No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but preparing for one may save your life. Preparing for the unexpected is always a great idea, even if you are doing ordinary things like riding a bike or going to the store. However, when it comes to situations in which there are some very serious potential dangers, like hiking, rock climbing, sailing or flying a plane, being prepared, knowing how to use the items of your kit, and staying calm would be crucial for survival should an accident happen.
So, regardless of where you are flying, how long the flight might be, or any other factor, as a pilot, you should always have a survival kit in your aircraft. For survival in extreme situations, several things are key: staying hydrated, staying warm, and being able to tend to any potential injury or health issue.
Emergency Locator Beacons
Any time you are going somewhere far from civilisation, you need to make sure that you have a way to alert someone about your location, in case you get lost for any reason. So, whether you are on a boat, in nature doing some recreational activity or flying a plane, you need a signalling device.
There are many types of devices designed to alert the appropriate first responder organisation of your whereabouts in case of emergency, and the most popular ones are emergency position indicating radio beacons or EPIRBs, personal location beacons or PLBs, emergency locator transmitters or ELTs, and so on. While any device is better than nothing, for pilots the best option is to get a personal EPIRB, mainly because unlike PLBs, in case of a crash, they start transmitting a continuous radio signal automatically
Used primarily in aircraft and vessels, this personal emergency beacon is portable, and it’s powered by a battery, which can last for more than 10 years. They can transmit a signal for 48 hours. EPIRBs will transmit a homing signal which will allow search and rescue services to locate your coordinates precisely. Thanks to the GPS receiver nowadays a personal location device like this can be accurate within 50-100 m.
The radio signal transmitted by a personal EPIRB is detected by satellites, which pass the information about the location of the signal to search and rescue services. When the transmitter is activated, which with this device would happen automatically in the event of a crash, one or more satellites pick up the personal locator beacon signal and ground control stations are informed. Once they process the signals, they forward the data to a national authority, which then passes the data to the appropriate local search and rescue organisation to start the rescue operations.
If there is one piece of survival equipment that everyone should have, regardless of their profession, their lifestyle or their hobbies, it’s a good multitool. If what everyone hopes will never happen, happens to you, and you are lost somewhere, waiting to be rescued, but without an idea when that will happen, a multitool can be your best friend.
The reason why people who like to be ready in any situation invest in multi function tools, is quite obvious, and right there in the name. Featuring many different useful items all in one single object that can fit in your pocket, this piece of equipment can help you in a wide range of situations. In dire situations, even a simple pocket knife can make a huge difference, but a multitool is a next level survival item.
One of the reasons why every survival kit needs some kind of a blade, whether it’s a pocket knife or the ones included in a good quality multitool, is because it can help you in many different ways. Not only can you use it to chop branches to stay warm, cut rope or anything else, but you could also use it to start a fire, or even cauterize wounds. Of course, you could also use it in self-defence if you need to.
There are many different types of multi function tools, and most of them are equipped with some kind of blade, which you can use to cut a rope, or maybe even chop branches to stay warm, scissors, a screwdriver, a wire cutter, a file, a ruler, bottle opener, can opener, a punch, and so on. When you are preparing for some really serious worst-case scenarios, like those that could happen when you are flying a plane, you should invest in a good quality, reliable and durable multitool.
Anyone doing any activity outdoors at night needs a good flashlight. Hikers, runners, rock climbers, mountain bikers, and many more. Every pilot’s survival kit needs a flashlight, in the event of an emergency, because they may end up spending the night in the wilderness, for instance.
Flashlights are very diverse, but when you are buying one to include in a personal survival kit, you need one that will be powerful enough to illuminate a larger area, but with different brightness settings. It should also be impact resistant and waterproof, for obvious reasons. And it should run on good batteries, that can power it for longer periods. Extra batteries are also a good idea.