Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Let's Talk Duffel Bags!

If you are sending someone to summer camp (or going yourself!) the chances are that you’re packing all of the campers-list mandated ‘stuff’ into a duffel (Unless you are going to one of those few camps that require trunks).
The questions we’re most often asked are 1. ‘How many duffels should I send to camp?’ followed closely by 2.‘How big should they be?’

1.Campers need Two Duffels.* Almost always, the answer is that all of your camp-bound gear, clothes, bedding and personal effects should fit into two duffel bags. Most camps will not allow more, and would like you to send less if you can manage it. Space on busses, trucks and in cabins is always tight.

2. If you are sending a first-time young camper, or just packing for a 1 week (or less) trip you likely can get away with our Medium sized duffel. (38”X18”X18”).  Generally, campers going for longer need to pack into our Large duffels (40”x20”x20”). In extreme cases (pronounced ‘too much stuff’) you’ll want to send one Large and one Extra-Large (42” x 22” x 22”) duffel. The majority of campers we outfit go with two Large duffels,*

*Both answers do have a caveat: Check with your particular camp. The rules do vary from place to place

A question we are sometimes asked is:  Are the duffels waterproof?  Yes, and no.   All of our duffel bags are built with fabrics that are lined or coated with a waterproof layer.  This is there for strength, durability, and protection against a rainy pick-up or drop-off day, when they might have to sit outside for a little while.   The stitching and zippers are not waterproof, so the duffel is not going to help keep your stuff dry if you dump it overboard into the lake. 

Howabout wheeled bags?’ is another occasional question. No. There’s not a lot of concrete or asphalt to roll over at most of the camps I’m familiar with.  Little luggage wheels do play well with grass, gravel and dirt
A question we are never asked (and wish we were) is: How do I carry my Duffel?
Let’s start with how you PACK your duffel.   Specifically, the Extra-Large one.  It is built so big that if you actually loaded it up with everything it could physically hold, you run the risk of injuring yourself if you pick it up, or ripping the handles right off the bag.

If you must take this size, you’re going to want to pack all of the bulky, light items in your list into this size: foam pads, comforters, pillows. If you can’t lift it (properly) yourself it’s too full! And remember - who has to haul it around once it gets to camp - is it the Camper? Will they lift it properly?
Our Duffels are designed to be lifted by one person using both the center straps, held together. Don’t grab a heavy bag by one strap, or split the straps between two people – You’ll put a lot of stress on stitching that’s not designed to handle it.  Pulling all the weight of a loaded duffel from one strap is a great way to wreck a duffel. If you need two people to carry the bag, use the end handles – and be sure not to just drag it across the ground!
A last piece of advice on duffel bags: When you are stuffing it full before camp, think about who will have to stuff it full to come home – will they be able to pack the duffel on their own, or is there too much stuff?

Have a Duffel related Comment? Did we miss an important question? Let us know in the comments below!

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