Every time I go fishing with a new person I get asked what I keep in the blue bag on the bow of my kayak. I never thought of my blue bag as interesting or mysterious but I suppose people are just curious that I might know or have something that they don't. I thought I would take this opportunity to bring the cat out of the bag so to speak and show whats in there. I am not a conventional "prepper" like you see on TV, but I am however a huge believer in preparation for the unknown. My blue prep bag isn't preparing me for the zombie apocalypse, but I am prepared for any unexpected turn of events that might happen on the water.
I will dive right into it. I will empty out my bag go item by item, and why I have it.
Basic water proof bag:
Life Straw: Probably the most important item in my bag. My Life straw will filter about 265 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. At just $20 it is something that you cannot afford not to have in a pinch. If I forget to bring drinking water with me I am prepared.
Wool socks: I always carry an extra pair of wool socks. I think its fairly obvious why extra socks could be useful, but I chose wool for its reputation for being very warm and fairly water resistant.
Duck Tape: No explanation needed, however I did choose a bright color in he event that signaling is needed.
Fire Starter: I keep this because you never know when you might need a quick fire to warm or dry up. I didn't want to rely solely on a lighter or matches on the chance that they get wet and fail. This particular starter is made by Gerber and is the Bear Grylls edition found here.
Flashlight: Pretty reasonable to assume why that would be useful. I do keep it inside a sealed plastic bag for added protection.
Plastic bags: I always keep a little stash of sealable plastic bags for keeping anything out of the moisture.
Survival reflective tent: Full disclosure, my wife bought me this and I thought this bag would be the best place for it. I never expect to have to spend the night outside with out a sleeping bag or blankets but, I guess this bag is for the unexpected.
Dryer lint: This maybe a weird one for most people. I was watching TV a couple years ago and this program was discussing common reasons for house fires. One of the most common was trapped or unclean dryer lint traps. The lint in a dryer is very flammable and FREE! It takes a spark from my Gerber fire starter usually on the first or second try. I keep mine in an old fossil watch tin.
Duraflame fire starter: I keep this on hand as a source to sustain a fire if I'm in a position where dry wood ins't available. I wrap it in spare bungee cord as a way to keep the cord tangle free and organized.
550 paracord: Everyone needs extra cordage.
Filet knife: A spare knife doesn't have to be a filet knife, but it never hurts to keep an extra blade stashed in case. There are probably several other knives that would be better served for an emergency situation, but this is what I had on hand.
Leatherman multitool: If I could only have two of these item it would be this multitool and my Lifestraw. There is very little you cannot accomplish with a Leatherman.
First Aid Kit: Pretty self explanatory. I keep ibuprofen, band aids, gloves, alcohol swabs, steri strips, soft splint and most importantly Superglue. This self made kit is designed for most abrasions and lacerations, and could keep most wounds stable until further help is available.
There you go. Theres a look inside my prep bag. Its full of stuff that I hope that I never have to use, but I know that it's there if I do need it. The beautiful part is that once its packed I never have to do anything else with it. It stays in my front tankwell on my Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 and I never take it out or move it. Steven Cyros said,"When disaster strikes the time to prepare has passed". Its better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it.