Wet Gear

"Dear Ralph" January 2, 2009 1
Dear Ralph: How do you propose keeping gear from getting wet? I’m referring to the stuff we pack into the trunk of a sled,...

Dear Ralph:
How do you propose keeping gear from getting wet? I’m referring to the stuff we pack into the trunk of a sled, or into a gear bag on the back of the sled. It seems like we always have our stuff getting soaked by the end of the day. You seem to know it all, so please share some of your wisdom with us!

Jarred H.

We have noticed a huge difference in how some sleds get gear wet, and how some seem to do a better job at keeping it all dry. Some of this depends on the snow skirts and how the snow is channeled around the back of the sled, and some of it has to do with the sealing (if there is any) of the storage compartment. I know some riders have resorted to creating their own seals to better seal the storage trunk, using things like rubber weather striping or foam strips to help reduce the water ingestion.
Since we pretty much ride a different sled most every day of the winter, we tend to resort to good old Ziplock bags, and prefer the thicker freezer ones to prevent punctures. Especially for our spare gloves, we put them in the bag and squeeze out all of the air so they are flatter and take up less space. Quarts and gallons are a staple in our tow rig and ride locations.
For larger amounts of gear, we simply grab a plastic garbage sack, usually a kitchen or bathroom size, and put out stuff in there to keep it dry. Crude, but effective. Pay attention to the mill thickness of the bags when you buy them, thicker ones cost more but can last for ride after ride, where the thin ones will puncture just by looking at them (that’s a joke). It’s not like anyone is making custom-fit Gore-Tex gear bags that fit nicely into each sled’s storage compartment (and why not?). Nylon bags get saturated after time, and unless the zipper is a good sealing version the moisture goes right through the zippers as well. One of the best ones is the big black trunk that fits on top of the tunnel on the Ski-Doo XP models, we found it to be water resistant and a team favorite because it was so huge and easy to get stuff into and out of. They call it a “MX Z Tunnel Bag Semi-Rigid” at your Ski-Doo dealer, ask for part number #280 000 298 (don’t even bother with the “soft” bag #280 000 339). Every XP should have either this bag or a gas tank (not for you, for your buddy that runs out of gas before you do)!

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