willow leaf commented “I also endorse the use of trash compactor bags – you can usually get them at the large home builder store departments where they have trash bags (Or Sam’s Club/Costco). The bags are about $10 for 50 of them and they are very durable, also useful later on for hauling out trash. The bags won’t keep things dry in a capsize though because they can’t be sealed tightly enough.”
I think the trick with any “dry bag” system (roll top, zip, or gooseneck) is not to overfill the bag. Leave plenty of room for a secure closure. As long as you’ve got plenty of room to gooseneck, trash compactor bags can be completely waterproof when secured with heavy duty rubber bands. In fact, I consider them more reliable than my commercially made dry bags when I put the compactor bags in a pack and protect from punctures. I could reuse the same bag on several trips, putting duct tape on the “thin” spots and over pin holes.
I did a lot of cheap stuff, I also paddle in playtex gloves in the winter to keep hands warm and sandwich wool sweaters between multiple windbeakers to keep warm because I didn’t own a decent paddling jacket…fleece wasn’t available. It really made me appreciate farmer john wetsuits and then later drysuits when they became widely available.
Backpacking, I would build a fire and cook out of a coffee can, and put bleach in my drinking water because it was cheaper than halzone tablets and wear Sears workboots for hiking. Vibram soles were a nice upgrade when they came out.
Old habits die hard, I still think the packliners and coffee can are a good idea and of course I’m partial to ol’ woodsmen fly dope. Now sierra cups, they should have been labeled “spill always” cups. Totally worthless creations. Add to the list of “totally worthless” the squeeze tubes to put peanut butter or jelly in. The sealing clips would break and you’d have peanut butter everywhere. Another reason for a pack liner, be it backpackin’ or paddlin’. Just be glad it’s peanut butter and not limburger cheese- ahh but that’s a tale for another time. Lots of fun adventures with the boy scouts.