Fly-In Trip Safety Gear

DSC_2149Travelling into the remote parts of Ontario for fishing trips is a pleasure only a few get to enjoy. The best ones for me are when there are no other camps, just a mid-week check by a bush pilot. You don’t have internet, WiFi, and often no electricity or running water. These type of trips really allow you to connect with your fellow anglers, and with nature, and to immerse yourself in the peace and joy the land affords. It is not without risks however. We may take for granted our access to doctors, nurses, dentists, and pharmacies. In the remote outpost camps I fish, you have to be prepared for some potentially unpleasant things from cuts and scrapes, to inclement weather, to more severe medical emergencies that may come up. Over the years I’ve become more mindful of assembling a list of equipment that I take in to ensure that should the worst occur, I’m in the best position possible to manage it. While not my entire list, I wanted to highlight a few items I take on every trip.

  1. First Aid Kit
  2. PFD
  3. Delorme InReach SE
  4. Eton Radio
  5. Utility Knife
  6. Flint
  7. Sunscreen

In the video below I’ll cover some of these and some others. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.

First Aid Kit: I don’t doubt that most folks would include some type of first aid kit / supplies. For me the important part is to make sure the kit is appropriate for the group size, and the duration of the trip. The kit shown in this picture is for Mountain Equipment Co-op. They have an enormous variety of kits, and they will have on them the information you need. This will include the supply lists and recommendation for group size / trip length. You can always augment the kit with specific items such as medication or extra bandaids. I prefer kits that are waterproof since I take them on the boat with me.

mustang_navy_blue_pfdPFD: The best life jacket you can buy is one that you will wear. I’ve transitioned to using self-inflating life jackets like the vest in the video below from Mustang Survival. It is light, adjustable, and comfortable. It will inflate if I pull the emergency cord or if immersed in water (great in case I fall and am injured and can’t pull the cord). The best part of these vests is that you forget you are wearing them, which means you keep them on.

inreachse_m01Delorme InReach SE: You can watch my video on this unit as well. Since I have no cell / WiFi service when I’m out in the bush, this unit uses global satellites to provide connectivity with the world. The SOS feature will contact emergency personnel if the worst should occur. It also allows for two way texting, weather updates, mapping, and even social media posts. If you only took one thing, this is the one to take (aside from a life jacket).

d1209-eton-1Eton Solar / Crank Radio: This unit by Eton is an amazing device. It has a flashlight, gets AM / FM / NOAA weather, and has the ability to charge devices that use USB. The power supply can come from the sun through a small solar panel on top, or by using the hand crank. I’ve taken my unit both on remote trips, as well as camping and boating excursions. It provides updates on the weather, music, the ball game, and some much needed light and piece of mind should you need a quick charge to make a phone call.

Utility Knife: I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed a feature on my Swiss Army Knife. I’ve worked on kindling for a fire, opened a can when the can opener we brought broke, cut cord / fishing line, used the tweezers / pic and so on. There are so many varieties with so many options. Do yourself a favour and pick one up that has the features you would most likely use, and few that would come in handy. The great thing is, because they are so compact, you can keep them in your pocket. Confession, I have more than one and keep them in different locations. I have one in my tackle bag, one in the camping gear, and one in kitchen!

5038-769_ORG00_view1_1000x1000Flint: I like the idea of starting fires using flint; it just seems so rustic. I also really like the idea of being able to start a fire if the matches are gone, or your lighter isn’t working. I picked up the BlastMatch Fire Starter because of its one-handed operation. You can really generate some amazing sparks right in the combustible material you are using and you still have a hand free.


Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a safety / emergency tool? You bet. I was talking to a lodge owner who had to medically evacuate two guests who came for a fishing trip and didn’t expect it to be sunny and warm. Well, weather can change, and after two days of 30 degree celcius weather in May, and clear skies, they were burned so badly they had to go to the hospital. I like the Ultra Sheer by Neutrogena, but pick what suits you and please wear it!

For more equipment, watch my video below.

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