View Full Version : Vacuum Sealer Question

03-11-2015, 18:58
I am getting ready for my hike on the JMT and was wondering if you used a vacuum sealer. Please tell me why yes or no... I am looking to get one but not sure if it is a waste of money.

03-11-2015, 19:02
I dehydrate my own meals and use a foodsaver. I like it personally but I am sure some will say just use freezer bags.

03-11-2015, 19:33
They frequently loose their seal, you can't 're-close' them like a ziplock bag when you add water to them, and if you only want part of what's in the bag, again, you can't re-close it. Vacuum sealing forms bricks so it's harder to pack the food.

03-11-2015, 21:45
It can make sense for mail drops depending on what you're sending, but you'll want zip lock bags for on trail use.

Rocket Jones
03-12-2015, 06:00
I seal the food at home when I dehydrate in bulk, then it goes in the freezer. When I'm packing for a trip, I'll transfer and construct meals into ziplocks.

03-12-2015, 06:19

What they said.

I also purchased the individual ZipLock bags and vacuum pump. I use it for at-home preparations and enroute and resupply, because it keeps dried fruit soft and fresh, and, nut mix or crackers fresh and crunchy. I also use it for cheese.

03-12-2015, 14:26
My dehydrator has improved my pack menu tons. I've always wondered if I should buy a sealer.

I rehydrate now in a ziplock inside a reflectix cozy. It works so well I'm hesitant to change it up. I don't do a lot of bulk dehydrating, just extra portions from meals. Try not to leave them in the freezer for more than a few months. Again, works great. After reading others comments I don't think vacuuming is something I need.

Good luck. If you end up getting one let us know how it's doing for you.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Maui Rhino
03-12-2015, 15:02
Prior to my JMT last summer, I dehydrated several veggie stir fry mixes, as well as chow mein from my favorite Hawaiian plate lunch joint. I vacuum sealed them with my Foodsaver VS, and carried a couple extra zip-locks for rehydration or just tossed the veggies in with other stuff being rehydrated. It worked fantastically, and I was able to enjoy some great "comfort food" dinners during my hike. In fact, they were my favorite dinners, other than the fresh caught trout.

I love love love my vacuum sealer! I often go to Costco and buy the 6# family pack of burger meat, or the bulk steak pack. Once home, I'll break them down into smaller portions, and seal them up. I save money by buying in bulk, and the VS process reduces freezer burn and food waste.

03-12-2015, 16:12
I use a vacuum sealer for freezing food and breaking down bulk buys of dehydrated food. In my chest freezer there is a noticeable difference in how long vacuum sealed berries last compared to ziplock freezer bags to the point that use two ziplock bags for my berries. The problem with the berries is that they get squished. The same thing with meat, I don't use a lot but I do buy at the farmer market which is vacuum sealed and it lasts a long time in my freezer while ziplocked meat does need to be rotated. I on rare occasions buy #10 cans of veggies and if I break down the can and vacuum seal the contents, it seems to last as long as keeping it in the sealed #10 tin can. I also buy oxygen absorbers and throw one in every pouch I seal. Once it gets to my actually using it for a trip (or around the house) I cut open the freezer bag and then use a ziplock for convenience and if I have leftovers at the end of the trip, it goes in my next pot of soup.

03-12-2015, 17:55
I dehydrate my own food and I use a vacuum sealer at home. The problem with using a vacuum sealer for trail food, particularly on the JMT is that the resulting packages are hard, non-pliable. Simply packing in ziplocks protects your food for the length of time necessary for hiking, and leaves the packages pliable. Much easier to pack them efficiently into your bear canister or 5 gallon pail for shipping.

03-12-2015, 20:10
We use a vacuum sealer at home all the time - it helps keep things from getting freezer burned, and keeps stuff like cheese fresh for a long time. It's helpful for home dried food, too, especially if you freeze it.

For hiking food, I wouldn't use the vacuum sealer for individual meals, but I do pack food into the sealer bags for shipping.

03-12-2015, 20:52
:pNever vacuum seal tortillas without putting wax paper between them.

It makes items hard, and harder to fit in bearcan because of that.
The ziplock kind frequently leak in the seal.

05-19-2015, 07:27
You can buy zip mylar bags and make your own mountain house style affairs. I seal mylar bags with an iron and it works pretty good. They are pricier than ziplocks but you wouldn't need a seperate cozy or anything to rehydrate.