Survival kit

A good survival kit is one tailored to the local environment – there is no off the shelf kit in the world that perfectly suits every situation.

Some sea kayakers refer to this as a bail out bag (if they need to bail in a hurry, leaving everything behind) and survivalists might call it a bug out bag (the item they grab come the reaping). I have no intentions of bugging out or ever leaving everything behind so I call it what it is – a survival kit.

Ready on deck

A good survival kit should be small enough to be easily stowed, transportable and accessible (you may need to grab it in a hurry from a kayak hatch). I keep mine on deck just in case.

It should not be so small it can be kept sewn into the lining of your handkerchief or in the heel of your shoe – you are not escaping occupied Europe. Come Brexit this might be the case more than ever.


A five litre dry bag with a window is a good size for a sea kayaking survival kit. The window eliminates the need to empty all the contents onto the sand each time a toothbrush is required.

The trick is to have multiple methods – multiple methods of fire lighting, multiple methods of staying warm, multiple methods of seeing in the dark, multiple methods of signaling for help.

Sea kayaking survival kit

– Carabineer
– 5 Ltr dry bag
– Aerial rocket flare
– Smoke flare
– Sea dye
– Mirror
– Whistle
– Blade
– Pencil + paper
– Para chord
– Space blanket
– Foldable poncho
– Lighter
– Storm matches
– Fire starter
– Candle
– Tinder firestick
– Flash light
– Light stick
– Chocolate
– Aluminium container
– Water purification tablets
– Money
– Phone
– VHF radio