Spare Hatches: I carry the Reed hatch covers and have used them twice so they weren’t a waste of money.
Bungee Cords: Just one set and you never know when they will be needed. Ideally for keeping some of the items in the bag wrapped up.
Multi-purpose Tool: There is the Leatherman and then there are cheaper ones. For this emergency bag I have selected a cheaper one, as there is every chance that it will damaged by the seawater.
Woollen Hat: I might swap this for a sun hat during the warmer summer months.
Plastic Sheet: Cut from a sparkling water bottle. The thin plastic is ideal for helping to repair a relatively large hole in the kayak.
Repair Tape: Spinnaker tape, electrician’s tape and duck tape. A selection, which should be able to sort out most needs.
Epoxy Resin: I use a French variety, partly for the challenge of translation, and partly because it is effective. It will set under water and will repair most materials.
Whistle: I have the loudest one that I could find. The literature makes numerous extravagant claims about decibels etc, all I know is that if I blow it my ears hurt!
Lighter: More like a blowtorch than a lighter. An effective heat source and according to the publicity material it can’t be blown out by the wind. Useful for a number of reasons. Just in case the gas runs out I also have a box of waterproof matches. (I also remove this from the bag before I fly anywhere)
Fire Lighters: Just a couple in case it is necessary to light a fire.
Poncho: A small poncho, which is ideal if people are cold at lunchtime.
Exposure Bag: I don’t have the traditional orange exposure bag but one, which is made of the same material as the well-known space blanket. The advantage is that it packs up very small.
Spare Food: Just a small amount. I don’t plan on getting stranded for several days in the heart of what is in effect an urban area. I normally take food, which I am not that keen on so I am not tempted to eat it.
Money: Just a small amount, stored in the inevitable film container that is if you can still find one. Useful for telephones, cafes etc.
Spare Batteries: These are for both the GPS and the VHF radio. A selection of cheaper batteries is better than the more expensive variety; they only have to last a couple of hours.
Strobe: Ideal for drawing attention to yourself at night.
Wet Wipes: Ideal for all sorts of uses.
First Aid Kit: Just a few small items. Triangular bandage, skin closures, assorted plasters, wound dressing and safety pins.
When I open up the waterproof waist pack it always amazes me that all of the above fits inside such a relatively small container. What it has enabled me to do is to always carry a basic level of safety equipment. It can be customized to meet individual needs and because I am always on the look out for another useful item it remains a work in progress.