If you’ve spent a significant amount of time on Missouri’s rivers, you’ve come to appreciate the value of a good dry bag. A quality dry bag is the difference between arriving at your campsite with wet, soggy gear and destroyed electronics and cell phones versus all your gear arriving protected, dry and in one piece. Too many have either experienced first-hand, or heard about rivers swallowing entire backpacks, cellphones and cameras. Get a dry bag so the river doesn’t get your stuff and the best of you.
Whether you’re planning to float for the day or a week, a dry bag is essential for river floating. Throwing your wallet, purse, camera, car keys or cell phone on the bottom of a boat is a sure-fire way to ruin them. Here are some things to consider before you purchase the one that’s right for you. Because dry bags are meant to float, if they end up in the water, their large size allows room for air plus your belongings. As such, a dry bag can only be filled up to about 2/3 to 3/4 full. So ideally you should buy a bag that seems much bigger than what you think you’ll need. And buying a small bag to hold your wallet, car keys, digital camera and cell phone is a good idea too. Many experienced rafters buy several dry bags, storing their clothes in one big dry bag or two medium dry bags and “day use items” in a small dry bag. Unless you want to watch your dry bags float away, don’t forget to tie them to the boat!
Several types of dry bags are available in today’s market. Standard dry bags are usually large over-sized bags that resemble garbage bags full of clothes. But when closed properly, standard dry bags are tough and durable and will keep your gear completely dry as it floats down the river. Experienced rafters use standard dry bags as their main bag to store clothes and less frequently needed items. Standard bags aren’t equipped with organizational pockets or compartments so buying one that’s clear will make it easier to find and access what you need. Some folks use two or more medium sized dry bags to keep themselves organized instead of just one big one when they go on multi-night float trips.
Another option for storing your belongings on a float trip is waterproof duffels. While they are stylish and easier to organize and access your gear, they have a smaller amount of storage capacity than standard dry bags and they don’t float. For this reason, many experienced rafters use waterproof duffels for storing their day use items, stowing their main gear in either 1 or 2 standard dry bags.
These days no one wants to be apart from their cell phone or IPod making dry bags for electronics ideal for float trips. Dry bags for electronics are designed with frequent use in mind, allowing the items to still be used while still inside the bag. Until recently, many rafters stored their electronic devices in standard dry bags or waterproof duffels putting them at risk for the inevitable bumps and knocks sustained by the boat on a float trip. But today’s dry bags for electronics have padding for this specific purpose.
Standard dry bags, waterproof duffels and dry bags for electronics are an essential part of today’s float trips. Tying these to the boat will prevent them from floating away should your raft tip of encounter rapids. Don’t let the river get your stuff and the best of you, get dry bags instead.