Waterproofing your backpack and its contents is essential to protect your belongings from rain, moisture, and other environmental factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to waterproof your backpack:

For the Backpack:

  1. Choose a Waterproof Backpack: If you haven’t purchased a backpack yet, consider getting one that is made of waterproof or water-resistant material. Look for backpacks with sealed seams and water-resistant zippers.
  2. Use a Backpack Rain Cover: Many backpacks come with rain covers or you can purchase one separately. These covers are designed to fit over your backpack and provide an additional layer of protection against rain.
  3. Apply a Waterproof Spray: If your backpack is not inherently waterproof, you can use a waterproofing spray or solution. Follow the instructions on the product, but generally, you’ll spray it evenly over the backpack’s outer surface. This helps to repel water.
  4. Seam Sealing: Check the seams of your backpack for any gaps or areas where water might seep in. You can use seam sealer or seam tape to reinforce these areas.

For the Contents:

  1. Use Waterproof Stuff Sacks: Place your items inside waterproof stuff sacks or dry bags. These are designed to keep your belongings dry even if the backpack itself gets wet.
  2. Pack Electronics in Waterproof Cases: For items like cameras, phones, or other electronic devices, use waterproof cases or pouches. There are various options available, including sealable plastic bags designed for electronics.
  3. Double-Bag Valuables: For extra protection, double-bag important documents, electronics, or other valuables. Place them in a waterproof bag or container and then put that inside another waterproof compartment within your backpack.
  4. Line the Backpack with a Plastic Bag: Before packing, you can line the inside of your backpack with a large plastic bag. This provides an additional layer of protection against moisture. Ensure that the bag covers the entire interior.
  5. Pack Smartly: Consider the placement of items within your backpack. Try to pack the most sensitive items towards the center and closer to your back, as these areas are less exposed to rain.
  6. Emergency Poncho or Garbage Bag: In case of unexpected rain, carry a lightweight emergency poncho or a large garbage bag that you can quickly drape over your backpack.

Remember that no method is foolproof, and prolonged exposure to heavy rain may still result in some water getting through. Regularly check and reapply waterproofing treatments as needed, especially after heavy use or exposure to extreme weather conditions.

Backpacks are not waterproof for the simple reason the have a hole in the top. Just like there are no waterproof shoes (as the joke goes) because there’s a hole where your foot goes.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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