How Do You Pack a Dry Bag for a Canoe Trip?

Are you planning a canoe trip and wondering how to pack a dry bag? Proper packing is essential to ensure that your belongings stay safe and dry during your adventure.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of packing a dry bag for a canoe trip, step by step. Let’s dive in!

Choose the Right Dry Bag

Before you start packing, make sure you have a reliable and waterproof dry bag. Look for bags made with durable materials like PVC or nylon, with welded seams for added protection against water leakage. Opt for a size that can accommodate all your gear while leaving some room for easy packing and access.

Organize Your Gear

Prioritize your gear based on their importance and frequency of use. Keep items that you may need during the trip easily accessible by placing them on top. Consider categorizing your gear into separate plastic bags or using smaller dry bags within the main one to keep things organized.

Packing Clothes

Roll up your clothes tightly to save space and place them at the bottom of the dry bag. Start with heavier items like pants or jackets and then layer lighter clothing on top. This will help create a cushioning effect for more delicate items.

Protecting Electronics

If you plan to bring electronics such as cameras or smartphones, it’s crucial to protect them from any potential water damage. Place these items in waterproof cases or sealable plastic bags before placing them in the dry bag.

Food and Cooking Equipment

If you’re bringing food supplies, pack them in sealed containers or resealable bags to prevent any leaks or spills inside the dry bag. Consider using lightweight cooking equipment that is easily collapsible to save space.

Sleeping Gear

Your sleeping gear should be packed in waterproof compression sacks to minimize their size and keep them dry. Place your sleeping bag at the bottom of the dry bag, followed by other items like sleeping pads or inflatable pillows.

Additional Tips

  • Use Ziploc Bags: Use Ziploc bags for smaller items like toiletries or first aid supplies to keep them organized and prevent any leaks.
  • Avoid Overpacking: Remember that overpacking can make it difficult to close and seal your dry bag properly.
  • Distribute Weight Evenly: Distribute the weight evenly inside the dry bag to maintain balance while carrying it.

Closing and Sealing

Once you have packed all your gear, carefully squeeze out any excess air from the dry bag before closing it. Roll down the top of the bag at least three times and secure it with the buckle or clip provided. This ensures a watertight seal and prevents water from entering the bag.

Fitting in the Canoe

When loading your canoe, place your packed dry bag in a central position to maintain balance. Secure it by attaching straps or ropes to prevent it from shifting during your trip.


Packing a dry bag for a canoe trip requires careful consideration of your gear and their protection against water damage. By following these steps, you can ensure that your belongings stay safe and dry throughout your adventure. Happy paddling!

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Lindsay Collins