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The One Zip Cruiser

by Brent Betit

Every once in awhile it is useful, as the management gurus say, to "think outside the box." So this column is about thinking inside the bag -- specifically, that wonder of modern technology, the One Zip Slider Bag manufactured by Hefty. If you wonder how that topic can possibly be related to cruising, read on. And bear in mind that I don't own any Hefty stock, so this is a totally unbiased testimonial.

For centuries, people have been cruising; and for the same length of time they have been trying to efficiently store all the stuff it takes to pleasantly voyage upon the high seas. Take Ferdinand Magellan, for example, perhaps the most famous cruiser of them all. In 1519 he set sail with five ships, ultimately becoming the first person to circumnavigate the globe, before being killed by natives during a shore excursion in the Philippines gone awry (and you think you had a bad time in San Juan!). Magellan and crew stored their necessary stuff in hogsheads. But before you get all concerned about the senseless slaughter of pigs, and about their body parts being used to store food items (yuck!), you should know that a hogshead is a barrel or cask that holds somewhere between 63 to 140 gallons of stuff. I'm not making this up. Check the dictionary. Among other things, the imprecision of this particular form of storage made it hard to figure out just how much stuff to bring. Modern female cruisers have similar storage devices. They call them suitcases.

But I want to introduce you to a new, inexpensive concept in managing all the stuff you bring along on a cruise: the aforementioned One Zip Slider Bag, available in two styles [general storage and freezer], and two sizes [quart and gallon]. I've thought of literally hundreds of uses for this modern miracle, though I'm only going to torture you with the few you may find interesting (and yes, the winters really are long in Vermont):

  • Put all your containers of liquid necessaries inside one or several One Zip bags (shampoo, perfume, etc.). If something springs a leak, you've got what modern fuel tank farm managers call "secondary protection."

  • Use a couple of the gallon size to put your extra shoes in. This will keep the dust off your clothing while in the suitcase. Try to remember to unpack your shoes before putting them on. Plastic gets really slippery on teak decks.

  • Try putting small, bulky stuff that holds air (like socks or underwear) in one of these and forcing the air all out before sliding the zipper closed. They'll take up less space and when you unpack them, you'll find them nicely ironed, creases and all. Not that I know why anyone could possible need their socks and underwear ironed. . . .

  • Everyone finds a stone or shell at the beach, then contaminates their entire suitcase with sand and that distinctive, fishy smell that clings to clothing for eons. Bag 'em instead.

  • Bring some extras bags along empty. You may find it handy to keep your camera or binoculars in a bag while at the beach but not in use. This will keep fine grains of sand and moisture out.

  • I used to bring a One Zip along to throw my change in at the end of the day. This was before I figured out the concept of "the cashless cruise."

  • Gents, store your ties in the quart size, carefully folded. They'll arrive in great condition.

  • Throw all that stuff you never use aboard in one (credit cards, wallet, keys, watch, cash) and toss it in the safe. You're less likely to overlook something small that way. If you're like me, that would describe your wad of cash.

  • Use a bag to keep certain categories of stuff organized: postcards, paper, pens, stamps; or, sunblock, lip balm, sunburn lotion.


Those are just a few of the hundreds of uses for these modern day hogsheads. If Magellan had a few of these, he might never have gone ashore in the Philippines looking for extra stuff, and Mrs. Magellan wouldn't have experienced that terrible visit from the cruise line representative: "Ma'am, the good news is that your husband, Ferdinand, is eligible for a refund for that shore excursion he took in Manila . . ."


Brent BetitBrent Betit is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont with his wife and two young children.

Brent has written many SeaLetter columns on such subjects as sea-going language, cruising with kids and cruise etiquette. To find all of Brent's SeaLetter columns and cruise reviews, use the SeaLetter Search Engine entering "Brent Betit" as your search phrase.

Brent is always interested in your comments and suggestions and may be reached at: Brent@sealetter.com.

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