nice post! dessicant gel packscan be found in almost anything nowadays from shoes to toys to electronics to prevent moisture damage. i've been keeping mine in aziplock bag along with some uncooked rice to keep them from absording premature moisture.
rice is also a good short term alternativee/poor mans alternative to dessicant packs.
no need to be fancy with the riice. as long as the food/batteries/whatever are packaged in something, the rice can be poured into othe pvc tube. you'd better hope that water never gets into that tube though. becausethe rice will act as a sponge once submerged.
still, if you ever get your cell phone or cell batterywet, stick it in a bowl of uncooked rice for 24 hours, the rice will wick out the moisture.
also, if yourmaglite needs that one extra c battery and you just dont have it, try using a stack of quarters, they'll work just fine.