Ode to the Resealable Plastic Bag
January 25th, 2016 by Curtis Condon
Resealable plastic bags have many uses outside the home. For example, a regular baggie works well as a phone protector; you can even use the phone without taking it out of the bag. Gallon-size bags are perfect for weatherproofing extra clothing. Whatever the task at hand, be sure to select the right bag for the job. Photo by Mike Teegarden

Resealable plastic bags have many uses outside the home. For example, a regular baggie works well as a phone protector; you can even use the phone without taking it out of the bag. Gallon-size bags are perfect for weatherproofing extra clothing. Whatever the task at hand, be sure to select the right bag for the job.
Photo by Mike Teegarden

The resealable plastic bag is the niftiest outdoor essential since the pocketknife. My environmentally conscious friends may brand me a heretic when they read that, but it’s true. A baggie is the multitool of choice for packaging, organizing and rainproofing.

Baggies come in many shapes and sizes, and offer an array of uses. My favorite is using them to keep things dry. I rarely venture out on the trail without weatherproofing electronics, spare clothing and vulnerable food stuffs with resealable plastic bags.

They are useful for a gazillion other things, too.

They can serve as a mixing bowl, a water carrier, a mini clothes washer, a berry picking bucket or a makeshift rain hat. Use them as waterproof mittens, goulashes and tent slippers. In a pinch, make a skirted fishing jig, fletch an arrow or create a reusable coloring surface for wipe-off markers as a diversion for kids. And that’s just the beginning.

Despite what you may have heard, common baggies are not meant to be used in boiling water. According to manufacturer specifications, most of them are designed for use at temperatures of 120 F or lower. Boil-in-bags are an exception.

Stick with name-brand bags. They tend to be thicker and more durable, which means they are ideal for reuse. I always keep a handful of clean, used quart-size and gallon-size begs in the bottom of my backpack for use at a moment’s notice.

But don’t try to be a reuse superhero. Baggies are fragile creatures. Know when it’s time to bag them.

Old, worn baggies should be recycled whenever possible. They can be discarded with plastic shopping bags at select recycling centers and supermarkets.


Outdoor 101: Your Guide to the Outdoors

A general field guide is a useful resource for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. It covers everything from trees to wildflowers and fish to birds.

There are several guides to choose from. When selecting one, stick with recognized imprints, such as National Audubon Society and Peterson’s. Features to look for include detailed descriptions, and lots of color photographs and illustrations.

I prefer one that also is compact, lightweight and water resistant.

Most general guides are in book form, but single-topic guides are available as apps.

 

Don’t Hit the Water Without Them
Most bass anglers know crankbaits are good, all-around lures. But they can be especially effective during the pre-spawn, when fish are scarce but prospects of catching the big ones are best.

Bass settle deeper and are less active during pre-spawn due to cold water temperatures. To adapt, keep your tackle box stocked with deep-diving crankbaits and a few shallower-running lures for when conditions begin to fluctuate and transition to warmer, springtime temperatures.

 

What Day is It?
February 5: National Weatherman’s Day
February 22: Walking the Dog Day
February 25: Pistol Patent Day

 

Got a Tip or a Whopper?
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication in the magazine, we will send you $25 for one-time use of the item. When sending a photo, identify people and pets, and tell us the story behind the photo. Email your submission to gro.etilarurnull@ofni.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.