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Is a dry bag odor-proof?
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Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 13:23:55 MDT Print View

Wishful thinking, probably, but might a dry bag be odor-proof, for improved bear bagging?

(I don't really understand how most any old unpunctured ziplock bag isn't odor-proof, frankly.)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 13:29:15 MDT Print View

Take a ziploc bag and inflate it with air until it is tight. Seal it. Leave it on a table and check on it periodically.

A few will hold the air. Some will slowly leak. Some will quickly leak. It seems like some of the air gets out through the plastic pores and some gets out past the seal. So, I think they are halfway good, but not perfect. Other types of bags seem much better.

--B.G.--

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 13:40:03 MDT Print View

Hm. I guess the difference between an ALOKSAK and an OPSAK is that the former has an impermeable seal, but the latter is sealed in terms of pores on the sides... And ziplocks are permeable everywhere.

I suppose dry bags aren't impermeable at the seal.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 13:47:13 MDT Print View

Ziplocs are most definitely NOT odor proof. Whether its the pores or leaky bags or whatever, just stick any food in them and even you can smell it.

OPSAKs work really well, IMO. They could be more durable, but if you're careful you can get some long use out of them. Just check them for holes before each trip.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 14:17:32 MDT Print View

Interesting that this question just came up. Today I'm testing one of Lawson's roll top cuben bags for leakage during prolonged total immersion. I put a cotton T-shirt in the bag, rolled the bag closed, and submerged it for an hour in a bucket of water. Results: with 3 rolls of the closure, the T-shirt was a bit damp. Not soaked, but damp. With 5 rolls, the T-shirt was totally dry. Pretty waterproof, if you do enough rolls.

OK, so they're waterproof, but what about food odors? When I first received my order from Lawson last spring, I had the same question as the OP. So I took the bag that I figured would get the least use, and I put an open can of cat food inside a quart sized freezer bag (to keep the cuben bag cleaner in the event that a critter totally had its way with the food). I tied it to a pole a good distance from the patio and let the locals have at it. After 3 nights, it was evident that critters of various sizes and inclinations had messed with my bag. It had been moved all around, flipped over, and it had 3-4 2 mm size bite holes in it. However, security of the bag itself, and the food inside, was never breached. So, it looks like cuben bags (roll top type) might be water proof, but they are NOT odor proof. But they're darned tough and hard for a rodent to chew through.

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 15:10:10 MDT Print View

Thanks, Gary. That pretty much answers my question then. Ah well.

(How many rolls did you do on the cat food dry bag?)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 15:44:23 MDT Print View

Was the cat food still good to eat after three days?

--B.G.--

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 15:54:47 MDT Print View

Dehydrated cat food is my staple backpacking food. Lasts for months.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 15:57:21 MDT Print View

Sure, it lasts for months, because you can never force yourself to eat it!

--B.G.--

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/09/2010 16:24:40 MDT Print View

Aloksaks are not odor proof. opsacks are supposedly.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Cat food test on 09/09/2010 17:08:31 MDT Print View

Eric, I did the usual 3 rolls of the roll top. By the way, I did not close up the zip lock bag, as I wanted the odors to freely escape. I mainly wanted to try to keep the cat food off the cuben if I could (didn't work, as the raccoon--the likely culprit--really played soccer with the setup to try to get his dinner.

By the way, before I did my food test, I filled the bag with water and hung it for 3-4 hours. No dripping at all. Lawson makes great gear! I think that his bonding technique is the secret here. Stitched and taped bags probably would eventually leak, in time.

My next food odor test will be placing vacuum sealed goodies out. But not until I learn from the state wildlife folks what animal left me a scat souvenir a few days ago. It looks a lot like that of a garbage-fed black bear. If that's the case, I'll do no more testing at all.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Cat food test on 09/09/2010 17:16:33 MDT Print View

Get one of those trail cams set up. Then, when the raccoon or bear walks up, they will smile for the birdie.

By the way, in some states, if you get caught intentionally feeding wildlife, you can be cited.

--B.G.--

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Gas Permeability on 09/16/2010 13:14:18 MDT Print View

I don't know of any plastic that isn't gas permeable to some extent and it doesn't take much to alert a bear-sized olfactory organ. You need a metalized film bag to prevent oxygen from getting in and odors from escaping (available at some survivalist websites) and that's not the end of your problems. It's difficult to get the food in without imparting a tiny fraction to the outside of the bag. I suppose you could carefully wash the outside of the bag with a water soluble solvent followed by a water rinse. Seems like a lot of trouble though.

Edited by herman666 on 09/16/2010 13:17:03 MDT.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Re: Gas Permeability and OPSAKs on 09/16/2010 14:24:58 MDT Print View

I was asked to test drive the OPSAKS a few years ago after they had been reworked to make them more durable. They are certainly waterproof when closed correctly, and I believe them to be odor proof as well. We used them to store smoked salmon and a soup mix I make that easily permeates any zip-lock bag I’ve every used. One test was an always hungry Cairn Terrier up against the smoked salmon, which is her favorite, and which she considers to be her birthright. She never gave it a glance when it was covered with a light piece of cloth. When I followed up with the person who sent me the OPSAKS, she said that they did have bit of a dilemma about marketing the odor proof qualities of the OPSAK because of the inability of dogs to smell what was inside them. Let your imagination wander on that for a while.

We use them here without an Ursack after the bears have settled in for the winter just to cut down on weight. Never have had a problem with marmots, birds or squirrels.

But the original question here was regarding dry bags. They are not odor proof, but do offer some protection when using the OPSAK.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Is a dry bag odor-proof? on 09/16/2010 15:10:20 MDT Print View

"it looks like cuben bags (roll top type) might be water proof, but they are NOT odor proof. But they're darned tough and hard for a rodent to chew through."


FWIW, I had an alpine rodent of some sort (packrat? marmot? pika?) put a dollar coin sized hole in my 1.5oz cuben Zpacks blast food bag last week.

Edited by dandydan on 09/16/2010 15:16:59 MDT.

Steven Adeff
(TinCanFury) - F

Locale: Boston
i luv me some OPSAK on 09/21/2010 10:24:49 MDT Print View

big fan, I use them to store food, toiletries, food trash, etc. I use one as my dog's food bag. definitely odor proof to him, and definitely water tight. I believe they advertise watertight up to 60m? I know you can dunk it in water without worries when sealed properly.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: i luv me some OPSAK on 09/21/2010 10:47:41 MDT Print View

Are there any smaller versions of the Opsak? I would like to keep my first aid kid in one as it does contain some things that are scented, but it appears the smallest one they make is 9x10.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Smaller Opsaks on 09/21/2010 11:09:01 MDT Print View

Jeff, BPL sells 3 smaller sizes than the 9" x 10". Check the gear shop, go to the available stock link.

Jeff K
(jeff.k) - F

Locale: New York
Re: Smaller Opsaks on 09/21/2010 11:14:16 MDT Print View

Thanks Gary.

I see that they see some Loksaks in 4x7 and 5x4 dimensions. However, these aren't odor proof correct?

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Loksaks on 09/21/2010 11:24:05 MDT Print View

"However, these aren't odor proof correct?"

They should be somewhat odor proof (better than a ZipLok), but they're not OPSaks.