Keeping Gear Dry Inside Backpack

8:47 a.m. on November 23, 2010 (EST)
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How do you keep your gear dry in the worst scenario? Say its been raining for three days and now you have to cross a river thats up to your waist and its gonna be cold tonight so that goose-down sleeping bag and puffy down sweater must be bone dry. Whats your favorite tried and true methods?

9:21 a.m. on November 23, 2010 (EST)
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I used to damn the weight and line my pack with a canoe dry bag if I thought I was in for really wet weather. Otherwise isolate stuff in ziplocs, line stuff sacks with plastic bags, etc.

Problem: waterproofing keeps moisture in as well as it does out :-(

9:38 a.m. on November 23, 2010 (EST)
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All my clothes are kept in lightweight drybags. All small items that must be dry are either kept in small lightweight drybags or in ziplocs. Of course if it is wet out I keep my pack covered. Even in a daylong sideways downpour I haven't had anything get wet yet. I also carry at least one contractor  trashbag that I will put everything in If I have to cross a swollen river or stream. Rain won't normally get into the ziplocs or drybags, but complete submersion is another story.

2:12 p.m. on November 23, 2010 (EST)
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BigRed and Gonzan pretty much covered it. Ziplocs are cheap and come in sizes up to 5 gallon (hard to find, but WalMart often has the larger sizes, as does Tap Plastics). Eagle Creek and a couple others have plastic "organizer" bags (which also have one-way valves to squeeze the air out and help with compacting the gear a lot). Current drybags are pretty light - Sea to Summit and Granite Gear have some very light ones that seem pretty durable. I used the Sea to Summit light-weight ones in the rain forests in Tanzania. And I have used plastic garbage and trash bags as pack liners (compactor and contractor bags are much heavier duty). They all work to some extent.

Basically, I just put the stuff that needs to be kept dry in the bags and then into the main pack. Putting clothes in separate bags allows getting the one dry item out that you need and storing the wet item so it doesn't get the rest of the gear wet. Which is why I usually use separate bags for each item or for only a few similar items, plus carry extra bags to isolate the wet stuff.

11:44 a.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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As has been said above, I try to use the Ziploc bags for as many items that I want to keep dry as possible.  As for items that won't fit in the Ziplocs, I also like the UL dry/stuff sacks.  Worse comes to worse, I guess you could double bag some things if you are really worried that they might get wet.  Use the dry sack and then pack that into a Ziploc or other plastic bag and seal it shut.

Gonzan, the contractor trash bag is a good idea for keeping the pack dry.  I would be worried if I was out when it is that bad out that I would have all of my things in the small dry sacks and ziplocs and still had to pack my entire pack into a trash bag and try to seal that!

12:25 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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I do all of the above. And event compression sack for my sleeping bag, dry sack for my clothing items, ziplocs for small items and maps,  a dry sack for my tent should I need to pack it wet, a contractor size bag in case I need it, a pack cover and a poncho that also covers my pack. I dont want my stuff wet. Staying dry is worth another pound to me.

1:34 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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Haha, I hear ya' D&G. The Contractor bag is just for emergencies and if I am crossing a swollen river or large stream. When the only way to cross is in waist or chest deep water it is a miracle if your pack doesn't get dunked or go for a swim. Having spent a fair amount of time on whitewater, I have yet to find a dry bag that doesn't leak after multiple uses and hours on the river. So for me, ensuring my emergency phone, camera, clothes, and sleeping bag are dry is worth it the miniscule extra weight and effort.

They are also heplful to have to give as a poncho to uprepared people who find themselves in wet weather without adequate protective clothing.

5:23 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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I use large garbage bags as a liner in my pack for hiking slot canyons and use Ziploc bags for my gear,clothing and food just in case. I use the Ziploc's till they wear out. Trash bags also make spare rainpack covers,rain jackets and even met a guy once who wore them like a rain skirt, over his pants in wet weather.

5:51 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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I use large garbage bags. I put my sleeping bag which is in it's stuff sack, inside a garbage bag inside the bottom of my pack. It's dry when it goes in, so it's dry when it comes out.


I also take a large garbage bag (50 gallon I believe) and put it in my pack, so that as I pack things in, I just put them inside the garbage bag. Then I close the bag up as I cinch shut my pack.

8:22 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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I had stared a new thread. Sorry about that.

For you that use a dry bag:

 I still feel the need to get out and  camp. And it is clear that winter has arrived here on the Oregon coast. Of coarse that means wet wet weather. I find myself almost ready. All I have to do is keep clothing dry.

Is there any real differances in dry sacks? What sacks do you guys and gals use? What should I be looking for in a dry sack?

Low Temps here at night only reach in the low 20s. Like I said this is mainly for clothes. Or is there something else that I should be covering as well?

2:39 p.m. on December 7, 2010 (EST)
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I always put 3 holes with grommets into the very bottom of my backpack to allow for drainage in the event of a soaking. Next I put sleeping bag and clothing into a lightweight stuff sack and then cover that with an oven bag. I have found that oven bags are tough, reusable and ultralight. My down parka goes into a large double zip-ziplock. All other items that need to stay dry go into various sizes of ziplocks. It makes no sense to me to have a pack liner to put everything into. Eventually I would have to put a wet tent and ground cloth in with dry things.

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