Topic

Vacuum-Sealed Recycled Mylar Bags for Backpacking Food Packaging: Better than ZipLocs


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Vacuum-Sealed Recycled Mylar Bags for Backpacking Food Packaging: Better than ZipLocs

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3444460
    Rosaleen Sullivan
    Spectator

    @mamarosa43

    Locale: New England

    Companion forum thread to: Vacuum-Sealed Recycled Mylar Bags for Backpacking Food Packaging: Better than ZipLocs

    Mylar bags for backpacking food keep food fresh and protected from moisture. How about vacuum sealing reusable (e.g., snack chip) bags?

    #3445055
    K M
    BPL Member

    @snwcmpr

    Locale: WNC

    Coffee bags that roasters use seem good for this.

    I use an old vintage iron to seal them.


    @jamesdmarco

    Hi, James. I lost contact when the Yahoo group went away.

    Ken in NC

    #3445059
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Ken, yeah, it was a pretty good group for several years. Later!

    #3445065
    Jerry Cagle
    BPL Member

    @xclimber

    Locale: Southwest

    Awesome…! ¬†We don’t eat the stuff that comes in those bags…

    #3445067
    DAN-Y/FANCEE FEEST
    Spectator

    @zelph2

    #3445093
    Philip Deering
    BPL Member

    @pdeering

    Too bad we don’t have the Facebook “like” option, because I’d use it to mark your post. Even though I rarely eat mylar-encased snacks, the Pavlovian response is strong — my mouth is watering right now.

     

    #3445196
    Bryan Bihlmaier
    BPL Member

    @bryanb

    Locale: Wasatch Mountains

    Great tip. Thanks! One question which no one has asked: what temperature setting on the clothes iron works best (seals without melting too much)?

    #3445213
    K M
    BPL Member

    @snwcmpr

    Locale: WNC

    Trial and error. Each iron and each bag will be different.

    Heat the iron to a medium setting, then when hot, touch the bag. Melt — too hot. No Seal — too cool.

    #3445239
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Well, I would defer to Rosaleen as far as heat settings, but I use a high heat. Note that I usually just put the iron on as high as it will go. But, I also use a piece of paper to keep the iron clean (a dimpled piece of paper towel)…it makes a bit of a mess with the colored dyes and melted plastic, otherwise. Maybe with less insulation, like a thin paper strip across the top for labeling, you can use a lower heat. Also note that on occasion, I have “bumped” the package where extra air or food is. It results in a small hole, so this is something to avoid. A piece of cellophane tape can be used to close up any holes.

    Anyway, my daughters food saver did real well. Since we folded the top (to avoid all the vacuum pressure, and to supply some thickness for the heating element) it worked pretty well. But, it can make a mess of the heating element. The packets for 1 person were smaller than say a packet of Lipton rice sides. We were not all that fussy about removing the air, though.

    The technique is NOT about preserving/sterilizing foods, though this is a byproduct. It is about keeping pack volume down and maintaining dry/clean food for the hike. Dehydration will usually be enough to preserve foods. Fats and oils can still go rancid, so, while being edible, do not last as long as non-oily foods.

    Weight is always reduced with dehydrated foods. Unless you are hiking in a desert, water weight can be significant. This can easily add a pound per day to your food bag iff you do not dehydrate or carry dehydrated foods.

    #3445277
    K M
    BPL Member

    @snwcmpr

    Locale: WNC

    I melt with my iron if I use high. I think older irons have less safety features. So, trial and error.

    #3445664
    Walter Underwood
    BPL Member

    @wunder

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    What temperature is the iron set to?

    #3445668
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I doubt that the temperature dial on the average domestic iron would be what we might call ‘calibrated’. You may have to experiment with YOUR iron.

    Cheers

    #3445670
    Walter Underwood
    BPL Member

    @wunder

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    Irons have thermostats to control the temperature. You can usually hear the thermostat click as you are using them.

    If irons get too hot, they melt synthetic fabrics.

    Cotton is usually 150-200¬ļ C

    Polyester/Rayon/Silk is 110-150¬ļ C

    Nylon is below 110¬ļ C

    http://www.ebay.com/gds/Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-Your-Irons-Settings-/10000000177940893/g.html

    #3445793
    K M
    BPL Member

    @snwcmpr

    Locale: WNC

    Hence, trial and error.

    #3445854
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    It’s not really the Mylar itself which is being melted and welded; it’s the polyethylene layer on the inside of the bag which does that. My guess would be somewhere in the 110-150 C range. A bit of release paper between the iron and the bag, as Rosaleen suggested, could be good.

    Cheers

    #3453150
    Daniel Lee
    BPL Member

    @scoutbuff

    Locale: Colorado

    Great article and discussion!  Just thinking aloud but I think you could do the same if you wanted to use the larger chip bags for bigger portions (i.e. small groups).  As a Scout leader, I would really like for our Scouts to give this a go instead of expensive, land-filling Ziplocs.

    Rosaleen, may I post this article on our troop’s website?¬† Thanks…

    #3453184
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Dan
    may I post this article on our troop’s website?
    You need to ask Ryan for permission to copy from the BPL web site.
    [email protected]

    Cheers

    #3454620
    EastCoastHiker
    BPL Member

    @slackpackhiker

    http://www.webstaurantstore.com/ary-vacmaster-947220-8-x-12-full-mesh-qt-size-external-vacuum-packaging-pouches-bags-3-mil-50-pack/120VBM947220.html

    I bought a different brand of these bags from here a year ago. THere was no scent breakthrough that I or others could detect.

    Useful for trash hauling in addition for food storage.

    I very much like concept of reusing the Mylar bags, thanks for that informative info!

    #3454731
    Daniel Lee
    BPL Member

    @scoutbuff

    Locale: Colorado

    In an effort to minimize routine trash, does anyone have experience trying the same thing with the plastic liners from cereal boxes?¬† They seem tough as nails and certainly food grade… I’ll give it a go and let others know what I discover.

    #3454788
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Dan

    I do not KNOW, but I suspect those bags are mainly polyethylene. If so, they should also seal just fine – but maybe the sealed bags should be kept in the dark to protect the contents. Please test and let us know!

    Cheers

    #3454910
    Tom Clark
    BPL Member

    @tomclark

    Locale: East Coast

    Bacteria won’t grow at the low moisture (water activity, actually) levels that are associated with dehydrated meals.¬† I would be MUCH more careful with moist items like trail mix and tuna.

    #3454913
    Tom Clark
    BPL Member

    @tomclark

    Locale: East Coast

    When setting the iron temperature, you can certainly use the “synthetic” and “cotton” levels as guidance.¬† The lower end of the “synthetic” (including polyester and polypropylene) range won’t be enough to seal since the iron manufacturer doesn’t want to melt your shirt.¬† Many of those pouches use two different webs of polypropylene, with the inner web being metallized on one side¬†and a discreet layer of lower temperature¬†material to help with the sealing.¬† The outer web of material can be either polypropylene or PET, not easy to tell by just looking at it.¬† The bags with PET will be able to withstand a higher temperature.¬† Also, some bags are sealed with a “cold seal” adhesive, rather than with the heat sealed version.¬† You might notice the cold seal as a whitish strip¬†after opening it.

    Tom

    #3454917
    Tom Clark
    BPL Member

    @tomclark

    Locale: East Coast

    Cereal liners are high density polyethylene, with some of the more flavorful cereals using an added layer of EVOH for aroma barrier.  While the relatively thick cereal liners have pretty good moisture barrier, they are not as good as a metallized film and often have significant leaks at the end seals.  They will be more puncture resistant then the metallized polypropylene pouches.  Not sure how important the light barrier is, unless you plan on leaving your dried food sitting on the counter, rather than in the cupboard.  Best to toss them into the freezer anyway to further slow oxidation/rancidity.

    Tom

    #3454925
    Daniel Lee
    BPL Member

    @scoutbuff

    Locale: Colorado

    Good info, Tom!  Thanks!  My family seems to go through cereal and the article on mylar chip bags got me thinking that maybe the cereal liners could work similarly and save us from simply throwing the plastic away.  I anticipate sealing up some dried meals (mac/ch, noodles, etc) as needed for my summer trips and not for long term storage.

    #3457346
    EastCoastHiker
    BPL Member

    @slackpackhiker

    Correction: The bags and brand currently offered are the same as last year.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Get the Newsletter

Get our free Handbook and Receive our weekly newsletter to see what's new at Backpacking Light!

Gear Research & Discovery Tools


Loading...