Wednesday, 12 July 2017

What Do We Carry in Our Ditch Bag

You know we often say we have spent a lot of money on items we hope we never use. The Ditch Bag is just one of those items onboard Our Dreamtime.

Our Dreamtime's Ditch Bag is set up incase we need to use the tender as our life-raft. We have a fully equipped life-raft (see life raft story) but having a second option and or to take extra supplies with us in the life-raft was the added benefit of us kiting out a Ditch Bag. Our bag is the size of an overnight bag, it is a life proof watertight 50 litre bag in safety YELLOW. Our Ditch a Bag is located on the aft deck in readiness. In addition the tenders full tank is always kept full and there is a spare Jerry can of outboard fuel on deck.

Our tender is another option for an emergency evacuation

We have our Ditch Bag packed and ready to go at all times

A basic emergency Ditch Bag could include the following recommended items:
  • Water two litres of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. We have protein shakes and dehydrated protein and vegetable packs. (available from survival stores). Small caned food with ring pulls. If using dehydrated products add extra water to your rations,
  • Matches in waterproof container.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio/torch + extra battery
  • Spot-tracker with emergency alert button and extra battery
  • PLB. We each have Personal Location Beacons + MOB Beacons
  • Life vests.
  • Foot operated Air pump to keep tender inflated
  • Torch and extra batteries
  • First aid kit (see listing)
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Flares
  • V Sheet
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape to use as shelter or water collection.
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and nappy bags for personal sanitation
  • Leatherman tool, Wrench and pliers 
  • Hand held compass 
  • MOBILE phone with extra battery pack, inverter or solar charger.
  • Pencil and paper.
  • Hand operated desalination kit.
  • Fishing line, hooks a small can of prawns. 
  • Rehydrating powder. We carry sports drink rehydration packs.

The boats portable EPIRB 
would be taken with us.

First Aid

Unfortunately in a situation such as abandoning ship, accidents and injuries are likely to happen. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Our first aid kit in the Ditch Bag contains the following items, of course If time permits we can always grab the main first aid kit. (See Separate Blog on First Aid Kit) 
  • Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn ointment
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure supplies
Non-prescription drugs:
  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Sea sickness tablets
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid
  • Laxative
Other first aid supplies:
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
  • Prescription Medication (other)
  • Prescription glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Denture needs
  • Cash 
  • Important family documents such as copies of boat papers, identification (passports, birth certificates) next of kin details or emergency contact details for family and or friends and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. 
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book.
  • Light weight warm blanket for each person. Hyperthermia blanket.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per 3 litres of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits,  cups, plates, paper towels and utensils. 

Personal Medication, Boat Papers, Copies of Passports etc. are sealed by cryovacing.

Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit.

For Baby:

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
  • Moist towelettes
  • Diaper rash ointment

For pets:

  • Food
  • Water
  • First Aid
  • Leads
  • Medication

If you are sailing in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:

  • Jacket or coat
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Socks
  • Thermals


  1. Super helpful! Thanks for sharing your tips!

    1. We are pleased that our blog post assisted you Cheers Rob and Karen


We love to read your comments regarding our blog, what you enjoyed and what you might like to see more of. Please leave us your thoughts.