View Full Version : waterproofing ?

06-09-2010, 03:03
i have a waterproof pack cover do i need to get individual waterproof stuff sacks, for other gear or just my sleeping bag? or am i ok with just that and maybe a waterproof bag for my food, hanging purposes? thanks in advance

06-09-2010, 08:17
A pack cover helps keep the pack from soaking up water, but it doesn't really keep the inside dry in a downpour. I use a trash compactor bag to line my pack, and put my sleeping bag, clothing bag, and other stuff I want to keep dry, inside the trash bag. (Note: don't put water bottles or wet tents *inside* the trash bag. Bad idea. Ask me how I know this....)

06-09-2010, 09:06
Crazy as this may sound, it is sometimes easier to keep stuff dry if you have less stuff and are prepared to get it all wet. You might go without the pack cover, and just something for the sleeping bag, which can also be used for your food at night while you are in the sleeping bag.

06-09-2010, 10:18
I would use the pack cover and individual stuff sacks, and zip lock everything in your food bag into seperate little bags. The more waterproofing, the better. But I hiked in 09 and it rained like every day. Everything will be wet, plan on it.

06-09-2010, 10:30
I have a Jam2, which is waterproof, but the problem with that is that it doesn't have a mesh pouch on the outside, so unless everything is completely dry when you repack it each morning, its bound to get damper and damper on the inside. I can see a pack cover making sense if the backpack was more breathable and less waterproof, which really does make more sense if you think about it. I have seen some all mesh backpacks, which is an interesting concept, because you could use them with sylnylon stuffsacks for dry stuff, and pack covers or rain ponchos for keeping everything dry. The better designed packs are not made of mesh however, although many of the better ultralight and light packs do have large mesh compartments.

So the best solution really depends on your total system, starting with the gear and clothing that you are trying to protect. The less you need to protect, the simpler the solution.

06-09-2010, 23:11
I use a sil nylon pack cover and Reynolds oven bag to double bag clothes. Just got a granite gear sack for my sleeping bag.

Mountain Wildman
06-09-2010, 23:36
I have The Packa and individual Dry Sacks, I put anything that could be harmed by water into the Dry Sacks and stuff like cookware etc... I pack loose in the main compartment or in a regular stuff sack. Contemplating a pack liner as well, I'd rather carry a few extra ounces in Dry Sack and Pack Liner weight and know that my gear will be dry even if I fall into a river or stream or heavy downpour.

06-13-2010, 09:49
I used a garbage bag pack cover on the outside because when the outside of my pack gets wet it's heavy. I also had a couple of trash compactor bags for things inside the pack. I don't believe in using lots of little stuff sacks. It's needless weight and expense. My trash compactor bags kept my stuff dry swimming under water in several High Sierra streams so I was confident it would keep my things dry in the rain.

06-13-2010, 11:39
I let everything get wet except my insulation (sleeping bag and one jacket), which I store in a trash compactor bag. My pack is made of silnylon, which does not absorb water and stays about the same weight wet or dry. All my food is repackaged in ziplocks, so I don't care if the silnylon food bag gets wet. My tarp is also silnylon, so that can stay wet in the pack all day and I don't care. I'm real careful about that trash compactor bag, since everything pretty much depends on it--I inspect it for pinholes often and repair with tape if needed. I replace it every couple of months. I've also briefly submerged the pack on fords and have had no problems with this system.

Rain Man
06-13-2010, 15:20
i have a waterproof pack cover do i need to get individual waterproof stuff sacks, for other gear or just my sleeping bag? or am i ok with just that and maybe a waterproof bag for my food, hanging purposes?

I suppose it depends on where you plan to hike, and when. On the AT, I definitely don't rely on a pack cover. In fact, I only use one in hunting season (it's blaze orange). I use a trash compactor bag inside my pack. It's for stuff that needs to stay dry. But I also use a Reynolds turkey roaster bag to line the inside of my down sleeping bag stuff sack. Have never had a problem with my down getting wet to date. My clothes I put in a sil-nylon stuff sack. It also goes in the trash compactor bag. The rest of my other things go in the pack but inside or outside the trash compactor bag based on what they are and if it doesn't matter if they get wet. Cooking items, water bladder (for sure), tent (maybe), and so forth do not go inside the trash compactor bag.



06-13-2010, 16:10
Most prudent people would want two waterproof systems for their stuff so a small leak somewhere doesn't ruin your day. So if your sleeping bag is in a waterproof stuff sack, either a garbage bag in your pack or a pack cover would be good enough. Of course, one of the major benefits of a pack cover is not just keeping the water away from your stuff but off your back - water is heavy and a pack full of water is heavy. I usually put everything in some sort of bag, either a stuff sack or ziplock, then use a pack cover.

When I was a kid we went on canoe trips and all our stuff was in stuff sacks and then everything was in a big bag, twisted closed with a goose neck with a rubber band. That way if the pack fell in the water it would also float!

07-12-2010, 23:54
so do i get a compression sack for sleeping bag and then a silnylon for over that to make it waterproof?

07-13-2010, 01:11
It's probably overkill, but I use a compactor bag inside my pack, a raincover over the pack when it's raining, dry sack for food, and compression dry sack for sleeping bag.

07-13-2010, 01:51
I like to have individual waterproof stuff sacs to keep things organized/dry/seperate from things that are unorganized/wet/stinky.

I made my own pack-cover from one of those construction garbage bags and a giant rubber band. The cover is nearly indestructable and doubles as a ground sheet. Worst comes to worse it can be replaced for free at most public trash cans.

07-13-2010, 04:27
my sleeping bag did not come with a stuff sack, so water proof the stuff sack or get a sil nylon to cover the sleeping bag sac?