Super Survival Kit: 16 Essential Items for Water Emergencies

Part ditch bag. Part boat mechanic’s toolbox. Entirely awesome.

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The Water Works When it’s time to go, you may not have much time at all. The boat flips, and you grab the ditch bag. So it had better be packed with everything you need to survive.Jim Golden

Part ditch bag. Part boat mechanic’s toolbox. Entirely awesome.

Be sure to check out these other ultimate survival kits:

Styling by Beverly James Neel

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**Pack It In **
Watershed designed its small Survival Equipment Bag with input from the U.S. Coast Guard (drybags.com). It is completely water­proof and has reflective tape and a mouth valve so you can inflate it for emergency flotation.
Jim Golden
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1. Stow multiple modes of putting out an SOS. Orion’s Emergency Marine kit includes both handheld and pistol-fired flares (orion​­signals.com). A polished glass signal mirror is good for 30-plus miles (best​glide.com). The floating ACR ResQLink+ beams your precise location to the international Cospas-Sarsat search-and-rescue tracking system ­(acrartex.com).Jim Golden
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2. Whether you need to cling to the hull or work on a stubborn outboard, a multitool and some basic supplies will boost your chances. Toss in a spare fuel bulb, fuel connectors, and hose clamps. Add duct tape and p-cord. Round it out with the ­titanium-​and-​­stainless-​steel Leatherman Charge TTi with the Bit Kit add-on that includes slotted and Phillips screwdrivers plus Hex and Torx bits (leatherman.com).Jim Golden
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3. The Spyderco Assist Salt’s H1 steel won’t corrode, and the heavily serrated blade will cut rope and webbing like butter. A survival whistle is built into the handle. Squeeze the knife while it’s folded, and a hidden glass break emerges from the butt; 007 would approve ­(spyderco.com).Jim Golden
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4. Cut the bottom out of a 1-gallon milk jug to form a cheap hand bailer.Jim Golden
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5. Shove a Fox 40 Telescopic Paddle under the handle of the bag in case the engine conks out (fox​40​world.com).Jim Golden
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6. Pack some jerky—sealed in a waterproof bag—in case you get skunked while survival fishing.Jim Golden
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7. Break out a deck of cards for a game of Texas Hold ’Em or Solitaire. Just keep the emotions in check. You’re all in this together.Jim Golden
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8. Kill some time—and dinner—with the Foldspear fishing spear and spear tip. The 6-footer folds down to 14 inches but packs enough wallop to stab a meal ­(fold​spear.com).Jim Golden
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9. Power-Up Tip
Stuff the shockproof, rainproof Brunton Resync 6000 into a ditch bag and forget about it until your smartphone goes dead. The integrated solar panels mean you're never out of juice (brunton.com).
Jim Golden
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10. The waterproof 360-​­degree UST See-Me 1.0 Strobe pulses for 44 consecutive hours (ust​brands.com).Jim Golden
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11. Packed with amino acids and sugars, a cold—or even lukewarm—round of hooch-free Jell-O shots will boost your get-up-and-get-home.Jim Golden
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12. A tow-service membership card is your secret weapon.Jim Golden
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13. Stay warm or rig a sunshade with the SOL Heavy Duty Emergency Blanket. The reflective material also serves as a daytime distress signal ­(adventure​­medical​kits.com).Jim Golden
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14. The Ritchie SportAbout Hand Bearing Compass is a big, bright, waterproof direct-reading compass, so the bearing you read is the direction you face. That’s just what you need while bobbing in the whitecapped slop ­(ritchie​navigation.com).Jim Golden
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15. Pack marine-worthy first-aid supplies: Sawyer Stay-Put sunscreen does what it says, hour after hour (sawyer.com). Add anti­biotic ointment, bandages, antihistamine, an epinephrine auto-injector, and Bonine, the best over-the-counter motion-sickness remedy out there.Jim Golden
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16. All that water around the boat and not a drop to drink? The Sawyer Mini fixes that ­(sawyer.com).Jim Golden