by Ian Lowe
What do you carry in your Emergency Kit Box?
Do you even have one?
When I was a keen photographer, I always carried an emergency kit. This was
little things I might need that didn't really have a connection with
photography, but could come in handy in an emergency. For example, needle
and thread. If I was photographing a wedding, and the bride had an accident
with her dress, I could lend her a needle and thread to make temporary
It occurred to me that a similar kit could be useful in balloon modelling
What to include
- A needle and thread.
- A First Aid kit. It's useful to have some training in its use, too. Include
Band Aids with kids' designs. Also, I've found a magic wand comes in
useful. Often, when a kid has fallen down, and is crying, I tap the wand on
the affected area, and he stops crying immediately!
- Super Glue. Useful for when a nail tears. This can lead to the nail
bursting balloons as you twist. Professional guitar players use it when the
nails they use for picking the strings break. I've used it many times, and
it really works well.
- Spare batteries for anything you use, and for your client's camera. If
you're twisting at a birthday party, and your client wants a photo of her
little girl and the princess you've just made for her, but the battery has
run out in her camera, you can come to the rescue. And she's more likely to
recommend you to her friends.
- Blue Tac or similar. Some venues don't allow parents to Sellotape/Scotch
Tape Happy Birthday Banners to the walls. If you've got Blue Tac, you're a
- Also, keep thumb tacks to pin your business card to the notice board.
- Duct Tape comes in useful for many temporary repairs.
- Masking tape. Handy if you want to mark the height on a wall of several
balloons, or ribbons; and it comes off without leaving a mark. Also, use it
to mark your area on the floor. The kids can only cross the line with
- Swiss Army Knife. Handy for removing stones from horses' hooves, as well as
many less obvious uses. Accessories include scissors, screw drivers, nail
file, and more.
- Money for a parking meter.
- A small torch. Useful for finding balloon colours in the dark. If you're
twisting at a party, don't be caught out when the lights go down and the
disco starts. A small torch on a reel attached to your balloon bag is a
- Sun tan lotion. Hasn't been used so far this year; but you never know.
- Balloons can often be used for repairs, too. Many ideas have been shared on
If you have any other items that you keep in your emergency kit, post them
on the BHQ forums.