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Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
alternatives to freezer bags? on 04/17/2011 22:38:45 MDT Print View

Hi all,
i hate all the wasted plastic bags in packaging dehydrated food.

anyone have good alternatives? short term i can just wrap up in recycled paper. anyone have alternatives to this? how should i seal the paper?
how about paper bags?

thanks!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: alternatives to freezer bags? on 04/17/2011 22:49:35 MDT Print View

You can use paper bags but realize that they will not keep your food fresh for long term storage and any oil at all will grease out.

Be wary with paper used as well - you don't want to use colored paper or paper that you don't know the source of.

As for wax paper bags (Walmart sells those, so do other stores as well) they are made from oil, just as plastic bags are.

Now though if you are using large food pieces and not fine powder you could consider using new coffee filters (cone) that you fill and then sew shut with cotton thread (not poly). YMMV though.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: alternatives to freezer bags? on 04/18/2011 06:18:26 MDT Print View

"i hate all the wasted plastic bags in packaging dehydrated food."

Yeah. I agree. And, much of the trash I pick up on my yearly trash pickups are from Mountain House, or Backpackers Pantry or the like. That stuff hangs around a LONG time.

The problem with oil is not so much using it. It is the RATE we use it. Oily scum in swampy areas is common. This is tomorrows oil. We are using it millions of times quicker than it is being made, though. Try taking one large heavy duty bag. Package your stuff in paper bags and put it into the one bag. A wrap makes a pretty good container for cheese. You really don't need lots of bags. I usually get by with no more than 3. And, these are reused for trash I pick up on the trail. The one big bag is used at least twice, sometimes three or four times on subsequent trips.

Conserve what you can, use what you need. Be smart about how you use non-recyclable stuff.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: alternatives to freezer bags? on 04/18/2011 13:58:54 MDT Print View

Mylar potato chip bags.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
ziploc evolve bags on 04/18/2011 14:23:36 MDT Print View

A step in the right direction if you're going to use zip bags, ziploc sells 'evolve' zip bags. They use 25% less plastic than regular bags. I haven't tried them for freezer bag cooking. They're significantly lighter than regular bags; if anybody wants I'll weigh them.
http://www.ziploc.com/Sustainability/pages/Evolve-Sandwich-and-Storage-Bags.aspx
Probably better would be reusing grocery store produce bags; these won't work for freezer bag cooking.

Better, do your freezer bag cooking in reusable containers (bowl, pot). Carry your hiking food in bulk, more than one meal in each bag/container.

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
thanks! elmers? on 04/19/2011 12:52:17 MDT Print View

thanks @sarah, others! great suggestions.

we wash/reuse plastic bags that "fall" into our possession here at the house.
next time i need to store/maildrop i'll def. use your suggestion of one bag and inner paper bags/envelopes.

i'm also just curious of how to seal paper without fasteners. i suppose i'll give elmers a try...

i already use a LokSac for inside my bear bag. so i guess i could get by with one large bag for storage/mail, and another for "today's" trail rations. a paper envelope with today's gorp, etc in my waistbelt pocket could also work.

re-used mylar bags is an option as well, although how to seal?
(lots of my meals are made from cheese/tomato/bean powders, rice, bits of noodle)

the reminder on oil soaking into paper is actually an interesting one. "oilcloth" actually being semi-sealing.

not all wax is made from oil (eg. beeswax):
http://www.ifyoucare.com/product/sandwich-bags
you could probably seal those with an iron! although not as airtight as plastic, it might be a good happy medium!

Edited by er0ck on 04/19/2011 13:01:39 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: thanks! elmers? on 04/19/2011 13:12:14 MDT Print View

Mylar can be sealed with an iron or a food sealer. Both work.

On paper bags you could staple, but if you fold them thinly enough you can roll them tightly down (flat). If I were using glue I would use an organic glue but that is just me. Even if Elmer's is considered edible ;-) Lol!

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
alternatives to freezer bags? on 04/19/2011 19:44:31 MDT Print View

I used these on my last trip. http://www.polylina.co.uk/pour&store.html

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
alternative to freezer bags on 04/20/2011 08:19:24 MDT Print View

We utilize reuseable ziplocking bags from LOKSAK. We've found them a much better alternative with less environmental impact.

Kate Magill
(lapedestrienne) - F
Re: thanks! elmers? on 04/23/2011 13:49:26 MDT Print View

"i'm also just curious of how to seal paper without fasteners. i suppose i'll give elmers a try..."

How sealed do the bags need to be? If they are all being stored inside a LokSak, could you just fold them over on themselves a few times and then secure with a rubber band or twine? Might not do for really powdery things, but I bet everything else would be all right.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: thanks! elmers? on 04/23/2011 14:06:40 MDT Print View

If you really want to glue paper bags together, whisk a little flour into cold water, then simmer the mixture until it thickens. Makes a cheap, edible, brush-on paste.

Eric Thompson
(er0ck) - F

Locale: PNW
wheat paste on 04/23/2011 17:55:20 MDT Print View

thanks david. i think i will experiment with the wheat paste when i've run out of viable inherited or re-usable plastic bags. i need some way to create a sealed envelope for powders, etc

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: thanks! elmers? on 04/23/2011 18:03:14 MDT Print View

Mmmmm.....wheat glop - what ranchers served the women folk back in the depression. Wheat flour and water. YUMMMMMMMM!

No wonder my paternal Grandmother finally gave up and ran away. She was rail thin. Edible but not anything I'd want to eat ;-)

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
wheat paste!? on 04/24/2011 01:37:18 MDT Print View

hahah thats the absolute first time I've heard someone using wheat paste in a way that didn't involve vandalism. Great out-of-the-box thinking!

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
folding on 04/25/2011 04:58:11 MDT Print View

You can fold parchment paper into little pouches quite easily. I do this to store hot chocolate inside a loksak (because that way powder doesn't get caught in the seal).

Edited to add...

Alum powder makes wicked kitchen glue too. I remember my Mom melting it on a spoon and fixing her favorite fine china cup. Don't know how it would work with paper but the discussion brought up the memory of it.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 04/25/2011 05:00:11 MDT.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
bags... on 04/25/2011 05:04:36 MDT Print View

Sorry for the second post. What about using flour sack fabric (you can get this in a good fabric shop) to make baggies for your food? You still would have to do something (like put several meals in a larger reusable plastic zipper bag) to keep the moisture out but you could greatly reduce the number of plastic bags you use. The flour sack would protect the bags from punctures and make them last longer.