Carrying water in ziplock bags?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Bluegill, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Bluegill

    Bluegill Scout Bushclass I

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    I read a book by a AT ultralight hiker who carried a canteen and a few heavy duty freezer bags. When he needed a gallon of water, he filled up the bag and carried it. Has anyone ever tried this? It would work for me very well on an upcoming trip if it actually works. Thanks.
     
  2. wrbthe3rd

    wrbthe3rd Scout

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    i wouldn't see much difference between ziplocks and a regular water bladder other then the cost and durability,i would stick to the bladder.
     
  3. VinoNoir

    VinoNoir Guide

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    Seems as though the bag would eventually open. At least that would be my main concern.. But nonethless a great idea to keep freezer bags on hand as an emergency water container.
     
  4. djwarden

    djwarden Tracker

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    get a collapseable (sp?) water jug. it will last for many trips - especially if you have to boil water and store it for use. boil a few gallons, pour it in the jug and you are set for the day.
     
  5. VinoNoir

    VinoNoir Guide

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    I actually have the Nalgene 96oz jug. Its a wonderful piece of kit..and cheap enough.
     
  6. Chert

    Chert Guide

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    I keep a 1l playtipus in my bag and several breastmilk bags. I have used both and both work wonderfully.
     
  7. MtnManJoe

    MtnManJoe Guide

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    I have often used large ZipLock baggies for storing water in camp - especially if the water is a little murky/silty (let it hang from a limb overnight, and all the silt will settle into the lower corner, and you can gently pour out the clean(er) water.
    Not sure they would be ideal for 'carrying' - without at least DuckTaping the top.
     
  8. Gryphonblade

    Gryphonblade Guide

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    This is one of those "yeah, ya could, but why would you?" questions to me. A few years back, yeah, ziplocks were about as good as it got, but as others have said, hydration bladders, Platypus bottles and the long-serving cheapo collapsable water containers from the local walmart/kmart/yuckmart rv section are all a lot more robust and durable, don't weigh much more and don't cost much either.
     
  9. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    my thoughts exactly... this is why i scaled back from ultralight to whatever it is i am now... that's kinda crazy-light...

    a 1 gallon platypus or camelback bladder weighs just a couple ounces, if that. there's one other 'name brand' i'm forgetting... in any case, they're stronger, practically as light, and WAY more trustworthy than a ziplock. i wouldn't do it myself.
     
  10. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    You know ziplocks are cheap, I bet you already have some at home?? Why not try it out? Fill a couple up put them in you pack and go for walk.


    Then after they open in you pack and get all your gear wet, and you. Go out and spend the money and buy some good quailty bladders, nalgene, platypus, msr are a couple.
     
  11. draco

    draco Guide Bushclass I

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    They work great if you don't mind everything getting soaking wet when they come open. Ziploc may work in an emergency water situation but I figure my 3 liter bladder at 10 oz is worth the weight. The hose and everything make it much more convenient than a ziploc. If you want to save weight there are much better ways IMO.
     
  12. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    Sounds like an ultra light type idea. It might work in an area where water can be readily found if you need to, after the thing bursts on you.

    Out here in Texas, if you are afoot about 8 months of the year, you are likely a _long_ way from the next decent water source. What you are carrying may well be a matter of life and death. I simply would not even consider this in my area of operations. Pointless, too, as the hydration bladders are light enough while still being reasonably strong and durable.
     
  13. goobie

    goobie Scout

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    Why would you when there are so many RELIABLE options for carrying a life saving resource?!? I think the ultralight craze is stupid, carry water in a container that won't leak-ounces be damned!!
     
  14. briarbrow

    briarbrow Banned Member Banned

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    ... just keep it sealed in another ziplock? probably not
     
  15. Bigbangtheory

    Bigbangtheory Scout

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    Thank you.

    Your fighting a losing battle if you think you can talk sense into a "diehard ultralighter". I'm not saying that the op is... But they are out there and you won't win.

    Don't get me wrong, I'll shave weight where I can see fit, but I'd never jeopardize mine or my families safety in the name of a few ounces.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  16. justin_baker

    justin_baker Bushmaster

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    I have heard about an ultralight guy using a thin plastic bag, but for pouring water out of his monster can pot/water bottle so he can cook with half of the water and save the rest for later.
     
  17. econnofoot

    econnofoot Guest

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    There are plenty of decent bladders out there on the cheap, that I've not had any issue with and are far cheaper. I've seen oven bags used to haul water, I do the breastmilk bag thing for PSK use, and they work great. If I wer to use ziplocks I'd get the ones that have the expandable bottom you can make stand up. I like these when I freeze sauces and soups....they are bit more money though.

    I got a buddy all he uses is 1l Aquafina bottles and the wide mouth soda bottles they used to sell all over. I don't see them anymore, but he has a ton of them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2012
  18. AlteredMentalStatus

    AlteredMentalStatus Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    I've used zip locks when I was on the AT, some times to catch water out of crevasses ....i'd fill up the ziplock and then filter out of the bag....
     
  19. MedicineMan68

    MedicineMan68 Scout

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    Brother, im with everybody else. The Platypus/ nalgene bottle/bag things rock . admittedly, o carry a few gallon bags as well for gathering water in a pinch, tinder, and critters and whatnot...not a big fan of thumper blood everywhere. But get yourself some platypus' bud. They're pretty frickin awesome and probably wont get ya wet.
     
  20. smokewalker

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    My only concern other than what G1 stated would be getting a puncture. I use Zipper bags to hold stuff in my pack to make them a little tougher I cover them in packing tape. Maybe to hold extra water in an emergency & reinforced like I described but I wouldn't want to bet by life on it as my only source.
     
  21. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    A standard one, two or even three liter soda bottle , with a paracord loop tied to the neck, makes an ideal light weight water bottle , and three liters is bout a one day supply if not in high summer. These are designed to hold liquids, strong and tough enough for one time use, and easily replaceable.
    Not to mention, free for the rinsing out.
     
  22. IR192

    IR192 Tracker

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    I'll always have some of the large freezer rated (sturdier) bags with me. They have many more use options than water carry alone. Their main function in my packs are to keep my tools and TP dry. As others have mentioned, the bags make great water collection devices , and are also robust enough for holding both pre and post purified H20 when your only boiling pot is a canteen cup. That being said, I would prefer not to try and travel with them filled...
     
  23. THE PUNISHER

    THE PUNISHER Scout

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    might work but stainless steel bottles are cheap here.
    $2.99 for big ones i use them,i do not like plastic.
     
  24. huntinguy

    huntinguy Scout

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    I have tried it a time or two (slow learner here). Everything tends to get wet when I do it.... I have tried double bags... I guess I am not very lucky.

    I do carry several in my emergency kit though. Better than nothing if you need to carry water. And, they do have lots of other uses... (Ziploc bag and a sponge for one idea...)

    I tried it because the bladders for some reason make me ill... I guess something is leaching that my gut doesn't like.

    I now have enough Canteens, Stainless water bottles and Nalgene bottles to start my own store...
     
  25. pierre girard

    pierre girard Scout

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    I don't believe a zip-lock would last. If you need water - you need something reliable to carry it in.
     
  26. Jplacquay

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    Water is more precious than most people give it credit for... I don't trust my water in ANYTHING that isn't durable enough for my body weight to land on in a fall.


    JP
     
  27. darodalaf

    darodalaf Guide

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    For what it's worth, ziplocks can catch water that would be otherwise difficult to gather. I have filled a 1 gallon ziplock from water running over the surface of a rock from the leaves on the 'upstream' side of the rock to the leaves below. The deepest part of the flow was about an eighth of an inch deep and I was able to fill it in a couple of minutes.

    Impossible to do with the openings on my water bottle which are thicker than the flow. I usually have 1 or 2 ziplocks to spare for various purposes. when they work for water, why not.

    That said, after filling the bags, I immediately transferred the water to my flasks and kept about a pint in the bag, sealed, tied off and suspended on the outside of my pack.
     
  28. Bluegill

    Bluegill Scout Bushclass I

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    Thanks folks for all the feedback. Based on your thoughts, I bought a bladder at Walmart today that looks pretty sturdy. I will still experiment with the bag idea for emergencies and getting water out of hard to reach places.
     
  29. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Scout

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    I carry 1 liter zip-locks in my emergency kits - along with water purification tablets. One tablet purifies 1 quart. Simple and takes almost no space.

    Do I plan to hike 25 miles with water in a plastic bag? No.
     
  30. Raul

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    If you want cheap, buy a five liter box of wine. Save the bladder.
     
  31. TaigaTreader

    TaigaTreader Scout

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    They make ziploc-sized bags that have screw top water nozzles on them, that are indeed water tight. Most of the cool survival trinket places stock them in 500 and 1000ml for around 3 dollars. Worth the money? Lord yes.

    Nalgene makes these: the wide-mouthed collapsible water bladder. Bit more pricy but would work with any standard water pump.
    http://bepreparedtosurvive.com/WaterContainers.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  32. econnofoot

    econnofoot Guest

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    Hard to refill a 'space-bag'(what we called them), I've tried.
     
  33. Raul

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    The valve pops off. Fill it and pop it back in.
     
  34. ninja-elbow

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    I've done it, don't prefer it.

    Fill your bag, wrap your hanky/shemaug/triagular bandage thingy around it and tie it off to make a handle after you zip that bag shut. I use ziplocks reinforced with duct tape in my kits to organize/protect some of my small stuff. Was handy at the time.
     
  35. econnofoot

    econnofoot Guest

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    I know that, but generally it doesn't re seat properly.
     
  36. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have not used zip lock bags. Seems to flimsy and, as other has mentioned, are prone to open up during transport.

    I have however used thin stuff sacks for hauling and storing water (not in a ruck though, in my canoe).
    I also "made" a collapsible canteen from a small stuff bag, the top of a plastic soda bottle and some tape.
    Think I got the idea from a swedish site.

    [​IMG]

    Just cut of the spout section of the soda bottle, gather the sacks material around the little "cone" and use tape to seal the whole thing up.
     
  37. billdawg

    billdawg Scout

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    I have the MSR one. I can't remember what they call it. It is light, durable, and you can hang it or lash it to a pack. It's so tough, I've buried them in snow overnight to keep from freezing. Can be a little pricey, but worth it.
     
  38. penetrator

    penetrator Scout

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    Ziplocks are too weak, but two or three (for safety) freezer bags inside each other and tied closed with paracord and a slipped double constrictor knot can be used when you have to carry additional water in an emergency. They will hold tight and easily last a day or two and possibly more. The knot is the essential part.
     
  39. Rebel Moon

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    Anybody know if Coca Cola concentrate fountain bags are robust enough to re-purpose? It's been a while since I worked in food service. I can't remember how thick the bladder walls are.
     
  40. gdpolk

    gdpolk Guide

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    I do that all the time when backpacking. I will use a gallon size, freezer rated ziplock to wash my dishes in then drown my fire right before going to bed. When carrying the water from the stream I'll slip the ziplock into my sleeping bag stuff sac or a large stuff sac just for added protection from it opening.

    Also if the water source has a lot of silt that will quickly clog a filter you can store water in the bag to let the silt settle out then use your filter to pump from the ziplock.
     
  41. mgeiger

    mgeiger Tracker

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    You can scavenge the bag from within the "box of Joe" coffee jugs they sell at donut shops. Usually a few around the office after a meeting.
     
  42. jaybird14

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    I have a hard enough time keeping my good gear from swamping me :0 If I had to use a ziplock i would but i like buying gear way tooooo much.

    Jay
     
  43. GurNewbie

    GurNewbie Scout Bushclass I

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    I have used ziplocks on occassion and as some of you have mentioned I reinforce them with the greatest invintion of all time, Duct Tape. Great stuff.
     
  44. 1Olddog

    1Olddog Scout

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    I also use the boxed wine bladder that Raul mentioned but in the 3 liter size. Out of the box it will hold closer to 4 liters. I happened to have a mesh bag the same size as the bladder and cut a hole for the spout. I've probably removed and replaced the spout hundreds of times with no problems with leakage. Cut one open once and there were 2 layers possibly 3 and it's fairly tough.It does take some flushing to get the wine taste out but baking soda will help with that.
     
  45. Bushcraft Bill

    Bushcraft Bill Scout

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    I use ziplock bags when I sterilize my water with iodine... they just have to many uses not to have at least one or two on you they weigh nothing try and carry water in your pocket or sock it will change your mind about em LOL......
     
  46. kgd

    kgd Dr. Fishguts Bushclass I

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    I do have (and sometimes carry) a water bladder but I always have a rigid water bottle with me. They are easier to drink from, measure from and pour out of. The water bladders are designed to hold larger volumes and sip from the bite valve on the fly. They are great for that purpose, but I find a bit too specialized in that very purpose.

    I also hate that when I'm sipping and walking that I don't know how much water I drank. You can look at this in two ways, one that its probably healthier to sip & walk because I am really keeping myself properly hydrated or two I can easily blow through more water than I anticipated. I guess it all depends on how easy water can be re-had on site.

    Excluding the expensive Nalgene/guyot's that everybody goes gaga crazy for, I really like the knock-off stainless steel ones that are much lighter. Unfortunately, the caps tend to leak from the ones I bought so I replaced them with a standard nalgene lid and that fixes the problem. The stainless steel water bottle does everything the plastic one does with the addition that you can boil water in it making it very functional.

    On the difficult to fill aspect - with a water bottle, I find if I can't immerse the bottle, I use the lid to scoop water into the bottle. The lid of a zebra pot also works well for that purpose. The little bit of the lip on the lid actually helps you exclude debris and leaves and such while filling. This of course pertains to wide-mouth bottles with their larger lids.
     
  47. TMcarthur

    TMcarthur Scout

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    Ziploc bags are terrible as primary water carriers. Fill one with water, close and squish then see how much pressure it takes for it to fail. Now imagine it in your pack, maybe being poked by various and sundry items. You slip and fall backwards on your pack. Splooosh!

    I don't like water carriers I have to worry about treating carefully. As a temporary means of holding water for mixing purposes or carrying for short distances they are ok.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  48. Mr.Black

    Mr.Black WILDEROXEN Tracker Pack #1 Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    I use kit for task platypus and MSR dromedary standard canteens I gave up on hydration bladders after seeing so many fail there was a reason students couldnt use them as well as hair brain ultra pixie ideas fail after fail with about anything but proper water containers and Im not gonna backtrack now and retest none of it lol
     
  49. zman1967

    zman1967 Scout

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    For work we used to get a box of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. We were not allowed to have coffee pots at the location we were at and we were on a business trip for about 12 weeks there. Anyhow the coffee comes in (I think) a 1 gallon plastic bag that has is pretty thick and coated with a silverish outer layer to help keep the coffe warm with a 1.5" or so mouth and screw top lid. I took a couple of them out of the boxes and cleaned them out good. They seem to hold up pretty good and I keep one in my bag. I
     
  50. DaveyBoy

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    Personally, I would use a stronger alternative. That's a disappointment waiting to happen. Sure you may shave off 3 ounces of weight from your pack, but when the ziplock breaks, you now have wet gear that will not only be cold, it will be water logged and heavy. There are some light weight collapsable water bags on the market at many backpacking stores.
     

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