Why Trash Bags Can’t Replace Dry Bags

Dry BagWe know all kinds of campers here at Uncle Sam’s. There are those who pack as much as they can carry, and then a little extra. There are also campers who only take what’s necessary, and sometimes a little less. The latter group typically doesn’t mind a little discomfort, and might even look forward to a little distress. They’re the ones who will bring a fishing pole instead of food, A hank of 550 cord instead of a tent, and a trash bag instead of a dry bag.

We understand the appeal of roughing it. With a fishing pole you are relying on yourself and nature to get your food. With that paracord, you’re going to make your shelter out of what you can find in the wild. But the trash bag? If you’re going to bring anything to keep your gear dry, you might as well being the right equipment. Trash bags just can’t replace dry bags.

While trash bags are made out of waterproof material they’re not really waterproof. There’s a huge gaping hole in a trash bag that doesn’t seal tight. You can cinch it down to make the hole smaller (but there’s still a hole), or you can tie a knot in the trash bag (but that’s only if it’s empty enough). Either way, water can still get in.

Another downside to trash bags is that they are super thin. They can rip if caught on a thorn, tree branch, or even just from being dragged over a rock. So, while a trash bag is better than nothing, it’s not really going to guarantee that your gear stays dry.

Dry bags, on the other hand, are design specifically to keep your gear dry. They are typically made of super tough and durable nylon that is not only resistant to abrasion. but completely water proof. Unlike trash bags, dry bags are seam taped, and will guarantee to keep your gear dry. You could stand in the middle of a monsoon, knowing that your dry bag is keeping your gear safe from moisture. Plus, dry bags can be used for years and years. Trash bags are disposable, which we know is not the most environmentally responsible option.

If you’re out on the trail, or floating a river, you’ve probably got some gear that needs to stay dry. Sleeping bags, camp stoves, food, and clothing are all rendered useless if they get wet. It can be more than just inconvenient if these items get wet. Food, clothing, and shelter are on the list on necessities for living. If you’re out in nature and don’t have these things, you can be in real trouble. That’s why dry bags are so important.

If you’re going to rough it, then rough it. If you want to keep your gear dry, which you probably do, you should get a dry bag. Trash bags might be a cheap last-minute solution if you don’t have a dry bag, but trash bags are nowhere near as effective. Bringing a trash bag doesn’t really say, “I’m roughing it, and I’m resourceful”. It says, “I’m not really roughing it, and I’m carrying all of my gear in a trash bag”.

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