It is really important to keep the stuff in your rucksack dry. This is particularly true for multi-day excursions as once your stuff is wet, its hard to get it dry again unless you are blessed with good weather.

We’re going to go through the best ways to keep your bag dry and more importantly everything in it.

Waterproof Bag cover

A waterproof bag cover is a really cheap easy way of keeping your bag dry. A lot of bags now come with them attached on inside a pocket.

They are basically a waterproof fabric that stretches over your bag to keep it dry. They are great for small showers or rain or stopping the dirt from going on your rucksack.

The problem with these bag covers is the amount they protect your stuff. As soon as you get into heavier rain the water could start to seep in round the edges. If your bag dropped in a river or puddle then it wouldn’t protect you much.

They are cheap though, there is a half decent one on amazon for £2.30

Bag Liner

A bag liner is a waterproof dry bag that fills the inside of your bag. You can then seal this up inside your bag and everything inside that will stay dry. Bag liner

The advantage is that a dry bag is very reliable but they can be a bit expensive sometimes.

The one above with the set of dry bags is £40 from All Outdoor.

A cheaper alternative is to use bin bags. Get some tough bin bags and put them inside your rucksack. They will be waterproof as long as there is no holes from you putting stuff in it.

Bin Bags are cheap and easy to replace.

The only disadvantages are that they don’t seal very well and that they tear easily, but if you are careful then they will certainly help significantly in keeping your stuff dry.

Separate dry Bags

Using separate dry bags inside your bag is my personal favourite.

The reason is because it basically separates your bag into sections making it really easy to get stuff in and out to find things. Combined with the reliability of a dry bag to keep your stuff dry its a real winner.

Another tip is to use different coloured dry bags for different things. For instance, my first aid kit is always in my yellow dry bag. If I was in an emergency I could say to someone “Go and get the yellow dry bag from inside my rucksack”.  Also, it helps me find my socks!

This set from All outdoors is ideal:


There is a cheaper option however and that is to use bin bags or plastic carrier bags(not the ones with holes in!) works the same way as with a bag liner but just smaller.

Its cheap and definitely better than nothing.

Waterproof bag


The waterproof bag is another option. They are obviosly waterproof and they are usually very robust.

The only thing I find with them is they are often more uncomfortable to wear due to the thicker material. Plus, they usually lack pockets which can be usefull.

Waterproof bags are however great for stuffing things into and keeping stuff away from the elements. They are great for going gorge walking or canyoning as you can chuck them around easy with kit in and there is not much for them to snag on to.

This bag is only just over £25 and is what I would take into a canyon:

Dry Rucksack

Go any other ideas? Let us know in the comments.

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