How To Waterproof Gear

Three layers of protection to keep your stuff dry, no matter what

BY JIM BAIRD

In this episode, while packing camp, I go through a few important details on how to waterproof gear while on a long canoe trip. I always take the time to follow these important steps–after all, I’m the one you see dumping at the beginning of this video! And even if you never tip, you’ll get enough water in your canoe to soak your gear at some point on a tough white-water trip.

I always take the time to follow these important steps–after all, I’m the one you see dumping at the beginning of this video!

Wet clothes and a wet sleeping bag can mean some very uncomfortable times, and even hypothermia, especially on rivers of the north. My solution is a triple waterproofing method for the stuff that I can't afford to get wet.

Here's how to insure your stuff will stay bone dry after an upset.

1. Use a high quality dry bag. For a long trip, you’ll want one with a capacity of more than 100 liters. Bring a patching kit for repairs should it become punctured. I like to bring along a tube of Gear Aid Aquaseal and a roll of Gear Aid Tenacious Tape.
2. Line your large dry bag with a thick grade carpenters garbage bag and bring a piece of surgical tubing or P-cord to tie the top tightly once packed. You'll also want extra carpenters bags.
3. If you have to pack a wet tent or other wet gear, pack it on the outside of the carpenter’s bag, but on the inside of your dry bag.
4. Stuff your clothes and sleeping bag into waterproof compression sacks before packing them into your large dry bag.
5. Keep the maps you're not using that day in zip-lock bags or a map case, and pack them in your drybag. You'll want them to be triple-waterproofed too.
6. Always make sure your dry bag is rolled down and buckled tightly.

Once our boats were loaded, we continued fighting the current of the mighty George, headed for the height-of-land.

Each Wednesday, C&K will release a new episode of Lessons From the Trail, presented by Nova Craft Canoe and Brunton, makers of the TruArc compass.