Dry box vs dry bags - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-10-2019   #1
wharf-rat's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 54
Dry box vs dry bags

What’s in your dry boxes?? I am used to putting all my gear in dry bags from canoe tripping but now it seems with rafting many people get the boxes. Pros or cons of the dry box? I am curious to hear what folks put in their dry boxes for multi day. Cheers

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Old 03-10-2019   #2
Join Date: Jul 2015
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In our dry box, we store dry food (bread, eggs, snacks, chips), our liquor, cast iron, scrap strainer and other pots, flashlights, and sometimes hats. Basically anything we don’t want smashed. Clothes, bedding and tent go into their own dry bags.
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Old 03-11-2019   #3
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 495
I've been putting a lot of the kitchen stuff and other hard metal things in my box, which admittedly includes a lot of stuff that doesn't need to be dry. But it protects the boat and people from getting poked anyway.
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Old 03-11-2019   #4
Vanderwagen, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2016
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I store essential cooking gear; 2 burner stove, blaster, and sometimes charcoal. I also have a huge skillet that doesn't fit in kitchen box. I also have a small bag with extra clothes I might need for the day. It's easier to get into the dry box than having to dig into a dry bag. I don't have a seat and row sitting on my dry box.
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Old 03-11-2019   #5
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,812
We use our dry box for food storage to keep rain, bugs and critters out. Even if we are van camping we throw in the dry box for food and set it outside when we get there. I have a kitchen box for big trips, but when it's just she and me, the dishes needed are much less so we put them in an action packer.
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Old 03-11-2019   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 319
It is also worth keeping in mind that dry boxes are a very efficient use of space with an oar frame. A well fitting dry box can utilize almost every cubic foot of space between the tubes whereas stuffing dry bags in the same area can lead to some unused space. Generally hard pokey things (kitchen) and very delicate things (like bread and chips) go in the drybox on my boat. That said, they are very expensive and that was the last thing I added to my rig as I slowly built it up.
I also have a dry box that fits perfectly in the middle bay of my tandem touring canoe and it has been very handy and efficient, although it adds a few pounds. Its a great way of managing weight distribution while making loading and unloading much smoother.
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Old 03-11-2019   #7
Never enough free time
Red Lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Feb 2018
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In addition to the comments above, I also row from my drybox and store emergency items such as the first aid kit, repair kit, a headlamp, etc. Basically, anything I would want to access to immediately. I went a step further and made some dividers to help keep things organized. They are made out of 1/4 material and can be moved in one inch increments to accommodate whatever is in there for a given trip. I can't say enough about how much this has helped my sanity.

Before, when it was just a black hole, there would always be someone digging in there and not re-organizing so that I could never grab what I wanted when I wanted it without digging around. The divider system is basically some 3/4 x 4 material with slots in it. No need to glue it in or otherwise attach it permanently because the dividers and contents of the box keep everything snug.

I built the divider system in about an hour for both my drybox and kitchen box and it was less than $30 in materials. It was one of the best things I have ever done in regards to rigging, right up there with the everything bag.

Disclaimer: We are a family of 4 and boat with our dogs more often than not so my wife handles the kids and critters while I am in charge of rigging and organizing camp so I am always looking for ways to maximize space and free up more time for myself. I couldn't imagine going without my drybox anymore
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Old 03-11-2019   #8
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 54
Fantastic advice, thanks folks, looks like I will buy a dry box this spring. Wife wants to put hard gear in it(tents, sleep bags.) I think it would be way. Better utilized for the kitchen, dry goods and liquor. Spring is here in British Columbia and the snows melting. River trips are being planned, so pumped!
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Old 03-11-2019   #9
My name isn't Will
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Willamette Valley, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 165
Some way to organize the large drybox space is a big plus. That black hole sucks. You'll find that Day 2 onion on Day 6....

I use a little plastic bin for things that might leak. As long as the floor stays below the tubes, a leak won't soil everything else. For the other divider, I use cardboard boxes that come with 12 bottles of beer in them. I just get rid of the beer (what a terrible task; someone has to do it) and keep a few of the boxes. Just makes little spaces, and super easy. There's often some little space in front of a box that something flat/fragile will fit in.

Black hole? No thanks. Bring on the Tetris!
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Old 03-11-2019   #10
Pieter Porcupine
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 279
[QUOTE= I went a step further and made some dividers to help keep things organized.

Do you happen to have an image of this? I would definitely like to replicate something like this. I definitely see how the box becomes a black hole. Better organization means more time with my toes in the sand and beer in hand.

Thanks in advance.
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