The most common and likely kayaking accident that will occur on the sea is a capsize. As the group leader, you are responsible for the safety of your crew as well as yourself. The Ditch Kit is a collection of gear for dealing with cold water emergencies.
In the spring and early summer, sunny days will bring the comfort of warm air and paddlers may choose to strip down to t-shirts. But water temperatures are still stubbornly fixed in the single digits this time of year and cold water immersion will result in hypothermia. Even if your entire crew is in dry suits, a partially open zipper or a leak can chill a paddler to the bone and exposure must be dealt with swiftly.
Like all good gear, my Ditch Kit serves two purposes. On short trips with paddlers who aren’t all in dry suits, it’s my cold water treatment kit. I also bring the same bag with me on multi-day trips to treat myself to a change of under layers, about mid-way through the journey.
Container: 15 litre dry bag
- Compact sleeping bag
- Wool thermals (top & bottom)
- Wool socks
- Wool undershorts
- Compact towel
- Emergency blanket (doubles as a picnic blanket)