What else needs to go in a starter kit for the plane; tie down’s, chocks, cans of spare fluids, ??? I’d love to hear what people have taken with them to Duluth for the ride home.
No one likes to think about it, but you should be equipped for survival in the unlikely event of an off-airport landing (or chute deployment) in remote areas, which, as a fellow Southern Californian, you know there’s a lot of out here. Having a parachute is only step one in surviving. Steps 2 and 3 are just as important: getting found, and surviving until you are found.
I highly recommend Doug Ritter’s http://www.equipped.comEquipped to Survive website. Doug goes kinda nuts, but you can pick the most important items. IÂ’d recommend:
http://www.epcamps.com/page323.htmldeHavilland Survival Kit. Not cheap, but thatÂ’s where the best money is probably spent.
http://www.rescuestreamer.comRescue Streamer. Compact little device is better than virtually any signaling device with the possible exception of a signal mirror.
http://www.ledlite.comLED flashlights. Available from many sources.
http://landfallnav.stores.yahoo.com/landfallnav/globalfix.htmlGPIRB. This is pretty much the best rescue beacon available. The ELT in the airplane is just about worthless. This is a 406MHz satellite beacon with a built-in GPS that will uniquely locate you to within 100 feet for likely immediate rescue. Overkill? Yeah, maybe. But if it saves you and your family youÂ’ll have it bronzed. (You could get a conventional EPIRB instead and save some $.)
Other fairly obvious stuff Â– some water, warm clothing, etc.
Just cram this stuff in a corner of the baggage compartment. DoesnÂ’t take up much room and doesnÂ’t weigh much.
It is easy to put this off, but youÂ’ll sleep/fly easier knowing you are prepared. It would be pretty dumb to survive using the Â‘chute and die from exposure.
Gordon: Good Points. Doug’s site (&) book are pretty good. For anyone with no training, it is a good primer. Here are some other points and items to consider:
The three most importants points are to survive the landing; stabilize all medical problems, & communicate. If you get a good call off before landing, you will be in much better shape. Think about the difference in your radio’s range at 5,000’ and at ground level. Also stay with the palne if possible. It is easier to spot, may provide some shelter and other resources and besides, traveling requires a lot of energy. The S&R folks will begin looking for you where they think you are, not where you may have wandered.
Where are you flying? Design your own kit for the conditions you are likely to encounter. Repack your survival kit seasonally if necessary.
Signal mirror, the BEST single singaling device. Doesn’t need battereis either.
Bug repellent. 100% DEET, roll-on preferable. Apply to collars, cuffs, as needed.
Sun block. SPF 30 or higher water proof & use it. Get the heavy white stuff. You won’t be worried about looks.
Aluminized space blankets. Very small & provide a variety of uses - warmth, shelter, signalling.
Water proof matches/pre-packaged tinder cubes. Fire is great stuff (signalling, warmth & it does wonders for your psyche.)
Whistle. They really work, are very small, and even if you are weak, wou can make a lot of noise.
small gyroscopic flare. It is about the size of a penlight and comes with about 5 AA Battery size flares.
dye marker. Good for water, sand or snow. You will be surpiorsed how hard a life raft is to see on the ocean. this is a little bigget than a D battery.
Iodine tablets, (& maybe a collapsable jug for water. The bigger the mouth the better.) Strain water through cloth first and then use the tablets. Let 'em sit for 1/2 hour before drinking. The water won’t taste good, but it won’t kill you either. (Always use the tablets unless you are getting the water from a water fountain.) DON’T EVER drink salt water or eat snow. (I hope I don’t have to say anything about yellow snow!)
Try everything out before you pack it into the recess of your plane & then about once a year. This stuff won’t help unless you know how to use it. Also by trying ot out once a year, you will see if it still works.
Replace all batteries once a year, whether or not you have used them or they are dead. Give 'the old ones to your kids or a neighbor’s. when you need this stuff, you want it to work for as long as possible.
Make sure everything has a string and especially if you’re in a raft, tie everything on.
-Food is over-rated. Water is essential. You can easily live a day or two without food with no harmful effects. If you eat, you will need even more water. If you think you will be resuced in 1 or 2 days and you have extra room maybe a sports bar or 3 will be more than enough.
The stuff I’ve mentioned will weigh less than 5 pounds and fit into a small military surplus mechanics tool bag. Or better yet, buy a mesh vest with many pockets. If you fly over water a lot, there is a place called Sterns which sells a vest specifically designed for flyers. It has lots of pockets and contains an inflatable life vest.
As far as first aid, you can make your own or buy a prepackaged kit,. The preppackaged type tend to be expensive and include a bunch of stuff that you probably won’t need. One good addition, which I’ve never seen in any kit is a padded aluminum splint. This thing comnes is in a 3" roll and can be used for most breaks or sprains. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to make a splint, ALWAYS pad it.
Again, for the first aid kit, think about what type of inujuries you will have. Personally, I’m most concerned about breaks, lacerations and burns. Be prepared. Also, consider if you (or your passengers) will know how to use the first aid stuff, or will be willing to use it. If not, don’t bring it. It will be extra dead weight.
Good luck & I hope you never need this advice.