Boat Emergency Kits

Boat Kit

Every boat should have a purpose-built kit for emergencies with the right gear for your specific boat or aquatic craft. It only takes getting stranded on the water once to learn that lesson. 

Experience: Tubing Accident

A family friend has one of those cool surf boats. He's a doctor and seems to always be prepared. On one aquatic outing his son had a bunch of friends out tubing. They flipped the tube and it knocked the boy out. The doctor quickly made his way over to the still-floating boy who was face down in the water. They pulled him out and got him breathing again. The gear and training they had on board turned a scary situation into a campfire story.

We've seen fish hooks through fingers, rope burns, and blisters on boating events. If you have a boat, you have to be prepared.


  1. Check your first aid gear regularly because it's easy to forget gear you've consumed
  2. Make sure there are floatation devices for everyone
  3. Make sure you can warm up someone who is cold and wet

About This Article


Table of Contents

Boat Kits

Boat kits are a must for every water craft. You don't want to be stranded, stuck or broken down without the right gear. Stowing an auto kit in your glove box or storage compartment is crutial.

Make sure you buy quality gear. You don't want to rely on equipment only to have it fail. 

Fire Suppression

Boats can catch fire (usually engine related). Be sure to have a fire extinguisher handy.

Tool Kits

Some emergencies are mechanical in nature. Wrenches, drivers, hammers, etc can make a quick repair. Make sure to have spare tools on hand in an organized kit.

Tow Rope

A breakdown can be a bit daunting, especially if you are a long ways from shore. Keeping a tow rope in your kit can help you get unstuck. 

Tips for using a tow rope:

  • The key is to find sturdy parts of your boat's frame to connect both ends to. Don't rip off a key part of the boat because it can't handle the stresses of being towed.
  • Make sure your tow rope is rated for your boat. 
  • Be sure to stand clear of tow rope under stress. If it breaks, the event can be devastating. You don't want to be anywhere near the ends of the rope as they lose their energy.


Working on a boat in the dark is miserable and can be dangerous. Be sure you have a flashlight or better yet a headlamp so you can see what you're doing. Also make sure you have working batteries or a crankable light so the batteries last for some time.

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Ultra Bright Headlamp

Ultra bright, rechargeable 6000 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

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20 10 26 11 10 55 original 600x600 rechargeable led headlamp 450 lumens

Rechargeable LED Headlamp 450 Lumens

Durable, rechargeable 450 lumen LED head lamp for hands free survival

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20 10 26 10 35 12 original 600x600 hand crank solar rechargeable am fm sw radio  led flashlight  power bank

Hand Crank/Solar Rechargeable AM/FM/SW Radio, LED Flashlight, Power Bank - Rugged

Emergency hand crank/solar powered energy source, radio, LED flashlight

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Crank Flashlight

Rechargeable hand crank and solar powered LED flashlight for survival

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Kits for Boats

20 11 22 14 41 50 original 600x600 fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

ABC dry chemical class ABC fire extinguisher

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20 10 27 02 48 33 original 600x600 toolkit   medium

Toolkit - Medium

Medium emergency toolkit with organizer

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20 10 27 03 08 40 original 600x600 toolkit   large

Toolkit - Large

Large emergency toolkit with organizer

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First Aid Kits

Small injuries and illnesses are common during boating outings. Handling cuts and scrapes or allergies, stomach problems, etc. should be easy first aid solutions. Every watercraft should have a first aid kit and you should know how to use the supplies within. 

Some people will want more robust supplies in case of trauma in an accident. Some kits come with a tourniquet, etc.

Here are the supplies we recommend for every first aid kit. You may need to add items to your kit if it's incomplete:

  • Supplies
    • bandages
    • triangle bandage (for a sling)
    • antiseptic wipes
    • alcohol wipes
    • gauze
    • tweezers
    • More...
  • Medications
    • allergy
    • Tylenol
    • Ibuprofen
    • Pepto Bismol
    • anti-nausea 
    • lip treatment
    • More...
  • Toiletries
    • toilet paper
    • feminine hygiene products

Having the supplies is one thing, knowing how to use them is another. Be sure you get some first aid training to know how to treat your passengers.

First Aid Kits

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First Aid Kit - Tactical

Tactical, Portable IFAK First Aid Kit

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Trauma Kit - Small

Advanced First Aid Gear and Supplies

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Trauma Kit - Large

Advanced First Aid Gear and Supplies

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Extra Emergency Gear for Your Boat

Most trunks and trucks have ample storage space. If your car has space we recommend stowing some extra gear in your vehicle. 

  • duct tape
  • tool kit
  • toilet paper
  • multi tool
  • compass

The goal is to be ready for an emergency. Accidents, break downs, and other events can require this extra gear.

It's surprising how often we have had to use these items. Often we're helping someone else. We've seen boats in nearly every condition over the years. We've seen them towed. We've seen skiiers injured and knocked out. 

Having the right tools, first aid, and gear onboard can make a lifesaving difference.

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Waterproof Playing Cards

Survival waterproof playing cards to keep your mind busy 

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Standard orienteering compass for emergency navigation

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20 10 26 10 54 58 original 600x600 survival whistle

Survival Whistle

Aluminum emergency survival whistles with key chain

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Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Compact, collapsible fishing rod and reel

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Other Gear

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Military Wool Blanket - L

L, 66 x 90 in
Full, 1-person

Generic military wool blanket for emergencies and the outdoors

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Toolkit - Medium

Medium emergency toolkit with organizer

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20 10 27 03 08 40 original 600x600 toolkit   large

Toolkit - Large

Large emergency toolkit with organizer

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Leatherman Wave Multitool

Popular, reliable light-duty survival multi-tool

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Check Your Gear

Take out your phone right now and schedule quarterly notifications to check your auto supplies. Here are the items you should check quarterly:

  • make sure the first aid kit has been replenished and the supplies aren't out of date
  • check your motor
  • make sure tool kits and other gear is stowed and complete
  • be sure your boating gear is in good working order

1This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
2 As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
3 Most reviews are based on personal experience from one of our content editors. Some are based on research and the opinions of other reviewers.


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