Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Never Underestimate the Value of a Simple Plastic Bag

I thoroughly enjoyed Lady on a Rock's 7 day Hayduke backpacking trip. While she was exhausted and frozen, I got to take in the views and narrative of her adventure. Not a bad deal. In her last post of the trip she recapped gear that worked well, and I especially appreciated these two items:

  • (2) – gallon sized ziplock bags worked perfectly to keep sand from packing into my socks. I slipped the bags over my socks before putting my shoes on.
  • Rain skirt made from a Costco trash compactor bag. I cut the bottom and added a mini-cord lock to the drawstring to cinch it around my waist. Loved walking in it and it doubled for a clothing piece when I did my laundry in Hanksville.

What can I say, I'm fan of improvisation. A few days later, I was on a run where I captured this rainbow:

I only captured that photo because I happened to have my cell phone on me. While I usually run with my cell phone, that particular day I nearly left it in the car. I was running in the middle of torrential rain storm and didn't want to chance water damage. My solution: wrap the phone in a simple, disposable, grocery store produce bag. We always keep a few of these bags in the glove box of car to deal with a potential upchuck incident while driving. The phone + bag solution was perfect: it totally sealed the phone during the wet stage of the run, and at kept it at the ready when things finally cleared.

The lesson: I'm all for high tech gear and specialized fabrics, but never underestimate the value of a simple plastic bag.

Here's a tip I picked up from MeZillch on YouTube: next time your at the supermarket, grab an extra produce bag (or two). Carefully wrap the bag around a credit card. Remove said credit card and gently slide the bag into your wallet. Bam! You've now got a multi-purpose item at the ready.

To get even fancier, pick up Oven Bags, which are not only more durable than regular plastic bags, but can also be used to boil water in.


  1. ziplock bags work great for weather protection on devices. I've had great success with a standard quart bag on my phones at waterparks and spray yards... the nice part is that ziplock bags are designed to be water tight and they still pass Capacitive touches to the device without having to remove them from the sealed compartment... I learned the trick of the ziplock from a bicyclist I randomly met and a buddy of mine who does ocean kayaking.

  2. Nick - I hadn't thought about the Capacitive Touch aspect - nice catch.

  3. Jim & I regularly use snack bag sized bags for phone weatherproofing for skiing and cycling. Those fit our phones perfectly and you can still use them through the plastic.