Storing pre-packed backpack meals

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Wandering Daisy
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Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat May 02, 2020 11:33 am

I have plenty of time now to pre-pack my backpack meals. I mix ingredients and put them in zip-lock bags, weigh them and then organize them in one-day packets. Unfortunately, the food within plastic bags get a slight taste of plastic when stored in my cupboards, especially if stored in a warm place. I have heard that some backpackers freeze their dry food. Although this should eliminate the plastic taste, I would think moisture may condense inside the bags. Has anyone tried this and if so, how do you keep the dry food (especially freeze dried ingredients) from picking up moisture? I have noticed that once I open a #10 can of freeze dried food, it absorbs some moisture.

We have a vacuum sealer (Seal-a-Meal) that we use when freezing ducks that my husband shoots. It seems to prevent frost from getting inside bags, but does not prevent freezer burn if they are stored too long. But this would only be to seal several smaller zip-lock bags. Should one then pin-prick the smaller bags so air can be let out in the process of vacuum air removal? I would think otherwise, the smaller zip-lock bags would burst. Not sure if using the Seal-a-Meal is even a good idea.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.








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rlown
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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by rlown » Sat May 02, 2020 12:48 pm

Where does your husband shoot ducks? I only ask because If I have a reservation for a refuge, and a friend drops out, he'd be welcome to go.

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by freestone » Sat May 02, 2020 1:23 pm

Talenti Gelato hard plastic containers. I eat lots of that Gelato so i repurpose those containers for dehydrated food storage. Each container holds about 2 cups. I’m trying to get away from single use soft plastics such as ziplocks and trying to come up with a different way of storing my food on any given trip. The ideal container would be biodegradable and hold a single serving of dehydrated food. Now I’m saving TP cores thinking that might have possibilities.
Fram...

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by TahoeJeff » Sat May 02, 2020 1:40 pm

I've been cooking backpack meals such as split peas with turkey, beans and rice with BBQ pork for instance, dehydrating them, vacuming sealing and freezing them for a few years now. Never had a problem with freezer burn or accumluated moister. Granted, Tahoe seems to be a pretty dry place with relatively low humidity. I thought freezer burn happened when moisture was pulled out of food, so freeze dried or dehydrated food should be less suseptible?
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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by bobby49 » Sat May 02, 2020 3:41 pm

I do not prepare complete meals at home for carrying out on the backpacking trail. Instead, I air dehydrate food ingredients like green peppers, red peppers, quinoa, etc., and I store each item in a cool place in an airtight container. Then I carry so many ounces of this and so many ounces of that when I go. When in camp, I mix up the ingredients in different ways each time depending on my appetite. Generally, all they require is boiling water in order to reconstitute the entire mixture.

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sat May 02, 2020 3:57 pm

I use some of the zip-locks when empty for carrying out TP. What ends up home, become doggie poop bags. So it is not the worry about one-use plastic as much as the bad taste they impart if stored too long. Years ago this was not a problem. I think they have changed the composition of the plastic that is used in zip-lock bags. I suppose what I should do is just try it and see if the dry food picks up moisture after a month in the freezer.

You can order plastic bags designed for long term food storage (similar to special freezer bags), but they are very expensive and weigh more. I have saved the inner bags from cereal boxes and either taped or sewn them into bags with one end open, which I fold and staple. They are much stiffer so the food does not pack down inside a bear can as well, and are a bit awkward to use. I suppose you could also use baking parchment paper and make bags- it too is stiff, but not plastic. The trouble with Talenti containers is that they do not pack well in a bear can and are heavier.

Another method is to pack ingredients in bigger bags and simply measure out what is needed when cooking. That is what we did at NOLS. It really cuts down on the number of bags that are used. But, I tend to like having each day's food already measured out and then just brainlessly eat it all. And, if I were to accidently spill a bag on the ground, at least I only ruin one meal.

I usually pack food before a trip but with all the time on my hands, it would save time come summer to do it now. Problem is that if I cannot go out until late summer, then I have all that food that will not keep very well without getting a bad taste.

rlown- he hunts at a Duck Club near the Yolo bypass. An old client of his is a member and invites him out several times a year. The client does not like to eat ducks, so we usually get all the ducks they both shoot. So we get plenty of ducks, at least until the old client dies.

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:13 pm

An update on this post.

When I do a summer in the Wind Rivers, I need to have my backpack food pre-packed and ready to go. I can keep it cool when traveling the two days by putting it in two large coolers. Normally, once in Wyoming, I stay with friends who have a cool basement where I can keep the food. This year, however because of COVID, I have to "self-quarantine" 14 days- drive directly to a trailhead, do two trips with all my summer's food in my car trunk or provided trailhead bear boxes. I even prefer to pre-pack most of my summer's backpack food when I hike in the Sierra.

The problem is, in addition to traveling with my supplies, where to keep these between the time I bag the food and when I use it. Our house gets quite warm (80-degrees) inside when it is 100+degrees. Although dry food does not "spoil", it picks up a plastic taste from the zip-lock bags when warm. We do not have freezer or refrigerator space for long term storage of my dry backpack food. Too bad we do not have a root cellar or a basement.

So, I took over my husband's wine cooler, took out the wine racks, and 36-days of food all fits and stays a perfect temperature. So far I have checked it and there seems to be no moisture problem. Other than some grumbling from hubby, I think this may be the solution!

Does anyone have a better solution?

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by Teresa Gergen » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:00 pm

The 14 day quarantine in WY ended about a month ago, unless you know of some local/county level restriction for the Winds (or the Tetons) that I'm unaware of, in which case please let me know.
https://www.wyomingnewsnow.tv/content/n ... 90771.html

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Re: Storing pre-packed backpack meals

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:42 pm

My 14-day quarantine is voluntary- my friends are both elderly and one just got done with cancer treatment. And I am too cheap to spend on a motel.
I also want to plan so that if COVID cases spike and they re-impose the quarantine, I am ready for it.

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