Gear Shed

Q:

How can I keep my paddling gear dry?

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

Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

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

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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