Given that about 70 percent of the world is covered with water and human beings are land-based animals with possessions and equipment that doesn’t work well in the water, some stuff is bound to get wet. Which is always unfortunate. Seeing that electronics, phones, computers, key fobs and a plethora of other things don’t respond well when wet, it is a good idea to do what you can to keep them dry. Floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, or just heavy rain showers are sometimes all that stands in the way of an expensive communication device and an expensive paperweight. You don’t want to be stuck in the backcountry with wet gear.
Storage containers and travel equipment come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and applications, from object specific cases for weapons or computers to general bags and backpacks that can accommodate most anything. Having dry clothes just after a storm while on the trail is paramount to comfort, safety, and health, while keeping your GPS dry and functioning may be the difference between being rescued or staying stranded.
Protecting vital records and collectibles from water, mildew, or moisture is important. A simple metal file cabinet won’t protect important papers from a leaky roof, nor will it keep away a rising tide or overflowing river.
The fireproof and waterproof safe chest by SureSeal (SS103) is UL rated for 30 minutes of fire protection up to 1550-degrees Fahrenheit, which would protect it from a normal house fire. It is also waterproof for 48 hours in up to 48 inches of water. Protects Important Paper Documents & Digital Media like USB thumb drives, flash memory cards and more. Features dual compression latches, a locking handle and a lifetime guarantee.
The waterproof polycarbonate storage box (3600) is see-through and has a continuous o-ring that keeps water out as well as a rubber lining for protecting valuables. There are three tight-closing cam-action latches and a handle. At 11 inches long and 7.25 inches wide, it can survive being submerged up to six feet for 30 minutes. It comes in four different sizes.
Waterproof up to 120 feet, these small plastic pucks screw tight and have a rubber o-ring that keeps out the water. With an external diameter of 2.5 inches, they are compact, concealable and strong. Made by S&S Precision in Virginia Beach, VA, they come in black and coyote tan.
There’s a lot you can do with a bucket, but there’s so much more you can do with a waterproof bucket. Gamma Seals are inexpensive conversion kits that can turn a standard bucket into a waterproof, airtight, portable storage container. They come in a wide variety of colors and can fit a standard sized five-gallon bucket.
It doesn’t matter what kind of water you’re on — river, lake, or ocean — there’s security in keeping your smaller valuables safe. Great for boating or travel, this personal pack protects small valuables like wallets and passports from the elements. It has a waist belt and shoulder strap and is made of rugged PU-coated 600D polyester. It comes in various colors, is 8 x 8 inches and can hold approximately 244 cubic inches.
The highly durable and lightweight Black Canyon Boundary Dry Pack features a watertight roll-top closure and is made of a PVC-free, scrim-reinforced urethane for abrasion resistance. The shoulder straps are waterproof and ventilated and it is available in three sizes. The 115-liter and 70-liter sizes close with side-cinch buckles while the daypack-size 35-liter pack has a top buckle closure.
Lightweight and well built, our RF-welded Urban Backpack offers seamless protection in an urban environment. A watertight roll-down closure with buckle attachments provide easy access, as well as a weatherproof zip pocket and accessory clip system. A light clip-loop helps keep you visible and the ventilated backing will help keep you dry while wearing it. It comes in two sizes, 17 or 37 liters.
The DryCase Backpack
The DryCase backpack has a waterproof main compartment capable of holding 30 liters, an internal zippered waterproof pocket to store smaller items and a front mesh area to store wet or loose things. The shoulder straps are nicely padded and extra gear can be attached in a variety of different ways. Unique to this pack is a valve that allows you to inflate the backpack for buoyancy or fill it with water and use the valve as a shower.
Phantom Aquatics Dry Bag
The Phantom is a roll-top, 100-percent waterproof backpack with padded shoulder straps and lumbar support. It comes in red, blue, black and yellow. Dropped in water, it floats safely. It protects not just against water, but dust, dirt and sand. With lumbar support and padded shoulder straps, it’s as comfortable as it gets. There are reflective patches on both shoulder straps and the front of the bag and it is equipped with an outer elasticized mesh side pocket and top carry handle. It holds 25 liters.
Designed specifically to house a laptop, the interior dimension of this 1099 Hardback Case are 15.78 x 11.16 x 2.06 inches. It features a watertight gasket creating a very tight seal when the case is closed and has an automatic purge valve that keeps water and dust out while balancing air pressure. It includes a removable shoulder strap.
Made of lightweight but strong HPX resin and having four padlockable clasps, this iM3300 rifle case can withstand the weather thanks to the watertight seal and six press-and-pull latches. The interior measures 50.5 x 14 x 6 inches and can accommodate most rifles and associated gear. The handle is plastic with a soft grip.
Sometimes the smallest of cases can be the most valuable, especially ones containing waterproof matches like this one. The case even has an integrated striker (and spares), and only weighs just shy of 2 ounces. The matches will light even after being submerged in water.
This three-piece set of clear PVC waterproof pouches will keep your documents dry wherever you are. Ideal for things like your fishing license, permits, maps, or even your mobile phone, these pouches feature a quick access waterproof seal. Small: 18 x 13cm; Medium: 25 x 18cm; Large: 33 x 27cm
Sized to hold most point-and-shoot cameras, cell phones and other small accessories, the waterproof, roll-top pouch easily attaches to wading belts, backpacks and other gear. Removable padding on the inside protects your valuables. The heavy-duty 420-denier TPU nylon construction makes it durable and long lasting. Its dimensions are 6 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches.
With an adjustable shoulder strap and a D-ring for easy attachment, this durable dry bag is robust and certified waterproof, capable of floating safely should it accidentally be dropped in the water. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, from 5 quarts to 40 liters.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the February 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.