Gear Guy

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag     Photo: Courtesy of Sea to Summit

Q:

How can I keep my paddling gear dry?

What's the best way to keep gear dry when rafting or kayaking?

A:Keeping gear dry on the water is important, but it's not difficult. Your waterproofing options run from super low-tech—garbage bags—to exotic shock-resistant cases.

Stuffing gear into a garbage bag and cinching the top will give you protection from rain, spray, or even a quick dunking, provided the bag bobs with the cinched end up. Garbage bags also come in handy for storing shoes, dry socks, or packs when there's s a chance of rain, and they'll even help with actual garbage. I recommend traveling with several.

When the risk of total immersion is high, you'll want to invest in a purpose-built dry bag. On excellent option is Sea to Summit's Big River Dry Bag ($25), which has eight liters, or almost 500 cubic inches, of capacity. That’s enough for a sleeping bag, clothing, or a tent. The Big River Dry Bag is a classic roll-top bag made from waterproof material, and to seal it, you simply fold the open end as if you were rolling a towel, then cinch it with a buckle.

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