. It's that "official" in nature. A MUST buy.
Light. One of the best is the waterproof ACR C-light. Orange, bout 6 in x 5/8 in, has a built in pin to attach to your PFD (which is exactly where it needs to be). $9.95 at BP. Although it's a steady state light, it is designed to give a quasi-flashing effect as your kayak rocks, which is completely legal (flashing strobes are NOT, except in emergencies). Twist on, twist off. Mount high, behind your shoulder so it doesn't shine in your face. Very effective.
I also carry a Black and Decker water resistant contractor light. Only bout 2 in by 1/2 in, comes on a lanyard. Tug on/tug off. High intensity, visible for a mile at least.
Spare paddle can be a 2-piece cheepie. I believe 5 or 6 pool noodles, cut in half as needed, are very light, fit easily into the hold and guarantee floatation.
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