Safety first

Great gear for guarding against angling calamities

No matter how well you plan, the unexpected can always happen. This handy new equipment will help anglers stay safe—or make the best of a bad situation if disaster does strike.

med kit

SPORTSMAN STEELHEAD

Adventure Medical Kits, US$25

Key features: Two-layer waterproof bag with trauma pads, irrigation syringe, butterfly bandages, moleskin for blisters, and wraps and bandages to immobilize fractures.

The promise: “Designed for sportsmen operating in wet environments.”

pfd

ELITE INFLATABLE PFD

Mustang Survival, $327.80

Key features: Slim profile for mobility, fit and reduced neck fatigue; breathable mesh back panel; inflates automatically in four inches of water.

The promise: “Engineered specifically for the serious angler.”

straw

LIFESTRAW GO

Vestergaard, US$34.95

Key features: Refillable 670-ml plastic bottle, fitted with LifeStraw’s hollow-fibre filter; removes 99.9 per cent of waterborne bacteria and protozoa; reduces turbidity.

The promise: “Scoop water from a river or pond and sip safely.”

scat

THE CUB

www.scatbelt.com, US$29.95

Key features: Quick-draw holster belt for bear spray; contoured fit and breathable mesh lining; in sizes small (24 to 34 inches) and large (32 to 46 inches)

The promise: “Access bear spray within seconds.”

 

kayakBASIC KAYAK SAFETY KIT

North Water, $125

Key features: Reusable mesh bag with paddle float, Fox 40 whistle, high-efficiency Aqua-Bound BilgeMaster kayak pump and coiled paddle leash with clip.

The promise: “Great for the new paddler.”

bag

SURVIVAL BAG

Blizzard, $39

Key features: Full-size waterproof, windproof sleeping bag; Reflexcell material to trap warmth; vacuum packed to the size of a paperback (repacks with a household vacuum).

The promise: “Total warmth and shelter—anywhere, at any time.”

staff

PRO WADING STAFF

Simms, US$149.95

Key features: Four-section staff made of carbon-fibre tubing; weighs 11 ounces and extends to 56 inches; contoured cork handle, quick-release strap and neoprene sheath.

The promise: “Become a wading wizard.”

spot

SPOT GEN3

Globalstar, $169.95

Key features: Satellite GPS messaging device transmits rescue SOS, plus check-in, location and custom messages; double battery life of earlier models; requires $150 subscription.

The promise: “A critical life-saving line of communication.”

Survival experts agree that the most important piece of safety equipment you carry is between your ears. Here are a few common sense tips to remember.

Water wariness

Mind the weather, as well as the water temperature, and wear appropriate clothing for the conditions at hand. Also be ready for surprise storms, as well as the possibility of capsizing your boat or falling in the water. And when wading or fording a river, plan your route and devise an escape plan should you fall.

Travel pointers

Remember that cell phones and GPS units can provide a false sense of security—such devices can fail, and service is spotty in much of the Canadian backcountry. Avoid areas with obvious or fresh bear activity, such as signs of digging, tracks or scat. Finally, tell someone where you’re going, and how long you’ll be gone.