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How do you waterproof/float your pack?

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PhaedrusZen
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How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by PhaedrusZen » May 03 2011 1:12 pm

I only saw incidential mention of this in some trip logs and couldn't find an actual topic, so I figured I'd start one up.

Last year when I did Tonto Creek, I used garbage bags as a pack liner and water noodles strapped to the outside to help float my gear. I had a 70 lb pack, so "floating" was a relative term. Next trip is going to be to West Clear Creek and I'd love to hear what others have to say about getting their gear across a swim as quick and dry as possible, preferably without having to stop to set up a float system each time.
Here's what I observed from my last trip and reading around...

*Garbage bags will work when double/tripled over and secured with hair ties, but BRING EXTRAS, because they will rip from packing/unpacking.

*Water noodles secured to the outside of your bag might work if your pack didn't weigh 70 lbs, but your pack will always want to float "face down", or however you didn't intend it to float.

*If your pack doesn't have drain holes in the bottom of each compartment, you'll definitely be taking on a lot of extra water weight. I did see somewhere on this site that buying a grommet kit that is used for tarps will let you create reinforced drain holes in your pack.

This time around my pack will be MUCH lighter, and I invested in a 65 liter drybag to cover all my gear. Originally I was going to try using the old military ALICE dry bags (I think they were intended as laundry bags) but I shopped around and found the ILBE 65L drybag by Sealline for $40 and couldn't pass it up. I read somewhere that someone used a rain fly and a thermarest to float their bags with quite a bit of success. I'd love to get a little more detail on how this was done if anyone's tried it.

Let's hear it... :D
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by joebartels » May 03 2011 1:34 pm

I couldn't find Pete's photo in this old thread before attachments came to the forum
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PhaedrusZen
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by PhaedrusZen » May 03 2011 1:47 pm

That's the post I ran into earlier. I'll have to experiment with what I've got and see if I can get similar results. It doesn't look as if West Clear Creek will be as rough as Tonto Creek, so maybe we won't be hucking our packs so often. If so, trying to use a rain fly strapped over my pad on the outside of my bag might be a great way to go.
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skatchkins
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by skatchkins » May 03 2011 3:29 pm

I did the grommet holes in the pack bottom and drysack inside. Then just put it in my lap in my tube for the deeper floats.
For the record, the $5 Walmart tubes will support this; The $2 ones will not.

Image

On my buddy's I bungied each side of the tube to the back of his pack. Then he could just plop the whole thing in the water and motorboated behind it.
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AZoutdoorsyGirl
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by AZoutdoorsyGirl » Jun 20 2016 7:12 pm

what about strapping paddle boards to the pack and motoring behind? OR packing 2 inside of my pack and letting the pack become my flotation device? https://www.amazon.com/Freedi-Swimming- ... ikearizona

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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by rcorfman » Jun 20 2016 8:32 pm

Me personally, I'd just use plastic bags and then swim across with the pack on my back. I've done it before and it worked fine for me.
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toddak
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by toddak » Jun 21 2016 8:33 am

I put all my gear in a quality 40-60L drybag, then the drybag inside my pack. When I get to a swim section I roll over on my back and the pack/drybag provides plenty of flotation (make sure to fasten the waist belt or the pack floats too high). Then I leisurely backstroke and kick across the pool facing backwards/upstream - very comfortable and nice for viewing the scenery. Upon reaching shallow water I stand up and lean over to let the water between the drybag and pack drain out the top. I've tried putting in grommet holes, but they are slow draining and can be hard to locate in the lowest point of the pack, plus I don't like perforating a good pack. I've used Sea to Summit drybags for years and never had a leak. Also, I wouldn't say that WCC will be much easier than Tonto, both are slow, hard work but well worth the effort.

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hikeaz
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by hikeaz » Jun 21 2016 10:25 am

In the pools I generally use a 'leash' of about 15' and tie around my waist and swim breaststroke towing the pack. A leash has the added advantage of being able to pull your pack along in the shallow sections vs. hoisting your pack up on your back every time.
Remember a carabiner to latch your hiking pole(s) (if you use it/them) to your pack.
I always use a Seal-line dry/boundary bag, but for those looking for a durable garbage bag option - use a trash COMPACTOR bag - they are much more durable.

You may need to get watercraft registration numbers for some set-ups > > http://tinyurl.com/z8kxl6q
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Re: How do you waterproof/float your pack?

Post by hikeaz » Jun 27 2016 4:21 pm

May be available elsewhere on the interweb for less, but check cascadedesigns dot com SealLine product line > "25% Off Dry Packs and Duffles. Discount auto-applies at checkout. Offer expires June 30, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. PST. U.S. Orders only."
kurt

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