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boof splash
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Discussion Starter #1
I was recently asked to write an article about essential safety gear for creeking. I tried to hit on all the necessities to have a safe day on the water. Let me know if you carry anything in your boat that I forgot to mention. Check out the article here.
 

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Your article touches on importance of rescue training and further practicing these skills. Think it could be useful to reiterate this with the equipment. If you have the equipment you should know how to use it, and should have practiced with it. Personal observation on people with the gear and don't know how to use it. My other thought is no need for non-locking beaners. Have seen people inadvertently get hooked pfd to raft with non-locking beaners, I make it a point to never use these on the river. Everything get locked before I get on the river. (only exception the beaner on rescue pfd leash, which can be released). Just to be constructive, thought your article was good, Cheers.
 

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I would include some energy (food) and some warm clothing.

Also, have you tried to actually start a fire with those shitty coleman water proof matches? I tried the other day and I couldn't get them to lite...
 

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boof splash
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Discussion Starter #5
good suggestions, keep them coming. cross post from boatertalk: handsaw for cutting strainers and a pair of work gloves for ropework. no one likes rope burns.

do you guys carry anything else?
 

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Good thought on gloves. Never have heard that. Second the idea of food. Resident expert says simple sugars (e.g., Snickers bar) is better than a Clif/Powerbar when you need quick energy, and is one of the best ways to deal with onset of hypothermia.
 

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Regarding saws:

I've found these plastic pipe cutters can make very short work of a variety of materials, including paddle shafts & boat hulls. If you had to cut into a boat to free someone's pinned legs, it would take about a minute with this thing. They weight a couple of ounces and cost about $5 at Home Depot:



I also carry a SAM Splint. Versatile and lightweight - can be used on wrists, ankles, and even as a neck brace is a pinch (if you can't back board the patient):


Nice bit of SEO, by the way...
 

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Petzl Mini Traxion. If your not familiar its a pully with a built in locking device. ..it can be an awesome second pair of hands in a pin situation. I also always carry a Qucik Air. In shallow pin situations it can save a life, buying you a few extra minutes to get the lines set up. I've read about two separate instances that atributed it to saving someone.
 

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Do a web search on "Sabre Cut Saw" -- Next best thing to having a chain saw. I can easily cut through a large log. It's basically a length of a chain saw chain with webbing loops at each end (you can slip your hands into them) and the cutting teeth set up to cut in both pull directions. It's small enough to fit in a pin kit bag or even a pocket on a PFD. Could also be used to slice up a boat if needed.

A couple of Wild Country Ropeman Ascenders -- very small rope camming devices that can be used in place of prussic loops. They can be used to quickly lock off a rope while belaying, etc. Are probably faster to setup then a prussic loop. About the only real concern might be "crushing" the rope if there is enough tension on the system.

Some webbing, lockers, and pulleys.
 

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I think that all of the suggestions are great, but I also think that knowing how to use things around you all the time can come in handy and you can forget about adding gear, which can get in the way when you need to get to work and not think about what is in your bag of tricks. A few ideas that I have see used are a Jackson happy seat instead of the sam splint, worked great. I guess my point is having gear and knowing how to use it is great but no situation is ideal and a little ingenuity can come in handy.
 

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True Pachuco. Someone else pointed out that you could use the long steam of a float bag to do much the same as Rapid Air.

MR
 

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Some sort of water purification is a good idea for the safety kit. Iodine tablets are small and light. A good alternative is one of the filter/water bottle combos.

Since it seems like you have everything but the kitchen sink, might want to add some dental floss and needle for sewing up torn skirts.
 

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Thats a lot of stuff.You forgot bivy sack or hammock w/netting and rain fly,or at least a tarp.The hammock eliminates need for sleeping bag, pad ,tent,if you brought dry warm change of clothes.Ultra light weight/compact stove.Extra food.Big Agnes system if you can afford it.

You can't win for losing,if you bring all that stuff,you probably won't use most of it.If you don't you'll need something you left behind.Feels good when you can produce a critical tool at the time of need,especially if you've been lugging it around forever for no apparent reason.Remember you have to carry all that ,maybe on climbing and difficult portages.Would suck to lose a boat AND all that gear.Minimalism is risky but less cumbersome.
 

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Do a web search on "Sabre Cut Saw" -- Next best thing to having a chain saw.
Ditto on this guy, I use it for sledding in the winter & for creeking, great tool.
I like the idea of the rope saw for being able to cut plastic or composites though.


There's only so much you can really bring on the river, it changes depending on the type of trip. A set of gear that would be ideal in one place could be totally wasteful in another.

btw, I think a quick air is something that should be in everyones pfd, it's a cheap item that could easily save a life in a bad situation. I've given about 4 of them away to get them in the hands of more people, I really think they're something that is worth having on any stretch of river.
 

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boof splash
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Discussion Starter #18
good suggestions everyone.

I like the idea of the rapid air system. Or anything else that serves the same purpose. My creeking mentor always carried a 3 foot long tube in his pfd and that was his quick air system.

Good call on having food with a high sugar count. That can warm you up quick. And who doesn't like eating a snickers bar on the side of the river?

The climbing hardwear is another good idea. I personally like to use prussiks because that's what I'm used to and what I've always used. I've heard a lot of good things about the tiblocks, could be cool to look into and upgrade my kit.

To the guy that wrote about the wire saw from home depot - I actually bought one of those same exact saws and I tested it at home and had a lot of difficultly with it. It may cut through plastic really well (because it's meant to cut through pvc) but it doesn't cut through wood very well.

Those are my thoughts, is there anyone out there with any more suggestions?


Kevin
 

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To the guy that wrote about the wire saw from home depot - I actually bought one of those same exact saws and I tested it at home and had a lot of difficultly with it. It may cut through plastic really well (because it's meant to cut through pvc) but it doesn't cut through wood very well.
Yeah, I wouldn't suggest it for wood; although I've found it works better on wet wood that dry wood. I have used it in the field for 6"-8" diameter underwater strainers. Overall, though, a handsaw works better for wood and I carry one of those too.

But the PVC weighs next to nothing, and can be handy. When one of our crew broke a blade off his paddle on the Big South, we cut though the carbon/glass shaft in about 10 seconds so we could pack out the parts & not leave them in a wilderness area. That was after he bruised up his feet trying to stomp it in half, of course.

The one scenario that I envision a PVC saw being critical is in a vertical broach, where someone's legs are trapped in the boat & under a log and the torso over top. You could conceivably cut off the entire half of the boat behind the seat (if you could reach the trapped boater, of course) and pulled them directly out. Yeah, it's not that common, but a friend of mine died in a broach where the back of the boat collapsed over his back, so I'm hypersensitive about this scenario.
 

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Check out the "Silky" line of folding saws. I have one called the Big Boy which is their largest model, but they have a large variety. The saws are Japanese arborist tools and cut unbelievably fast. I use it creeking, mtn biking, and dirtbike trail riding for cutting fallen logs.

The tiblocs are cool and minimalistic, and I like them for glacier travel, But I prefer camming ascenders on the river. They are larger and easier to handle with cold wet hands and are less likely to be dropped into the river. The only negative is the upkeep so steel pivots don't rust, and the weight.

I've heard of boaters using a diving product called "spare air" which is a mini scuba tank about a foot long. This could free up a rescuer's hand to work on extraction instead of forcing air underwater. I have never seen or used one and I'm sure they are expensive.

This can add up to a hefty pin kit, and super light would be nice for self supports or boat hike-ins.
 
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