Multiple Dry Sacks v Pack Liner
Curious to know what others do and why. I've always used multiple dry sacks instead of a single pack liner. This is mostly because I find it easy to organise things. I know exactly what is in each sack, and can locate anything quickly by sack colour. I've also found that if I have to dig something out of the bottom of my pack in rain due to poor pre-planning, its pretty quick and I can decant onto the ground and nothing gets wet. I've also seen the base of a friends pack and pack liner get slashed open while he was sliding down some rocks. Repair with tape was difficult because of the coating on the liner (not sure what brand). I ended up giving him one of my dry sacks for his sleeping bag and electronics. The obvious downsides of lots of individual dry sacks is weight and cost. I normally carry around 35L of stuff in dry sacks in total. I figure I could easily save 250-300g if I went to a single pack liner, with mesh sacks to deal with organisation. The factory seam tape on some of my lighter dry sacks is starting to peel/fail, so I thought it would be a good time to reassess my approach. Cheers, Moh.
Hi Moh! How many lt is your backpack ?
River trips I will pack like you if there is known to be a bit of swimming but otherwise a pack liner folded over on top so water cant get in works fine. I have ended up swimming with this settup with no issue even after several minutes in the water. Liners cost a fraction of a dry bag
Hi giuseppe I have an old Macpac Cascade. Not sure exactly how big. Maybe 85-90Ltr. Heavy old beast, but so far has proven indestructible. Cheers, Moh.
I have a couple of pack liners that haven't been used for ten to fifteen years. I too have evolved to use a combination of bags. Only the down and some clothing end up in dry bags. One of the problems with the use of one pack liner is that you invariably end up putting moisture in there yourself when trying to get some gear out.
I was asking just for understand the space that you have inside your pack. Definitely with a cascade I would divide my gear and with packliner something like the famous sea to summit bag that you close at the top. For me with a 50 lt its probably too much trouble...because I found out that if I put my staff outside the bags I'm able to manage the space way better.
I do both, big liner with small bags inside to keep gear anally filed. If you are doing a lot of river stuff you never know when you might have get fully immersed - so a big liner is always a good plan.
A big advantage of a single pack liner is that it traps air for river crossings - can be used as a raft to keep you out of the water if you lose your footing (when lying back, wearing the pack). But don't have your foam mat on the outside except at the top of the pack as this will affect your position deleteriously when you are needing to float flat, not on your side! With this big air bubble, only the bottom of the pack will be immersed if you fall in the river. So it's a good idea to keep your sleeping bag in a light drybag if you keep that at the bottom of the pack. The other stuff is OK in plastic bags as long as your pack liner is intact (except for electronic gear). It pays to always carry duct tape and other repair equipment on tramps. I had a pack liner that got a leak after one day! The plastic packliners can be used as personal groundsheets but my sea to summit packliner is much lighter and so far pretty resilient. Before you cross a river where there's a chance of slipping in, it is worth trapping air in the pack liner as part of your preparation for crossing the river. As mentioned above, twisting the top of the pack tightly and then tucking it down the side is an effective seal against water. Have to say all this advice is tried and true - some by witnessing others errors...
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