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Edgewood
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Edgewood
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 1:09 pm 
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What do you use?
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Navy salad
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 2:46 pm 
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I used to use large garbage bags (lighter than trash compacter bags, even if not as durable) and would just replace when needed. But I recently switched to a thin silnylon packcover -- more durable but still very light weight. When I hiked Section J last summer (during damp weather, at least for part of it), this was the most common choice.
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 3:02 pm 
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You can get tough cuben pack covers that weigh 1.5 oz but they cost between $45-$50. Or you can make your own from an easy kit from Dutch the hammock guy. That will cost you $8 and it will weigh 2.6 oz. The kit includes all the materials and a set of instructions.
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RumiDude
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 7:06 pm 
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I use a trash compactor liner. It is very sturdy and I don't have to replace it often. The bonus is that it is white which makes finding stuff inside easier.

I have found that pack covers snag on things and prevents strapping things like an ice axe to the outside of the bag. Additionally, if you are in sustained rain the pack gets wet and thus the stuff inside does as well.

Rumi

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 7:14 pm 
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Neither; like Rumi, I use something for the inside. Garbage bags are too thin and annoying when your wet arm is trying to rummage around for something. I prefer the liners.

But more often than not, since I'm a lazy backpacker, I do neither, and just much deal with discomfort on a rainy trip. I admit when I do remember and take the time to use a liner, life is much easier on the wet trail.
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HitTheTrail
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 7:34 pm 
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I have several older model Osprey pack covers and several cuben pack covers. I no longer use any of them since I have gone to using cuben packs that are in and of themselves waterproof.
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DIYSteve
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PostSun Jan 15, 2017 8:26 pm 
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HitTheTrail wrote:
cuben packs that are in and of themselves waterproof

Cuben fiber media is waterproof but what about the seams?

Rain cover for the win. Rain cover keeps the pack dry. Dry = lighter. I make mine DIY from silnylon. Easy peasy DIY sewing project. They weigh a few ounces and double as a bag at camp.
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 6:18 am 
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DIYSteve wrote:
Cuben fiber media is waterproof but what about the seams?

Well duh! The cottage folks don't charge between $300 - $500 for a cuben pack and then not seal the seams. I think they learned that from Black Diamond who used to alienate their customers by changing up to $700 for a mountaineering tent that was not sealed.

Cuben packs are sealed with cuben tape and sometimes also seam sealer. When I make cuben stuff I put cuben tape on both sides of the seam (sometimes even after I have sealed the seam with liquid sealer). That is a lot of overkill but one of my main hobbies is messing around with gear. That activity is cheaper than hanging out in a bar.
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Token Civilian
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 8:46 am 
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Neither.

Covers fail due to the fact that water runs down your back, soaking the pack that way.  Trash bags, etc are secondary, for down items only, and only if its known it will be super wet.

Poncho for the win.
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texasbb
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texasbb
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 8:55 am 
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I'm a cover guy.  Mine's silnylon.  I'm in the less wet is less weight camp, and the dedicated cover is a lot faster/easier to deploy when the raindrops start suddenly.  I also like to cover the pack at night when it's outside the tent, and it's a lot easier with a nice, fitted cover.  One of my luxuries.
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DIYSteve
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 9:35 am 
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Token Civilian wrote:
Covers fail due to the fact that water runs down your back, soaking the pack that way.

That's never happened to me in 100s of days hiking in the rain. FTR, my packs are custom made for me and fit snugly against my back, which IMO is essential for off-trail hiking, scrambling, climbing and ski touring. I have seen plenty o' gaps between hikers and mass-produced packs and associated flopping.

Token Civilian wrote:
Poncho for the win.

Unless it's windy
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Edgewood
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 10:29 am 
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One of my concerns with a pack cover is its use in windy situations. Unlike Big Steve my sewing skills are limited to replacing a button. Maybe just spraying the McHale pack with water proofer and using waterproof bags inside the pack would work well.
Intended use is Iceland next fall.
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Grannyhiker
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 10:47 am 
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Pack covers--in addition to letting heavy rain run down your back and, of course, soak into the pack (yes, I've had that happen), they will not keep the contents dry should you slip during a dicey stream ford (as happened to me).

I don't use a pack liner, either.  Plastic pack liners are slippery!    Repeatedly shoving small items down into the pack, only to have them pop right back out at me, results in a lot of bad language and is not a good way to start the day!  My packing-up time in the mornings is a good 10 minutes shorter since I gave up the plastic liner.  I also found it impossible to find unscented trash compactor bags.  I don't know if perfumed plastic is attractive to bears, but it is nauseating to me!   

Instead, I bought two lightweight dry bags.  One is for my sleeping bag, base layer (in which I sleep) and my down booties.  The other is for my other insulating clothing and spare socks.  Anything else that can't get wet (food, first aid, TP) is in plastic anyway.  My stream fording adventure mentioned above took place with this setup.  I did have to empty a couple inches of water out of the bottom of my pack, but the critical contents stayed dry! 

The weight difference (pack liner vs. two lightweight dry bags) is the same.  I test the waterproofness of the dry bags (by putting water in them) at the start of each season.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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Riverside Laker
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 11:22 am 
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In bad weather, I use both.
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silence
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silence
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PostMon Jan 16, 2017 11:28 am 
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Super cheap and super ez to make ... pick your fabric, plus some elastic cord

http://www.seattlefabrics.com/products.html

Never had ANY issues with ours.

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