We hear stories often about groups who had to hike out of this or that canyon, under less than optimal conditions. In the winter, that dry suit becomes a survival suit, and being properly clothed is immensely important. But what then?
Know where you are. Check out the run on Google Maps. Where are the roads? Is there a nearby farm? Powerlines? River bends can become distance markers. Just paying attention during shuttle can make a huge difference in location awareness. Add a compass and perhaps a map in a ziplock (in your drybag), and the time it takes to get help or find civilization is greatly reduced.
We carry throw ropes, knives, pin kits. But are we prepared to spend the night in hostile conditions? Do we have first aid and a way to make water? Can we create fire or have a light source? How bout an emergency blanket?
In the past, we've talked about having a compact, waterproof overnight kit with us on remote runs. Last week I put mine together, plan to have it in my boat for any winter run. But just like we shouldn't have one person with a rope, or one person with a pin kit, we shouldn't have one person with an overnight kit.
So here's a suggested packing list (thanks George!). How much of this can you stuff in a Nalgene? Just about all of it.
Headlamp (extra batteries)
Candle wrapped in foil
Water purification tablets
Map in ziplock
First Aid Kit