Jan 6, 2011 at 12:54 pm #1681082
Teresa and I enjoyed your mention – thanks a lot again!Jan 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm #1681097Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I love FBC and have no objections whatsoever to eating out of the freezer bag. On the other hand, I have an abiding hatred of washing dishes (due to many years of washing dishes for a family of 6 and not being able to afford a dishwasher).
While freezer bags are not supposed to be for cooking, remember that with FBC you are _not_ cooking the food but simply reconstituting it. By the time you get the pot off the stove and are ready to pour the hot water into the freezer bag, the water is already well below the boiling point (especially if you're at altitudes where the boiling point is under 200*F and you are using a thin Ti pot which cools really fast). Since part of the process of freezing veggies is blanching them just before you put them in the freezer bag, freezer bags are already designed to be stable at temps under 200*. The chances of their leaching anything into the hot water are, therefore, basically non-existent.
I use freezer bags only for dinner (one bag per dinner because my meals are all one-dish). My breakfast is cold cereal and is in a sandwich bag (much thinner plastic). My snacks/lunch (indistinguishable) are also in a sandwich bag, and most of those are re-used for several trips. Due to a couple of medical conditions, I generate enough garbage to need most of a quart freezer bag for that purpose each day, so each freezer bag does get used twice.
To me, the convenience of not washing dishes and of having pre-measured portions is well worth the use of a few more freezer bags. I rarely use plastic at home and try to walk for my errands as much as possible to make up for the few ounces of extra plastic I use when backpacking.
I don't use soap because, biodegradable or not, if it gets in the water (which it will during next spring's snow melt!) even a minute amount can kill aquatic life. That's another reason for not washing dishes. I don't use toothpaste, either–baking soda is lighter, dentist-recommended, leaves no residue on the ground and basically ends up as salt. I bathe by cleaning "strategic" areas with a damp cloth every night–I don't like the idea of jumping into lakes (again, any sunscreen and bug repellent residue on your skin are harmful to aquatic life, especially amphibians). Plus I am too "chicken" to jump into water that's close to freezing!
YMMV!Jan 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm #1681102KatttBPL Member
I don't consider wiping down a .5L titanium pot " doing dishes"; nor do I use soap. After i am done eating, what is left is little more than the residue of hot cocoa in a mug. I also prefer my hot cocoa and coffee in something other than a bag ;)Jan 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm #1681168
I have to tell you – I bring a mug for tea. A light less than 1 ounce model. FBC doesn't mean you give up everything. I use the mug to measure my water for my meal and then I make a drink. Most people I know bring a mug of some sort even when going light.
I have never been a fan of Ti or steel cups so I don't drink out of pots (I don't like hot metal that is).Jan 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm #1681192David GoodyearBPL Member
This is a funny thread.
FBC is a great idea. My only hurdle was getting a long handle spoon, I use an envelope cozy and by the time my meal is ready I've had a mug of coffee, or melted my second batch of snow/water. There is something about molding that hot plastic bag around my frozen fingers and bringing them back to life.
What I can't stand are people who scrape their ti-spoon against their ti-pot to get the last bit of oatmeal out….can you say fingernails on the chalkboard.
I'm sure I will soon die from all of the chemicals leaching out of the plastic, but I will be happy. Just like the end of the trail cheeseburger with fries cooked in trans-fats. (not available in New York and soon California)
P.S. This is all in fun..please don't call the food policeJan 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm #1681256
Or worse….getting done with an awesome hike here in King County, Wa and heading out to eat…where upon the nutritional stats are posted by law in larger chains.
It's enough to make you cry and go back hiking ;-)
Nothing like seeing the trans-fat count in large black letters to take the fun out of a vat o' french fries!!Jan 7, 2011 at 7:07 am #1681372Peter SustrBPL Member
I wasn't trying to make myself out to be LNT guru or that cleaning a pot is not LNT. what I was saying is that I use one bag at dinner time and for me it just makes since to eat out of the bag because I use those bags anyway to collect trash from wrappers and what nots. As far as eating or using a petroleum based product, I do not waste many bags and the ones i use have probably been used 3 times before from it holding my lunch from the last week at work. For people worried about eating whatever might seep out of the bag when its warm, I don't worry about it. Everything gives you cancer these days so why worry…..Jan 10, 2011 at 8:59 am #1682312
about the bag vs pot vs bowl… that decision is as varied as the personality of each hiker and the trip. it can change from time-to-time
ps if anyone is looking for a great alternative and a friendlier product when it comes to re-usability of freezer bags you might want to check out loksak.com. While a little pricier they last much better and in the long run it can actually be more cost-effective.Jan 10, 2011 at 11:01 am #1682354
Buy freezer bags at Costco. Gets them down to pennies each – literally. Hard to beat that. Costco sells Ziploc brand in both quart and gallon.Jan 10, 2011 at 11:27 am #1682363Michael CockrellMember
@cal-ee-for-niaLocale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
I use long chopsticks for FB cooking. And Snowpeak (unscrews in half), chopsticks for cups, bowls, cook-wear eating.Jan 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm #1682408Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
I package a lot of our food up in per-dinner bags too, but cook in the pot. The bags go home, are washed, and re-used on the next trip. They would last at least a dozen trips each one, and after that are often used for other things as well.
If something is really greasy so that washing is not an option, we reuse a bread bag for it instead, and then recycle that. Xmas pudding comes to mind …
As for the 'hassle' of washing up: one pot, two plastic bowls, and two spoons, warm water and a few drops of bio-degradable detergent. Hardly a problem. I wash, Sue dries. The water is poured into the grass, where it simply becomes fertiliser.
CheersJan 12, 2011 at 6:31 am #1683081
That's how we do it too Roger. I wash, Bryan dries and packs away. I deal with the water dispersement. It takes all of about 5 minutes and that is with 3 of us (4 this summer with the baby).
What product are you using? I've had good luck with Sierra Dawn Campsuds and it's good for washing bodies and hair too.Jan 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm #1683218Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> What product are you using?
About 5 drops of whatever biodegradable dishwashing detergent my wife has under the kitchen sink at the time.
I may be biased … but I have severe doubts about any claims that some of the more expensive biodegradable versions sold in gear shops are any different from what is sold in a supermarket as biodegradable.
Given the total lack of significant regulation in this area, I can just see someone getting 10,000 small bottles done up with fancy 'eco-friendly' labels and then filled from a large tanker, and flogged off to the gullible. As PT Barnum said, "there's one born every minute". Call me cynical, but …
CheersJan 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm #1683607
While I am not sure if it is any more biodegradable than anything else on the market (although I'd be curious to learn if it is or not seeing as it was developed in the sixties I think) there are other reasons I use it. It is highly concentrated however judging by the reaction of my hands it seems less harsh than some other soaps. Also it works brilliantly in cold water where I find my household variety doesn't hold up so well. Oh and it's pretty cheap.Jan 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm #1683663
Hmmmm…..99% of the time I carry no soap with me when hiking. Then again, I don't carry deodorant, bug spray and rarely wear sunblock (only on snow do I).
You can get a pot clean with no soap – you just have to remove the oils and food beforehand (paper towels work well) and then boil water in the pot. If a person doesn't let the pot sit and get dried on before cleaning soap isn't an issue.
It is a personal decision though. Some folks do, others don't. I prefer to not be the one who risks leaving soap suds behind…..Jan 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm #1683959
No soap? One thing comes to mind… lack of sanitation that can easily equate to illness. I'm not about to risk getting sick from someone not washing their hands. Fecal bacteria can also travel on the body. I also won't hike or paddle with anyone that has poor sanitary habits… and that includes eating off of dirty spoons. Some of the places we go are remote enough that an illness because of lack of sanitation could become a very serious issue.
And sun-block is important and even moreso at higher altitudes.
Just my take on it.Jan 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm #1684051George MatthewsBPL Member
All we need is for a genius to invent a really tasty, edible freezer bag. Mmmmmm.
I have three of the BPL-ish recipe books: Freezer Bag Cooking, One Pan Wonders, and A Fork in the Trail. Plenty of great ideas in those. I put food usually in bags, but boil water and add the bag contents, or put contents in a bowl/mug and then pour in water. I still get lazy and buy meals in a bag too.Jan 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm #1684333
re: meals in a bag
I've even been known to purchase the odd pre-packaged meal in a bag. The last time was on a paddle trip that was planned over 12 days. After speaking with the ranger at the permit office we realized that low water conditions required some changes and that it would become a 14 day excursion. I like to have extra food for emergencies and so I popped into the local outfitting store and picked up a couple Mountain House dinners. They were a little salty but not too bad.Jan 16, 2011 at 7:24 am #1684681Patricia CombeeMember
@trailfrogLocale: Northeast/Southeast your call
Laurie, I wanna go hiking with you! You cook, I will do the dishes. It would be worth it. Now back on subject; I usually use freezer bags, but sometimes my cookpot is the best way. The recipes in Freezer Bag Cooking are really good! My copy of the book is looking pretty "used".Jan 16, 2011 at 9:29 am #1684710
Soap doesn't equate cleanliness. Basic details. There are other options of keeping hands clean. As for pots and utensils? A quick boil (sanitize) and a sit in the sun will fully take care of any issues.
Soap again removes grease. This is why in restaurants you do 3 things: wash, rinse and dip in bleach water. The bleach is what sanitizes – NOT the soap. The sun will do this for you as well.
As for hand cleanliness? Easy. Take single wrapped hand sanitizer towlets. Before eating or cooking, unwrap and fully clean hands – and use to get under finger nails. This removes not only dirt/soil but the sanitizers take care of everything else. Washing up with soap doesn't do this.
Basic details here.Jan 16, 2011 at 10:21 am #1684733
Patricia wrote: "Laurie, I wanna go hiking with you! You cook, I will do the dishes. It would be worth it."
You've got a deal!
Another reason we don't FBC. When we took our son out it was just too cumbersome for him, even with a long handled spoon. I know may people cut off the top of the bag when the food is ready to eat. I didn't want to do that and waste bags.Jan 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm #1685706David GoodyearBPL Member
If you fold the bag down and place it on top of your pouch cozy, you can create a bowl full of food on a lap tray.
Just bag genious I say.
It even works in the winter at -14. I ate a piping hot meal in a freezer bag bowl. I even unfolded it-zipped it back up and brought it home…Pure genious
DaveFeb 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm #1698495Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
I like freezer bag cooking for shorter trips, but what about long hikes? That would be a huge number of meals to put up, and a huge number of bags to throw away if one did it exclusively on something like the AT and others. What have people done for that situation?Feb 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm #1698509Greg MihalikBPL Member
What constitutes a long hike? How many days? Resupply or no?
For AT/PCT/CDT hikers who resupply every 5 to 7 days, food comes in, trash goes out.
For a 10 day hike I bring back about 2 to 3 ounces of trash, or less.
But for another approach to long trips, take a look at Mike C's Groovy Macrobiotic Cooking. He takes the "bulk basics" approach, augmented with very tasty "sauces", which greatly cuts down on the bagging typically seen in FBC style meals.Feb 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm #1698528
Diane, from feedback of talking to thru's those that go the bag route just have bags in their pack or in their bounce box and in town repackage foods. Often what I hear (or read emails on) is that they are flexible – it depends on what they buy in how they prepare it. Some days FBC , some days in a pot, other times no cook meals. That is IMO the best way to approach long distance eating – be flexible!
PS: On bulk foods – it can be a good idea or not, just depends on if you like new tastes or if you can eat a regimented diet that repeats a lot. Very much a HYOH thing though.
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