This post has been rattling round my head for the last few months as I have debated on whether to put it out. A conversation with a couple of fellow paddlers has prompted me to make the post.
First things first the risk of being snagged or caught up in a strainer or similar is something that all paddlers need to think about and although the risk is minimal the risk still exists. Any kit that you wear has the potential of being snagged and all steps should be made to keep loops of tape, laces etc tucked away and out of danger. However I sometimes find that it is necessary or advantageous to have some pieces of kit on the outside of my PFD rather than in a pocket.
Firstly a whistle on the shoulder of my PFD. This is always a Fox whistle and always a super bright colour if at all possible. Fox whistles are simply superb. No moving parts, super loud and don’t seem to break.
Secondly a watch, again on the shoulder of my PFD. Whistle on the right and watch on the left. This is my choice and is at my own risk.
Some paddlers like to carry a knife fastened to the outside of their PFD. I found whilst working as a raft guide that wearing a knife on the front of my PFD made climbing back into the raft from the water difficult at times, so I carry mine in an easily accessible pocket. However I do see the logic in carrying a knife on the PFD rather than in it.
There is great deal to consider when deciding to have something attached to your PFD. I would be very interested to hear other paddlers thoughts on this topic.