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Waterproof accessories

Wasn't sure where to ask this, so decided on packing.

We had several days of rain, and did fairly well, except for the backpacks.
They were soaked! These were our day bags for hiking. Thought about it on the trip, and wondered if anyone uses waterproof covering for their backpacks. If so, what brand?

My Northface did well shielding me from rain and wind, but the others in our party didn't fare too well. They used Eigle water resistant, and that left them damp and cold.

What about phones? I used ziploc bags. My camera made me nervous!! We tried to protect it as much as possible. And the lenses.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
4391 posts

Into each life some rain must fall.... Zip or preferably slide lock bags for the smaller critical stuff all bagged with your bulk stuff like extra clothing in a heavy duty garbage bag is the economy solution. The deluxe solution is to substitute a light weight "dry bag" found in higher end outdoor stores for the garbage bag. (Not the heavy duty rafting/kayak river running bags). You can also get "dry bags" for smaller electronics. http://www.rei.com/search?query=dry+bags

Pack covers only sort of work. IF the fit your pack properly AND you are only walking in a light rain without much wind. Pack covers in high wind conditions become kites (assuming that you tied the cover to your pack. Some fell walkers go with ponchos over their packs as well as body but you would have to endure a lot of flapping in high wind.

As for cameras, mine don't get used in high wind rain storms. To option is to use one of those water proof compacts or GoPro cameras to record your adventure.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
18344 posts

My attitude is that water resistance is a joke used primarily by marketing types to expand the market for the product. Water resistance simply means it might shed a little light rain for about five minutes. After that it will slowly get wet and wetter. If you are using true backpacks and not small day bags, the most big name backpack companies sell specialized rain covers that work well. So contact your bag's brand. For the small day bags we use white kitchen trash bags. Works ok but not for long term. As suggested critical electronic should be in zip lock bags.

Posted by Cindy H
San Jose
714 posts

Echoing the dry bag solution for expensive things. I'm a big fan of Sea-to-Summit products. Their Ultra-Sil products are very rugged in spite of appearing flimsy. An expensive investment but worth it:
http://www.rei.com/product/777725/sea-to-summit-ultra-sil-dry-sack-

After that, kitchen garbage bags and zip locks. Take everything out each night to get rid of the excess water/humidity. I've found that doing double zip-locks works well. But a phone in a zip-lock inside of a pocket/purse should do fine.

Back in the old days there was no such thing as a waterproof bag. You could waterproof your day pack with a wash-in solution:
The problem is that the zippers almost always leak.

As noted by other posters, water-resistant means you'll get wet. Always go for water-proof.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
4391 posts

Don't forget waterproof map cases. The ones that will hang from your neck. You need to be able to check your map while walking in a wind driven deluge. Keeping your map dry is more important than keeping your lunch dry.

Added PS: If you are using a guide book for route information, consider xeroxing route pages so your book isn't soaked while consulting the route directions. The xeroxed pages can be kept in a plastic slide lock gallon sized bag, and if the copies get wet or blown away, not a life endangering loss. You still have the book.

Posted by Ginger OP
TX
330 posts

I hadn't even thought of the white trash bags. Good idea. Saw someone with what looked like a plastic cover for his backpack...poncho type material.

I'll definitely get some larger Ziplocs.

Thanks for the ideas.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

Ginger,

you got some great hints.

when i comes to "waterproof" i take it with a grain of salt. Even with the high tech fabrics and coatings out there sometimes they dont last as long as they should.

Most of my travel clothes is "quick drying" so i dont worry about them.

As far as the e devices and such, one of my cameras is "water proof" and the other isn't. but the one that isn't is in a carry case so that will protect it some. And as you have used, i carry about a dozen ziplock bags for various things and wouldn't have an issue using one for my camera or anything else i dont want wet.

If your worried about your clothes getting wet id get some heavy duty garbage bags and put my clothes in it. They are cheap and you can put several in you packs. One thing too, is the bags will wear out due to rubbing and it will happen so having something thats not expensive will be nice.

happy trails.

Posted by Ginger OP
TX
330 posts

Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions.

Really appreciate the help here :)