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How to Waterproof a Backpack

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Not all backpacks are waterproof. Even when a backpack is water resistant, there are still times when you know it is going to struggle during a downpour.

Fortunately, even the best backpacks can be made more waterproof by using one of our fantastic tips and techniques.

In the worst case, you won’t always be able to stop your backpack from getting soaked but you definitely can protect everything inside.

Add a Rucksack Liner

You can buy waterproof liners fitting to just about any backpack. A liner is basically a large plastic bag which goes into the main compartment of your backpack. Instead of packing your items in your compartment, you pack them into the plastic bag instead.

This works great and can save your belongs should your backpack end up submerged. It is especially effective when your backpack has been waterproofed and seam-sealed as well.

How to Waterproof a Backpack 2

Plastic backpack liners work far better than refuse bags or any other type of thin plastic. They have to create total encapsulation for your belongings in order to work properly, and without the protection of heavy-duty plastic, any other packet is simply ineffective.

Store Your Backpack in a Dry Bag

Dry bags are most commonly used by those who do water sports such as kayaking and canoeing. A dry bag is ideal for those parts of a hike where you run the risk of ending up submerged.

Make sure that you fully tape the seals so that there is no chance of water entering. If you leave enough air in your dry bag, this can help them remain buoyant, serving as a buoyancy aid if you end up in the water.

Seal it with a Spray and Seal Sealer

There are many good outdoor waterproofing sprays available. To obtain the best results use a waterproof spray and a seam-sealing product. It won’t keep all the moisture out but it will generally help for heavy rain. With a water sealer and seam sealer, there will be no rainwater seeping through but it won’t help your pack if it ends up completely submerged.

Consider a Rain Cover

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Some high-end hiking backpacks come with their very own rain covers. You can generally find a rain cover to fit your backpack at any good outdoor store or online retailer. A rain cover compresses to a tiny size, making it effortless to store and transport.

It fits over the outside of your backpack and is excellent for hikers but not quite suited to those doing watersports. Rain covers are ideal for rain and the possibility of falling in shallow water but won’t help for much more than that.

Containers and Zip-Lock Bags

How to Waterproof a Backpack

Even when you’ve done your best to waterproof your high-quality, water-resistant backpack there will still be a time when you’re belongs end up drenched. The only way to guarantee that they’re safe is to use as many air-tight containers and zipper-lock bags as it takes to completely secure everything.

While taxing and timeous, packing your clothing and camping gear in containers and bags before putting them in your backpack will give you complete peace of mind while out hiking.

Stick It in a Bucket

If you’re going to be crossing water, such as traversing a river or are running the risk of ending up in water, put your backpack and other belongings inside of a large bucket. Bring one bucket for the family and it should be big enough for at least two backpacks. This is a very useful tip for those who are crossing fairly shallow streams while out fishing.

With all your goods safely in a watertight bucket (check the lid!), you can cross safely without anything getting wet.

Purchasing the Right Waterproof Backpack

Waterproof Backpack
When looking to make a backpack as waterproof as possible, always try to employ more than one method. If you seal your belongs in containers and plastic bags, while lining your backpack, sealing its seams, and applying a waterproof spray, you’re almost guaranteed to have dry goods no matter what happens.

The quality of your backpack’s composition makes a major difference to how water resistant it is. Cheaply manufactured backpacks aren’t lying when they state that they’re waterproof. They just don’t specify how water resistance their packs are.

There is also a major difference between water resistant and waterproof. If you’re going to be spending time in the water or in the snow then you want a backpack which is waterproof rather than just water resistant.


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