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I use my backpack a lot and the weather has gotten very rainy. How do I dry it out so I can use it again in a couple hours? So far I try to leave it on a wooden chair close to a heater and unfold it as much as possible (e.g. not leave it crumpled up). I thought about putting it in the clothes dryer but I don't want to damage it by doing this on a regular basis.

Same goes for clothing, especially shoes. While they may not get soaked through, it's uncomfortable putting something that's wet on the outside, back on. For example my jacket is waterproof but inevitably a little water gets inside when I take it off and put it on again.

  • Put it over an air vent. I do this often with shoes, gloves, scarves, etc. in the winter. – Amanda R. Jul 28 '16 at 17:29
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For all (backpack, shoes, jacket) I use electric fan which blows warm air at them and highly decreases the time for drying. It is something like a heater with fan and I set it to lowest temperature. Depending on the material of your backpack/shoes/jacket you can use higher temperatures.

fan heater

Some other things you can do to dry them faster:

Backpack: Hang it somewhere upside down so that any water comes out easily. after that put a dry towel inside for some time. Then take it out and open all the zippers and everything that can be opened. And hang it somewhere.

Shoes: Put a towel inside them to take out the water. After some time change it with another dry towel or old newspapers.

  • I actually need to get a space heater as my old one broke down. I also use it for warming my bedroom as the house heat doesn't seem to flow to it. Do you have any recommendations (e.g. off amazon.com) of a particular one? – Celeritas Nov 17 '15 at 7:43
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I bike ride quite a bit and personally use a dryer rack when drying items in the dryer (shoes, backpacks etc) etc) anything that you do not want tumbling around can be dried on a dryer rackDryer Rack

They are called 'Dryer Racks' Look online for one thats compatible with your dryer brand. If you have a auto moisture sensing dryer, just place it on that setting and set it & forget it.

I do this about 3 times a month with NO issues at all... Hope that helps!

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I've put mine in the dryer on regular occasions without damaging it.

You need to use gentle setting (low-medium heat) and limit the amount of time tumbling around.

For extra protection, put it in a pillow case or other fabric enclosure to reduce the beating/scratching against the dryer inside.

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As a mailman I often used a hairdryer in addition to dry towels inside.

  • This probably should have been a comment, but you don't have the reputation yet... – Adam Zuckerman Nov 20 '15 at 22:21
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Can Prevention of the soaking wet backpack be a viable answer? Is that a hack?

There must be rain covers or some means to deal with this common situation and a waterproof backpack is too obvious for a hack.

I have seen plastic storage (garbage?) bags that could cover your backpack to repel the water before it strikes your backpack. Although simplistic, this should minimize the amount of water to evaporate.

Putting the bag over the pack will let you carry on hiking, biking, etc. in a downpour without getting a drop on or in your pack.

Another possibility is to carry a poncho in the bottom of you bag to put over you and your pack in the event of rain to keep you both dry and your hands free. It takes up practically no space and is a practical hack (okay, workaround) for your "problem"

  • If you need access to backpack contents during rain, wear your backpack on your chest under a poncho. – Stan Jul 28 '16 at 19:07
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If the purpose of drying the backpack is to keep the contents inside dry then just grab a plastic bag and put the plastic bag inside of the backpack and the contents that are supposed to stay dry inside the plastic bag. Then it doesn't matter if your bag is wet or not; also the tip above about using a poncho to prevent the bag from getting wet in the first place is a good idea. Dryer rack is the next best idea.

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About the bag, you can buy a nice rain cover. They are easily available everywhere.

About the shoes, rinse the water out of them as much as possible and then stuff it with newspaper, turn them upside down (and turn your heater on, if that is available), and it should be good in a couple of hours.

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