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GearTools & Tech

How can I keep my camera dry on canoeing trips?

I need a waterproof backpack for my digital SLR on canoe trips—something that won't leak at all! I've checked REI and other outdoor websites and stores, but couldn't find anything. Do you have any suggestions? Brandon Hilton, Ontario

A: One easy choice is to buy a roll-top drybag for your "regular" camera bag. Seattle Sports' AquaCell Carbon Dry Bag ($30 for size small; has enough room for a camera bag and camera, and seals up very nicely.

Storm Chaser

There's also a small group of waterproof packs out there. SealLine's Boundary Pack ($60 in the 65-liter size; is essentially a drybag with straps attached. Not a great load-carrier, but more than adequate for lugging camera gear on short portages. Again, I'd put my camera inside a traditional bag—maybe Lowepro's holster-style Rezo TLZ 10 ($25;—then place that whole deal inside your drybag or drypack. That way you're sure to have both padding and waterproofness.

Eureka! took a stab at making waterproof packs a few years back, and although they've discontinued the line, you can still find some examples. Do a search for Eureka! Storm Chaser Pack and you'll find some for $70—it's basically a vinyl pack with sealed seams and a roll-top closure. It'll shed rain, paddle splashes, and the like, and can withstand short immersion.

Lastly, consider a bear barrel, designed to keep bears from smelling or getting at your food. Sturdy and nearly 100 percent waterproof. The BearVault 250 ($67; is a good candidate, with 430 cubic inches of space. Put the camera case inside, screw the lid shut, and you're all set!

For the Web's best selection of haulers, check out Outside Online's all-new Backpack Buying Guide.

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Filed To: BackpacksCameras
Lead Photo: courtesy, Eureka!