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DRY BAGS

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I am about to go on my first canoe. I want to take my camera but when I'm not using it keep it in something that won't get wet or sink in case the canoe tips over so I am looking at dry bags. Do all of them float or only ones that specifically say they do?
 
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If there is enough air in a bag or case to displace a weight of water greater than that of your camera then the bag and camera will float. In most cases the air contained within a dry bag or dry box will be enough to float the contents.

For a camera I would suggest a Pelican box instead of a dry bag. They come in a wide variety of sizes and the camera can easily be padded with foam inside the box. Next best would be a small Watershed dry duffel, perhaps the Ocoee model. If you want to go cheaper with a dry bag I would suggest double bagging the camera with one dry bag inside a larger one.
 
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Never count on a dry bag floating. Most will keep water out if PROPERLY secured for thirty seconds or so. Then water will seep in. Pelican cases ( expensive an investment) are waterproof. And will float. Yes if the camera in the bag weighs more than the water it displaces it will sink.
 
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Agreed on hard side cases for sensitive electronics. You can find discounted Pelican cases through military surplus sites and stores.
 
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I have an idea, I have a hard case with foam seals, What if I put that inside a drybag and then use epoxy glue to fastern two pool noodles onto the underside dry bag?
 
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I’m shopping for dry bags at the moment and just read a “best of” article in Paddler magazine, on line. One never knows what bias the authors may have, especially in an organization supported by advertising, but I noted they wrote about their #6 choice, a Watershed, it’s the dry bag of choice among their staff photographers for hauling their cameras. Seems like it should have been a #1 pick!
 
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I’m shopping for dry bags at the moment and just read a “best of” article in Paddler magazine, on line. One never knows what bias the authors may have, especially in an organization supported by advertising, but I noted they wrote about their #6 choice, a Watershed, it’s the dry bag of choice among their staff photographers for hauling their cameras. Seems like it should have been a #1 pick!
If you look at those "best of" lists they are different every year even when published by the same magazine. I think they like to spread the kudos around as widely as possible and no doubt receive some type of reward for doing so. If you really needed a soft sided dry bag/duffel for a camera the Watershed Ocoee would be my choice. But a dry box like a Pelican makes more sense and wilderness photographers who need to protect their gear from the elements have used Pelican boxes for many decades. A Pelican box is quicker to open, quicker to close, and with the "pick and pluck" foam that most of them now come with, a customized foam cushion can quickly be created to protect your camera. Of course, a camera could be paddled within a Watershed Ocoee but that would add another step getting in the way of rapid access.
 
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A Pelican box is quicker to open, quicker to close, and with the "pick and pluck" foam that most of them now come with, I customized foam cushion can quickly be created to protect your camera. Of course, a camera could be paddled within a Watershed Ocoee but that would add another step getting in the way of rapid access.
Agree with Pete on the lists. At least they provide some information. And I think he makes a really good point about speed to access. A system that provides perfect protection is useless if you can't get to the camera quickly when the photo you want pops up in front of you.
 
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And I think he makes a really good point about speed to access. A system that provides perfect protection is useless if you can't get to the camera quickly when the photo you want pops up in front of you

Speed of access is an issue, especially for some fleeting photo op. For wildlife photos so is noise of access.

For years I carried an old 35mm SLR. Too cheap to buy a large Pelican box even then, I used a military surplus ammo box, padding out the inside.

On the plus side it was watertight. On the minus side it was heavy, clunky and noisy as hell to open. Any critter I wanted to photograph needed to be deaf.

I switched to using a Sealline 10L Baja dry bag. For some cushion I padded the dry bag on the inside and put a “stove pipe” of sleeping pad foam around the inside. On the plus side the foam stove pipe helped keep the bag innards held open, easier to extract and reinsert the camera. It was a lot less noisy than the ammo box, and very buoyant (and bright yellow).

On the minus side, like any roll-top dry bag is was not 100% waterproof in submersion. While it took an occasional bobbing in the current swim it was never pinned under water, and the camera stayed dry.

Eventually, for my snaphot quality photos I bought a waterproof pocket digital, which had the waterproof and instant pocket access advantages.

The Baja 10 bag with stove pipe foam later became the first of a couple insulated dry bag coolers.

https://www.canoetripping.net/threads/diy-soft-side-cooler.47898/

Even with a quiet, easy-access padded dry bag the fleeting photo opportunities were largely wasted. In the time to took to grab the bag, open it and extract the camera the critter in question had too often vanished.

Or simply taking photos of paddling friends, “Oh that’s perfect, silhouetted against the setting sun, perfectly framed, just let me grab the camera”; by the time I had set down my paddle and opened the bag my now free-range canoe inevitably had turned 90 degrees.

Great, now I need to put the camera down or around my neck, grab the paddle and make a corrective stroke. Once again too often the perfect fleeting moment had passed.
 
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As Chip mentions above, beware of the majority of articles regarding, "best of...."

I have been responsible of millions of advertising dollars spent in print, digital, and television mediums and the "editors choice" has a direct correlation between your annual spend and your positioning.

If you don't happen to be a current advertiser and the staff is short on content for the topic, you can receive phone calls offering you a position for a "special intro rate" to participate in their newest "best of" article. This followed by a mind numbing barrage of facts explaining how the people at the dentist office reading the mag in the waiting room really are your target market. You just didn't know that yet.
 
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Yes I am very skeptical of many articles. Speaking to people with first hand experience with products has always worked the best for me.
 
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The Best Dry Bags article reminded me of this savvy piece of advice and research; The Ten Best Lake and River Canoes:

https://www.tripsavvy.com/best-canoes-4160275

“Top Ten” choices include a Dick’s Sporting Goods Emotion Wasatch, a Pelican 15.5, Sevylor Madison, Sun Dolphin Scout and Lifetime Kodiak.

Even the text is comically ill-informed

Canoes sometimes get criticized for their seemingly willful ability to tip. But today’s canoes have flipped that script. Inspired by classic designs, newer models rely on a host of features like modestly curved hulls, wider and flatter bottoms, and sharper bows to make paddling a breeze in everything from a lazy river to a whitewater-choked river. Whether you’re looking for a quick jaunt or a week-long expedition, we’ve got you covered. These are the best canoes.”

So yeah, I wouldn’t put a lot of faith in a mass market “Top Ten” list of any paddlesport equipment.
 
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