Weather can be unpredictable at times and you wouldn’t want to get your gear drenched when you’re in the wilderness. Here are tips for waterproofing gear that may end up saving your life.
Waterproofing Gear for Survival Tips
We have had some form of rainfall for about the last three days. At times, the rain was so heavy that it makes you a little uncomfortable!
When you pack a bag full of hundreds of dollars of gear, it’s hard not to worry yourself over what might happen if that bag and its gear where to get all wrecked by serious rain.
How do you keep that tinder in your pack? If you are soaked and cold, your tinder could be the difference between life and death.
You stand to lose a lot if you have a soaked backpack filled with soaked gear. You invite things like degeneration, rust, and even long term damaged to the bag itself.
Waterproofing your gear is not as hard as you might think. In fact, there are some things you can buy to make your bag waterproof at the snap of a finger. No matter how you slice it, you are going to need to keep some items dry.
Here are some items you should never get wet:
- Communications Electronics
- Fire Tinder
- Change of Clothes or Layers in a Bag
- Sleep System
- Dry foods
1. Beeswax and Linseed Oil
One of the best ways to waterproof your gear is to use a mixture of beeswax and linseed oil. I really like this option because you could position yourself to waterproof items using ingredients that you both have on hand and can even produce yourself!
A small beehive can produce a lot of beeswax. Hopefully, you already have linseed oil on hand to coat the wood handles of your tools.
2. Laundry Detergent and Alum
This DIY process works great and requires just two ingredients and a basin large enough to dip and soak the entirety of the gear or garment you are trying to make waterproof.
First, you are going to take 2 gallons of hot water and stir in 1lb of laundry detergent. Soak your gear in this mix completely and then dry thoroughly.
Next, you are going to mix 1/2lb of Alum and 2 gallons of hot water. Soak the gear or garment for another 2 hours, at a minimum. Finally, you are going to hang and dry that garment or gear and once it is dry you are going to have your first piece of DIY waterproof gear.
3. Waterproof Sprays
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If you didn’t do well in chemistry and bristle at the idea of mixing together your own waterproof concoction, well, you can always buy an off the shelf waterproof spray. Something like Kiwi Camp Heavy-Duty water-repellent spray is a mixture that can be sprayed right onto the gear you want to make waterproof.
These sprays are great because they are easy to use, but they are also easy to carry so the bottle can be slid down into that bag you are carrying.
4. Dry Bags
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If you aren’t into the chemical concoctions used to waterproof, well, you should look into dry bags. These are bags that can go right over the top of your backpack. They are basically raincoats for your backpack.
They can be stored inside the backpack until the rain comes and you need to keep your gear dry. They’re pretty affordable and highly effective.
If you don’t have the money to spend on a dry bag, you could start carrying hi mil trash bags in your pack that can be used to cover your bag in torrential downpours.
5. Don’t Forget Your Maps!
Paper maps are essential to your survival. If you are in the woods or traversing from one location to the next on foot, you must have paper maps. Forget about the cell phone as they can become compromised.
Use the same waterproofing sprays or waxes mentioned above to coat all sides of your map. Be very thorough and assure you have covered all surfaces. Then simply hang your map up outside and allow it to dry in the sun for a full day.
Protect Your Survival Gear at All Times
Having the gear is one thing but protecting your gear through waterproofing will assure you have the things you need for the long haul. Waterproofing gear is about extending the life of that piece of equipment or that piece of clothing.
This is not just an important skill for the survivalist or prepper. The average outdoorsmen are going to want to employ waterproofing to gear, too! Waterproofing your tents and tarps is a simple but effective means of assuring you stay dry on your next adventure.
Also, never forget, you are also creating a new skill set. This means you have a new skill to barter. If you have the ingredients and the knowledge to make a piece of clothing last longer and stay waterproof, people will be willing to pay you to do the same thing for their favorite backpack.
Now grab your bugout bag, empty it out, and get that thing waterproofed this weekend!
Do you have other tips on how to waterproof gear? Let us know in the comments section!