Thursday, August 09, 2012

Useful Object of the Day: Tyvek Mailers

A few days ago, I came across this wilderness kit description and found the use of a Tyvek bag to be a novel one:

You might be wondering about the FedEx Tyvek envelop. I’ve stuffed these with leaves before to make an improvised pillow, used them to collect kindling for a fire, and even carried almost a gallon of water in one once, but perhaps the most useful role is as a waterproof “mouse tarp” to sit on.

One of the more tiring aspects of being in the wilderness for me has always been standing around instead of sitting down when I stop to rest, due to everything being damp or filthy. Although it obviously wouldn’t be the end of the world to get your butt wet by sitting down on a damp log, for me it’s more a matter of dying a death from a thousand cuts.

This got me thinking that it was probably time to add Tyvek mailing bags to my list of useful objects list.

I don't have a good "45 uses for Tyvek bags" list to link to, but here are some of my favorite uses:

  • As an easy to obtain dry bag while traveling. While we were traveling in Alaska, I realized with the wet conditions I should have brought along a dry bag for my camera. I stopped in at a local Post Office and picked one up. Sure, it's not as ideal as a real dry bag, but sure did the trick in a pinch.
  • As a giant lunch bag. I love how the video shows how you can create the bag with folds and a single piece of tape. Impressive!
  • As a stuff sack. You can go the fancy route that ITS Tactical demonstrates, or you can go the super simple route that I use: trim the bag down to a manageable size, drop items in, roll up the bag, seal with a binder clip. I've been using this approach to hold my EDC EDC when I need to put it in a large bag (like a gym bag). See:

  • As a Bike bag
  • To build a kite!
  • To create a wallet from. This is perhaps the oldest and best known Tyvek craft projects, and youtube has plenty of examples for you to watch.


  1. I keep a 12v tire inflator in a Tyvek envelope in the trunk of my car. I used to use a gallon zipper bag, but the zipper would always end up opening.

    The Tyvek doesn't care that the air compressor device is rather heavy, has multiple cords with different degrees of pointyness, has an awkward shape and uneven weight distribution, etc.

  2. Nice tip, thanks Dave!

  3. Really like your blog content the way you put up the things…I’ve read the topic with great interest and definitely will stick your blog routinely for other great posts.
    Garden Furniture