View Full Version : Stuff Sacks

01-30-2003, 02:18
I normally hike with a G-4 pack from GVP and use a seam-sealed VBL/pack liner inside (dual use). Inside I carry my sleeping bag unstuffed in the bottom and also carry separate stuff sacks for my cookset , food, clothes and essentials/emergency.

So I am taking four color coded stuff sacks, plus the pack liner all consisting of seam-sealed sil-nylon bags averaging .06 ounces each with the exception of the pack liner/VBL at 4.8 ounces.

Just wanted to find out what others are using for their systems and organization ??

01-30-2003, 09:57
I used sil nylon stuf sacks as well. Lined my pack with garbage bag, I did use a stuff sack for my sleeping bag. It was big and synthetic and I thought the stuff sack compressed it more. I used 1 for food, 1 for gear (stove, pot, rope) and one for clothes.

01-30-2003, 14:00
I just made some Sil-Nylon stuff sacks. They are about 12" x 28" and I sealed the seams and made a great closure to make it waterproof. The total weight of one is 1 oz exactly... That will save me 6 oz from the bags I am using now to keep my gear safe and dry.


01-30-2003, 14:50
I have one for my sleeping bag (came with the bag), which is lined with a garbage bag. One silnylon bag for my food, one for my clothes, and a small silnylon ditty bag for a few small odds and ends (iodine, whistle, photons, etc).

01-30-2003, 17:05
We used the Equinox sil nylon stuff sacks, and they worked great, and lined our backpacks with a trash-compactor bag for waterproofness. (one bag, purchased in Hiawassee, GA went all the way to Maine!) The sil bags this year were VERY popular on the trail so I suggest taking a black magic marker to yours and printing your name on it, there were a few mix ups with empty bags in the shelters and such.

We had to laugh in PA, when another hiker observed that only thru-hikers take a sandwich-sized ziploc bag from a gallon-size ziploc bag, stored in a sil-nylon stuff sack,stored in a trash compactor bag, inside a backpack! A bag in a bag in a bag in a bag in a bag!

01-30-2003, 20:51
Sparky..where did you buy your Sil-Nylon..how did you seal the seams....and make a waterproof closure?

Grimace....I hope that's a COOKING pot!! :D Better be specific..The Weasel might be here.

01-31-2003, 02:18
Skyking, sil nylon is available fro AYCE at thru-hiker.com. silicon is used to seal the seams and the watertight seal is accomplished by hanging the bag upside down.

01-31-2003, 02:19
Skyking, sil nylon is available fro AYCE at thru-hiker.com. silicon is used to seal the seams and the watertight seal is accomplished by hanging the bag upside down. At least that is what works for me.

01-31-2003, 02:21
Looks like I just posted twice. Please disregard one or the other, or both.:o

01-31-2003, 03:50
I will forever use OR Hydroseal Standard stuff sacks, don't care how much they weigh...don't care how expensive they are. Easily the most durable and waterproof sacks available. Using OR's I have never, ever had something get wet in my pack in the past 10 years. If you get one roll down Hydroseal it can dub as a cooler!!!

01-31-2003, 08:18

I bought my fabric from Quest Outfitters on line. I just called them up, told them what I wanted. and what color and how many yards. SUPER Friendly, SUPER great service. They had some "2nds' sil-nylon which was basically the end of a roll, and that worked just as well as the regular stuff. I think I spent $20 (including shipping ) and I got 4+ yards of silnylon.

How I sealed it was I turned the bag inside outand I put on a "THIN" bead of Silicon sealer and I worked it into the stitching with my fingers. After I did one side and let it dry for 24 hours, I flipped it over and did it on the other side.

On each of the bags I made, I filled them halfway with water and sloshed them around to make sure they did not leak. I mad 4 bags and only one had a small amount of beading and I just marked that on the bag and went back and touched up the area again.

Hope this helps.


02-03-2003, 21:03
Probably a dumb question, but am I hearing that you have to seam seal these sil nylon stuff sacks or are they only talking about the ones they made themselves?

02-03-2003, 21:45
I seam-seal the ones that I purchase and as far as I know none have been previously sealed....maybe another viewer has a better knowledge.

02-04-2003, 02:56
A real efficient "neat" way to seal seams is to fill a plastic syringe with your sealant and run a small line directly into the stiching, it works pretty well if you have the patience. Cheers!

03-01-2003, 03:02

I've been racking my pea brain tonight trying to find something. After you told me about making your sil-nylon stuff sacks I found a web site that told how to make and what size to cut your material for a certain size sack. I THOUGHT I had bookmarked it but............! :( (must be getting "allhammers") Did you just guess at material size or did you have directions? I don't know squat about using a sewing machine or material patterns and don't want to ruin good material.

03-01-2003, 14:09
Skyking: THat site is http://www.thru-hiker.com/workshop.asp?subcat=12&cid=5 . Next to step 10 on the right it tells you how much fabric you need. Have fun!

Brian- the only 15 year old here

03-01-2003, 16:02
Skyking, I made my own pattern. I like to call it the "Priest Collar" bag. I looked at the one in thruhiker and I just did not like that many seams. To me, IMHO, more seams equal more work and more chances that it will leak.

I took a note from the kyak bag I bought to keep my food dry and as a water bag. I took some time and firgured out what I wanted my bad to do.

1) I wanted a bag that had little seams
2) I wanted it so that if it hung in a tree of if I stuffed it there would be no seams on the bottom
3) I wanted to be able to seal the top to make it 100% water proof.

So what I did was:

1) Figured out how WIDED I wanted the bag. 24"
2) How long I wanted the bag 30"
3) Then I cut out a piece of sil-nylon that was 25" wide ( 1 inch for the seams... I am not the best taylor so I gave myself room for error) AND that was 62" long.
4) I cut 2 pieces of fun foam that was 22" long and 3/4" wide
5) I cut a 2" x 3" piece of velcro.
NOW I tuned on the ole Singer and went to work

1) I folded that bag so it was 25" wide and 31" long so I could just sew up the sides. I like this because there are no seams on the bottom to stretch out and give way.

2) At the opening of the bag I folded the top lip over 1" on each side and sewed it. Leave the ends open for the fun foam... With out fun foam you will not be able to easily seal the top of the bag

3) Now from there I took one side of the velcro and sewed it 1" below the bottom of the seam. Then I place the other piece on the other side of the bag. This was the MOST frustrating part and difficult to describe. ... Make sure that the velcro edge matches the edge of the silnet and that the velcro lays so that none hangs over. ( remember that you are making the bag from inside out)

4) Now place the fun foam into the top seam. If it does not fit, trim it so you can slide it into the slot.

5) Now sew from the top of the bag to the bottom and do a back reinforcement stitch at the top and bottom of the seam. Do this on both sides.

6) Turn the bag out...

7) Put some rags in the bag... To seal the top, place the openings together... then fold over TWICE and hook the velcro together. If you did it right it will look like a Priest Collar.

8) Seam seal the sides and you have yourself one really strong waterproof bags.

If these directions are not clear, ask away... and I will try to answer it.


03-01-2003, 16:05
Yes, You will have to seam seal the bags. Although... the bags I made did not gush water out of them... but it did bead up on some parts of the seam and dribble. I also used a tight stitch... I had to play with that because if you use a too tight of a stitch you cut the silnylon. I think mine was about 10-12 per inch...

03-02-2003, 04:42
Thanks Brian.

I remember looking at Thru-Hiker but couldn't find it. Guess I had the right song but wrong verse!

03-02-2003, 04:54
Jeeeeze Sparky....24" x 30". Sounds more like a bag liner! :D
I like the no bottom seams and LOVE the roll top. Did you get the fun foam at Quest also or is that something from a fabric store?
Great instructions but think I'll show it to a friend..she's a great seamstress. I'll watch how she does it THEN give it a try. Thanks!!

03-02-2003, 12:25

That bag was for my sleeping bag :D I made smaller ones for my food bagsand my clothes and even smaller for my medical kit.

I bought the fun foam at "Joann Fabrics" for about .79 cents and I have more than enought to experiment with and do 4 bags +. I think it was a 24" x 24" square... I think... Anyways it was the largest square. You could also us the plastic from a gallon milk jug if you wanted.

The only suggestion that I have is make sure that the fun foam is long enough for the top. I made one that was not and it was difficult to seal since the silnet is slippery. ... But is does work and holds water.

If you need a picture ( because it is worth a thousand words) of one of the bags I mad let me know. Just let me know and I will break out the ole digital and send one to you.


03-11-2003, 09:35
I'd love to see a picture of your stuff sack. I think I understand what you're describing, but a picture would help.

I do have a couple of questions...

In step 1, you don't actually sew the side seams yet, do you?

In step 3, you put one piece of velcro, on what is to be the OUTSIDE of the bag, one inch below the seam that is to hold the fun foam, correct? It runs parallel to that seam, like this (I'm not exactly an ascii artist):

--top of bag----------------------
hole for fun foam
--- bottom of seam-------------
one inch of clearance
| velcro, 2" x 3" |

the rest of the bag

Then on the other side, exactly where does the velcro go? It does go on the OUTSIDE, right? My "gut feeling" is that once the first piece of velcro is inserted, I could insert the foam, and test-roll the bag closed, mark where the piece of velcro should go, which would be down below the foam somewhere, then sew it. But, I'm afraid I'm missing the point. That picture would be helpful.

Thanks for sharing the idea. I have a number of kayak bags, and had looked at making some out of Silnylon, but decided the closure system would weigh too much. This sounds light!


03-11-2003, 16:52
Beth, I will break out the digital and put some photos together in order to answer your questions.
But in the mean time....


--top of bag----------------------
hole for fun foam
--- bottom of seam-------------
one inch of clearance
| velcro, 2" x 3" |

That is right... I kept messing up the velco by having it backward... I will take a few pictures and I think you will get the idea...
Then on the other side, exactly where does the velcro go? It does go on the OUTSIDE, right? My "gut feeling" is that once the first piece of velcro is inserted, I could insert the foam, and test-roll the bag closed, mark where the piece of velcro should go, which would be down below the foam somewhere, then sew it. But, I'm afraid I'm missing the point. That picture would be helpful.

Once you are ready to sew the side seam, you MUST put in the fun foam and put the velcro in place. Because when you sew the side seams you are doing three things at once.. 1) sewing the side seams 2) attaching the velcro and 3) closing up the opening to hold the fun foam... all in one line of stitching....

Pictures to come shortly!


03-11-2003, 21:58
OK, I posted the pictures in my gallery if you want to see it. I had to keep the quality low to up load so if you and me to email you the photos let me know.


03-12-2003, 08:43
Ooooooh! I see now!

Thanks for the pictures, I had created something that looked a little like one of those nylon lunch bags. This will work much better!!!!!

Thank you. Beth

03-12-2003, 18:06
You're Welcome.... I hope it works out for you.. I am not much of a tailor but I seemed to pull it off... Pretty simple design but it works GREAT!


03-12-2003, 20:11
Beth.... I'm envious! :o It must be a female thing to understand sowing and patterns.

Sparky....I've not started my bags yet and would LOVE to see any pictures you might have. Send them E-mail if you would.
BTW....how is your dehydrating coming along?? I tried to send you a few suggestions a couple of times but WB wouldn't let me post. :(

03-12-2003, 20:46
SkyKing, There are photo's of the "Priest Collar" bags I made in my phot gallery.

Big dehydrating weekend coming up! The plans this weekend is to make some fruit leathers, dry some corn, peas, and peppers, I am also going to give bannanas, pineapple and apples a shot. My son and I are going to give it a spin!


03-12-2003, 20:49

Drop me an email and I will send you the pictures that I posted... They are a little clearer.


03-13-2003, 19:52
Thanks Sparky. It's SkyKing04@aol.com.
I use Nibblites (sp) extra sweet corn. Had good luck with that. As far as hambuger goes.....as everyone has said..GIT-RID-OF-THE-FAT!! I use ground turkey for most things. VERY low fat and soaks up spices and flavor BETTER than beef. I also vacuum seal and freeze after drying. Seems to last FOR EVER! Good luck........

03-13-2003, 22:40
Thanks Aero Royalty!

I took my son to Wal-Mart and while he picked up what he wanted I was browsing the frozen food section looking at the veggies that I am going to try this weekend. You say ground turkey... hmmm I might give it a try...

03-14-2003, 08:16
Do you sew through the foam, or trim the foam to just inside the seam?

Thanks. Beth

03-14-2003, 18:24
Sparky....when I make chili I use turkey and some times add chicken. I cook boneless breast and tear it into small pieces with my fingers while it's still warm. Chicken works like turkey..only better! I've not tried drying chili made this way but I bet it would be GREAT! :banana I usually add about 1.5 lbs of burger, 3 lbs or so of turkey, and 4 breast. If that sounds like a lot..it is!! But then again I use a LARGE SS stock pot. I use SS because I make it so hot it eats right thru Aluminum!?! :D Good luck........

03-14-2003, 19:45
Beth, I don't sew through the foam. I let it sort of float in the seam... But SYOB ( Sew your own bag ) It might make it better.. If you do let me know!