Is it your PFD? Probably. What about a spare oar? We all know what happens when you forget that important piece of equipment. First-aid kit? That’s an obvious one.
What’s not as obvious, easily forgotten and potentially dangerous is forgetting the spare key.
I’d argue it’s almost as important as any of these items above. Having that extra key can save you from a long uncomfortable end of your day either waiting for someone to rescue you or walking miles on end to get to help. Sadly, I’ve done both. You play the shuttle game long enough and you’re bound to get burned. More importantly it can be very dangerous if there’s a medical emergency and the keys can’t be found.
If you’ve just got one key and made this mistake before it can be awfully painful sitting around for hours on end getting chewed on by mosquitos while you wait for your friend to get help or tow truck driver to get to you.
Regardless, if you’re letting some random person you’ve never met (aka Ms. Shuttle Driver) take your rig, or you’re going solo up some secret side canyon, always, always, always bring two keys and split them up. If fishing or boating with a partner let them know where the spare key will be before you take off. If heaven forbid you get hurt or lost they need to be able to get out. The other often overlooked solution is placing a “hide-a-key” on the vehicle or boat trailer in a location everyone in your party knows.
There it is. Simple, but often overlooked.