Had a similar discussion on a windsurfing website....
Scenario 1 - you've just broken your ankle at sea and after 2 hours of bobbing around have finally made it back to the beach but cant walk....what do you really need?
1.A mouthful of tablets that will take 40 mins or so to start working and may hinder your definitive pain relief from the medics later.
2.A Complete splinting of your ankle form a first aid kit that someone has never used before but wants to "just try it out" anyway.
3.A nice warm blanket that stops you shivvering those pruning nuts of yours off.
Scenario 2 - Someone collapses in the car park whilst your rigging your kit....its a windy day and your buggered if you want to help...but your good will tells you to go and help.You find the al git lying on his back going blue...and in obvious need of CPR.
Do you -
1.Leave him to try and find those keys that are hidden between the carbon brake dust smothered wheels of your van...and then try to find that first aid kit thats been covered in sails and old....wetsuits for the past 6 months.....meanwhile the seagulls are circling Albert!
2.Locate that comprehensive first aid kit that you carry on the back of your board at all times.......clear a space in the car park and spread out its entire contents as if your about to perform a frontal labotomy..... not really sure of which way up that plastic mask goes...
3.Forget about kit....and get stuck in....using the knowledge youve just learnt from a good first aid course / book/ quick glance at the resus councils uk website - http://www.resus.org.uk/pages/bls.pdf
If your unhappy about kissing the al fella on his lips - grab an old carrier bag and just pop a hole in the middle...or a thin towel this is just as good as any pocket mouthpiece....just try to make that plastic small enough to prevent anyone from thinking your suffocating Albert!!
Scenario 3 - you see a bloody kitesurfer getting dragged along the beach and heading straight towards one of the sea defence groins.Trying not to smirk with glee you suddenly realise that the outcome of this situation is not going to be good.....when you reach the bloke in question you quickly jetison his kite ( shouting to a mate in the car park to go find it and hide it) and then somewhat confused by why hes wearing a pair of trousers over his wetsuit discover that he has a large wound to his upper arm which is spurting a lot of blood.
Do you -
1.Nip back to the van - cursing that 3 times in one day is just taking the piss....and the brake dust is ruining your pristine white rashie vest.
2.Cover him in sand and hope that noone actually notices that a kiter has been injured.
3.Make do with whats to hand - in an attempt to stem the bleeding....dont forget - if its that bad an injury you might live to regret not using that prized rashie to save someones life....whereas poor kiter boy well....hes one less on the water I guess.
Keep it simple and you can make a big difference.
We all know that phrase....."all the gear no.....