Dry Bag, or not Dry Bag?

That is my question.

Clearly, there are some items that absolutely must be packed in a dry bag, even with the most dependable hatch covers: Sleeping bag, toilet paper.

Likewise, there are some things that could be dragged off the stern and still function every bit as well when back on shore: Water bottle, gun.

What do the wise people of the Message board have to say. What is sacred, what is not?


Change of clothes
Even with a dry suit, I carry a large towel, thick sweat pants, wool sweater, thermal socks, wool gloves and a hoodie in a dry bag. You never know when you may go for a swim and your dry suit leaks. Also carry several snack bars, chocolate, $25.00 and identification in a separate smaller dry bag.

We talking saltwater here?
I wouldn’t want my gun, stove or many other things sitting in saltwater all weekend.

Hustler in the dry bag
Playboy in the hold

msot everything

– Last Updated: Dec-29-06 9:04 PM EST –

I have been watching for dry bags at REI-OUTLET.COM, and have gotten some good deals there. So I have enouugh for most everything we carry. Slightly off topic note - I have mostly boiught smaller dry bags (like 10 liter), as these fit better than mediums in the small gaps left in a touring kayak after you stick in the things that are big (sleeping bag, pad, etc.).

Interestingly, my seeping bag does not go into a dry bag. Instead, I place a plastic bag inside the sleeping bag's stuff sack, and then stuff the sleeping bag into it. In the end, it is protected like a dry bag, but without a dry bag.

Stuff that I don't put in a dry bag:
- Tent's poles
- Tevas
- fire wood
- sleeping pad
- canned foods
- bottled drinks

A gun?
You actually cary one paddling?

I’ve been thinking of getting a small .380 auto just for that. Of course my wife thinks I’m nuts and just looking for an excuse to get another gun.

Canoe Gun
Don’t buy an auto. It will get dirty and jam. Use the standard trusy revolver if you must carry a handgun. I really think that guns are totally unneeded for any kind of paddling I have encountered. However Duck hunter bring shot guns all the time and they even make drybags just for them.

In some remote places it might be fun to bring a 22 rifle for plinking fun. Henry and marlin both make nice take a part 22 rifles.

Instead of guns you might consider taking a take down bow along on a paddling trip. It is much quiter so it won’t desturb anyone and most every one can have fun with it. Take a part bows are pretty expensive and you may need a special one if you are left handed and your partner is right handed, but it still is a lot of fun.

For even more ease just bring a good slingshot and some ammo. It is just as good a survival tool as a pistol for filling the pot and it is compact quiet and legal most everywhere.

The only gun I usually bring is a flare gun.

The gun is a throwback
to a thread from a few weeks ago. I have only carried a gun in the wilderness once. Never used it. A good friend did have to fire a shot in the air once when a black bear wouldn’t back away.

Anyway, I tend to be an overdrybagger. I was just packing for a trip and I thought, “Why do my pots and pans, fuel canister, water pump and ThermaRests need to be in dry bags?” Packing would be a lot easier if I stuck these things in available nooks and crannies.

First aid kit, emegency kit.
I put the following in one 5 L dry bag in the day hatch, every trip.

First aid kit.

Fire starting material, matches in a water proof container.

Energy bar, plus sometimes an apple or some other food.

Cell phone.

Knife, rope.

Wallet, car keys.

Paul S.

Anything you wouldn’t want wet
goes in a dry bag. It is as simple as that

cheers,and Happy New Year,


TP alternative
I use wet wipes. It doesnt matter if they get wet because they still hold their shape and durability. Plus, they are good for a quick cleansing of your groin area…male or female. So, with that said, I do not put tp in my dry bag.

most important of all, cell phones…

Grayhawk can tell ya ‘bout the latest casualty…

But be VERRRRRRY careful of your “dry” drybags, friends. We had what we thought were excellent examples of smaller ones, hung on a line around your neck. Dived them to 20’ in the Virgins, dunked here (Beautiful Biscayne Bay, Sunny South Florida, & The Fabulous Florida Keys) several times as well.

Lost a cell phone in one because it was grommeted to hang the lines. The grommets eventually flexed enough to begin separating from the bag and voila! -they weren’t dry, and neither was said cell. I’ve drowned three of the suckers, so far… (So far? Sally better not read this!) And now I only use the roll-top bags for the valuable stuff.

And I check’em every time before I go out.

And put them on my Christmas list -got two from my sister’s family in Iowa this year -YAAAY!

When the expensive/desired/needs-to-stay-dry stuff stays dry, it makes it a WHOLE lot more fun to


-Frank in Miami

Stuff in dry bags…
anything you won’t need to get to in a hurry. Lunch, repair parts for reels (if you’re fishing anyway) extra line, duct tape, extra space blanket etc etc. Pack your bailout bag top down, in the order of stuff you’ll need in a cold-weather dunking. Firestarter kit on top,(which should be immediately tossed to a dry paddling partner to start the fire while you change) then your towel, a dry, warm hat, then underware and clothes etc etc

Get yourself a good Pelican waterproof storage box to hold the wallet, camera and cell phone and stick where you can get to them easily. Keys that have electronic fobs for unlocking doors and starting your fancy vehicles need to be in the pelican box or dry bag as well. I shy away from vehicles that require those things for that very reason. They get wet, you no get into your vehicle, may not even be able to start the vehicle either…I’ve seen it happen. Make sure the Pelican box is secured to the boat and won’t float away.

MY keys have a brass marine clip on them and I clip them directly to my person somewhere. I may lose some stuff in a moment of stupidity or carelessness…but not those truck keys.

Really need to keep it dry?
If it’s something that I really want to keep dry, I use the zip close bags from Watershed or a dry box. I keep the meds in a small dry box. I keep by big first aid kit in an Otter box. Any roll top bags that I have used in the past, keep things mostly dry to somewhat/kinda dry. Another thing I use are the Aloksak zip lock bags. My old gps was not waterproof so I kept it in an Aloksak bag because you could operate all the buttons and see the screen while it was in the bag. I am thinking I need to buy myself a new Watershed bag right now. A big one.