Flare Up

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I've always had trouble keeping my safety flares dry - especially in an open boat. The so-called "dry boxes" don't work that well, especially when I'm trying to keep my flares dry for the three years for which the effective date is good (or worse yet, when I really need them). I solved the problem by sealing up my flares with a Food Saver vacuum-packaging sealer. I still use the dry box to carry the flares, but vacuum-sealing really keeps them from getting wet. Also, I make sure the expiration dates are all facing up so they can be read easily. Still another good thing about sealing my flares - they will most likely still be good after they are out of date. And it never hurts to carry more than the Coast Guard minimum requirements for safety equipment.

- Mike Aiton, Boynton Beach, Florida