Going by the New York Post’s article published on July 17, 2017, marine sports activities are becoming a rage even in metropolitan cities like Boston, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and others. Even in Southeast Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand, etc. vacation packages that include marine sports form a large portion of the tourist trade.
Recreational activities like yachting, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, waterboarding, rafting, kayaking, etc. are among of the most popular marine sports. Each city has its specialty depending on the weather, wind speed, and the height of the waves. Are you a rookie marine sports enthusiast and would like to take your hobby to the next level, here are the top 10 survival prepping essentials for marine sports enthusiasts that you must read before venturing out:
A personal floating device (PFD) or lifejacket is the most vital prepping equipment that you will need because your life will depend on it. You must buy one irrespective of the type of marine sports you want to indulge in. Manual inflatable, hybrid inflatable, auto inflatable, belt pack inflatable, and vest type inflatable, etc. are the various types of PFDs you can choose from depending on the kind of sports you want to enjoy. PFD specially designed for kids are also available.
A watersport helmet, besides the lifejacket, is necessary for sports where the risk factor is high like waterskiing, kayaking, or surfing. The vagaries of the ocean can lead to accidents and a helmet will prevent head injuries. If you use a helmet irrespective whether the sport involves high or low risk, then the minimal risk is also eliminated. The watersport helmets are durable, waterproof, lightweight, and are available in various sizes.
A harness is another survival prepping essential for marine sports activities in waters where the tides can suddenly turn rough. Even if you are indulging in a simple sport like boating, strong winds can throw you or a member of your group overboard which a harness can prevent. A harness is lightweight and easy to wear but it is very strong and can withstand weight and abrasion. Also, it has sufficient leverage for you to move around the boat without restrictions.
The ubiquitous first aid kit is something a prepper will never forget but I am just jogging your memory just in case. If there is an accident, a well-stocked first aid kit can be a lifesaver. It is the first go-to solution until the first responders arrive. You must not only stock it for your first jaunt but must always keep it fully stocked at all times in case you get a sudden whim to go boating, kayaking, or waterskiing.
A detailed map of the area does not sound like an essential item. But actually, it is a very crucial item that should be part of every survival prepping gear, irrespective of whether you want to go fishing, diving, trekking, climbing, camping, or hunting. It has happened many times that groups who have gone kayaking, rafting, canoeing, etc. have not been able to keep to the designated routes without a map and have met with accidents resulting in many casualties. So a map is also a life-saving essential that should be part of your prepping gear for marine sports.
- A couple of lifebuoys will be handy if you are going boating or kayaking with a group. Lifebuoys are doughnut-shaped rings to prevent drowning by throwing to a person who has fallen overboard. Clinging to the lifebuoy and then sliding it over the head will keep your friend afloat till he/she can clamber back into the boat. So if you are taking part in a marine sports activity with a group, a couple of lifebuoys are essential survival prepping gear.
- Pyrotechnics, which are commonly called flares, are the tried-and-trusted method of sending a long-distance distress signal. So you must add this item on your list of survival prepping for marine sports. Flares are light-emitting signaling beacons and are mandatory for deep-sea fishing of deep-sea diving. Keeping such prepping equipment at hand could mean a matter of life and death because it is a sure way of sending a distress signal to vessels which are nearby. Air horns are also good signals but their range is limited compared to flares.
Note: Firing a flare when there is no emergency is a legal offence.
- A weather gauge is another life-saver during marine sports activities. It must always be part of your survival prepping kit when indulging in diving, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, or any other marine activity, especially if it will mean going into the deeps. A weather gauge will warn you of imminent changes in weather that could cause accidents. Keeping an occasional watch on its readings will give you sufficient time to return safely to shore before the weather worsens and you get caught in a squall.
- A personal locator beacon (PLB) is another life-saving device irrespective of whether you are enjoying solo marine sports or going out into the deeps in a group. If everyone in your group carries a personal locator along, the first responders to the distress signal can locate the missing person in time to save a life. The beacon has a 406 MHz transmitter. Most modern PLBs have a receiver that has a Global Positioning System. So along with the distress signal, it also transmits the coordinates for accurate positioning. A worldwide satellite system picks up the signal and relays the coordinates of the distress signal to the appropriate rescue center and a suitable search and rescue team is sent to the place.
- An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) should be part of your survival prepping kit. This too emits a distress signal at 406 MHz, making it a dependable tool in an emergency. Despite the rapid progress in electronic signaling systems, whether on land or water, the old-style EPIRB has not gone out of fashion. In fact, it is still used in deep waters where mobile networks are not available. The EPIRB signal is also caught by a worldwide satellite system and passed on to the nearest rescue center.
Those who are involved in marine activities as a profession are well-versed with the safety gear that is required while they are out at sea. But if you have been indulging in boating along the shores and are planning on more serious forms of marine sports in the deep seas, these top 10 survival prepping essentials for marine sports are a must. Hopefully, some of them may never have to be used because you will always be safe!
But if you are going to be a regular marine sports enthusiast, then your stockpile of survival prepping gear must contain these 10 items. They will come in handy if there is an emergency and will save your life or that of your companions. Besides, these essentials, do not forget to carry plenty of SPF sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from the UV rays. Plenty of drinking water is another item that must be part of your gear in order to prevent dehydration.