Bouyancy Aid & "Safety / Emergency" Equipment

In front pocket
In front external accessory pocket
Shoulder straps
In internal pouch (behind zip)
In front pocket

Roll of repair tape.

Wound dressing.

Large heavy duty rubbish bag (cut head and arm holes and it'll act as an emergency poncho).

There will usually be a chocolate / energy bar or two as well.


Marine VHF (leashed)

(That one is a Garmin 725 - since replaced with an Icom M71 which has far better battery life and better power output)

Combined LED torch & emergency strobe. (Now replaced with a Guardian Adventure Light and a small LED torch - see here)


Spare leash - useful for securing things like a head torch, hat etc.

(copy - £2.99 special offer with petrol!) - with a wrist loop.

One-handed opening stainless steel folding knife (leashed).

Day/night hand flare.

Signal mirror.


Lendal Padlok key. (All leashed).

Chapstick / Lip balm (not shown).


Platypus drinking tube - the bladder is in the (optional) pouch on the back of the BA.

For a DIY alternative to the clip for the drinking tube, click here.

Other Kit / Notes

The BA is a Kokatat MS Fit. Although marketed as being designed for women, it's unisex.

The radio and knife leashes are on clips so they can be easily removed as necessary. The knife is never used as a utility knife so it is guaranteed to always be sharp. Since the article was written, I now use a knife with a serrated blade. There is an argument for having a serrated blade on a knife which is likely to be used on wet rope as the serrations cut better

Some people feel that having a knife on a leash is unsafe - the argument being that if you are being tossed around in the water with an open knife swinging on a leash then you're likely to get injured. I suggest you make your own choice as to whether to leash or not. I also carry another folding knife in my kit for everyday use.

The "Leatherman" is mostly used for freeing stuck skegs, but it's surprising how often it gets used for everything from dealing with stuck zips or difficult stoves, and has once been used to deal with a fishing hook embedded in someone's hand. I also carry a genuine Leatherman in my kit as it's rather more robust but I prefer not to get it salt water wet! I don't mind losing a £2.99 "copy" overboard, but would mind very much if I lost the real one.

I've found a deck bag to be an excellent way to carry other items like flares and Denso tape which I like to have ready to hand. My general repair kit and first-aid kit live in the day-hatch but I really don't expect to access them at sea. I've also got a double survival bag handy in the cockpit.

Mike Buckley - April 2008