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donthaveoneyet
09-28-2015, 15:31
Hi Folks,

I've heard a lot about using a trash compactor bag inside your pack to hold a sleeping bag, etc. This may seem like a dumb question, but... how do you close/seal it? I mean, if you want to be able to compress it, don't you have to leave it un-sealed? But does it do its job that way and keep the contents dry? I bought a box of these things at the grocery store, and they're big enough, I'm guessing people just put the contents in, roll it around itself, and stuff it into the pack, and that's enough to keep water out.

Thanks, and sorry for the dumb question but some of these practices are new to me.

BirdBrain
09-28-2015, 15:35
Twist the top to make an elephant trunk and tuck it in toward your body.

SouthMark
09-28-2015, 15:38
Line your pack with the compactor bag like having a bag within a bag. Then stuff your sleeping bag, clothes, etc. in the pack and twist the compactor bag closed or roll it closed.

BirdBrain
09-28-2015, 16:18
As a follow up, SouthMark makes a good point in his description. The bag stays in your pack. I am not sure if my description is clear. After everything is in your pack, try twisting the top and tucking the resulting trunk down toward the suspension side of your pack. The result should be very secure, but still afford you easy access to your gear.

donthaveoneyet
09-28-2015, 17:38
Thanks, guys. Makes perfect sense. I'll give it a try.

burger
09-28-2015, 17:44
I usually use a twist-tie to close up my compactor bag when it might rain. Unless you knot the bag shut (which is a bad idea since you will probably tear it opening it), if you just sort of twist or fold the bag shut, the bag will tend to come open as the pack jostles around all day. A twist-tie tied tightly (say that 10 times fast) should be mostly waterproof. If you have a good bit of extra bag at the top, twist the bag up, fold the twisted part over, and then tie it off.

A bit of string or rope will probably work as well as a twist-tie.

shakey_snake
09-28-2015, 17:57
Rubber band or girl's elastic hair thingy works, too.

This is how they send fish home with you from the fish shop, if you've ever had an aquarium, for example. Just don't break it. :P

BirdBrain
09-28-2015, 18:06
No need for extra item. Tucked elephant trunk won't fail. If it does, the bag is too small or it is tucked wrong. The trunk should be well over a foot long and tucked toward the suspension side of the pack. By the time it is tucked and the outside straps are cinched, the tucked trunk has no hope of moving. At least mine never has. It remains exactly like I left it when I closed the top of my pack. HMMV. But if it does, something is different.

burger
09-28-2015, 18:37
What size bags are you using BirdBrain? I use compactor bags with about an 8-pound base weight in ULA CDT (i.e. a small and compact load), and I still have hardly any extra bag left at the top of my pack. If you are using the compactor bags like I do, I have trouble imagining that you will have more than a few inches of extra bag left when your pack is full, so you'll need something to tie it off.

If you are using a full-sized trash bag, then what BirdBrain suggests might work, but it is overkill to have a 12+ inches of extra bag at the top. That's just useless weight.

Dogwood
09-28-2015, 18:49
I usually use a twist-tie to close up my compactor bag when it might rain. Unless you knot the bag shut (which is a bad idea since you will probably tear it opening it), if you just sort of twist or fold the bag shut, the bag will tend to come open as the pack jostles around all day. A twist-tie tied tightly (say that 10 times fast) should be mostly waterproof. If you have a good bit of extra bag at the top, twist the bag up, fold the twisted part over, and then tie it off.

A bit of string or rope will probably work as well as a twist-tie.


No need for extra item. Tucked elephant trunk won't fail. If it does, the bag is too small or it is tucked wrong. The trunk should be well over a foot long and tucked toward the suspension side of the pack. By the time it is tucked and the outside straps are cinched, the tucked trunk has no hope of moving. At least mine never has. It remains exactly like I left it when I closed the top of my pack. HMMV. But if it does, something is different.


What size bags are you using BirdBrain? I use compactor bags with about an 8-pound base weight in ULA CDT (i.e. a small and compact load), and I still have hardly any extra bag left at the top of my pack. If you are using the compactor bags like I do, I have trouble imagining that you will have more than a few inches of extra bag left when your pack is full, so you'll need something to tie it off.

If you are using a full-sized trash bag, then what BirdBrain suggests might work, but it is overkill to have a 12+ inches of extra bag at the top. That's just useless weight.

Burger said everything I would. A wider rubber band, twist tie, or girls fabric covered hair scrunchy elastic band works. I've experienced wetness inside my backpack while hiking in falling snow and heavy rain while twisting and elephant trunking/goose necking of a trash compacter backpack liner. Even still I usually place something WP or that which I don't mind a little damp inside at the top of my backpack.

Cotton Terry
09-28-2015, 19:37
I've rolled mine up and then fastened it with a large spring clip, but I think I like the twist and tuck method.

donthaveoneyet
09-28-2015, 19:49
The bags I got at the grocery store are huge - 25 by 35 inches, 2.5 mil. I only saw one size, didn't realize they come in different sizes. Out of curiosity, I rolled one up and weighed it just now. Came in at 2.3 oz. For comparison, weighed a 35 L OR dry sack, came in at 3.05 oz. I think the trash compactor bag will hold more in the pack, but the OR sack would certainly hold my sleeping bag plus probably clothes etc..., and it has a roll top clip. Hm. I like the compactor bag and will give it a try. It's supposed to rain all week here, so maybe I'll see how it works on a morning walk (I do 5-8 miles each day before work).

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BirdBrain
09-28-2015, 20:01
Mine are 56 gallon. 43x48. I will weigh one when I get home. I am not saying other methods will not work. I just need things to be as idiot proof as possible. This idiot would surely lose the twist tie or elastic.

Edit: I am getting conflicting information. They may in fact be 30x37 and 25 gallon. I do not have one in front of me. Will have to verify.

donthaveoneyet
09-28-2015, 20:36
I'm wondering if anyone has tried these green bags. They are supposed to be super strong and "odor free" (I bought them with the idea of carrying out waste etc.). Once I got them and saw the silly little yellow "clip" they send to use with them, I just put them away and forgot about them. But the larger size may work ok for carrying a sleeping bag and maybe a few other items (self-inflating pad, clothes?). I weighed one and it's 1.4 oz, 27 by 24.5 inches. Just curious if you've seen these?

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saltysack
09-28-2015, 20:53
Elephant trunk with added rubber if I have it...never had an issue. Pack fills out and carries much better than having lumps of odd shaped items in stuff sacks. Works well to cover pack when flying home....just did this and worked great!!http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/09/28/e778e19c7bfca5388c3c74cce7c1fb34.jpg


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saltysack
09-28-2015, 20:55
Pack in pic is a loaded ula circuit with ALL items from JMT inc bear can, trekking poles, sleep bag, clothes etc...


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shakey_snake
09-28-2015, 20:57
No need for extra item. Tucked elephant trunk won't fail. If it does, the bag is too small or it is tucked wrong.Guilty. But only when I'm using the turkey-sized nylon oven roaster bags instead a real 2 mil compactor trash bag.

The tempting thing is my oven roaster bags weight about 0.5oz with the hair tie, while my compactor bags weigh about 3oz each. :)

nsherry61
09-28-2015, 21:05
I just roll and tuck. It works well for me in some very prolonged wet conditions.

MuddyWaters
09-29-2015, 04:08
Just twist it and tuck it down.

Not everything has to go in compactor bag, just stuff that needs to stay dry.
For me, thats quilt, clothes, sleeping pad, tarp. Thats half my pack, about a foot high.
And the tarp is optional.

Ive got about 12" -15" to twist and tuck.

Food is in a cuben foodbag, in ziplocks. And a reynolds turkeybag liner thats rubber banded shut. Its protected.

Miscellaneous items are in ziplock as well.

I dont care if pot/stove gets wet.

bigcranky
09-29-2015, 06:36
I used a compactor bag for years, and could never get it to seal particularly well. Had one incident when my water bladder came apart inside the pack (but above the compactor bag) and water got inside the bag so I had a small lake at the bottom of the bag. Where my down sleeping bag was, naturally. User error, of course, but it didn't make my bag any drier that night.

So a couple of years ago I bought the Zpacks roll top cuben pack liner. Much easier to use, and based on my experience last year, it really does work to keep everything dry. My pack soaked through during several days of heavy rain, and all my stuff inside the liner was totally dry.

Do check occasionally for pinholes, which are easily patched. (Haven't had any yet on the pack liner, since it's well protected, but I have a lot on my cuben food bag.)

Coffee
09-29-2015, 07:13
The zpacks cuben liner is a very elegant solution, well made like all zpacks gear, etc but outward appearance won't necessarily reveal pinholes and I had a lot of them that I discovered after a soaking rainstorm. I've gone to compactor bags since then. I did get a lot of use from the zpacks liner so I'm not really complaining but for me the peace of mind of being able to use a brand new compactor bag for each hike is worth quite a bit and it is equally effective if there is enough material to twist and tuck the top.

MuddyWaters
09-29-2015, 08:41
Test a liner frequently, especially when expecting rain, and patch with duct tape

saltysack
09-29-2015, 08:53
I used a compactor bag for years, and could never get it to seal particularly well. Had one incident when my water bladder came apart inside the pack (but above the compactor bag) and water got inside the bag so I had a small lake at the bottom of the bag. Where my down sleeping bag was, naturally. User error, of course, but it didn't make my bag any drier that night.

So a couple of years ago I bought the Zpacks roll top cuben pack liner. Much easier to use, and based on my experience last year, it really does work to keep everything dry. My pack soaked through during several days of heavy rain, and all my stuff inside the liner was totally dry.

Do check occasionally for pinholes, which are easily patched. (Haven't had any yet on the pack liner, since it's well protected, but I have a lot on my cuben food bag.)

Another reason I don't use bladders!! I've seen several new bladders fail inside packs...just 2 weeks ago a guy I was walking with on the JMT had his brand new osprey pack/bladder bust and fill his pack...I've never broke a smart water bottle...just broke my first Nalgene a few weeks [email protected] gym not on trail. Just my .02


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lonehiker
10-05-2015, 00:39
I simply tuck the top of the compactor bag towards the outside of the pack.

Rolex
10-05-2015, 08:17
Another reason I don't use bladders!! I've seen several new bladders fail inside packs...just 2 weeks ago a guy I was walking with on the JMT had his brand new osprey pack/bladder bust and fill his pack...I've never broke a smart water bottle...just broke my first Nalgene a few weeks [email protected] gym not on trail. Just my .02


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That makes me wonder of the feasibility of carrying an oven liner bag/compactor bag wrapping the bladder. in conjunction of carrying a compactor bag.
It would make a spare if needed in a pinch.

I've not been exposed to compactor bags. What is the mil thickness and size you guys recommend for a ULA Catalyst or Osprey Atmos 65AG carrying around 30-35 lbs? Is there a trash bag that is as good from the hardware store say?

Another Kevin
10-05-2015, 08:50
I've not been exposed to compactor bags. What is the mil thickness and size you guys recommend for a ULA Catalyst or Osprey Atmos 65AG carrying around 30-35 lbs? Is there a trash bag that is as good from the hardware store say?

Around here, I see the compactor bags in Wally World, Target and some of the grocery stores. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hefty-Trash-Compactor-Bag-Set-of-5/16664568

The roll of 40 in the store is a couple bucks more expensive than the 5-pack on line. My Granite Gear Crown VC60 is about the same size as your Catalyst and Atmos. The bags fit fine.

Traveler
10-05-2015, 08:51
As a note, get the unscented bags. The scented bag issues become evident at mile 12.

Another Kevin
10-05-2015, 09:10
As a note, get the unscented bags. The scented bag issues become evident at mile 12.

The peppermint ones are OK. All the other scented ones.... feh!

CarlZ993
10-05-2015, 11:28
I use a 20 gal (75.7L) 2' 4" X 2' 11" X 2.0mil trash compactor bag. I create an elephant's snout at the top, double it over itself, & use a loop of shock cord to secure the top. Works great.

I don't try to keep EVERYTHING in trash compactor bag. Only the stuff that can be compromised by moisture goes inside the trash compactor bag.

Another Kevin
10-05-2015, 13:28
I don't try to keep EVERYTHING in trash compactor bag. Only the stuff that can be compromised by moisture goes inside the trash compactor bag.

Uhm, right. Tent and footprint, rain gear, sleeping mat, water shoes, all go outside the compactor bag. So does the bear bag, since it's already waterproofed. The sleeping bag, even though it's in a compression dry bag, goes inside. I don't mind that the sleeping bag is in its dry bag, plus the pack liner, plus the pack cover. I've fallen in a river with my pack on and it was SOOOO nice to have a dry sleeping bag available as I was dealing with the aftermath. (I think that was the one time in the last year that I've had a campfire, although there were a couple more times that I sat at someone else's fire.)

cycle003
10-05-2015, 23:52
Everything that I absolutely don't want getting wet goes into the liner. Typically that means clothing, sleeping bag and mat. Sometimes, I also include fire starting and first aid kits, depending on the situation. For backpacking, I use the Gossamer gear liners. For canoe camping, more stuff goes into the liners, and I use some from Duluth Pack.

CarlZ993
10-06-2015, 14:54
Uhm, right. Tent and footprint, rain gear, sleeping mat, water shoes, all go outside the compactor bag. So does the bear bag, since it's already waterproofed. The sleeping bag, even though it's in a compression dry bag, goes inside. I don't mind that the sleeping bag is in its dry bag, plus the pack liner, plus the pack cover. I've fallen in a river with my pack on and it was SOOOO nice to have a dry sleeping bag available as I was dealing with the aftermath. (I think that was the one time in the last year that I've had a campfire, although there were a couple more times that I sat at someone else's fire.)
If I use a double-walled tent in wet weather, I'll have two stuff sacks for my tent: one for the tent body (which stays dry & inside my trash compactor bag) & one for the tent fly/ground sheet (which can get wet & stays outside my trash compactor bag). The poles & stakes will go outside my pack in the wand pocket on the side of the pack.

I will also add my NeoAir X-lite inside my trash compactor bag in a vertical orientation (along w/ my sleeping bag & clothing bag; I seem to make things fit better in the vertical orientation in my pack). The tent body is also packed in the vertical orientation. I can easily get all four items packed this way in the bottom of my pack.

Odd Man Out
10-06-2015, 15:19
I have some water proof, odor "proof" bags I use as pack liners and food bag liners. I got them from LiteTrail, but they now seem to be out of business. Their web site now forwards to this product on Amazon, which I presume to be the same (although mine are clear plastic, not green. They are lighter weight than trash compactor bags (which I used previously). They seem to be pretty durable, but I only go on relatively short hikes so I can't comment on long-term durability. I got them after my trip last summer when I noticed that my food bag was smelling rather ripe after 6 days. I was able to get a sample pack of large and medium bags. The medium bags fit perfectly in my ZPacks CF food bag. I use the large bags as pack liners. I pack my food bag on top of the pack liner, so now there are two odor "proof" liners between my food and my other gear (clothes/sleeping bag) that I would rather not smell like cheese and sausage. I write odor "proof" as I don't believe anything is truly 100% effective at blocking odor. But I know the odor "proof" bags are at least better than typical bags since even I can smell the food and garbage stored in polyethylene bags.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GHH5GK4?tag=0199-20

Malto
10-06-2015, 16:00
How to close it? Well that depends on what you are trying to protect against. On a recent very rainy trip I just twisted a couple of times and tucked toward the front. on my PCt hike where I had many very hairy stream crossings, I had a small section of para rod to tie it up tight. was it needed? Absolutely. in N. Yosemite at had a full submersion on a crossing and the tied bag kept my gear completely dry. It is unlikely that a twisting would have protected as well. but few trips involve the risk of a prolonged submersion so the twist will work for most.

Heliotrope
10-07-2015, 16:02
Curious if anyone can explain why the trash compactor bag is superior to your standard black garbage can liner. I have always used them and actually never heard of a trash compactor bag until recently. Not sure I have ever seen them in the bag department of grocery store.


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cycle003
10-07-2015, 16:33
Trash compactor bags are thicker than most other garbage bags with the exception of contractor-type garbage bags. Also, some of the thicker/more durable garbage bags are huge, like 50 gallons. The trash compactor bags are usually much smaller than those.

Heliotrope
10-07-2015, 18:19
Trash compactor bags are thicker than most other garbage bags with the exception of contractor-type garbage bags. Also, some of the thicker/more durable garbage bags are huge, like 50 gallons. The trash compactor bags are usually much smaller than those.

So, more pack sized and more durable?

Thanks


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saltysack
10-07-2015, 18:29
Yep..white also makes easier to see in than black


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donthaveoneyet
10-07-2015, 19:27
I have some water proof, odor "proof" bags I use as pack liners and food bag liners. I got them from LiteTrail, but they now seem to be out of business. Their web site now forwards to this product on Amazon, which I presume to be the same (although mine are clear plastic, not green. They are lighter weight than trash compactor bags (which I used previously). They seem to be pretty durable, but I only go on relatively short hikes so I can't comment on long-term durability. I got them after my trip last summer when I noticed that my food bag was smelling rather ripe after 6 days. I was able to get a sample pack of large and medium bags. The medium bags fit perfectly in my ZPacks CF food bag. I use the large bags as pack liners. I pack my food bag on top of the pack liner, so now there are two odor "proof" liners between my food and my other gear (clothes/sleeping bag) that I would rather not smell like cheese and sausage. I write odor "proof" as I don't believe anything is truly 100% effective at blocking odor. But I know the odor "proof" bags are at least better than typical bags since even I can smell the food and garbage stored in polyethylene bags.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GHH5GK4?tag=0199-20


I think those are the same ones I mentioned in post #12 above. I haven't used any of them yet, but they do seem to be a good size and seem pretty strong.