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Or I can just buy a pack of Ziploc® for a quarter of the prize at Walmart.
Not even close to the same.
You can. You can also go online and buy some 4 mill zipper seal bags for pretty damn cheap too. Right now in my pack I have LokSak's, regular ziplocs (2 mil) freezer ziplocs (4 mil) and some 4 mil zipper seal bags (that have more useful form factors for me). They all have varying cost and yes, varying benefits and uses. Standard ziplocs - the 2 mil kind are quite fragile and I mostly only use them for organization and trust things like my toothbrush and dental floss to them. Even my plasticized maps I prefer having in a 4 mil or thicker (their "freezer" ones) and some of those baggies have lasted me a while. First aid, survival and elecronics components I don't really even trust to a 4 mil bag though ... certainly I *could* and they would make it through single day hikes or short trips (say 2-3 nights) no problem but this also means that every time I went out I would have to inspect and/or replace those bags. Time is worth money - more for some than others - and at some point I prefer having the reliabilty and "not having to think about" having my essentials and electronics in these bags and being able to take them for granted.
Yes, I'm a bit ashamed that I've actually studied and mic's plastic bags. But hell, if @Hikin Jim can geek out on stoves why can't I geek out on plastic bags ?
You make a damn good point there.
Right before my last big trip I was completely sick and tired of ziplocks and decided to explore bags more. The OpSacks and the custom sized rectangular 4 mils I bought off Amazon were the best bags I had. Opsack for my fak and electronics as described, and the variety of sized (rectangular) in the 4 mils I bought online really let me pack smart. For instance, really small bags like 1x2 for pills, then into a larger 2x3 bag that had all m health and hygiene. I was able to repack food into more appropriately sized bags. My first aid got suddenly organized and then self contained inside a larger back with my fires and tinders and other stuff, all of that then into the opsak. It did for my backpack was packing cubes do for my luggage. Perhaps I should start blogging some of this stuff.