I once made a video called “By Far the Best Tip When You Go Backpacking“. In it, I explained one of the best investments any traveler can make. Something extremely practical, convenient, space saving, time saving, durable, protective, water resistant and… not too expensive. Whenever someone who’s about to go traveling asks me what they should definitely take with them, I always give them the same answer. Namely – dry sacks.
Dry sacks… to start off on a slightly weird note, I was once talking to a girl about traveling and I said something about dry sacks. Now, if you have never heard of them before apparently you can jump to some weird misconceptions! Not sure what was going on in her mind… Anyway. Now that I’ve put those thoughts in your head, let’s talk about dry sacks… I have been using the same Sea to Summit dry sacks for more than 4 years now, and they are still in the same state as when I bought them. They are made of incredibly durable Ultra-Sil® Nano which gives advanced strength to weight performance and are available in 7 different sizes 1L, 2L, 4L, 8L, 13L, 20L and 35L. They are completely waterproof, lightweight, colorful, durable and I have nothing negative to say about them at all. Prices vary depending on the size you buy, and range between $14.95 and $56.00. There are other great companies such as Osprey, who make very good dry sacks made from 40D Rip stop Nylon for about the same price. If you don’t want to spend that much, Outdoor Products have some much cheaper yet still quite durable ones -$13.26 for 3 dry sacks. However, be careful. I am not saying they are not good, but they are made out of a cheaper material, meaning they will be less durable and waterproof than the dry sacks from Sea to Summit or Osprey who use much higher quality materials. If you are intending to use the dry sacks for valuable electronics I would definitely recommend you buy them from Sea to Summit or Osprey, as it could end up costing you a whole lot more. If I am putting my trust in gear to protect my valuables or electronic items, I would rather spend a bit more and feel confident rather than save a bit and have to be more conscious and careful about what I do and where I go.
How dry sacks work is fairly straight forward. You simply place your clothes, electronics or whatever items you want to protect inside, push out the air, roll up the top (at least 3 times) and voila. That’s all there is too it. Besides dry sacks you also have compression sacks (I have one from Sea to Summit, and haven’t seen many other companies who make them). The difference with these is that you have straps attached allowing you to compress everything to an extremely small size – very effective and space saving.
To summarize my complete backpack setup, I use 2 dry sacks – a 4L one and an 8L one; 1 30L compression sack and 1 medium sized see pouch. The 4L one I use for all my socks and underwear and the 8L one for all my t-shirts. Then the 30L compression sack I use to store all my thicker items and clothes such as towels, pullovers, jeans, shorts… Finally the medium sized see pouch is used for all my toiletries and liquids. A simple yet perfect setup up that I haven’t felt the need to adjust for years now.
There isn’t a whole lot more to be said about dry sacks other than: if you don’t have them yet, buy them. I have traveled around the world for 3 years with the same ones and whenever I see other backpackers with their bags laying on the floor with all their clothes and items falling out, or someone trying to find something in their backpack, I think to myself, “yep, this truly was a great investment.” I would never go on a backpacking trip, camping trip, or simply on a vacation without them anymore – they are just way too practical and useful. I am definitely not trying to over sell them, but they are 100% worth it. And once you’ve got your backpack loaded with some, you won’t be having those weird thoughts any more when talking about dry sacks.
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