How to keep your backpacking gear dry with trash compactor bags (or heavy-duty garbage bags if that’s your thing)…
In the “pack liner vs pack cover” debate that exists in the thru hiking sphere, there is no question that using a pack liner is a more essential consideration.
For me, I’ll be adding trash compactor bags to my thru hiking gear list and I consider this to be one of the most crucial items on my list after all the major components, like shelter, sleeping bag, shoes, trekking poles, etc.
The great thing about using trash compactor bags for backpacking is the lightweight aspect coupled with the cost. These things are cheap and they weigh next to nothing, and compared to the heavy pack liner that I have in my closet that I bought from a military supply store that weighs way too much… well, this option is a huge upgrade.
They are durable as well and that is because they are made to be more durable than regular trash bags, which would be a viable option for shorter hikes.
I’ve also used x-large and xxx-large ziplock bags as pack liners and they work very well, but I can get a package of trash compactor bags that will last me for many years for a better price point.
Keeping your backpacking gear dry on the Appalachian Trail is of the utmost importance because comfort in camp is the one thing that will help a thru hiker to recover from a tough day’s hike and recoup for the next stage of the journey.
What would be more annoying than setting up a wet tent and climbing inside to change into fresh clothing, only to find that everything you thought would be dry is now soaking wet because you settled for some flimsy pack cover that didn’t keep anything dry?
I don’t mind hiking in the rain, never have. but when it’s time to settle in for some quality lay-around time I certainly don’t want to be lounging around in wet stuff!
If you have any other ideas for pack liners or just keeping your backpacking gear dry in general then feel free to leave a comment.
Hey, after watching that video it is clear that the compactor bags now fit into the category of gear that will serve a multi-purpose. Bonus!
Or you can throw money at the problem and pay full price for a pack liner…
*Update – I went to the grocery store today and researched the trash compactor bag situation. I found one brand, and it was store brand, so I bought it. I almost bought the “contractor bags” by accident which were 45 gallon, so that would have been a disaster because the 18 gallon bags I brought home are perfect. There were 4 bags for $3.69 and these should last me many years to come.
Very happy with my purchase…