Dry bag leakage? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-02-2016   #1
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2015
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Dry bag leakage?

Just curious about peoples' experience with dry bags staying dry during long submersions?

On a recent trip down the Grand we had a cataraft flip in Lava. The upside down boat stayed in the current (I suspect the high-mounted cooler acted as a sea anchor) for just over three miles before a second raft could catch up and help another raft pull it into an eddy. Then, it took us about an hour to get it upright. It was upside down for about 2 hours.

Three people had gear stowed on the boat and all three had very wet gear that was inside of dry bags. Two of the people were using dry bags supplied by the outfitter, and were a good name brand and looked like they were nice quality. (I won't name the brand since I can't attest to how well they were closed before the flip, but 2 of the 3 people were experienced river people so I suspect they sealed them correctly.) One person had a small dry bag inside of a large dry bag and it was somewhat wet inside, while some small Pelican cases that were inside the dry bag performed well. All of the ammo cans on the cataraft were dry, with the exception of one rocket box that did get a little water in it.

I've been around a few flipped boats on the Grand before, but didn't pay enough attention at the time as to whether the dry bags worked well or not.

Is leakage (deluge) to be expected?

This experience made me rethink my typical process of putting my phone in a ziplock and stashing it somewhere deep in a dry bag (though I did just buy a Watershed bag, which gives me some hope).

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Old 08-02-2016   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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In a prolonged flip scenario my experience has been that most standard dry bags will leak. They are more splash bags than anything. Pelican and Watershed products have proven themselves to be consistently dry, even after long-term submersion.
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Old 08-02-2016   #3
 
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
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I always double bag my stuff, and get the air out. Because I have helped remove soaked heavy dry bags from flipped rafts, I use a contractors bag inside my dry bag and twist seal it first. So far this seems to keep everything totally dry.
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Old 08-02-2016   #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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My brother was camped 10 plus years ago on the Grand at the old upper Rattlesnake camp that is now a small rapid/riffle when it flooded big and took out their entire camp. His clothes were in a small Watershed bag that had been 'zipped' closed but not buckled up inside of his tent which was closed up. The camp was destroyed by a flash flood and his tent was totally gone but he did end up finding his Watershed bag downriver floating in an eddy still closed up and when opened it all he had was a small brown stripe on the white t shirt that was on the top but everything else inside was totally dry. IMO you get what you pay for!
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Old 08-02-2016   #5
 
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Westminster, Colorado
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Also a factor, give the top of said dry bags at least 3 rolls...even so, I had to replace a soggy copy of "Desert Solitaire" several years ago on the Grand.
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Old 08-02-2016   #6
 
Nosebleed, Colorado
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"Experienced river people" know that rigging to flip means using compactor-bag-lined stuff sacks for clothing, sleeping bags, and other gear that they want dry when packing dry bags (even watersheds). Better to get this experience on the grand rather than a June MFS trip. Just sayin
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Old 08-02-2016   #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funrivers View Post
"Experienced river people" know that rigging to flip means using compactor-bag-lined stuff sacks for clothing, sleeping bags, and other gear that they want dry when packing dry bags (even watersheds). Better to get this experience on the grand rather than a June MFS trip. Just sayin
All that I can guess is you must have a lot of experience in flipping!? I beg to differ... if a Watershed is properly bled of air and closed correctly there is no need for compactor bags. Getting ALL the air out of a dry bag is very important as eventually water may replace that leftover air in he bag. Now if you hit the ledge hole all bets are off!
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Old 08-02-2016   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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The only down side to watershed bags is you can't throw them on to the rocks and or beach or they get pin holes and will leak. If
You take care of them and close them properly I had not had any leakage issues IME.
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Old 08-02-2016   #9
 
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Niwot, Colorado
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My boat was inverted (flipped) for about 20-25 minutes. None of the (unlined) drybags got water in them. They included watershed, jack's welding outfitter & seattle sports bags. They were ALL well sealed with at LEAST 3 folds and tightly clipped. FYI - I did have some leakage on my drybox and my york box - but that is expected.
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Old 08-02-2016   #10
 
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irvine, California
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Watershed is the best I've ever used. It worked in Alaska when a boat flipped and was pinned upside down for two nights and almost two days. Camara equipment in the watershed bag was bone dry. Every other bag, box and cooler had a couple inches of water logged sediment.

I haven't personally had a flip yet while using my bags (last one was in 9, but I still have the two original brown ones from 1999.


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