Dry Bags in Fall and Winter

The value of dry bags for hiking is plain to see. Nobody wants wet hiking gear, and dry bags prevent wet gear. It’s pretty cut and dried. The season, however, greatly affects how important a dry bag actually is. Wet gear in the summer can be inconvenient and frustrating. Wet gear in the fall or winter can be dangerous, though. Dry bags in fall and winter are practically mandatory.

Water is everywhere

Obviously, you need a dry bag any time your gear can get wet. What’s not as obvious is just how easy it can be to drench hiking gear during the fall and winter seasons.

Fog rolls thick in the Ozarks, especially during cooler weather. All that moisture can leave gear utterly soaked. Morning dew has a knack for crawling into every available space, and without a dry bag you’ll wake up to wet gear.

Condensation can also soak gear. Tent drip – the condensation phenomenon that occurs when hot tent air meets chilly winter air – can claim your sleeping bag, which is the last thing you want to get wet.

Standing puddles, botched river crossings, rain, sleet, snow, sweat, etc. – moisture is lurking around every turn in the trail, waiting to get soaked up by your fluffy down sleeping bag and cozy fleece layers.

Why are dry bags important?

It’s just a little water, right? Why is damp or wet gear such a big deal in the fall or winter? Water and cool temperatures don’t mix.

People normally associate hypothermia with sub-zero temperatures, but hypothermia can occur in temperatures as high as 50°F. Hypothermia can occur at even higher temperatures when water is added to the mix.

Your body temperature only has to drop 3 degrees for hypothermia to set in. Hypothermia is a big deal. Your nervous system and organs can’t work properly. Your heart and respiratory system start to fail, and you can die.

Wet jackets or sleeping bags may lose their ability to insulate, and can even lower your body temperature.

Gear can freeze, which is unpleasant when it’s your socks, but potentially life threatening when it’s your water purifier.

Store gear in dry bags and be safe

Dry bags are incredibly important for protecting your sleeping bag and insulating layers. Keep food, matches, and electronics safe and dry, too. Thoroughly dry your water filter or purifier with a PackTowl before storing it in your dry bag.

It’s also a good carry an emergency blanket just in case. We carry dry bags, emergency blankets, PackTowls, and every other bit of outdoor gear you need to go hiking or camping, regardless of the season. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for outdoor gear in Northwest Arkansas!

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