- Aug 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm #3484444
Please keep any discussions more or less on point to the gist of the subject.
Throw away, non editable post first.Aug 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm #3484447
I’m sort of a prepper. I really don’t fit into the stereotypical, right wing, conservative type genre of US based preppers, but I am, and have been, preparing for potential collapse whether socio-economic and/or nature induced.
I really like my 30 oz, Yeti like vacuum insulated tumbler for everyday use. It’s too heavy for typical backpacking use, though I have occasionally used a SS vacuum insulated thermos during polar vortex backpacking.
Nothing beats vacuum insulation–it’s the most efficient by far. Yet all vacuum insulated bottles, thermos’s, and tumblers all suffer from the same issue–their poorly insulated top. I’d take a guess to assume that some 99% of temperature/energy transfer happens via the tops of these.
So the other day I was looking at my tumbler and I realized, if modified, it would make an excellent adjunct survival tool, though a bit heavy. It’s wide enough that it’s easy to clean well by hand and could be used as a super efficient boiled water cooker. You use just enough fuel to heat the water to boiling or near boiling, place it in the tumbler along with food, seal it up well, and let thermal efficiency take over.
But there are two problems with that, the relatively un-insulated top, and potential leaching of estrogenic mimicking chemicals from said tops.
So I came up with a couple solutions. Take a piece of at least food grade silicone sheet, cut to size. That goes over the top, instead of the lid. Then over that goes a super insulated EVA closed cell foam and IR reflector combo, top “coozy”. The design I came up with would likely insulate very, very well, though obviously not as efficient as vacuum insulation per same volume. It would also be pretty light and durable, and easy to put on and take off.
It’s hard to say how much longer contents would stay the desired hot or cold, but when I make the prototype, I will run some tests with both boiling water and very chilled water.
Normally you probably wouldn’t need such ultra high efficiency, but if you’re in a survival situation post complete collapse, in some truly cold areas, and you’re using wood/found and/or limited fuel to heat water and cook food, and it’s below 0 F, then such ultra high efficiency would likely come in handy.
I’m also thinking of possibly marketing and selling a kit for those who already have such style tumblers and who are survival minded. Thinking of selling it in the 6 to 11 dollar range or so for the silicone “lid” and foam coozy top (and maybe also offering a silicone type straw).
Assuming you are a pragmatic, survival minded person, if things went back to pre industrial conditions, would you want such a kit for ultra energy efficient cooking (and assuming you already have a similar type tumbler)?
(On a side note, if I had the money and know how and it was possible [?], I would make a similar style vacuum insulated container out of 7075 Aluminum with possibly a thin, silicone liner, as it would be almost a 3rd of the weight of a SS Tumbler. A 30 oz SS Tumbler weighs around a pound, so the Al version would weigh around 6 to 6.5 oz.).Aug 12, 2017 at 8:28 am #3484478
Regarding your topic, I try to have at least a week’s worth of food and water, like if there’s a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and supplies are temporarily cut off. Toilet paper…
Regarding vacuum bottles, doesn’t the plastic have to touch the food? A little steam will condense on the plastic and drip down, but maybe that’s a small amount? I agree with you that putting hot stuff on plastic and then eating it doesn’t seem like a good idea. BPA is only one chemical.
Since most of the heat loss is out the top, you could put a piece of styrofoam over it. Or any insulation.
Silicone inner – wouldn’t be strong enough to maintain the space with vacuum in it?Aug 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm #3484530
No smooth rocks instead… ; )
Yeah, leeching is most an issue when the plastic is surrounded by and directly touching the water, but I would not be surprised if some didn’t happen when it’s condensating, especially with that hot steam.
“Since most of the heat loss is out the top, you could put a piece of styrofoam over it. Or any insulation.”
Yes, you could technically use lots of different stuff, but remember, we’re thinking long term survival here (assume the electrical grid has almost completely gone down) and so you need maximum durability at the lightest weight possible (to be flexible and especially mobile if need be).
Styrofoam isn’t particularly tough or durable–though a great insulator. EVA foam is one of the most tough and durable commonly available foams at a given density. Also, EVA foam is one of the only foams that I know of, that handles UV decently to well. Most other common forms of foam degrade quickly in UV. Foams in general, are great (and inexpensive) insulators per given thickness and weight. I want CCF type so it doesn’t absorb moisture. EVA is the only one that ticks all the main boxes and is fairly common and reasonably priced as far as I know. And it seems a lot of people find black sexy nowadays (lol, especially the hipsters round here).
“Silicone inner – wouldn’t be strong enough to maintain the space with vacuum in it?”
Not sure which part you’re addressing? If you’re addressing the first part of silicone cover + foam coozy kit, then poking a small (pin type) hole in the silicone cover piece should handle any developing/changing pressure differentials and still keep most steam within?
If you’re talking about the theoretical 7075 Al vacuum insulated thermos, then I didn’t mean that the silicone would one of the “walls”, but have a thin, silicone insert since Al is more reactive and leeching than a lot of other metals. The silicone would provide a barrier and a pretty inert one at that. (On another side note–I just found out about Kobe Al alloy–holy smokes Batman–that stuff sounds like the perfect material for vacuum insulation!).
Well, whether or not the shite ever hits the fan, after I make the prototype that I will keep for myself, I plan on using it at home for various things. Like a super efficient yogurt (or other cultured food) maker, or set and forget cooking for rice, quinoa, or the like.
While I haven’t made it yet, today I’m making “cashew ‘cheese’ dip” with my 30 oz tumbler. I took a bunch of cashews, blended it very well with warm water, a little goat milk yogurt (as a culture starter), and a little nutritional yeast. Re-warmed it, and put it in the tumbler which was pre warmed with near boiling water. I put a piece of parchment paper over the top, put the regular lid on, and over that put a piece of aluminum foil with some air space between the lid and it. Then set it up in a top cabinet near the ceiling and will probably give it about 10 hours or so.
Wish I had some vegan lactic acid. That would really “make” the mostly vegan cheese methinks. In lieu, thinking of maybe adding a little apple cider vinegar and tamari sauce blend. Also wondering if I should drain and set it, to make it more firm (and/or add some Agar-Agar), or just keep it as a mock cheese dip… 1st world problems and decisions right.Aug 12, 2017 at 3:20 pm #3484533
ahhh… I though you meant silicone one of the walls, now I’m tracking you
I don’t see how keeping something hot would be an important prepper item. Heat it up, eat it. If you’re hydrating, heat it up and let it sit for a while. Maybe it won’t be as perfectly hydrated as if you could keep it warmer longer.
Culturing food seems like an unnecessary luxury. I guess you’re think of having your own animals and living for like years?
More important than eating bacteria is to feed the bacteria you already have. Eaten bacteria don’t survive the digestive track well. There is no good research about which bacteria would be good to eat, bacteria put into food is selected based on the ability to be mass produced. Half your diet should be vegetables and fruit, whole grains,… “probiotics” is just a marketing scam. (being a hypocrite, I eat Nancy’s Yogurt for the bacteria, Nancy’s is supposed to have a good selection of bacteria).Aug 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm #3484542
I don’t see how keeping something hot would be an important prepper item.
It’s less about that specifically, and more about general energy efficiency. This can be important if it’s A. very cold. B. very wet. C. you’re constantly on the move and nomadic and never know what energy resources you will or won’t have–some days you’ll find plenty of dry wood and matter to burn, and other days not so much–in any case, having uber, portable, relatively light insulation allows you to use minimal amount of resources and energy as possible. And not just in the matter itself, but in energy and time spent in collecting–for one example.
A lot of typical preppers have this idea that they can stockpile their homes with extra food, fuel, and equipment, and if they have plenty of guns and ammo they will be ok long term.
I believe that belief/mind set is pretty illusionary and pollyana’ish. If something like this happens, first thing I will do, is go to a remote part of the woods to get away from towns, cities, and people during the most chaotic part of it. Unfortunately, there WILL be roving gangs of people, whose ethics and conscience will take back seats to their hunger, fear, mental/emtional imbalance, and/or being led by a more psychopathic and stronger personality type (think someone like the character Negan in Walking Dead series–most are more followers than leaders or true independents).
So, I need to be as mobile as possible. Staying relatively light helps with that, and then also efficient use of what I do have.
If you use the UL and light backpacking mindset all the way on this, not all of it will make sense. Some of that is helpful in the light (for mobile) part, but now you have to add pretty durable and much longer term thinking as well. Most backpackers, especially weekend warrior types, are more in the category of not thinking about it consumers when they are out there. They can afford to be minimalist, because they know they are coming back to civilization. Less is more so more then.
When there is no convenient civilization to go back to, then you really have to start thinking differently than a light and UL backpacker in some core ways. You have to think 4 seasons. It’s a lot more complex and holistic of a scenario.Aug 12, 2017 at 4:18 pm #3484547
Culturing food seems like an unnecessary luxury. I guess you’re think of having your own animals and living for like years?
I mostly agree, that’s why I prefaced it with the concept of “for now”, “or until”, and the like… : )
It’s also something nice to have meanwhile, while I’m enjoying my cushy-American-Western lifestyle of plenty.
But culturing and fermentation was the original, first way of longer term food storage and/or making foods more easily digestible and/or their nutrients more available for assimilation. It’s good to have some knowledge of and experience with these things when refrigerators doesn’t exist anymore. For example, say you do acquire a goat or cow post collapse, and you want to safely culture the milk in a sure manner, to lengthen it’s shelf life? What do you do?
You could take some well rinsed cabbage leaf and put it in the milk for a little while. There are probiotic lactic bacteria on cabbage.
I guess I’m the only semi-closet prepper around here?Aug 12, 2017 at 5:01 pm #3484553
I was in a phase of panning for gold once. I knew the name of the game was not spending a lot of money. I made a sluice out of aluminum I had. Put in stream and shoveled dirt onto it. Panned the concentrates – that’s the one thing I bought. Maybe I spent 20 hours and got $1 of gold.Aug 12, 2017 at 11:22 pm #3484617
Michael LBPL Member
So I guess your promise to leave after your failed mind reading was bs like everything else you post?Aug 13, 2017 at 7:37 am #3484642
There’s a TV show called “Alone”
They put people in the wilderness and they have to fend for themselves. Hunting, fishing, foraging for plants,… None of them last for more than a couple months. Living off the land is difficult. They only get to take a few items with them though, if you were better preped it would be easier. Some of them were very experienced survivalists.
Buck Nelson did his trip to an island in Alaska. Great story. It seemed like maybe he could have survived indefinitely. One thing he said was his pressure cooker and canning jars were important.Aug 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm #3485490
Michael, just consider me a Crac… I mean Chaff addict.
I only recently posted again because I saw Craig mention me. But I re-recently realized how utterly pointless it is to post in chaff since it’s pretty much all politics, all the time.
I may stick around in the other sections some here and there. Have some interesting projects in the works, and others may benefit from my experiments.
BPL is a bit like Hotel California sometimes, especially when I’m bored.
Good points Jerry.Aug 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm #3485492
The only reason I have the Yeti 32oz tumbler vs the RTIC or Walmart cheaper versions is because I bought it right after its release and there weren’t better/cheaper options. Some people have tested theirs against the competition and said the Ozark Trail version actually works better at keeping things cold.
As far as rehydrating food goes, that’s a smart idea although I wish it was lighter for backpacking purposes. I’ve made reflectix cozies and they work ok but nowhere near as good as the Yeti.
My Yeti is too efficient for coffee. With a paper cup, I can order it as hot as the sun and within five minites it has cooled down to the perfect temperature, which is precisely one degree less than what would cause third degree burns. With the Yeti, I’m on the road for a half hour before I dare drink any.Aug 17, 2017 at 10:36 am #3485604
Hey there Ian,
Yeah, not recommended for coffee if you want to drink it anytime soon, unless you make coffee at night and want to drink it in the morning.
Not so much rehydrating as actual cooking (like wild game or the like). You don’t need a lot of thermal efficiency for rehydration of dried, already cooked meals like backpacking.
Someone might ask, might not just roast game or the like over an open fire? Maybe in the further future after a collapse you could do that, but for the very first and most chaotic part of it, I would want to be as invisible as possible, so that means as little smoke and flame as possible.
I have this which I plan to use should a collapse occur:
And as mentioned previously, there will be days when everything will be sopping wet, or it’s very, very cold, or you’re in an area without much to burn, etc and that’s when ultra efficiency comes in handy. You’re in the mindset of conserving calories, so also the least work for most gain also becomes important.Aug 17, 2017 at 6:08 pm #3485712
Cooking wild game and the like.
How much meat do you think you can cook by putting boiling water inside a 32oz container ?
You may want to try the idea at home first.Aug 17, 2017 at 9:28 pm #3485743
Enough for a meal. Even if you were lucky enough to catch a large deer, if you dig a deep hole, and put the rest of the meat in a couple of plastic bags, that’s a natural refrigerator. Or I suppose you could start a big, open fire, roast the deer all at once, and potentially attract a lot of potentially unwanted attention. That sounds like a great idea.
In any case, it’s not like large wild game is the only food out there that needs to be cooked. Plenty of wild edible plants, mushrooms, and small critters need to be cooked as well, and 32oz is more than enough for a largish, foraged meal.
They also make larger sizes with same size lid, so that’s an option.
You seem a little obsessed with me, following me around (two replies on two different threads I started, within less than two hours and a couple replies the other day on another thread). I’d suggest that it’s not healthy for you Franco, and that mutually avoiding each other in the future would be in both of our better interest, but especially yours (since I’m not obsessed with you whatsoever, and don’t even bother reading most of your threads).Aug 17, 2017 at 9:50 pm #3485747
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I don’t know what materials SWell and Manna thermos use for their lids, but they sure keep things hot for a long time. Have you tried either one of those bottles?Aug 17, 2017 at 10:56 pm #3485765
If Mr John Citizen posted here about doing what you suggest, I would put exactly the same comment…
As much as you go on and on about me not thinking outside the square it seems to me that you are the one not thinking it through.
BTW, you are having a go at the messenger , I was debating the message.Aug 17, 2017 at 11:28 pm #3485769
Michael LBPL Member
if you dig a deep hole, and put the rest of the meat in a couple of plastic bags, that’s a natural refrigerator.
Wow. Genius. Ok. More foolishly naive based on the discription you give…
Except you have to seal it in decently. And your bags are going to wear out quickly…. not to mention you can’t sanitize them I bet in the field. It’s likelythey will not be reusable given that
There isnt a problem with the ground for keeping and preserving food in general (been done for centuries), but you need to put more thought into it. Smoked meat to preserve is more practical if you are doing some serious digging with longer term goals and ability to remain in one place. Unless you move off the grid I bet the knowledge you gain will never be used – but go gain that knowledge. Read up on it. Practice. Report your experiences.Aug 18, 2017 at 6:40 am #3485803
You can bury a clay pot, get it wet, it will cool some, been done for centuries
Yeah, you should practice while you can come back to civilization. Would be a fun project?Aug 18, 2017 at 9:44 am #3485832
I haven’t used those before. I looked them up to see what they look like. As far as I can tell, they are a more traditional thermos and/or bottle shaped design. There are some important differences between the tumbler style I’m talking about and the above older designs. The tumblers are pretty wide at the top, which makes it great for cooking, because it’s easy to fully clean out but reduces the thermal efficiency because of the greater surface area that is not high insulated. Also, tumblers aren’t sealed as well (more air convection allowed), because the top just friction fits (and isn’t screwed down) They still work pretty well for regular use.
But pretty well at 70* F, and around 0* or colder is a big difference. I started a late weekend trip once during a “polar vortex” during Winter. I had made an extra insulating top for a large, 40 oz Hydroflask, which is a bit more efficient than a tumbler (bit smaller top and one that can be screwed on tight). Right before I left, I put boiling water in same, had a slightly under 2 hr drive, got there around 2pm or so, left it in the car with the hope that I would have some non frozen water when I got back in the morning. The low was a couple degrees below 0″ F
When I got back around 10am or so, there was a vacuum like suction and for the life of me, I could not get that lid off. Took awhile before I was able to get it off (temps and pressure to equalize) It wasn’t even a full 24 hrs of cold exposure. I hadn’t really expected that.Aug 18, 2017 at 9:55 am #3485836
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
Yeah I figured these were not the right vessel but they sure have figured something out re insulation.Aug 18, 2017 at 9:55 am #3485837
Smoking would be a good idea post chaos part of a collapse. But during the first year or so, we plan to be as invisible as possible (but then again, who knows, historically I’ve been bit of a sucker for helping people and having a hard time saying no to folks in need).Aug 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm #3485861
I’ve looked at insulation as a substitute for fuel and energy. I like the idea of bringing water to a boil and then putting the food into an insulated container over simmering, but I haven’t been able to make it work for me in the field. Germane to UL hiking, I’d like to be able to cook pasta, quinoa, or non minute rice this way but my experiments with the afore mentioned reflectix cozies haven’t worked out.
At home or near a vehicle, the Wonderbag seems to have promise but the reviews are mixed where temps have dropped below 140*f for some. Seems like as long as you keep it under four hours cook time though it should be fine.Aug 18, 2017 at 3:31 pm #3485881
Ah, wunderbar, have never heard of the Wonderbag before.
If I could find a silicone bottle large and wide enough, and ended up buying some aerogel particles, I could make a very light weight, super insulated thermos like cooker, though it would be a bit on the wide side.Aug 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm #3485905
if you were lucky enough to catch a large deer, if you dig a deep hole, and put the rest of the meat in a couple of plastic bags, that’s a natural refrigerator. Or I suppose you could start a big, open fire, roast the deer all at once, and potentially attract a lot of potentially unwanted attention. That sounds like a great idea.
And how are you going to dig that hole in the forest ? (there are roots and stones there…)
Ever tried digging two feet down with those “survival” type tools ?
or do you plan to have a regular sized pick and shovel ?
and good luck in re-using plastic bags after that.
“In any case, it’s not like large wild game is the only food out there that needs to be cooked. Plenty of wild edible plants, mushrooms, and small critters need to be cooked as well, and 32oz is more than enough for a largish, foraged meal”.
The problem there is that to cook game meat you need to keep the boil up for a few minutes then cook at 140f or so for an hour or two (takes 3-4 times the amount of water on a stove to do that). A small portion of meat for two is 16 oz in volume (roughly) that leaves 16oz for the boiling water to cook. Of course if you have veggies as well in there you end up with almost no space for the water. As soon as your boiling water hits the meat and or veggies it will cool down to below the safe temperature..
But before you get to that point, it is crucial to prepare game correctly to avoid bacterial contamination. Not all that easy in your no roast/no smoke survival scenario.
Do keep in mind that this is for you because I don’t intend to prepare for survival but I do have some basic practical skills if the need is there.
here is the usual sequence :
Justin : I have a great idea… (ligthter, better, using two acronyms and three layers)
me : it’s not going to work
Justin : you are narrow minded and lack spirituality...
3 years later..
someone : Justin have you finished…
Justin : no, I changed direction.
- This reply was modified 2 months ago by Franco Darioli.
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