Keeping flares dry.

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Zoe Newsam
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Keeping flares dry.

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:46 pm

I don't particularly like deck bags ( they look annoying & get in the way) and so recently got rid of the bum bag I was using to keep flares on my deck in a dry bag. Instead I put them in a 'seal line' dry bag- the see-through 10l version-in the cockpit behind my seat, clipped in. During the weekend, the bag leaked (no swims & not much water in the boat!), leaving me with wet flares and VHF spare battery pack amongst other things.

Does anyone have a better system for keeping emergency gear to hand but dry? If not I might have to bite the bullet & get a deck bag- what do we reckon are the best kind?

I also carry my VHF on deck and a flare in my BA.

Any ideas?

Zoe

eboy

Post by eboy » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:21 pm

Don't buy sealline see through bags, they suck!!

Get an ortlieb bag with a window, much lighter, yet MUCH stronger!!

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tpage
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dry flares

Post by tpage » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:21 pm

Hi Zoe, Ive got a deck bag (Baja from REI)- it looks good but definately wont keep your kit dry- the zips although being oversealed do let water in- and once in it stays there. Not recommended.
I use cellophane/plastic and a bag sealer to make custom bags to keep my flares dry. Its the stuff you buy to make your own freezer bags and a electric heated bag sealer (we use them at work to retain radioisotopes so the system has to be absolutley leak proof). It allows you to make customized bags- I always double bag the flares. Its then easy to rip the bag off with your teeth or fingers to deploy the flare. Tony

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MikeB
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Drying flares

Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:25 pm

I've got a flare in my BA pocket and use a dry bag mounted on the bulkhead behind the seat to hold my main set. See http://www.s106156335.websitehome.co.uk ... ockpit.htm

Each individual flare is contained in a small heavy duty ziplock document case with a bit of tape sealing the end of the zip. They stay dry. Not instantly accessible / usable of course, but the BA one is for that! The thinking is that by the time I need them, I'm probably oot the boat anyway so getting them then is no problem.

As regards deck bags, if you click thro to the Deck Outfitting page in that article you'll see the peaked deck bag I use. It's nice and compact but it isnt totally waterproof! Doesnt get in the way.

My friend Tim carries his VHF on deck in an Aqupack - although I hear cautionary tales about them. Mine lives in a sort of nylon case on my BA shoulder strap. Not waterproof at all and its fine (so far). No idea where to get the case - I think it's for phones or things - I foudn it in a car-park.

Mike.

JOHNF

Post by JOHNF » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:49 pm

I carry mine in a Platypus Water Container - the one that opens at the end with a press zip seal. It's big enough for 2 parachute, 2 smoke or pin point. Keeps them dry, easy to open and a robust bag.

There was an article in one of the US mags about putting a 6 inch nail in the bag when using a sealing machine. The idea being you just twist the nail and it breaks the bag.

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 30, 2005 3:00 pm

Superb idea! I've also seen an old Ortleib map-case being put to good use for flares. The roll-top / velcro had been removed and the opening taped.

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:45 pm

Hmmm.

I like the sealed bag idea- does anyone know how / where you can get that done? Thinking of that idea (or possibly poly bags taped round) inside a dry bag behind my seat.

What do we reckon are the best drybags?

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:06 pm

Ortleib / Nookie / Kodiak. Wont matter much once you've got the flares sealed? All dry bags leak past roll-tops anyway.

Richard Seaby
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Post by Richard Seaby » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:06 pm

We use drainpipe with a screw fitting at either end. One end marked with the different colours (for smoke, hand held, white, para). Around the centre of the tube is a bit of pipe stuck on which takes a bit of bungee and small clips to attach to the deck lines and or BA. These work really well - are always to hand, and completely waterproof.

Make sure you get the water tight type of screw fitting with the rubber seal.

You can get pipe that is a very good fit for the pains type - I haven’t tried any others.

Personally I don’t like to have my flares where I cant at least some of them immediacy.

I will try to get a pickie of one put it up on the web.

Richard

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:19 pm

Richard - if you can get some pics to me nad/or a brief write up of "construction", I'll stick them on the sea-site for you.

Regs , Mike.

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Helen M
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Post by Helen M » Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:30 pm

Mike - think Richards is the same sort of thing as Dave's cutlery holder - he uses same principle for his flares too - plumbing pipe and screw fitting top and bottom. Works well.

H - x

JHMAC
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Dry Flares

Post by JHMAC » Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:21 pm

Hi Zoe, I saw the article in the Sea Kayaker magazine and what I was thinking of doing was asking our local kipper house who I know has a vacum packer to do the job for me. At the moment i keep them in a 'dry' bag on the back of my BA, this would be a much better -no worries-solution.

Cheers

Howard

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capsized8
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Re: Keeping flares dry.

Post by capsized8 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:37 am

[quote="zoenewsam"]

I also carry my VHF on deck and a flare in my BA.

There has been mention of using plastic plumbing pipe and blanking caps.
These are absolutely bomb proof ;0) .The Snowdonia CC have used this method for several years with no failures. Each of the tubes/cannisters also has a lanyard attached.
What would concern me more is the location of your VHF. Should you become separated from your boat - up a certain creek with no VHF.
I always carry my VHF/DSC on me. I had a close call last year where I almost lost my boat. Nuff said !
peace and good padlin.

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Zoe Newsam
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Location of VHF...

Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:11 am

Yeah I know- I'm working on that too! There is a danger though of ending up with a ridiculously large amount of gear attached to the BA!

Zoe

Guest

Post by Guest » Thu Mar 31, 2005 8:43 am

40mm waste ppipe and a mulifit union and blank at each end is the way to go
waterproof and it floats

stormkayaks

Post by stormkayaks » Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:16 am

I have a plastic sealing machine. It didn't cost much and you can seal all your gear, flares, clothing and food. I have about 200m x 10cm clear plastic tube, you just cut as much as you need, put the item in and seal. Cheap

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:20 am

Stormkayaks wrote:
I have a plastic sealing machine. It didn't cost much and you can seal all your gear, flares, clothing and food. I have about 200m x 10cm clear plastic tube, you just cut as much as you need, put the item in and seal. Cheap
So where did you get the machine & the tubing?

Zoe

stormkayaks

Post by stormkayaks » Thu Mar 31, 2005 12:53 pm

Hi Zoe

Heat sealers. i've just looked on the internet and they start from £46.00. I got my heat sealer from RS components, I think it was about £90.00 it's more of an industrial unit, but its been money well spent as it has so many uses, not just for kayaking. And the plastic costs £15.00 for 336m.

Regards Tony

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:09 pm

Thanks Tony. I've just found a mini bag sealer on this website for £7.99:

www.tacklebargains.co.uk

I'll report on how it does when it arrives!

Zoe

Neily

Post by Neily » Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:26 pm

I read with interest the different approaches. Mines different again. Have looked at dry bags, poly bags and pipes. What I settled on was using laminating sheet. A4 sheet is good for the smaller red hand flares, A3 sized sheet is thicker and good for the larger flares like the Pains Wessex red parachute flares. Place the flare between the sheet and using a domestic iron heat around the outside - don't worry the flare doesn't get hot and it doesn't stick to the iron ! The shape of the flare makes it awkward but with a bit of practice you can make a good seal. Cut off the excess. Make some small 'nicks' in the laminate edge with scissors to help rip it open. I've found laminating sheet takes a great deal of abuse.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:47 pm

My hand flares and smokes live in the plastic tube canister I got them in from the chandlers, but it's not waterproof. My boat was nearly capsized by a wave whilst I was trying to get a grip on slippery rocks the other day and the flare tube was full of water afterwards - I had them out and drying on the grass ASAP but need to sort something out, I like the plumbing option best.

My parachute flare lived in my bag of precious things this week, unfortunately it is a clear seal line bag and I learned about how crap they are last year - I have however managed to avoid tearing the tape off or putting any more holes in it and everything stayed dry. I really must replace it! Both the flare canister and my precious things are attached to a length of bungee and are squeezed between my knees after I get in to sit in the cockpit area nice and handy if I ever come out, grabable if I need them whilst still seated and not squeezed and poked and punctured with all the other stuff that goes behind my seat or in the tanks.

In reality most of my dry bags are compromised in some way now, at least the heavy duty ortilebs have given 5-10 years of service and have been heavily abused in that time, if only they were suitable for putting in the kayak!

Best dry bags are ortileb, there are several other good ones and the opaque fabricy seal line ones are OK. The clear or smoked clear seal line bags are not worth buying, the OD and exped bags are OK if you are very careful with them as the fabric is very thin, the main thing is they are fairly cheap and useful for stuff that isn't mission critical if it gets wet becasue they can be squeezed into any space, I wouldn't put my sleeping bag or dry clothes in one!

JIM

JHMAC
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Keeping flares dry

Post by JHMAC » Mon May 16, 2005 5:25 pm

Zoe any news?
Thanks Tony. I've just found a mini bag sealer on this website for £7.99:

www.tacklebargains.co.uk

I'll report on how it does when it arrives!

Zoe
Has it arrived / how did it do?

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Mon May 16, 2005 6:54 pm

Pretty good, actually.

It arrived the very next day, and works on 2x AA batteries- not included. It's about the size of a stapler and looks similar. Basically you close it on the plastic and run it along slowly to create a seal. Takes a bit of practice, but works fine & doesn't leak- so far.

I used the transparent plastic A4 folders with 2 open sides you can buy from Tescos etc for about £1.50- not the ones with punched holes- as they're thickish but pliable. I've had a flare sealed like that in the back of my BA for several weeks, rolling, surfing, swimming (embarrassingly enough!) and on lots of trips and it's still dry.

The only down-side is there's no on/off switch- you have to remove the batteries to turn it off.

All good though, and much cheaper than the larger options!

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sub5rider
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Post by sub5rider » Sun May 22, 2005 10:16 am

Neily wrote:...... but with a bit of practice you can make a good seal.
Hmmmm ... I've been practising all morning and haven't yet done one that doesn't leak. Only tried A4 pouches, so far, but am about to try joining two together as my smoke has no chance of fitting in an A4
I carry two flares, both in rear pocket of BA which has been modified by the addition of 4 wide elastic loops to hold the ends of the flares vertical so I can reach 'em over my shoulder(s). Sorry to say that I hadn't considered that they might need to be waterproofed..... :(

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Sun May 22, 2005 1:25 pm

Storage / waterproofing - http://www.s106156335.websitehome.co.uk ... ockpit.htm - scroll about half-way down.

Mike.

Phil Winch

Post by Phil Winch » Sun May 22, 2005 1:37 pm

Interesting thread, but Im surprised that no one seems to have considered the obvious solution to carrying flares in your BA, (very good practise in my opinion)
Carry waterproof ones, I use a night and day flare for this purpose, its sealed with "O" rings at either end, its small and you get two bites at the cherry. You dont need to chew through a poly bag to use it either.
Expensive mind.
I also carry miniflares, these are sealed in an ex aquapac type pouch, (it split slightly at the open end) the seal being created by folding the bottom and then sliding one of those plastic slider things (sorry no idea what they are called) that stationers carry for holding A4 sheets together. I just cut it to length. Its lasted for 3 years now and survived numerous dunkings (I do a lot of courses/swimming one way or another) its easy to dismantle to check the condition of your flares and its re-usable.
Thats my two pennorth anyway,
BCC golden rule no 125
keep your powder dry, and dont shoot till you see the whites of their eyes!

Phil

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Sun May 22, 2005 5:22 pm

Phil Winch wrote:
Interesting thread, but Im surprised that no one seems to have considered the obvious solution to carrying flares in your BA, (very good practise in my opinion)
Carry waterproof ones, I use a night and day flare for this purpose, its sealed with "O" rings at either end, its small and you get two bites at the cherry. You dont need to chew through a poly bag to use it either.
Expensive mind.
I also carry miniflares, these are sealed in an ex aquapac type pouch
All very nice, Phil, but have you ever tried setting either of those off, even with warm dry hands???

The night & day rings cut into your fingers and can pull off altogether without activating the flare. The miniflares are extremely fiddly, and are also so small I doubt if anyone would ever spot them.

I'd rather carry the real thing in a sealed bag, thanks.

phil winch

Post by phil winch » Sun May 22, 2005 10:37 pm

Strangely enough, just had a similar rebuke from Nigel at a B-B-Q regarding my puny flares, however in my own defense, I know mine will work and I was only refering to the pyrotechnics I choose to carry on my person ( in my BA) There are obvious scenarios where they could literally be life savers particularly if you are detached from your boat at night for example and your mates are relatively close by. So I choose to carry eight fiddly unreliable and apparently dangerous things to attract attention on my person.
foolish I know but hey, who wants to live forever!
BCC golden rule No 12
Its better to have and not need than need and not have.
have you ever tried setting either of those off
Yes,
in 25 years I have set off all the flares I have ever bought and go past their use by date (two failed, both red handflares that got wet) the first set of miniflares I owned were really minging, caps were corroded, however to my surprise they all worked, I now cosset them a bit. see above.
as far as ring pulls go I have considerable expertise.
I have however never needed to set a flare off in anger, and sincerely hope both you and I never have to.
I'd rather carry the real thing in a sealed bag, thanks.
Me too, parachute reds that go bang, red smokes, red handflare and white collision all live in a dry bag in my deckbag (also dry)
I thought the thread was about keeping the things dry in your BA or have I missed the point again?

Phil

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sub5rider
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Post by sub5rider » Sun May 22, 2005 11:04 pm

phil winch wrote:...... had a similar rebuke from Nigel Phil
Wouldn't dream of it Phil!!
I think I offered a rebuttal, a contradiction of evidence, as in my limited experience of these things (admittedly 25years ago, and out-of-date at that) they were useless - and that was at night with a dozen pairs of eyes looking, and a squawk on the radio before one was fired....but hey, personal choices.

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Zoe Newsam
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Post by Zoe Newsam » Mon May 23, 2005 10:08 am

I thought the thread was about keeping the things dry in your BA or have I missed the point again?
It started off about keeping flares dry in general, but it was actually because some of mine got very wet inside a 'dry' bag (read the 1st post ;0) ). I keep one orange smoke, now sealed in plastic in my BA, and a whole arsenal of various kinds of flare sealed in plastic, in a dry bag, behind my seat. No 'mini' or 'day & nights' in sight. Personally I wouldn't rely on them, and if god forbid I ever had to use a flare, I'd want to be able to rely on it working.

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