Picking and Packing a Dry Bag

canoe_by_rfourni1Dry bags are the only surefire way to keep your gear from getting wet on a trip that involves a river or even a lot of rain. As we get closer and closer to floating season, you’ll need to pick the right dry bag and learning how to pack it appropriately. There’s nothing that ruins a trip quite like a water logged camera, food lost to a river, or all of your gear soaking wet at bed time. Dry bags can take care of all of these problems.

Picking a dry bag

When you’re looking for the perfect dry bag, the first thing to think about is size. How much stuff do you need to pack up? There are four size types, though products might vary a little bit: Cell phone/Camera size, Roll-top Lumbar size, Roll-top backpack size, and storage size.

Cell phone and Camera bags are usually just big enough to hold valuables and can usually be attached by a clip to your belt. Make sure you can carry all your daily valuables, like your wallet, cell phone, camera, and pack them in so you have some protection. Pick a bag that’s easy to access but good enough that if you lose it in the stream, your electronics will be saved.

Lumbar bags are explained by the name. They’re small packs that can sit on your lumbar area of your back or on your hip for easy access. They’re great if you want to take a little bit more than just your phone with you, like a quick snack or some emergency toilet paper.

A backpack size is just big enough for what you’ll need for a day—food, drinks, towels, and maybe a book and a change of clothes. These are perfect for the Saturday spent on a boat or in a kayak and for toting along a picnic lunch for two.

Storage size is the best for longer journeys where you’ll need more supplies, including a sleeping bag and more than one set of clothes. If you’re planning a multi-day trip down river, this is the dry bag for you.

As well as size, you’ll need to think about construction. Look for a bag that has thick waterproof synthetic material made of bright colors. If you lose your bag, you’ll be able to spot it floating down stream on the top of the water. Large bags should be checked for portability and sturdy straps that are comfortable to use and don’t cut into your shoulders.  For bags of any size, make sure the opening is as wide as the bottom so you can easily access your gear when you need it and ease of opening and closing can make or break a dry bag.

Packing your dry bag

Just like any packing, you want to leave the items you’ll access first and most often on the top and things you’ll use rarely or maybe not at all on the bottom. When packing up your cellphone and other electronic gear, wrap them in some padding, like a t-shirt or towel, so they aren’t pulverized to bits during your adventure.

Once you’ve organized your things, make sure to follow the directions on how to seal your bag up to the letter. If not, you’ll spring a leak. And be sure to leave air inside the bag so if it goes overboard, it’ll float.

If you’re packing up food, you’ll want to keep items that might get condensation on them, like drinks from a cooler, separate from your dry bag. Due to the tight pack for a lot of dry bags, you can end up causing a big mess inside, completely defeating the purpose in the first place.

We have a wide selection of dry bags that suit any need, so come on in and check them out!

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