How to properly use and care for your kill bag.
Kill bags are the ultimate convenience for the outdoorsman. They double as coolers and protective homes for their prized trophies. While intended to endure extreme conditions and abuse, proper use and maintenance are great ways to extend your kill bag's lifespan. Here are some helpful tips!
Unboxing Your Kill Bag
The first thing to consider when opening your kill bag is tool you plan on using. Although kill bags such as our Opah Fathom line are very durable and puncture resistant, a careless stab to the top of the box can lead to internal damage.
When you remove the kill bag from the box, it will be rolled up in a protective white sack. This is to keep it safe from oils, dust, and other contaminants prevalent in the shipping process. To remove the knot and take out your bag, simply pull the tag ends of the rope. The knot will pop out and you can remove the kill bag.
You will notice the kill bag is rolled up and tied with vinyl straps. You can remove the straps in the same fashion. Pull the tag ends and the knot will pop out. Then you can grab and pull the straps to loosen them.
After you remove the straps, the kill bag will slowly unroll naturally. You can help it by unrolling and opening the bag. To speed up the process and allow the bag to fully take shape, place it in a warmer room or in direct sunlight. The insulation acts as a sort of memory foam and with warmth, it will expand and fill out.
Extending Your Ice Life
Out the box, your kill bag will be ready for use. One of the highlights of the Opah Fathom Line is the extensive ice life. While you will see longer performance than other brands with normal use, there are certain things you can do to extend your ice retention.
Make sure you bring a proper amount of ice for your kill bag size and target species.
Depending on the model kill bag you have, there will be certain ice volume capacities. You want to have as much ice as possible while also keeping variables in mind such as size of fish, amount of extra goods that need to be kept cold, and how you plan on moving the kill bag if need be.
Understand the characteristics of some species while on ice.
Certain predicaments will cause your ice to immediately begin to melt if not accounted for. Placing warm water beverages or notoriously warm fish will speed up the ice melting process. For instance, Bluefin Tuna, and most other tuna species, are known to have large amounts blood that is significantly warmer than most species. Bleeding this type of fish in your kill bag will drastically decrease your ice retention unless you use certain tricks.
Make a slurry if needed.
By taking ocean water or sea salt and mixing it in with your ice, you can greatly increase your ice retention. If you live in an area with much warmer water, it may be a good idea to stick with the sea salt method. By using this trick, you can lower your internal bag temp tens of degrees.
No matter the clever tricks you can come up with, some of the best methods to keep ice longer are the most simple. And yes, if you are really taking things seriously, dry ice is perfectly fine to use in our kill bags. But if you want the simple solutions, here they are.
- Keep the amount of times you open and close the bag to a minimum.
- Try and keep the bag out of the direct sunlight.
- If using the bag for beverages, buy the cold ones and not the room temperature option.
- Use frozen water bottles.
Transporting Your Kill Bag
Our Fathom Kill Bags hold up extremely well to travel due to their overbuilt handles and flat bottoms to prevent tipping. Regardless, there are still some things you can do to make sure the performance is as to be expected. When loading/moving/transporting your kill bag make sure to..
- Tighten your drain plug all the way.
- Zip the bag shut
- Lift the bag evenly to avoid tipping.
- Use another person to lift from both sides if needed.
- Utilize heavy equipment when needed (the bag can take it).
With this being said, there are some ways that you can accidentally damage the bag, yourself, or your vehicle. When transporting your kill bag, keep these in mind.
- DO NOT lift with only one handle. This defeats the design of the bag.
- DO NOT forget to tighten BOTH parts of the drain plug.
- DO NOT stand under the kill bag if using heavy machinery to lift it.
- DO NOT drag the kill bag across the ground.
- And finally...DO NOT... flip the kill bag upside down. This also defeats the purpose in its design.
Cleaning Your Kill Bag
"How do I clean my kill bag?" This may be one of the most common questions we get. This definitely does not go for all manufacturers, as our build quality and process make cleaning much easier.
- Open your drain plug. In the bottom right of every bag if staring at it with the logo facing you.
- Empty the kill bag. Using a hose or large buckets of water, flush the kill bag out completely.
- Apply your cleaning product of choice. Degreasers work very well with the most common used option being dish soap. Make sure to scrub or spray the internal pocket as well and remove all contaminants.
- Rinse the kill bag. Using the same hose or bucket from before.
- Let dry completely. After you're done, open the top and internal zippers and let the bag dry before zipping back up.
It's that easy.