For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Medical Kit--Kayak Dry Boxes

The last two days I've shared what I keep in my medical kits at home and in the truck, and I shared a few things from my personal medical bag that I thought might be useful to the general populace. Today, I am going to share what my kids and I keep in our dry boxes that are attached to our kayaks.

All of us have:
Protective lip balm
suntan lotion--I pick up the sticks or the small $1-$2 tubes
2-way radio--they go in before the kayaks get in the water and come out when we get home so they stay charged
multipurpose tool
snack bar or protein source
whistle--we have specific "water" whistles that still work even if they get wet
white washcloth
light stick
small flashlight
waterproof watch
compass--if we get lost in anyway either by our own actions or environmental, if we can contact help, we can give landmarks and direction to help them find us

And we ALWAYS have:
Bottles of water

Even guests get their own dry box and "always have" gear.

In my box, I also carry:
--basic medical supplies such as bandaids, gauze pads and rolls, and anti-bacterial cream. Never know when you are going to want to jump out of the kayak and explore. Accidents happen, so I try to be prepared.
--a reflective blanket. If someone overheats, I can use it as a shade to protect them. I can use it to control hypothermia or help treat shock as well.

I have not  found a definitive "dry box medical list for kayaking", but I created our list based on where we kayak, what problems we've encountered (experiential learning is not always lovely), and what I know could happen. I've tried to control for getting lost, getting back to shore in the dark, overheating, and bad weather (winds came in while we were on the lake one day. Robert was a lot younger, not nearly as strong. If I had not roped him to my kayak, I would have followed him wherever the wind blew him. Or if someone gets hurt or gets sick, they may need assistance.) I've offered a beginning list. There may be things you need to add to it. If someone is allergic to bugs, stick Benadryl in there because you won't get back to shore before serious problems arise. If someone is diabetic, toss in candy bar or packs of sugar. Think about your needs and cover them.

A few other thoughts:
Alcohol and kayaking don't mix. A kayak is a boat. A drunk boater can be a dead boater. Use sense.
Sodas may feel like fluid, but they have no rehydrating value, and in fact, they can create problems because they need so much water to get rid of the sugar. If you are going to do sodas on the lake (which we do), add some bottled water in there, too.

Medicines: I didn't think much about medications and kayaking until a few weeks ago. I was outside working in 85-88 degree weather, not really bad, drinking plenty of water, doing all the right things, and suddenly realized I was in 89 degree heat, no longer sweating, cold, had a ferocious headache, and was no longer sweating! Those are symptoms of heat exhaustion moving into heat stroke. The culprit? An antacid my doctor wanted me to try messed up my electrolytes and ability to stay hydrated. I had no idea. Now, I'm not saying stop taking your medication. However, know what medications might not handle your being in warm temps well.

As every responder I've spoken with says:
"I've never pulled a drowning victim who was wearing a lifejacket."

'Nough said.

If you have other questions about water safety, shoot them my way. I'll answer what I can or point you in the direction of who can answer them. Be safe on the water and have fun. If you see me out there, wave and say hi!

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