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Equipment: Bilge Pump and Sponges

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Bilge PumpMurphy's law says the inevitable will always occur at the worst possible moment. Water should stay out of your kayak, and when it doesn't, you'll need to use a bilge pump and sponge to get it out. A bilge pump is an indispensable tool for a self-rescue after what is commonly called a "wet exit". Once you get back in the boat, use a bilge pump capable of 8 - 10 gallons per minute to quickly empty the swamped boat.

A bilge pump can be used while a spray skirt is attached to the cockpit combing by slipping the pump between your body and the spray skirt. By locking the end of the pump between both legs, you can use one hand to pump and the other hand to signal help or grasp a lost paddle.

When you purchase a bilge pump, make sure that it has a flotation collar so it doesn't sink when accidentally dropped overboard.
A large sponge is used to get the last little bit of water out. Sponges are also handy for cleaning a dirty boat.