Imagine changing yourself into wet clothes or destroying your costly devices due to rain or any other adverse weather during canoeing, kayaking, or even hiking with multiple river crossings. Only one gear can save you. This comes in great use during such water-based adventurous trips. It is useful even on land-based outdoor trips where you might have to keep your valuables safe from moisture, dirt, rain, or snow.
A dry bag does exactly what the name suggests- that is, to keep your essential items dry. It is a flexible container in the shape of a bag with a roll-top seal restraining water to get inside. You need to fold the roll-top seal three times to ensure perfect sealing. Dry bags are mostly impermeable due to nylon or vinyl used in their construction.
They are made of waterproof fabric with plastic film or plastic-coated fabric. You will find various types of dry bags ranging from waterproof to Voli Dry to Bago dry bags.
In case of a situation where you think your stuff needs to be protected from water or moisture, your dry bag can save you a lot of hassle. They are best suited for outdoor activities and commonly used in sports, such as- kayaking, sailing, on the beach, or even on the back of a motorbike. Just put your gear or stuff inside them, and your items will stay dry; it’s that simple.
However, dry bags can be used for multiple purposes, as they are versatile. And you are on the right page if you are eager to come across a few examples of how you can use a dry bag in any outdoor situation.
1. A Simple Bag
You can take hundreds of items into a dry bag but let’s stick to its specific idea which is to keep your most valuable things safe from water, moisture, or any liquid causing severe damage. Let’s imagine going on a one-two days trip canoeing or kayaking where you need to keep your medical supplies or any other belongings protected from water ingress. That’s when a dry bag comes in great use. It’s a simple bag to carry all your belongings along with protecting them from getting damp or wet.
2. Dirty Laundry Organizer
It is quite obvious that our clothes become dirty when we are exploring outdoors. And dealing with this issue is pretty tiresome. Sometimes you don’t have enough time to wash your clothes right away or get some fair weather to dry them up. In that case, a dry bag can work as a dirty laundry organizer to help you save time in addition to keeping your wet clothes separated from the fresh ones.
Often you will find yourself full of sweat and smell foul after day-long hiking or backpacking. Even in such cases, a dry bag will help you lock that unpleasant smell and let you work with ease. All you need to do is put your soiled or wet clothes inside the dry bag, twist the top smoothly, lock it with the clip, and voila! The awful smell will not spread anymore.
Remember that you are a human, not a robot. Hence, you may become tired and need some rest after doing a lot of chores outdoors. But where is your bed? Surprisingly, you can turn your dry bag into a constructive pillow during backpacking, hiking, or any outdoor trip.
Yes, you heard me right! You can fill it up with air and zip it tightly due to its stiff yet flexible bands across the front and back of a dry bag. Besides, you can combine air and a few clothes to deliver the maximum pressure you need to lay your head comfortably.
The idea of turning a dry bag into a pillow can be surreal but, this can at least allow a space to rest your head anywhere you want. Undoubtedly, a dry bag not only works the best as a substitute for an actual pillow during outdoor adventures but also allows you to lay your head on filthy carpets or seats in airports or bus stations. So, use your dry bag as a pillow anywhere and anytime you like.
4. Instant Flotation Device
Sometimes during a violent storm, you may fall in danger while crossing a river and get no way out of it. A dry bag can work as an emergency flotation device during these circumstances to help you drift away from the river or swim against the high water current.
You can also use a dry bag to rescue your companion from drowning just by tying it with a rope attached to a pole or thick log of a tree. Such that the person can get a hold of the dry bag and stay afloat. The construction of a dry bag can endure enough buoyancy to stay afloat on water. So, carry this as a personal flotation device. Just trap some air, zip it up by rolling, tuck it in, and you are ready to sail.
5. Alternative Washing Machine
Without a hitch, you use a dry bag as an alternative to a washing machine when you are in dire need of cleaning your dirty clothes. Often during outdoor trips like camping, trekking, backpacking, or hiking, one might have to change a myriad of clothes due to sweat, dirt, or rain. Nowadays, you don’t have to bother in case you run out of fresh clothes. Because you can easily wash your dirty outfit by keeping it inside a dry bag as there’s no risk of water spillage due to its waterproof nylon fabric construction with plastic coating.
Just have a bar of soap or some eco-friendly detergent with you so that you can fill the dry bag with water and start washing. Remember to scrub your clothes for better cleaning as the dry bag isn’t an actual machine to clean your clothes all by itself. After washing, you can easily unfold the bag and drain the dirty water.
You can even let your clothes soak up in the detergent for a couple of minutes or hours as the dry bag comes with a fully waterproof roll-top closure and taped seams that stop water from coming out. Hence, don’t forget to carry a washing machine, more commonly known as a dry bag, if you ever need a quick wash on the go for your outdoor trips.
6. Use as a Workstation
Often, we need dry places to put on our knees and cut wood or gather dry materials in one place for later use. Suppose you are collecting dry bark, leaves, or pine needles to light up a fire. But unfortunately, you get down from the hammock and find the mud is wet around you. That’s when a dry bag can work as a small workstation for you.
And, you can get your job done effortlessly without making your outfit dirty. All you have to do is, put the duffel bag lay flat on the wet ground, lower your knee to it and start carving the wood. You can even put your notebook on it and start making plans or ponder over maps to mark your upcoming tracks into the woods.
7. Savior to Electronic Devices
You can never go wrong with having a dry bag when it comes to protecting your electronic devices or expensive gear for any outdoor adventure. Because you don’t possess the power to control the weather, do you? In this case, a dry bag can be the savior to rescue all your small, expensive, or any other delicate electronic devices such as; wires, cameras, lenses, flash drives, etcetera.
What’s more? – knowing you have all your cables in one spot so that you can grab them whenever you need them on the go. Thus, it scales down the stress of losing your essentials, even on camping or backpacking. The rugged construction and durable material of a dry bag keep water miles away from poking in. On top of that, no doubt that you are saving your electronics from dirt, dust, moisture, or any liquid. Just fill things up and zip your dry bag to do the rest.
8. Works Great as a Water Bucket
There’s no such outdoor activity, where you need no supply of extra water other than drinking. You need water in almost every task you do on your outdoor trips. Such as to extinguish a fire, clean clothes, cook food or even clean utensils; you need enough supply of water.
But it becomes laborious to carry water even from the nearest streams or any other water source if you don’t have a bucket. This is when a dry bag comes in use. You can effortlessly carry liters of water inside the dry bag just by filling water inside the dry bag, fold thrice for a perfect closure, and locking it and you are ready to hold water for later use in your campsite. However, it is always appropriate to boil the water first if you are planning to drink.
9. Staying Fit
It may sound frivolous, but you may need to do some simple exercises to stay fit during your outdoor expeditions. And carrying workout equipment can be arduous. Hence, you can make use of your dry bag by simply turning it into a ballistic kettlebell even if you are out in the wilderness. Make the dry bag empty, fill it with water as much as you want the pressure to be, and start your simple workouts.
One of the most intriguing facts about a dry bag is that you know how much weight you are capable of lifting. A dry bag of 1 liter roughly weighs about 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds. That’s how you can use a dry bag as equipment for staying fit in the middle of the woods.
To conclude, a dry bag comes of great help and has a broader list in case of its different uses. From personal experience, it is very unpleasant to drive back home in wet clothes or to erode your expensive gear due to adverse weather. So get yourself a dry bag that suits you best on your next camping trip or any outdoor explorations.
Robert Coleman, in one word is a multitasker. He enthusiastically works as an outdoor guide. He also has led large groups for backpacking at Bogota in Columbia. Hours of research and field experiences have helped him to stand as one of the best professional reviewers for anything related to outdoors. He improvises in using the right tool rather than packing tons of unnecessary things while outdoors.