Backpacker Tip: Orange Garbage Bag Liner

A tip from the backpacker Andre from Saint-Hubert, QC, Canada.

One of my best backpacking tips I’ve used and taught my Scouts over the years is to use an orange colored trash bag to line their backpacks. This serves 2 purposes:

1 – Once closed, it protects all your gear from rain.

2 – When looking for something in that long dark backpack… an orange colored trash bag liner makes it a lot easier to find stuff. 🙂

The process is quite simple… make sure your bag is big enough to fill your entire backpack and roll up at the top. Then once you cinch your backpack closed, your stuff is protected.

Can’t tell you how many times this backpacking tip saved me from a wet and dreary night…


Thanks for the fabulous orange trash bag tip, Andre. After searching around I’ve noticed that yellow colored trash bags may also be available and may serve the same purpose.

We have always told our Scouts to bring along two large black trash bags: one to keep the sleeping bag dry and one as a backup in case the first one gets torn, or for use as an emergency pack rain cover (in case the real rain cover gets lost), or as an emergency rain suit (for those who lose lots of things on the trail) or even for use as… a trash bag.

I never thought of going orange (or yellow) or lining the inside of the pack. One other good use for a yellow or orange colored trash bag might be to attract attention from searchers if you are lost or injured.

Go orange and Be prepared!