Jul 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm #1292061
About how many freezer bags should my crew of 12 take if we are going to rehydrate half the food in the orignal bag. I know some meals you cant do that.
Was wondering if anyone who went this year can answer this one.Jul 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm #1895348
@markrvpLocale: North Texas
The minimum your crew will need if you use the original packages is 66 freezer bags.
10 days of dinners = 6 bags of food x 10 days = 60 freezer bags
1 Breakfast Skillet = 6 bags of food = 6 freezer bags
My recommendation is to have each crew member carry 12 freezer bags and everyone cook in their own freezer bag. It's easier to make sure you have halved the meal into two clear freezer bags than if you use the opaque package the meal comes in.Jul 17, 2012 at 7:27 am #1895396
We actually cooked as many meals as possible in the provided packaging – no need to repackage for cooking purposes, but we did place the 'Mountain House' packages inside a gallon ziplock while they 'cooked' – MH packaging at Philmont usually does NOT have the zip top like the version you buy in the store – so we used the 'holder' ziplock as leak insurance and a seal to keep the dust out. (reused the 'holder' ziplock for as many meals as possible) When done the meal was divided after 'cooking' and one person ate out of the original bag and the other out of their own bowl…. less dishes to wash!!
If you are taking enough bags for each meal, don't forget the chicken salad lunch #3 that needs rehydrated (very good I might add!!), the apple dessert in dinner #5, and dinner #4 has 2 items to rehydrate – Mexican Beef and the refried beans (we dumped it all together in 1 ziplock to rehydrate)… so based on Mark's method above you are up to 15 bags PER PERSON (30 per FOOD PAIR or 180 bags for the crew)…..that's alot of unecessary trash in my opinion.
You can get by with only 5 ziplocks PER FOOD PAIR (3 PER PERSON or 36 PER CREW) if you used the original packaging to rehydrate the entire meal… Trying to remember the packaging…All MH meals (Dinners #1, 5, 6, & 8, Breakfast #5 & Lunch #3) on the menu could be cooked in the original packaging and the #2 Wise dinner can be cooked in its original bag – you will definately need a bag for #3 Backpackers Kitchen Santa Fe Chicken and #10 Turkey & Stove Top (we mixed the turkey in with the boiling water for the stuffing and cooked it all together) – that only leaves the 3 Richmoor meals – #4, #7 & #9 and the dessert from #5 that may need a bag for cooking (we put all the dessert in a single gallon ziplock instead of each pair cooking… also, DON'T put in as much water as the package says… actually you need VERY little for this dessert otherwise you have apple soup!)
Seems like 1 or 2 of the Richmoor meals were packaged in bags that could be cooked in, but can't remember for sure or find pics to support that thought.
We preferred to cook the entire meal in the original container if possible for several reasons – to reduce waste/trash, reduce dishes to wash, reduce chance of spilling either while 'cooking' or while transferring to other container, reduce unnecessary items carried (8-12 extra ziplock bags per person) and meals tended to get better mixed/flavor and ingredients mixed in better if 'cooked' as a whole meal (one person didn't get all the pasta on top or the meat on the bottom) We did use a long handled spoon to mix all the bags.
To answer your question though, "how many freezer bags should my crew of 12 take if we are going to rehydrate half the food in the orignal bag"….21 bags PER FOOD PAIR (11 bags PER PERSON or 132 per crew).Jul 17, 2012 at 7:52 am #1895401
I'd suggest taking 'containers' which you can rehydrate in and reuse instead of ziplock bags if you plan to divide the meals before rehydrating… look at the ziplock bowls with lids in the grocery store (butter tubs, coolwhip bowls, or whatever)
Only 7 items on the entire menu need containers to be rehydrated in – 6 if you mix the refried beans in with the mexican beef.Jul 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm #1895457
And you can reduce the count appropriately if you have Chuckwagon dinner or breakfast.Jul 18, 2012 at 1:06 am #1895601
We sent two crews last summer to Philmont. Both crews utilized freezer bag re-hydrating
Since each dehydrated meal (dinners) was designed to feed two scouts, we organized our scouts into "food buddies"
The method we used = 1/2 of the meal would be in the original packaging for one Scout and the other 1/2 of the meal in a quart sized freezer bag for the other Scout.
Mathematically, 10 dinner meals per Scout that equates to 5 freezer bags per Scout, because 1/2 the time each Scout would be utilizing the original packaging.
For chuck-wagon meals we substituted 1 gallon sized freezer bag per scout per Chuck-wagon meal (bigger bag helped the servers do their job and there no pre-existing packaging that could be utilized)
IIRC, there were two breakfasts (oatmeal) that required re-hydrating
In the end, we decided not to "cut it close" so, EACH scout carried 10 bags TOTAL.
That worked out fine, with each scout having extra bags by the time we got back to base camp.
Here is an additional thread on this topic
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=59418Jul 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm #1895752
@markrvpLocale: North Texas
We went ahead and mixed the dehydrated refried beans into the entree before adding the water so it didn't need its own freezer bag. I had forgotten about the apple dessert.
CHECK THE SWAP BOXES FOR FOR REFRIED BEAN PACKETS. TAKE PACKETS OF TABASCO SAUCE
We found that if you add half a packet of refried beans to the breakfast skillet it was delicious.
Also, add a whole packet of refried beans to a packet of Santa Fe Chicken and Rice, and then dump in some tabasco sauce for a delicious treat.Jul 24, 2012 at 8:20 am #1897145
Like some above, we rehydrated the MH meals in their packaging. It was then up to each pair as to whether to split the meal using bowls or not. We had about half of the crew just share out of the bag. (Advisors did this first. Lead by example ;)
Most of the rest of the crew caught on that the only thing needing cleaning was their spoon. Everyone loved the days with MH meals. While our Ranger was with us, we did the usual Philmont one-pot method.Jul 24, 2012 at 10:33 am #1897182
We took 18 quart sized freezer bags per person this year. I calculated a few extras to cover blowouts and spare uses for the bags. I used my bags soley for rehydrating, used no extras, and came home with 5 bags, so I used 13 bags for rehydrating at Philmont.
The refried beans were mixed in with the Mexican beef. We had no Chuckwagon dinner or breakfast.Jul 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm #1897280
@kirkalmLocale: Cascade Foothills
Just got back the 22nd, during the Advisors meeting on day one it was briefed that no freezer/turkey bags be used due to the additional waste generated. We did use the bags that the meals came in to rehydrate, the boys decide how to split up portions on their own. Did four boxes of Stove Top/Turkey in a 4qt pot, added turkey at the same time as water.
Reducing by 25% the water used on all the meals except the Dinner #7 Rice and Chicken and Dinner #10 Stove-Top worked real well.
Crew 710V1Jul 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm #1898848
Are you saying that in the middle of the season Philmont decided to not allow freezer bag cooking?
I sure would like to know what they policies are so we can plan for next years trip. Is that too much to ask for?Jul 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm #1898888
Our first day in basecamp was 7-6-12 and there was no mention of cooking methods in the advisors meeting. We used freezer bag cooking successfully. When we returned to basecamp after our trek on 7-18-12 we ran into our ranger and he told our boys that Philmont was no longer allowing freezer bag or turkey bag cooking. In addition, they were no longer allowing crews to use their own rope for bear bag hanging (we used Amsteel Blue). Kirk's comments above confirm the ban on freezer bag cooking. The change happened somewhere between 7-6-12 and 7-10-12.
It's hard to tell what they will allow from year to year. Most of the posts I read on BPL prior to leaving said it is highly dependent on the ranger assigned to you. This proved to be true as another crew in our council contingent had a ranger that was more by the book. This ruling, however, sounds like an across the board ban. If you plan on trying freezer bag cooking, my suggestion would be to come prepared with the gear to cook the Phlmont way as a backup in case they don't allow it. We were using two Jetboil Sol stoves/pots but our ranger made us take two extra cooking pots because he had to show us the Philmont way the first night. We had to sign off that he trained us on this and many other skills. We carried the extra pots the entire trek and only used them that first night.Jul 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm #1898926
OK. Just has I was getting my boys use to frezer bag cooking ( and they liked cooking this way), what is now the philmont cooking method? Having to take two bigs pots for a crew of 7 scouts and 2 adults. We have the 2.5L pots for our reactor stoves. Could we just get away using those and not have to carry any additional pots? Can't really take any additional pots with reactor stoves since other pots are not made for the stove.
The boys liked the idea of no clean up. I can see just using the Mountain House bags for rehydrating those meals..then put them into the personnal bowls…but I guess the stove top stuffing meal would require us to dump the stuff in the pot…thus dirtying the pot…
I have the photos of me going to philmont with the two big pots strapped to my backpack from 30 years ago. I had to fit my sleeping bag in between them. So you can bet I made sure they were clean everyday since I had to carry them.
Interested in hearing what others on this forum think… Thanks for everyone that posts on this forumJul 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm #1899046
Our trek left out on 7-17 and I had all the bags divided up and handed out to everyone. We were told in the advisor's meeting no turkey/freezer bags and then I asked the ranger before our hitting the trail and was told no as well. I suppose we could have used freezer bags after our ranger left us but just stuck with the "Philmont Way". Another advisor and myself had brought JetBoil stoves which were never used. The stove we always used was a pocket rocket which was a balancing act with the big pot. Also the night we had the vegetable lasagna I remember that being an especially big mess because of the cheese and such that is in the meal. I think I did use one bag to rehydrate some kind of Apple and cinnamon dessert thing that was an extra on one of the meals.Aug 2, 2012 at 11:08 am #1899527
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
First, I don't know what or where Philmont is but when I first read this thread my thought was " what's wrong with this picture?". Is it me are does this thread sound like people are proponents of an excessive consumption of freezer bags? I think that I must be ill informed but some enlightenment might help me understand some of the comments here. Just my opinion – JonAug 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm #1899680
I wouldn't care if we had to carry all the used bags the entire trip.
FBC is far more sanitary than any other method of cooking on the trail. Take it from someone who ate out of freezer bags for almost six months straight on my Appalachian trail thru-hike last year. Never washed a pot and never got sick.Aug 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm #1899714
"Just got back the 22nd, during the Advisors meeting on day one it was briefed that no freezer/turkey bags be used due to the additional waste generated"
Should have volunteered to haul it all home with you and then see what they said.
I suspect there is more to it than waste.Aug 3, 2012 at 9:16 am #1899835
From http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/Resources/PromotePhilmont/RequestMaterials/QuickFacts.aspx "Over 22,000 Scouts and Leaders are expected to go on 12-day treks this summer. Every day, 350 arrive, 350 leave, and 3,500 are hiking in the backcountry"
At only 8 bags per person (rounded down from my figures above) even if only half the crews did the freezer bag method, you are at 88,000 freezer bags per summer!!! That's A LOT of unnecessary trash and a waste of resources. (1375 pounds of quart size freezer bag trash which doesn't decompose)
While I agree the 'Philmont method' is old-school, utilization of the provided packaging (as the manufacturer intends it – cooking in the bag) is the best compromise for trash and resources.
Regarding health issues and cooking – the less you handle any item the better, the less likely you are to introduce contaminates; another reason to support cooking in the provided packaging.
Just remember that at the end of the day its all about the boys!!! What they want, what they can do, what they do with the future…Aug 5, 2012 at 7:30 pm #1900489
There was another thread here on cooking that described the 5 common ways of cooking at Philmont. I copied that and brought it to the crew's first meeting. At their second meeting each member brought the supplies needed to demonstrate one of the methods. Afterwards they decided that they would use the Freezer Bag method. This was their decision. Next week I will inform them that they can no long use their preferred method.Aug 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm #1900660
That is an interesting question to poise to Philmont staff. Suppose I am going to carry out what I pack in (i.e. freezer bags that I bring, not the packaging that Philmont provides the food in), what would they say… you are practicing Leave No Trace by taking out what you take in…freezer bags compact pretty well…would need to put the "used" ones in the bear bag at night. I am sure there is someone at Philmont that trolls this forum…
Our trek is not until 2013, so I have time to figure out what/how we are going to do…but I'll need to figure out some method for this weekend for our 2nd shakedown trip.
Thanks for posting your response.Aug 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm #1900671
@smcdindelmarLocale: San Diego
Looked at using bags and decide too much trash.
For Philmont we are going with the 4 cup ziploc bowls that way we can split or mix a meal into one depending on the specific meal and a bowl (Voskos 16 ounce Yogurt container) that fits into the Reactors. If you trim one of them you can get two containers in and the bigger can of fuel.
Other containers I like to use are; the jar from JetPuff Marshmallow, the jar you get when you buy powered gatorade and the Voskos Greek Yogurt 16 ounce.Aug 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm #1900719
Yes, you need to know these things during the planning stage which begins a year or more in advance.
We are about to buy new stoves and a Jetboil or a Pocket Rocket is no good for putting a big pot of food on.
I'd rinse the bags and carry them out. 11 meals for 7 members and consider we will use the original bag for half the meals and a ziplock for the other half you're carrying 33 bags. No big deal. But if the ranger is going to make us carry the big pot and cleaning supplies we might as well just use their method and be done with it.
Hard to sell the boys on the boy led thing when they don't get to make decisions.Aug 8, 2012 at 11:07 am #1901193
@berklichLocale: Northern Mid-West
7/16: At the Advisors Meeting we were asked to not use Turkey Bags and we were asked to compress our trash. We had no plan on using the bags ourselves for 2 reasons. First, we liked the one pot method because the community pot brought the Crew together. Second was the trash. That was not a big issue until we actually got to the staffed camps and saw how much trash was being made by the T-Bag method. You could always tell who was using it because we could compress ours down to about a coke can and the T-baggers were about double that. And it really showed. Clean-up was a pain until the boys started working as a team. Then it was a breeze.Aug 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm #1901242
"First, we liked the one pot method because the community pot brought the Crew together. Second was the trash."
Any water boil method will bring a crew together via the use of a single community pot, whether using turkey bags or bowls/cups.
As to the second point, the 'footprint' a turkey bag leaves isn't that obvious. Sure, the trash is visible, but how does this compare to the impact of cleaning (presumably with soap) all those bowls & cups? Secondly, who wants to hoof water back & forth for clean-up? Those kinds of chores make backpacking less enjoyable.
Thirdly, if you use bowls, then you are sort of stuck using conventional dehydrated food (like Mountain House), unless you bring a lid & cozy. One of the key advantages to using turkey bags transcends the clean up vs trash debate.
With a bag inside a bubble envelope (for insulation), you can cook all kinds of standard home meals (ie non-dehydrated food), such as oatmeal, pasta, mac-n-cheese, etc, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes without getting cold. From a dietary stand-point, I think that factor alone makes turkey bags a lot more appealing.Aug 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm #1901247
We used 10 turkey bags to rehydrate/cook our meals during our trek this summer. We used maybe two or three of the "yum yum" bags (day two and three with our ranger). The extras were used by the crew for clothes washing, food storage or anything else that needed a large ziploc.
I agree that if multiple freezer bags are being used at every hot meal by a crew, it adds up. I don't agree, however, that using turkey bags to cook in and then using them as the "yum yum" bag adds any additional trash. We could have left the "sump strainer" behind… That was a mess to deal with any way you do it…
On the trash compaction… We encouraged our crew to compact as much as possible but were also told by a couple of staffers that they can no longer require it as it might be considered "hazing"… good grief… Just good backcountry sense to me…
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