Repackaging Food | High Sierra Topix  

Repackaging Food

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:43 am

13 oz. for garbage weight needs to be looked at with respect of your dwindling overall weight of food and fuel. I just find those empty food bags quite useful to fill with other garbage. I also pick up garbage on the trail as I am returning. I am not so ecologically minded when I am going in with a heavy pack!

To this day one of my regrets is that day 12 into a 14 day trip I inadvertently left all my used plastic bags under huge rock. I put them under the rock so the wind would not blow them away and a bear would not get them. I was in an area that did not require bear cans. Next morning I forgot I had them because I had hidden them too well. Two days and 24 miles later, I remembered. The bags are probably still under that rock. It was a very remote location. Nevertheless, guilt plagues me. So I guess one advantage of burning the bags is that you cannot then forget them.



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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:27 pm

I keep things in the storebought packages and carefully shove them into the bear canister. Its one of my last and most careful tasks as I carefully distribute meals throughout the canister so I don't have to dig for the first few days. Usually, my brother and I are combining the various freezedried meals we have and have to come to consensus on what we take. Smaller packages are carefully nestled in between the larger dinner packages. Once a layer is loosely packed, I carefully shove in the harder cliff bars and alike until no more will go in that layer. Breakfasts of two packs of oatmeal and a pack or two of my favorite Malaysian or Singaporean instant coffee are rubber banded together. A bag of dried blueberries to add to the oatmeal. The rubber bands tend to come in handy later in the trip to keep fishing poles together. After use, all packs are carefully flattened and go into a gallon ziplock. Oatmeal packs become wrappers for toilet paper, which I now, for the past 4 years, always pack out. I don't build fires and nothing gets burned. I pick up what trash I can and hike it out as well. I use a bearvault and can get 8 days worth of food in it. Repackaging seems to be a waste of time to me and thin sandwich ziplocs would get ripped in my in my bear canister. Admittedly I'm pretty regimented with my food, oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Freezed dried meals for dinner. Bars, nuts, jerkey, dried fruit for lunch. Works for me.
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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby Silverfox » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:13 pm

In repackaging my Mountain House meals, I will put them in a paper lunch sack, cut off the top half of the bag, then roll the top over and use a piece of masking tape to seal. I can get about four meals in a gallon size plastic bag. When conditions allow I use the paper bag to help start a fire. The gallon plastic bag ends up as my trash bag.

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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu May 01, 2014 7:25 pm

Some commercial foods are packaged pretty well nowadays so do not need re-packing. Foods that come in very light weight mylar like bags only need a pin-prick to let out the air. Food in boxes usually need re-packing in plastic bags. I seldom use commercial freeze dried meals. I buy in bulk (to save $$) and put together my own dry meals so would have to re-pack anyway.

Plastic bags seem to be getting more cheaply made. I never used to have any residual taste, but lately, if the food is stored too long, it picks up a residual plastic taste - ugh! I now pack food before each trip, whereas in the past, I packed up the entire summer's food in the Spring. Cheap sandwich and snack bags are designed for a day or two storage only.

In the past, I did bulk repacking - all in one pound bags (specially purchased sturdy bags long enough to tie a knot in the end and designed for long term food storage) and then would just cook from scratch each meal. This really makes putting the food together easy before the trip, however, it adds some complication to the actual cooking. It is a good method for a large group on longer trips. This is how mountaineering expeditions do their food. Over the years, particularly doing more solo trips, I have trended towards more repacking individual meals. I would hesitate to put more than one pound in a single bag. If perchance, water gets into a large bag of food, you risk ruining all the food.
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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby obiwan canoli » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:23 pm

For my JMT hikes, I calendared out each day's meals using some commercial FD meals, divided into single serving snack baggies, into which these meals were put into larger gallon sized bags labeled B'fast, lunch, & dinner. Flat(ter) items were used to line the inside of the bearcan, i.e., tortillas used as wraps, instant oatmeals and the like, and loose items like nuts, rice, trail mix, etc., were thrown in loose to fill as much empty space as tends to be created when you stuff a can with prepackaged foods.

Traveling at altitude allows air pressure to expand tightly sealed meals, so piercing bags to allow air to escape will make removing the lid far easier, when you've so stuffed the can that otherwise resulting air pressure makes extraction nearly impossible! For some breakfasts where I've used granola, powedered milk, carefully measured, goes in the granola, needing only water to rehydrate.

First day's meals were carried in my backpack, as these didnt need the protection of the bearcan. Summer sausage makes a good high-energy snack, and hard cheeses will keep several days. I also use a Foodsaver to vacuum seal foods that contain 1-3 days items, if they'll keep that long once opened.

Using this approach, I've packed 10 days of meals, snacks, etc., and have yet to fully empty the can of its conternts.
\:D/
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Re: Repackaging Food

Postby JWreno » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:45 pm

We use gallon zip locks for the bulk and quart for the smaller portions. Its important to not over stuff a bag. You want to be about to mold the bags into the available space in your can to be efficient with the available volume. Our main rule is everyone uses hand sanitizer before moving food from the bulk bags down to the daily ration zip locks.
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