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pkinnetz
11-21-2003, 22:00
Well, I just bought a Food Saver, and wondered if the money is well spent, or should I return it before I open the package? What are the advantages of one, over dehydrated food, or do you use it with dehydrated food to increase the shelf life? I've heard others hikers say they use one, saw it was on sale, so got it for an advance Christmas present to myself. But now I'm reconsidering since I don't know exactly what they are good for.

attroll
11-21-2003, 23:23
Here is a clipping from and article I read here on WHiteBlaze. I have put a Food saver on Xmas list. I have heard some good things about them. But have never used one myself. I am interested to see what kind of feedback you get here.

Vacuum Sealer Magic

1. Many food items can be sealed in individual/sample-sized packages for ease of use or just ease of mailing. Items I have experimented with for long term un-refrigerated storage (up to and over 6 weeks) include peanut butter, oils - plain olive and flavored olive oils, freshly shredded parmesan cheese (I have seen this last four months), rum, dried meats, dried veggies, dried fruits.

2. Other food items that I have personally packaged and used without refrigeration for up to two weeks include Velveeta, cheddar cheese, pepperoni, and jelly. Try at your own risk.

3.Non-food items can also be packaged in single-use sized packages - shampoo, soaps, lotions - this is recommended particularly if they have a strong odor.

4.Vacuum sealers like the Foodsaver Compact can be obtained at Walmart, Samís Club, at an online retail store or often you can find a good buy on Ebay. I have included a resource list at the end of this handout. It can also be ordered by phone (through the infomercial) but I think it is a little more expensive that way. That number is 1-800-891-5511 and it is about $150. I have worked with the larger Foodsaver, but prefer the Compact one because the vacuum isn't as strong, making it easier to seal in liquids. It is an investment, but is more important in my kitchen than a microwave!

jlb2012
11-21-2003, 23:46
Here in the east its not too much of an issue but in the higher mtns in the west using a vacuum sealer is probably not the best idea - one hears tales of bear canisters packed with vacuum sealed bags being impossible to unpack until the sealed bags are punctured to release the residual air that expands significantly at the higher altitudes. - like I say probably not a problem on the AT cause people rarely use bear canisters and the mtns. are not that high.

Alligator
11-22-2003, 00:37
Shelf life is definitely the answer. I use it for dehydrated food. I usually make about five dinners at a time. Since I only hit the trail about once a month, the extra life is useful. If you do about five dinners for variety, it ends up being a lot of food in the freezer for extended periods. I tried it on bagels once. They were fresh but really shrunk up. I haven't really used it for many fresh foods. There is an attachment to seal containers, but the containers expensive. I thought the lettuce one might be useful. Also a wine cork and a mason jar lid.

SkyKing
11-24-2003, 02:45
It's great to seal things in quart and pint jars....both wide-mouth and regular. The adapter should come with the unit. This isn't hiking related but you wanted uses around the house.

Jumpstart
11-24-2003, 07:30
Well, I just bought a Food Saver, and wondered if the money is well spent, or should I return it before I open the package? What are the advantages of one, over dehydrated food, or do you use it with dehydrated food to increase the shelf life? I've heard others hikers say they use one, saw it was on sale, so got it for an advance Christmas present to myself. But now I'm reconsidering since I don't know exactly what they are good for.

We used the FoodSaver for our resupply on our thruhike, and it worked out great. We stored all of the stuff we had previously dehydrated (corn, veggies, hamburger, spaghetti sauce, etc..) in them, and then when it was time to reconstitute them you could dump the entire bag in boiling water or dump boiling water right into the bag. And it kept things from being shaken to crumbs while they were in your pack, and made it easy and compact to store several days of food at a time. Also good for freshness. Bring a sharp knife to get into the bags, though. Good luck!