Wilderness North. Remote Northern Ontario Fly-in adventures

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Be Prepared for Anything

How to create a Fisherman Emergency Kit. Or in other words, how not to get caught with your pants down while in the bush!!!

There is no such thing as one perfect emergency kit. All of us have different abilities, needs, and priorities when it comes to survival – our personal emergency kits should reflect that. Also, once you start in building a survival/ emergency kit, it is constantly a work in progress. You will always be reorganizing, refining, and redesigning as you try different things, find better gear to carry, and new ideas to explore.


There are many companies out there who make stock survival kits, but these are more general and are great as a starting point or an easy way to acquire parts. Commercial kits often tend to include unnecessary items that take up valuable space better used for more vital equipment. Also, to keep production costs down most off the shelf kits are made up of cheap and sometimes unreliable supplies. While there are so many great kits out there, a pre-made on should only be used as a starting point with personal refinements.

When it comes to putting together an emergency kit one of the most important things other than using quality ingredients is size and weight. Although it’s handy to have something pocket sized it places severe limitations on the types of gear and functionality of your emergency kit. On the other hand, carrying everything including the kitchen sink is impractical and although a kit of that size would come in handy in most situations it is often left behind making it useless. The best option is to create a pocket kit for day trips and a larger one for base camp or travelling.

As far as the contents of your survival kit goes, building it is a very personal affair and each kit should be built with a plan in mind. You should have a plan for everything in your kit including how it is packed and what durable container it is packed in. Here is a comprehensive list of items to include in your larger kit:

  • Folding Razor – A simple razor blade attached to a plastic handle. It by no means replaces a pocket knife but does provide a sharp edge to work with.
  • P-38 Can Opener –sharpened so it can also be used to help clean/gut game and fish.
  • Small LED Light –With LEDs, you can find very bright lights packed into tiny packages that fit easily into survival kits.
  • Duct Tape – Five feet wrapped around a tin should suffice. Aside from endless uses Duct Tape is also flammable.
  • 40 Pound Test Woven Fishing Line – 25 feet of Spiderwire brand can be used as high quality rope/cord.
  • Sewing Kit – Two sewing needles and 10 feet of thread for making/repairing clothing, or sewing wounds
  • Basic First Aid Supplies – A small collection of Bandaids, butterfly closures, alcohol swab, crazy glue, and Neosporin.
  • A Tin – Anything from an Altoids tin to a surplus East German 7.62mm rifle cleaning kit is great for holding essentials and easily fits in your pocket.
  • Spark-Lite and Tinder TabsIt’s like a lighter on steroids. The tinder tabs work great to ignite plenty of natural tinders like cattail fluff and finely shredded birch bark.
  • Waterproof Matches –Take a book of matches and dip in wax as a good back-up.
  • Rubber Bands – Two sections of an old inner tube looped around the tin work great
  • Eight Pound Test Fluorocarbon Fishing Line – at least 50 feet of line should suffice for fishing. Fluorocarbon line is almost invisible in water, and the 8lb test offers some give when fishing without a rod.
  • Basic Fishing Kit – A Panther Martin 1/32 oz gold fly lure, nine Gamakatsu Hooks size 6 (or another equally sharp strong brand), and six sinkers.
  • Two Safety Pins – Great as fasteners, makeshift fishing hooks, ferrules on a fishing rod, or grommets on a tarp.
  • Aluminum Foil – One 18″ square of heavy duty foil when made into a bowl serves as a pot to boil water for purification as well as a pot to make hearty stew.
  • Plastic Bag and two twist ties – The type used for transporting goldfish or minnows. They are strong yet slightly breathable.
  • Aquatabs – 10 chlorine purification tablets (purifies 10 liters) come in a flat package perfectly sized for stashing in a kit.
  • Potassium Permanganate – An antiseptic, when mixed with water to a deep purple it will help treat foot fungus and disinfect sores. When mixed with sugar or glycerin, potassium permanganate can also be used as an effective fire starter.
  • Pencil and Paper – Good for making maps, tracking bearings and time travelled, and if things are bad enough, allow you to write your last will and testament.
  • Button Compass – Even if you do not know where you are, heading along a constant bearing will often lead you to a trail, logging road, or other thoroughfare. Knowing direction is also useful for tracking time (East = 6 AM, South East = 9 AM,  South = Noon, etc.) and wind direction/weather (E = wet, W= clear, N = cold, S = warm – not always accurate).
  • $100 Bill – While people will generally help a lost individual, a Ben Franklin(US) or a Rob Borden(CAN) are handy guys to have around.

Some basic items for a smaller day use kit include:

  • A Swiss Army Knife –the Victorinox Camper model has the tools people use most: two knives, wood saw, reamer/awl, etc.
  • Torch Lighter Flint -the igniters for acetylene torches with a hole drilled into the threaded aluminum base allow it to attach to a knife, and along with a small amount of cotton wool packed into the threads create a firesteel without making your knife awkward to carry or use.
  • Bic Lighter wrapped with Duct Tape – Cheap, reliable, and effective.
  • Heatsheets Emergency Bivy – made by Adventure Medical Kits this is a space blanket sleeping bag.
  • Equinox Silnylon Poncho– An ultra-light poncho that has grommets to make it function as a tarp. Ponchos make great rain gear or can be used as a tarp to waterproof a handmade shelter.

If you have some room toss in a small bottle of good Screech. While it has limited use in a true emergency situation it can be very useful in helping solve a social situation -hopefully the only type of emergency you’ll encounter while enjoying your stay with us at Wilderness North 🙂

Stay Safe!

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