Nov 20, 2008 at 8:57 am #1232116
As of late, I've been repackaging things into into straws. There are tricks to folding them to pack stuff into reusable containers for things like salt, but as an experiment I've been packing single doses of things like antibiotic ointment, sportsslick, or anything else that would otherwise be messy to repack by cutting straws to fit and then heat sealing the ends.
For single use applications even the smallest resealable containers are overkill and some liquids, gels and such are extremely messy to repackage, so instead I started heat sealing my own packages.
Here's an example of some gear oil I repackaged for gear maintenance single serve use:
To do it, simply use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the straw closed with 1/8" of the straw sticking out on one side and apply a flame.
Insert your ingredients and repeat for other side. It heat seals nicely. It's practical for things that you can gauge how much you'll be needing in advance or that you can break up into needing several segments depending on need, such as sun screen.
Due to the collapsability of the straws its easy to get everything out down to the last drop.
Now I just need to test it out with water treatment in pre-measured amounts. It should safe weight by removing most of the container weight and still be air tight and it's pre-measured to just drop in.Nov 20, 2008 at 9:00 am #1459818
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
Nice work. I have thought about doing that before but never tried it. Nice to see a good method!Nov 20, 2008 at 9:13 am #1459819
Genius.Nov 20, 2008 at 9:41 am #1459825
Outstanding! thanksNov 20, 2008 at 9:56 am #1459826
Well done, now all I need to find is the multi colour straws. By the way what do you do with the empty straws? Single use so I assume you dispose of, I wonder if it is possible to find and use recyclable straws?Nov 20, 2008 at 10:19 am #1459830
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Clever Joe, thanks for figuring out the details and posting this tip. This is really promising for the first aid and toiletry kits (some labeling required).Nov 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm #1459881
I do this as well. You can get really fat straws that are designed for tapioca tea drinks. Boba tea is basically large balls of tapioca in a drink and the straws are large so you can suck the tapioca balls up the straw. With the fatter straws you can put more in them.
The first time I did this I was after the nostalgia factor. anyone remember how you used to me able to get quickmix in straws? You could get them in chocolate ans strawberry and you would take them to school to use in the milk you got with your lunch :) I can still taste the fake strawberry taste and the gritty sugar texture…. Ahhh the 70's…
Along these same lines I also use a foodsaver and create "packets" by sealing a bag vertically (without vacuum) several times so that the bag becomes a series of channels. You can then populate the channels with anything and seal the end. If you are clever you can seal twice next to each other so you can cut the "packets" apart by slicing between the seals.Nov 20, 2008 at 9:23 pm #1459957
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Also known as Bubble Tea straws :-)
Most Asian grocery stores carry them – I always have a couple hundred in the house – they are the best for frozen drinks ;-) No clogging!Nov 22, 2008 at 10:55 am #1460180
"Single use so I assume you dispose of, I wonder if it is possible to find and use recyclable straws?"
Actually, I've found that you can reseal them in the field with a pair of tweezers and a match/lighter. It does get some gunk on my tweezers but it works just fine. If repackaging oils or liquids it helps to let it settle for a bit before trying to seal it, if the area to be sealed has too much contamination on it, it doesn't seal well. If you are in a hurry you can swab the end clean with a q-tip or a bit of spare TP or cloth.
Also, not all straws work as well for this, some don't make a solid seal and just melt, but thankfully MOST work just fine. There is also no reason you can't reuse straws from any local fast food resturant.Nov 22, 2008 at 11:01 am #1460182
"Along these same lines I also use a foodsaver and create "packets" by sealing a bag vertically (without vacuum) several times so that the bag becomes a series of channels."
I do this as well, but the word tedious comes to mind. My sealer is really slow. I make individual packets of peanut butter and jelly as a on the go meal. Most of the time I don't even bother with a pita, it's just straight from the package.
The big straws are good for pre-measured amounts of sports drink powder.Jan 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm #1473108
@mamarosa43Locale: New England
If you want a recloseable end on the straws, try cutting off a small ring, then fold over the open end of the straw, crush a bit, and slide the ring over the fold. I read this tip at the Lindsay backpacking.net site years ago and have used it successfully since.
Packets can also be made from washed snack bags, like potato chips come in. I have found it easier to plop a lump of someting on a clean strip of bag, then fold over and use a clothing iron to seal three sides. (The fourth is the unbreached fold.) Leave some room for "squishing" and get out as much air as possible before sealing the last side. Also, I have better luck with a generous margin or "seam allowance" than with a narrow one. I've packaged up items from toothpaste and sunscreen to hand sanitizer for food drops this way.
I think I like the toothpaste in a straw a bit better than the pouch, but either can work.
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