As is the case with most survival gear, the higher the standards of quality and functionality we demand of our stormproof packs, the higher the price tags. So how can you keep your supplies dry if you can’t afford an expensive dry bag?
If you’re prepping on a budget, backpack designer Mel Terkla recommends two economical strategies.
“A built-in waterproof pack rain cover or a standalone one is the easiest way to keep the rain at bay,” says Terkla, an independent designer who’s worked for a variety of companies including Kifaru. “The other option is to separate all your gear into waterproof bags” before placing them in your backpack.
By “waterproof bags,” he’s referring to airtight plastic pouches made by companies such as Loksak. They look like zippered sandwich bags but are 100-percent waterproof, far more durable, and come in a variety of sizes. For example, Loksak’s OPSAK can be as small as 7 by 7 inches or as large as 28 by 20 inches and start at $9.49 for a two-pack. If you’re really pinching pennies, Terkla says, then use that money to get a box of Ziploc freezer bags and separate your survival gear accordingly.
As for rain covers, if your backpack doesn’t come with one, you can find generic models for as little as $5 or quality brand covers starting at about $15, depending on size and compatibility.
“These two simple solutions will make your bag absolutely stormproof without any loss of durability,” Terkla says.