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View Full Version : Dehydrated meals stored in ziplocs vs vacuum sealed bags



Journey
11-25-2002, 09:21
My group is thinking of buying Mountain House in the #10 cans for the cost savings. Can we put single servings in ziploc bags or is it important to seal it in vacuum seal bags? We worry about moisture with the ziplocs, but it sure would make the process easier. Can boiling water be added to vacuum seal bags like it can to ziplocs? The ziplocs would be easier to add the water to and reseal while we wait for it to "cook". Thanks for your time and wisdom~Journey

Jumpstart
11-25-2002, 10:04
Hi Journey,

We used the Food-Saver vaccuum-bag system for our home-made dehydrated meals, and they worked WONDERFULLY. They kept the food from getting smushed and beaten to tiny crumbs while jostling around in the pack, you can pour boiling water right into the bag (not sure if you can do this with ziplocs for an extended period of time?)and you never have to worry about the food getting puncutred in the pack, or accidentally opening up and spilling all over everything, which was great, and the food stayed amazingly fresh...so fresh that we are still eating extra maildrop foods we packaged LAST November. By using the vaccum bags, we also found we could let food "warm" in a pot of hot water while we prepared other parts of our meals becuase the bags will hold up to boiling. The only drawback we found was that you do need to cut the bags to get into them, so you need some sort of knife or leatherman, which you will probably have anyway. Vaccuum bags certainly aren't a neccesity for maildrops, but they worked wondefully for us.

Also, just to let you know, you might want to call Mtn. House; we spoke to someone at Mountain house about the 10# cans last year during our trail prep, and they sent us a form for whole-sales deals from them because we were doing the trail.

Good luck!

Journey
12-11-2002, 09:52
This past weekend we hiked in snow and 28* weather to test gear and our alcohol stoves. I boiled water and added it to a large ziploc along with a Mountain house meal, zipped it up, mixed it and put it inside my jacket for 10 minutes. It worked great. My meal was cooked and I was warmed up. The large bag was difficult to eat out of, so next time I'll use a smaller bag. Journey

Footslogger
01-20-2003, 18:30
For my hike this year I am not buying food in advance to any great extent. However, for our hike in 2001 BA Turtle and I bought a lot of food up front in bulk like ramen and powdered soup mixes, etc. We broke them down into meal sized portions and placed them in freezer strength ziplocks and never had a moisture problem. I don't think you can go wrong either way, although I have never used the food-saver vacuum approach.
There were times when we did not want to eat an entire meal and were happy that we had the flexibility to use what we wanted and then re-seal the baggie.
If you decide to go the ziplock route I would suggest that you consider the "freezer strength" type though. They are worth the extra cost in terms of durability.

Lewis Clark
07-28-2018, 20:25
FOr those of you that want to go the vacuum seal route, you can use these little boogers to reseal the bags:

https://www.amazon.com/GTHUNDER-Sealer-Plastic-Random-ASSORTED/dp/B016SA2UZI/ref=asc_df_B016SA2UZI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167127663572&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7105629433398530756&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9020014&hvtargid=pla-306136932944&psc=1

Highland Goat
08-01-2018, 21:06
I have used both vacuum-sealed bags and zip-top freezer bags for diverse trips of various durations and found that the best choice depends on the contents. Some freeze-dried foods have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can oxidize easily, that is to say go rancid. I try to choose my storage method based on the ingredients list.

Knocky
11-28-2018, 11:06
I have portioned out #10 cans of MH for years. I use vac seal bags, usually getting 8 per can. They reconstitute right in the bag with boiling water. I carry a little gem spring clip to seal the bag while 'cooking'.

CalebJ
11-28-2018, 11:40
Are you actually seeing any cost savings with the can? The last time I looked, it was the same price per ounce.

Nanatuk
11-28-2018, 11:57
On Amazon, the #10 cans are less than half the price per ounce compared to the 2 serving bags and almost half price compared to buying a 6 pack of the bags.

CalebJ
11-28-2018, 12:03
Good to know. A few weeks back it was a fraction of a cent higher per ounce buying it in bulk.

scrabbler
11-28-2018, 14:42
The hard part with the cans is that most, if not all, meals come with some sort of powder that typically settles towards the bottom of the can.
Somehow you have to deal with that when portioning things into smaller packaging.

Leo L.
11-29-2018, 04:11
Just had been out on a desert trip, and got some experience with homemade dried food in Ziplocks.
I'm using original Ziplock brand, which is the best quality I found so far. Anything from the second market could fail (and it did fail on occassion).
The plastic can stand boiling water no problem.
The filled-up bag is pretty flimsy to the touch and I would not trust it enough to, say, put it into the sleeping bag or under the jacket as a warmer.
Easiest way to eat out of the bag is, to rest it inside a flat bowl (which luckily is standard equipment of the Bedouins we are hiking with).
Usually we re-use the empty Ziplock as a thrash container.

We also have vacuum sealed homemade dried food, and we leave the bag a bit too big for its contents, then it works exactly as a the Ziploc does (minus the easy way to re-seal it).

Five Tango
11-29-2018, 07:05
I carry my alcohol stove inside the SnowPeak 600 which is inside of a Ziploc screw top quart container.The container serves as a coozy for the freezer bag and as a holder to eat from the bag with the long handled spoon.
Any trash goes in the empty freezer bag and then into a gallon ziploc bag and gets hung with the food at night.

peakbagger
11-29-2018, 08:13
I buy the cans from Honeyville and then break them down into vacuum seal bags for long term storage. I buy oxygen absorbers and put a couple in every bag. Once I open a vacuum sealed it gets moved to ziplock. That said I have dehydrated food stored in ziplocks for a couple of years with no apparent degradation.

Five Tango
11-29-2018, 09:09
This weekend I will have a "mixed bag" of Knorr's spanish rice and a some refried beans.I take one bag of each and split the weight on a scale to make two freezer bags of rice and beans that take the required 2 cups of hot water.

While I wait the 20 minutes or so for it to "cook" I use that time to make and drink some hot chocolate and snack on an appetizer.It's like going to a fine restaurant on the cheap!And I can check out of my "hotel" whenever I want the next morning and it's FREE!(unless you consider the pain and suffering it takes to get there....)

Paleolith54
11-30-2018, 23:46
My group is thinking of buying Mountain House in the #10 cans for the cost savings. Can we put single servings in ziploc bags or is it important to seal it in vacuum seal bags? We worry about moisture with the ziplocs, but it sure would make the process easier. Can boiling water be added to vacuum seal bags like it can to ziplocs? The ziplocs would be easier to add the water to and reseal while we wait for it to "cook". Thanks for your time and wisdom~Journey

I buy #10 cans and, before a trip, portion out what I need into quart-size Ziplock bags. The can is closed and put in the refrigerator. It has been as long as 3 months before I got around to eating the bagged meals a time or two (I just put the bag n the refrigerator in the interem, just like the can). So, for anything approaching normal use you're fine with #10 cans and Ziplocks. The main culprits (according to Mountain House) are oxygen and direct light, and storing them in the fridge combats both.

MuddyWaters
12-01-2018, 07:19
My group is thinking of buying Mountain House in the #10 cans for the cost savings. Can we put single servings in ziploc bags or is it important to seal it in vacuum seal bags? We worry about moisture with the ziplocs, but it sure would make the process easier. Can boiling water be added to vacuum seal bags like it can to ziplocs? The ziplocs would be easier to add the water to and reseal while we wait for it to "cook". Thanks for your time and wisdom~Journey

Yes
No, doesnt need to be vacuum sealed
Yes, can add boiling water to freezer bag

MH bags are bulky. I always put a them into ziplocks
Sharp hard pasta corners can make hole, good idea to have a couple spare

Leo L.
12-01-2018, 07:55
One reason why I tend to vacuum seal rather than Ziplocks is, that vacuum keeps all the smells inside, while Ziplocks let some vapors leak out.
Not a technical problem at all, but a storage box full of Ziplocks spreads a tasty smell, while vacuum bags are almost smell-free (at least to humans - don't ask rodents)

MuddyWaters
12-01-2018, 07:58
One reason why I tend to vacuum seal rather than Ziplocks is, that vacuum keeps all the smells inside, while Ziplocks let some vapors leak out.
Not a technical problem at all, but a storage box full of Ziplocks spreads a tasty smell, while vacuum bags are almost smell-free (at least to humans - don't ask rodents)
Smells less than garbage ziplock

Leo L.
12-01-2018, 10:08
For the past months, I've been storing the homemade dehydrated food in a box in my (home-)office, just to see which storage conditions this stuff could endure.
None went bad over this period of time, but the office smelled like an Italian kitchen. My by this smell greatly enhanced appetite led to additional 2 kilos body weight. Or so I guess.
Nothing technical, just personal preference for vacuum seal since then.

Dogwood
12-01-2018, 16:05
I have used both vacuum-sealed bags and zip-top freezer bags for diverse trips of various durations and found that the best choice depends on the contents. Some freeze-dried foods have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can oxidize easily, that is to say go rancid. I try to choose my storage method based on the ingredients list.
Yup. The other aspect that comes into play is how long dehydrated food is going to be sitting around before being used. It's why some people write on the bags, whether Ziplocks or Vacuum sealed, the date made, contents and possibly prep instructions.


I mostly Ziploc dehydrated food placing a leftover anti-dessicant packet inside( I save mine from vitamin bottles), seal it well after squeezing as much air out, roll it up and then place a small rubber band around it. I store it already divided up into dinners, b'fasts, and snacks into covered sealed plastic bins off the floor on shelves in an area not prone to temp, humidity, and insect extremes. This makes for easier food supply/resupply for this impromptu backpacking treks.

All Ziplock are not equal. Some have better seals, thicker mils, etc than other versions. Sometime the word Ziplocks is used to describe any plastic bag with a top seal.

Two of the most noted problems I had in contamination and lowered shelf life were 1) Poor sealing because messy filling of the Ziplocs. Do not get food, even food dust, oils(from nuts seeds, etc), spices, etc in the seals 2) Using too thin Dollar Store or Great Value Wally World "Ziploc" brands of bags for pints food. Crumbing up something like higher end Ramen can easily poke small holes in the bag.


I typically get 10-14 months doing this with all my food whether dehydrated or not.


One more thing that has assisted in less waste. Everything I eat on trail I readily eat at home so if I start seeing expiration dates of "trail food" nearing I use that first on trail and at home.

Dogwood
12-01-2018, 21:06
Using too thin Dollar Store or Great Value Wally World "Ziploc" brands of bags for pointy food.

Attempting to overstuff Ziplocs also makes them prone to the seals being opened spoiling the contents. Again thin cheap brands of off brand Ziplocs when maxing out volume and then rolling and rubber banding the seams can blow out in small lengths not always easily recognized. I prefer reducing food bulk using Ziplocs as described rather than the vaccuum sealing bags. If I was to eat in the bag hot meals in the Ziploc I don't suggest one uses the thinnest bags that are also prone to seam failure.

zelph
12-12-2018, 20:52
One reason why I tend to vacuum seal rather than Ziplocks is, that vacuum keeps all the smells inside, while Ziplocks let some vapors leak out.
Not a technical problem at all, but a storage box full of Ziplocks spreads a tasty smell, while vacuum bags are almost smell-free (at least to humans - don't ask rodents)

Are your vacuum seal bags ant proof? If you use the thick mil mylar bags, the ants might not be able to chew through them.:D

Leo L.
12-13-2018, 03:18
Are your vacuum seal bags ant proof? If you use the thick mil mylar bags, the ants might not be able to chew through them.:D

On our most recent desert trip we brought a couple of ziplock stored stuff, and we took extra care to keep them out of the reach of ants.
Last year (and many years before) we hat loads of factory made dried food (Travellunch) that are not vacuum sealed, but made of extra heavy duty and very special material weld-sealed plastic bags the ants couldn't chew through.
So yes, heavy-duty weld-sealed bags are ants-proof!

zelph
12-13-2018, 10:54
On our most recent desert trip we brought a couple of ziplock stored stuff, and we took extra care to keep them out of the reach of ants.
Last year (and many years before) we hat loads of factory made dried food (Travellunch) that are not vacuum sealed, but made of extra heavy duty and very special material weld-sealed plastic bags the ants couldn't chew through.
So yes, heavy-duty weld-sealed bags are ants-proof!

That's awesome. I've been using a mylar bag with a unique closure system that is smell proof and child proof if that has any merit. Put candy in it and the little ones won't be able to get their little hands on the stash. I purchase Mountain House freeze dried food in #10 cans and transfer the entire contents into the mylar bag. The bottom of the bag expands with a 3 inch gusset. The gusset allows the bag to stand upright while filling and dispensing food. At meal time I open the bag and use my 1 cup mug to dip out 1 cup ingredients and add that to a 1 quart ziploc. I add 2 cups hot water to that and set aside to rehydrate or I pour directly into my pot of boiling water and let sit for 5 min.

The bags are heat welded on 2 sides and the top sliding closure is high tech making it smell proof. The smell proof thing has worth in our world of bears and other critters that have high tech noses :-) They are child proof also due to the closure design thingy. I would think they are insect proof for sure.


https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/attachments/dscf3868-1-jpg.637597/

https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/attachments/dscf3867-1-jpg.637598/

https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/attachments/dscf3870-jpg.637596/

atraildreamer
12-18-2018, 12:30
Sarah has the answers:

http://www.trailcooking.com/trail-cooking-101/freezer-bag-cooking-101/

Great site, great book!

zelph
12-19-2018, 00:06
ATTENTION......ATTENTION......ATTENTION



I followed your link and a warning screen opened that looks like this:

.
https://whiteblaze.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=44300&d=1545192360

storminstovesystems
12-19-2018, 13:37
^^Works ok with me.

Jayne
12-19-2018, 17:52
I have bought the #10 cans and reportioned them as well. You can use mylar bags (with an oxygen absorber) or vacuum sealed bags for longer term storage but a quart sized ziplock freezer bag works well IMPE (I haven't tried longer than that myself.) On the trail I just add water, stuff it in a homemade reflectix pouch, wait, and eat. The easy clean up is awesome too.

atraildreamer
01-05-2019, 14:06
Sounds like you have some malware in your PC. Try the free version of this app and clean out your machine:

https://www.spybot-free-download.com/

Update it before you run it.

No...I don't make any money off of this. It's just a good program.

zelph
01-05-2019, 22:52
Thank you. I downloaded it and it's scanning now. Going really slow and looks like it will take hours to complete.

chef4
01-06-2019, 08:18
There's something about the site that is triggering that warning, it's not malware. I am using a corporate pc with very high level firewall, and it displays that warning when I click on the link, which means there is an intrinsic security issue on the site (it may not subject you to malware, but it is possible through a security setting there). It's very unlikely I could have malware undetected. I've visited that site in the past multiple times with no problem on the same PC/network, so something has likely changed.

zelph
01-06-2019, 16:54
There's something about the site that is triggering that warning, it's not malware. I am using a corporate pc with very high level firewall, and it displays that warning when I click on the link, which means there is an intrinsic security issue on the site (it may not subject you to malware, but it is possible through a security setting there). It's very unlikely I could have malware undetected. I've visited that site in the past multiple times with no problem on the same PC/network, so something has likely changed.

Thank you "chef4" for verifying my findings. :)

I clicked on the link again today and the same red notice pops up on my screen.

chef4
01-06-2019, 18:12
I think I figured it out, this appears to be a google Chrome feature; when I used a different browser it didn't come up, so it may not be the security of the network, but a browser feature (which apparently can be disabled, but you wouldn't want to do that unless you have excellent antivirus, etc). Chrome thinks there's a potential problem on that site.

Crossup
01-06-2019, 18:21
My Norton AV says 3 threats- 2 fake tech support sites and one phishing site https://www.test.trailcooking.com. Basically drive by malware and a phishing script

zelph
01-07-2019, 11:14
My Norton AV says 3 threats- 2 fake tech support sites and one phishing site https://www.test.trailcooking.com. Basically drive by malware and a phishing script

wow, that's impressive software to be able to pick that info out....thank you!

atraildreamer
01-08-2019, 14:29
Thank you. I downloaded it and it's scanning now. Going really slow and looks like it will take hours to complete.

The first time you run Spybot, it takes about 1 hour+, subsequent runs take about 30 minutes on my 500 G HD. When it is done, run the "Immuniztion" option to protect your PC from further incursions. It's not 100% effective, but nothing ever is.

Every time Mr. Gates sends out the monthly updates for Win 10, I have to run Spybot, followed by Wise Disk Cleaner and Registry Cleaner, (also freebies), to get my PC running smoothly again.

You will be amazed at the amount of junk most websites sneak into your OS. The disk cleaner app usually cleans over 1 G of cookies, etc., when I run it. But the record is 32 G of junk he program eliminated on my WIN 10 HP laptop after the January 2019 update was installed. I have found that running the diagnostic cleaning apps every week is the best option.

An occasional disk de-frag doesn't hurt, either.

zelph
01-09-2019, 13:59
Every time Mr. Gates sends out the monthly updates for Win 10, I have to run Spybot, followed by Wise Disk Cleaner and Registry Cleaner, (also freebies), to get my PC running smoothly again.

I got fed up with Mr. Gates and bought a Chrome Book in hopes of simplifying my life. I have been using Gmail and Chrome browser so I went all the way with Chromebook. I now feel "coordinated" LOL:D Just startred using the Book yesterday.

atraildreamer
01-18-2019, 22:15
I got fed up with Mr. Gates and bought a Chrome Book in hopes of simplifying my life. I have been using Gmail and Chrome browser so I went all the way with Chromebook. I now feel "coordinated" LOL:D Just startred using the Book yesterday.
Anything connected with Google, especially Chrome, is designed to track your browsing habits, buying preferences, etc. I use Firefox on my Win 10 machine, and the Brave privacy browser on an Android tablet and it drives me crazy to have to sign in to Google when I want to download an app. I try to stick to apps where I can get a direct download without a sign in. The less info Google has about my browsing habits, the better! After a while, there is so much junk loaded in the background of the tablet that I just reset it to the factory new condition and start over again.

MuddyWaters
01-19-2019, 07:16
Anything connected with Google, especially Chrome, is designed to track your browsing habits, buying preferences, etc. I use Firefox on my Win 10 machine, and the Brave privacy browser on an Android tablet and it drives me crazy to have to sign in to Google when I want to download an app. I try to stick to apps where I can get a direct download without a sign in. The less info Google has about my browsing habits, the better! After a while, there is so much junk loaded in the background of the tablet that I just reset it to the factory new condition and start over again.


Yup.

Few things are free

Most free software, apps, is glorified spyware.

Thats what facebook is, thats what google is.
Make money by collecting user data and selling it

Even search engine results.....depend on who pays to be put at top of result list

Trambo
01-21-2019, 23:54
Both ziploc and vacuum seal have done me well in the past. I am trying something a bit different this year. My dried food to be carried will be packed in paper bags. Since these are going to get eaten within a week, I am not too worried about keeping them sealed. The meals for resupply will be still in the paper bags, but each resupply will be vacuum sealed. If I decide that I'm going to take the food with me ( and not bounce it ), then I simply will open the vacuum bag, remove all of the paper packets, and carry on.

I like the benefits that the paper bags weigh very little. I never liked all of the extra plastic for ziploc bags, and I like the thought of burning the paper trash.