Plastic Bags - lesson learned

Basically I wanted to share my experiences on my last trip. While trying to keep things dry during my 4 days camping trip I found one of my camp-mates was using the ziplock baggies with the “zipper” on it. It leaked. It did not ruin anything as we caught it in time, but had there been more time on the water or the waters more choppy, she might have been one unhappy kayak camper.

magazine article
When I was editor of California Kayaker Magazine, we ran an article on different types of dry storage. Basically, ziplok type bags were at the bottom of the list. Dry bags aren’t too much better, as they aren’t actually waterproof.

If you want to read it, that article is still online at Issue #4.

You just have to use the right gear. Dry bags can age and be imperfect, but at least they are designed for the job.

I went the plastic baggie route when l started out, didn’t know better and was feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff you can spend money on. And my biggest single improvement has been boats with dry storage more than what type of bag l put in there. But at some point you just have to get the right stuff.

I still use 'em

– Last Updated: Sep-01-15 10:48 AM EST –

(as added food that resides inside the "food" dry bag is packed inside big ziplocks before it's packed into the dry bag. A big ziplock also makes a decent "pack-out" bag)

Some “zip-locks” are better than others

– Last Updated: Sep-01-15 11:26 AM EST –

Not all zip-lock bags are the same. Last summer I used a bunch bags, which were the exact model that you named, for containing small soil samples at work. They worked very poorly, as getting the bags to seal was "iffy" at best, once I got around to sealing them for the third or fourth time. On the other hand, some of the various heavy-duty versions that are labeled as "freezer bags" have an extremely durable seal that you can use over and over again, and there's no question whether it's sealed or not as there often is with cheaper bags. I usually use these heavy-duty ones for food storage, so I don't re-used them for multiple trips, but on those occasions I've used them for other purposes, over and over again, they've held up well, always providing a good seal.

Trash compactor bags
Work great when used inside a regular stuff sack. Thick enough to not puncture, squeeze out excess air, just twist up the extra material to make it waterproof. Works great with things like tent bodies or food bags (small duffle bags with a zip.) Dryer than most dry bags.

Best is a drybox of some sort. But I recently got some double zip lock bags. So far testing those are actually water proof. The zip locks with the zipper thing totally stink. They leak like crazy. There easy to open and close but let water in way way to easily.

I will start using these double zip lock bags as secondary protection, I was using the regular zip locks before as secondary protection. These double zip locks were zip lock brand name. About 7 by 8 inch size I tested.

amen, great minds think alike!
gooseneck the tops and seal with heavy duty rubber bands. Forget the individual zip locks. Reinforce the thin spots in the trash compactor bag with duct tape as they develop. Don’t bother to bag stuff that doesn’t need to be kept dry- tents, rain gear, pots and pans etc.