cell phone in ziplock bag

-- Last Updated: Apr-02-04 8:57 AM EST --

Anyone else carrying a cell phone (for outgoing emergency use of course)in a ziplock bag? Since the phone is only useful if it is with me as in my smallish pfd pockets, I have found it difficult to locate a very small drybag type holder for a cell phone that would still fit in a pfd pocket. I double pack it in 2 new ziplocks each time and find that if you purge out the air they are less prone to puncture not being so puffy? Should I just ditch the cell phone and rely only on a waterproof VHF radio? Phone has stayed dry so far but I am rarely immersed.

Other options
Mine fits in a dry-box sold by REI for cigarettes. It’s slightly larger than a pack of ciggs and has a long lanyard on it. I also have a floating dry bag for cell phones. I rarely use it now but it is nice as well. Also from REI. Rather than focusing on putting it in a pocket, consider simply clipping it to a thwart or yoke or under a bungee if you kayak, in a proper box or dry bag. If you continue using the zip-locks, make sure you have the replacement insurance on the phone. Costs almost a dollar per month more on bill but good to have.

I use an old ~gallon-sized, wide mouth protein powder jar as my “dry box”, and it holds my wallet & keys, cell, good camera, and cigars and cutters and lighters. It works just fine, and best of all, it floats, so if it’s tippy canoe and you, too -those valuables thankfully go swimming -and not DIVING…!

AquaPac makes a line of bags that are waterprood, and come with clips, and they work. I have one for a pager that I use to carry my driver’s license, fishing license, a few bills, a few coins, and a credit card. I clip it to the waistband of my swim trunks, and it’s been down to 20 feet and has worked beautifully. They make an entire line of such bags, from the small through the medium to the large.

Other manufacturers such aas Ewa, Aloksak, Watershed, the “Scubamarket”, and the “Gorge” (these latter two look like distributors, not manufacturers) offer a variety of bag sizes and styles -one of them should work well for you.

And I think you’ll be a LOT more secure if you go the ‘dry bottle’ or specialized bag route than with a sealable baggie as you

Paddle on!

-Frank in Miami

Thats a hellva an idea
there Frank. Did you put a gasket or anything in the top or does it have a moisture ring in the top already? I’ve noticed that in my small 2 liter dry bag, if it gets in the sun even a little bit, the interior temp sky-rockets. And I figure that can’t be good for a cell phone…especially the LCD screen. Bet a “dry-can” such as your’s would be ideal.

the lid screwed tight. And I’ll vouch for the ability of the thing to take an unexpected swim -it DOES work. I’ve painted one flourescent orange as a precaution -the only thing that happened was that the paint eventually incre,entally flaked off -all over the car, the house, the carport…

It works just fine as is. Kind of if it ain’t broke…

Onr thing -and it goes for all waterproof, sealeable and sealed containers: same principles that keep the water out WILL keep it in -so don’t put drippy hands inside, or you’ll create a moisture chamber after you seal it back up.

The interior gets warm, but it doesn’t really boil -I imagine it’s because it’s a white container. And the wide mouth is great -I can even fit -barely, and it’s a squeeze, but it WILL go -my Fuji 3800 digicam with the lens shroud on.

Not bad if I say so myself! Cheap, EZ, does the job…

And now I feel a LOT better about my ‘essentials’ being safe as I

Paddle on!

-Frank in Miami


A clear plastic pretzel -actually, EX-pretzel -jar carries about double the volume, and you can see it all, too!

I usally drive an OK Scupper Pro TW, so I thankfully have that sizeable ‘trunk’ of a tankwell back there that I can bungee big things like that into just fine. I’ve added several pad eyes around the periphery to hold bungee clips, so I can tie down a basket AND a jar at the same time.

Don’t know how non-TW SOTs or SINKs might use a big jar like the pretzel SUV, but the protein powder size on might fit in the cockpit OK.

Just one more way to keep your stuff dry as you get out there and

Paddle on!

-Frank in Miami

Cell Phone case
A few sugjjestions. Carry your cell phone ! Ziplocks work fine inside a drybag. I also use a small 5"x 7" x 4" Otter box to hold cell phone, wallet, keys,small P&S camera etc. Another option is a 32 oz. widemouth Nalgene bottle. It will hold a small cell phone,keys and the big loop top can be secured with a biner or cord. Very waterproof. Paddle on !

I use…
A wide mouthed, plastic, Rubbermaid jar that I found at WallyWorld for about $3.

I also use a set of little dry bags I found at Academy Sports. I think the whole set was about $8-$10.

If you’re using Zip-locs, make sure you use freezer bags and not storage bags. The freezer bags are thicker and will hold up better.

Err on side of caution?
The best philosophy is, the more critical or expensive the gear you’re toting, the more care or $ you should expend on protecting it from flooding. We all understand that delicate electronics like celphones and water / saltwater DO NOT MIX! Heck, I was a big believer in “WATERPROOF” means “WATERPROOF” - I’ve taken U/W videos and photos with the appropriate housings. Well, I recently took out on a beach after 2 hours in the ocean and found to my dismay that my celphone and car alarm remote had been flooded in saltwater - and these were carefully stowed in a fresh Pelican drybox inside a sealed hatch! This was a freak incident since neither ever leaked before or since, but it was no fun and cost me a fistful of $$$.

I never had this problem with my U/W video and camera equipment, and I realized that I took much care inspecting and greasing the o-rings on those camera housings before and after ever use, per the manuals! Yet I just threw stuff into my dryboxes and hatches assuming that they would be dry later… Since I learned my lesson, I carefully inspect all the seal gaskets on hatches and drybox for ANY potential matter that might break the seal and allow water to enter - grains of sand, blades of grass, hairs, etc. I also keep an eye out for aged gaskets because gasket rubber does tend to get hard or cracked with age. Finally, waterproof grease or specialty o-ring grease does wonders in ensuring a good dry seal.

For non-critical stuff, the vitamin / pretzel type plastic jars are surprisingly waterproof provided they’re the right kind of plastic. The clear lexan type (such as the Nalgene) with tough-sealing lids are absolutely the best of this type and worth the few bucks, even used.

Hope this helps, and maybe saves someone some $!

I made a post about this the other day called humble pie. I have been taking a friend down the river each sat. for the last few weeks. Each time I told her to leave the cell phone in the car or at least put it in a bag. She refused. Last Saturday we dumped the canoe. My wallet was in a bag and fine but her celly and wallet were not and got soaked. She lucked out because the phone dried out and started working again monday. It was my first dump in many years and I was embarrased. She was also wearing jean shorts that I told her not to wear so when my nylon shorts were dry she was still wet.

OK, so you can keep the phone dry in case of an emergency, but then what. Picture a typical emergency where you’d NEED the phone. It’s windy, w/ huge waves & driving mist, what the heck, it’s probably going to start raining, visibility is poor, and it’s cold. Shore is a long way away. Note that you must now take the phone out of the safety of the dry box to make a call.

If one wave hits the phone, or if rain hits it wrong, or if you accidently drop it, or anything else, the phone is probably toast.

Any suggestions to get around this? Can you talk through a zip lock? Anyone try this?


– Last Updated: May-19-04 1:25 AM EST –

I don't want to risk my cell phone or GPS in a zip-lock. So I bought this:

You can hear/be heard and dial while the phone is bagged. It is a bit on the expensive side, but my cell and GPS are worth the extra insurance. As others have already mentioned, you just never know....you know? ;)

Why have a phone??
So, you are going to use your cell phone for a water emergency. Water emergency being what, a boat that you have rolled, thus rendering the phone useless. Or perhaps you cut yourself so badly that you need to be lifeflighted directly from the middle of the lake.

I thought getting out fishing and boating was to help us forget about technology and daily worries. You guys must be pretty bored or paranoid or just materialistic yuppies buying all this crap that protects your other crap so you can call for help.

paranoid or just materialistic yuppies
Yea, bored, paranoid, materialistic yuppies. That’s us. You nailed us. Try “safety conscious”.

Nice flame, feel better?

Thanks for the link, info
Back on topic, thanks for the info Brian. Knowing you can talk through the bag makes all the difference. Next time I’m at my local paddling store I’ll actually try making a call after I seal the phone in the bag. If it works like you say, I’ll buy it on the spot.

Do you take your cell backpacking. Maybe you should take it in the shower with all your waterproof bags in case you fall.

Why the attitude beginner?
be nice or do us a favor and go away.

I appologize. I’m from Idaho and we have a different philosophy when it comes to the outdoors and being an outdoorsman. I’ll take it easy on the east coasters from now on.

cell phones and the wife
…and then there is the problem of receieving calls. Saying things like "Why are you out in your kayak when you haven’t mowed the lawn, gone to the dump or fixed the car, the bikes , or the washing machine ? Get back here immediatley .

Nicholas Clarke