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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: emergency (page 1 of 2)

Spyderco Pacific Salt – Review

If you carry a throw line with you whilst paddling you should also carry a knife that is at least capable of cutting the rope that the line is made from.

Spyderco Pacific Salt
Spyderco Pacific Salt
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SOL Emergency Bivvy – First Look

A couple of days back a SOL Emergency Bivvy landed at Unsponsored HQ. Essentially it is an alternative to the big orange plastic bivvy bags that most of us are familiar with. But it is much smaller and lighter.

SOL Emergency Bivvy - First Look

It is certainly a very compact piece of gear when packed up. Size wise it probably is similar to half a regular sized can of your favourite soft drink beverage and weighs in at around 3.8oz. It is small enough to fit within a rescue PFD pocket.

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Dirty First Aid Series – Part I

We all love to kayak, sure. It has some things we love and some we hate. First Aid often becomes the elephant in the room.

When was the last time you or your peers did a course or a workshop? Do you keep ‘up to speed’ on developments?

In this series I am pleased to offer a ‘dirty’ First Aid approach. This is suited to kayakers and river users. Using a ‘find it fix it’ approach to incident care and management.

Dirty First Aid - The Series

This first article will lay the foundations of rapid emergency aid. It’s a simple approach that a basic personal First Aid kit and things carried on you can deal with. Now is not the time to discuss what you should or should not carry in your kit. Read the series and make your own mind up.

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Latex Gasket Repair

There is always a chance that every time you put on piece of gear that has latex gaskets that the gasket could split. This recently happened to Dave Kersey. The choice of not paddling, getting wet/cold or carrying out an emergency latex gasket repair was an easy one to make.

Dave managed to use some woven medical tape to quickly and effectively repair the split.

Latex Gasket Repair

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Breakdown Paddles

There were a few different option for breakdown paddle joints at Paddle Expo last weekend. Unsponsored took a brief look at each.

First up is from Palm Equipment.

unsponsored-Breakdown Paddles

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Adventure Medical Ultralight 0.5 First Aid Kit

For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.

DSC03510

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Adventure Medical 1st Aid Kit

For the last few years I have been using Adventure Medical as my main first aid kits. I stumbled upon them when I was trying to find an ultralight kit for mountain biking. Since then I have purchased several Adventure Medical First Aid Kits and they can be found in my rucksacks and now in my kayak as part of my “When it all goes wrong kit“.

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When It All Goes Wrong!

As well as making sure I have all the necessary safety kit (PFD, helmet, throw line, whistle, pin kit) I like to have a range of kit with me that can be used in emergency situations. If a trip were to turn into an epic it is possible that someone may have been injured and/or we could be stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

Therefore my kit centres around three key elements/purposes:

I like to carry a range of kit that will help keep me and/or my paddling buddies warm and offer a little shelter.

If someone gets injured I’d like to go someway to help patch him or her up.

I’d like to ensure that morale stays high.

I have to weigh all of these needs against what is practically possible and the weight I can actually carry in my boat. Regardless this kit needs to be carried in my boat or on my person and needs to be kept dry. I am currently using an Exped Cloudburst dry sack for the bulk of the emergency kit that I carry. It is based around a traditional roll top dry bag but it has straps so that it can be used as a rucksack. It has a volume of 15 litres which means it is big enough to hold the essentials but will still fit in the back of my Liquid Logic Stomper.

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Exotac Matchcap Waterproof Firestarter

One of these landed at the weekend.

It’s a Exotac Matchcap Waterproof Firestarter in Blaze Orange. Essentially it’s a waterproof storage case for carrying up to 20 kitchen matches or 16 NATO matches.

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Fox 40 Whistle

Whistles are small, lightweight, and can be a lifesaver in an emergency. I probably own half a dozen or so Fox 40 whistles. I’ve used a number of Fox 40s for years, for both work and on the river and they can be found on my PFD, rucksacks and keys. In fact it is one of the few things that I am prepared to have hanging on my PFD.

In an emergency situation on a river it may not be possible to hear people shout clearly as the sound of the water can drown out the quality of the sound. However a good whistle can punch through that. The Fox whistle is highly regarded and is probably one of the loudest and compact whistles on the market. My orignal one must be well over 20 years old and has taken a beating (it’s the whistle in the image) but is still absolutely as loud and functional as the day I bought it.

There are no moving parts and nothing that could actually fail. The Fox 40 delivers optimum performance and sound power (115db) in a surprisingly small, compact and functional package. Given how good it is you’d expect the Fox 40 to be quite expensive. In reality you can pick them up for around £7 or less.

When It All Goes Wrong

As well as making sure I have all the necessary safety kit (PFD, helmet, throw line, whistle, pin kit) I like to have a range of kit with me that can be used in emergency situations. If a trip were to turn into an epic it is possible that someone may have been injured and/or we could be stuck out in the middle of nowhere.

Therefore my kit centres around three key elements/purposes:

I like to carry a range of kit that will help keep me and/or my paddling buddies warm and offer a little shelter.
If someone gets injured I’d like to go someway to help patch him or her up.
I’d like to ensure that morale stays high.

I have to weigh all of these needs against what is practically possible and the weight I can actually carry in my boat. Regardless this kit needs to be carried in my boat or on my person and needs to be kept dry. I am currently using an Exped Cloudburst dry sack for the bulk of the emergency kit that I carry. It is based around a traditional roll top dry bag but it has straps so that it can be used as a rucksack. It has a volume of 15 litres which means it is big enough to hold the essentials but will still fit in the back of my Liquid Logic Stomper.

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MYOG – Split Paddles Part I

If you ever need to call upon the set of spare (split) paddles stored in the back of your kayak the chances are that it must have got a bit fierce for you to lose/damage your normal set. If that is the case your spare set must me up to the job. Having an inferior set of spare paddles may not be the best idea. However shelling out hundreds of £’s on a fancy set of splits is quite painful on your wallet. Now and again you can find split paddles on ebay.

A couple of months ago I started a search for a suitable paddle to modify into a set of splits. The tools for the job were assembled. 1 x saw, 1 x tube clamp/cut guide, 1 x tape measure, 1 x Vernier gauge (everyone should have one these!).

MYOG - Split Paddles Part I

Today I spent a few minutes taking the care of creating my own spare set of paddles. This started by cutting a perfectly good set of Werner Wenatchee in half. The Wenatchee design is a superb symmetrical blade made by Werner in the late 90’s/early 00’s. This set cost £40 a few weeks ago.

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