Filling Bags to Capacity

I’ve seen some photos lately of structures with ‘thin bags’ where the earthbags were not filled all the way. My recommendation is to tamp the contents lightly as the bag is being filled. This just takes seconds and ensures the bag is filled to capacity so you need fewer bags.

Here’s the process:
1. Fill the bag about half way, fold over the bag (pull the top to one side) and tamp the contents lightly about 2-3 times.
2. Repeat the tamping after you’ve filled the bag to the desired level (experiment until you get find what works best). I fill each bag with the same number of buckets so each completed bag is the same size. This helps maintain level and an even running bond.

At this point you’ll have fat bags stuffed to capacity. The bag has been filled in place on the wall so now all you have to do is tilt it down in place, tight against the previous bag. Do not flatten the bags yet. Wait until the whole course is complete, then tamp. Depending on the size of the bag, each course will be about 5-1/2″ high after tamping, using this process.

4 thoughts on “Filling Bags to Capacity”

  1. What about the earth tubes? I am interested in the bags Cal-Earth uses. Does anyone have experience with filling these types of bags And where to get them or is Cal earth the only source for the big roles of tube bags? Thanks


    • Tubes are stronger and better in some ways. But they’re awkward to fill, more expensive and more difficult to obtain. There’s at least one other supplier that sells below the cost of Cal-Earth. The tubes are what bag manufacturers use to cut out individual bags, so you should be able to find a multitude of suppliers by Googling “sand bags”.


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