Best way to keep your gear dry in winter

25 July, 2022

northstorm bag

As they say, the success of your next winter outdoor camp or hike is sometimes determined by the care in the little things. Take for example, keeping and staying dry in the wild outdoors. The physical discomfort might seem minor, but unchecked moisture can ruin your belongings. And not only that, as there is the risk too of hypothermia.

This is how the humble, but tough, 'dry bag' enters the picture. After investing in a dry bag you will think of it as an essential item that will keep your gear dry during winter activities.

Dry bags are sturdy, water-tight bags constructed to keep some clothes and equipment moisture free. These are made in sizes, design and styles that address a variety of needs of outdoor activities. If you are not sure what dry bag would suit your need, read on for more tips.

Vinyl versus Nylon Bags

Dry bags usually consist of either vinyl, or nylon.

Vinyl dry bags have been described as resembling super-tough freezer bags. These bags actually sport very dense material, strength and are abrasion-resistant. Less bulky items such as toiletries, documents, or even electronics can go in a vinyl dry bag.

Bigger vinyl dry bags may seem great, but the wear-to-weight ratio does not make it feasible. This is why many go for nylon bags, especially if equipped with waterproofing that enhances abrasion resistance. If you are interested in these, try to look for some with transparent material.

Bag Closure Types

Roll Top: This type lets users roll/fold the lip of the bag for around three or more times for watertight seal. Buckles on both ends of the lip, when clipped together, ensure the bag is airtight and watertight.

One benefit for the roll top and its secured buckle is this makes a convenient handle useful for attaching bags to a pack or boat using a carabiner.

Zipper Seal: The zipper seals on some bags do a good job keeping things dry. Note that these are not the usual steel zippers, but a rubber or PVC coating covers the front of the zip.
A challenge to a waterproof bag is expelling excess air stuck in the bag. Go for dry bags with air valve outlets.

Size Options

Manufacturers produce a range of sizes, all measured in litres. Five-litre bags work well for personal items such as electronics or first aid kits. Ten-litre bags can store clothes, and a 20-litre bag can contain a small sleeping bag.

Special Dry Bags

Dry bag or case for gadgets/ devices: Check if there are any “life-proof” cases made for your devices. Some special dry bags are even designed to float, which is a good precaution for winter activities like boating, kayaking or even winter surfing.

Roll Top Lumbar Bag: Much like a belt bag or sling bag, the roll-top lumbar bag can be used along with other bags.

Roll Top Backpack: as explained, this backpack keeps away water, securing small to mid-sized items.

Storage Dry Bag: these are effective for keeping large items like sleeping bags, or as a pack liner.

If you're looking for options on excellent dry bag equipment, check out our friends at North Storm.

Hope this list helps you to prepare and plan well. Keep safe and have fun in the great outdoors!

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