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Freezer bag cooking vs. pot cooking - weight of boil-in-bag bags?
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Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: FBC on 05/05/2013 08:20:35 MDT Print View

For those not doing FBC cooking, what ecologically sound alternative are you using to package your food?

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: re: FBC on 05/05/2013 08:45:10 MDT Print View

> For those not doing FBC cooking, what ecologically sound alternative are you using to package your food?

Plastic sandwich bags, which I recycle once the trip is over.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: re: FBC on 05/05/2013 09:25:56 MDT Print View

Ditto. I put together and pre-package my own de-hy meals and just re-fill the bags with the same concoctions.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: am I reading this right? on 05/05/2013 10:53:44 MDT Print View

"But the convenience is so nice. When I am tired and hungry, I just heat up some water and throw the bag into the fire when I'm done and I have no trash left over."

Hey JR, I do the same thing. I use wood as my fuel 90% of the time so I have "contained" fire. My zip bag goes into the fire, poooof! Some things in life are hard to understand I agree.

David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Re: Re: Freezer bag cooking vs. pot cooking - weight of boil-in-bag bags? on 05/06/2013 18:47:31 MDT Print View

1.2 grams per bag is not bad at all. I'm thinking the Packit Gourmet bags which I used to use must have weighed around 10 grams or so (that's just a guess). I'm curious, though, how they are so light. If you could post pics, that would be great. (Maybe send some my way, too? :))

Edited by dgposton on 05/06/2013 19:12:29 MDT.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

(Maybe send some my way, too? :)) on 05/08/2013 08:52:04 MDT Print View

I can do that :-)

Send me your address.

The last two days I've been using the foil bags while camping. They work great. I had mountain house chicken and rice main course with blueberry granola for snack. A raccoon got to the empty bags while sitting on top of the picnic table while I was in my tent. I wasn't gone but 2 min and the coon was feasting. Even took a drink out of my mug. :-))))

I'll be back at home this evening. I'll ship some bags to you tomorrow.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: Re: re: FBC on 05/08/2013 09:11:40 MDT Print View

"> For those not doing FBC cooking, what ecologically sound alternative are you using to package your food?

Plastic sandwich bags, which I recycle once the trip is over."


And by recycle, I mean re-use if they are still intact. I usually use ones that have already been used for other things anyway. I am planning on transitioning to using paper sandwich bags (store all of them inside a large plastic bag on the trip).

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: re: FBC on 05/08/2013 09:30:29 MDT Print View

I figure you have to carry your food in something so it might as well be a freezer bag so I can cook in it. also you're not "boiling" it in the bag.. you pour hot water in it. those bags are meant to take hot water so there is no chemical leaching for the paranoid folks. throwing away a few plastic bags is probably less waste than you use on a daily basis at home. or you can save them and recycle them too.. no different than sandwich bags.

go on an extended length hike long enough and you'd eat out of a cardboard box and maybe the box after too haha.

oh and not to mention you can cook a lot more food in a freezer bag than you can in a pot. Can probably cook 2 Pasta sides with water in a 700ml pot.. even one pasta side would be boiling over.

Edited by JakeDatc on 05/08/2013 11:43:37 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Bag, then bowl on 05/08/2013 11:39:10 MDT Print View

We use a hybrid/group method for FBC: repackage or build dehydrated meals for 3-4 into freezer bags, purge and rolled for the bear canister; dump up to 32oz boiling into it, stir and insert in reflectix cozy. When done, we serve into our Saimin noodle cup/mess kits which are insulated with reflectix, too. This leaves dishes to be washed/licked etc...but lightens the load dramatically for the crew.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 15:39:24 MDT Print View

For those of you who burn your ziplock bags in the fire after your meal I have a question: Does the plastic really burn away completely? If not you may be leaving plastic behind that will stay in the wilderness as trash for a very long time.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
cancer risk? on 05/08/2013 15:52:10 MDT Print View

I have read that you're not even supposed to leave a drink in a plastic bottle in a car on a hot day and then drink it as just that amount of heat releases some of the carcinogenic toxin from the plastic into the liquid.

I'm not a plastic chemist, but I would not want to eat or drink anything that has been subjected to boiling temperatures in a plastic bag plastic... no matter how much weight I could save. Presumable plastic coffee cup has a particular plastic that is suitable for hot liquids, but I would not bet on freezer bags...

... just sayin'


David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Safety of boil in bags on 05/08/2013 16:02:21 MDT Print View

Here are the PackitGourmet bags I was using in the past:

They claim to be safe, so long as the bag isn't dunked in boiling water (they have bags for that, too, methinks). Now how *safe* are they really? I don't know. Presumably, *some* plastic is going to leech into the food.

But again, the primary reasons for me moving to cooking in the pot are:
(i) to avoid eating out of a bag
(ii) to save weight.

On a trip which involves at least 3-4 meals (for two), it seems that an argument could be made to defend the claim that there is no weight benefit to doing FBC instead of bringing a bigger pot. A 1.3 L Evernew pot (including lid, apparently) is 4.6 oz. This is about 1.75-2.0 oz more than my BPL Firelite 550 pot. But the weight of the bags alone may come close to equaling that. If so, I'd prefer to take the bigger pot. Just package meals into lighter weight plastic or put multiple meals into one bag and aliquot as needed (may need a measuring cup for this purpose).

A final motivation for thinking about moving to cooking in my pot is that one can do real cooking. So for those times when the food didn't fully rehydrate it's easy--just turn the flame back on (especially if using a gas stove). If doing it FBC-style, you have to sit there and wait and hope it did reconstitute properly.

Now if I'm going SUL style solo, then perhaps I'll bring my Firelite 550 pot and do FBC style. But for those other times, I might try cooking in the pot (at least as an experiment).

Edited by dgposton on 05/08/2013 16:04:41 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 16:08:04 MDT Print View

On most trips I burn all of my trash. There is never any plasticy goo left over, so I think that it's all vaporized. I could be wrong.

I have seen plants and saplings growing out of old fire pits that have obviously had a lot of trash burned in them, so even if there is a small amount of residue left over it probably won't hurt the soil.
I have heard some say that when you start a fire in a fire pit you are re-melting all of the trash that people have burned over the years and a bunch of fumes get put out. I have no idea if that's true or not. I have no idea if any residue is left at all. I would love to hear more input on this.


Locale: Western Michigan
Garbage ...Plastic Bags on 05/08/2013 16:46:06 MDT Print View


Once at home wash the plastic bags and use again!

If this is a hassle......cook in a pot.

BURNING or BURYING the plastic bags is not an option in this day and age.


"What you derive from an experience depends a lot on the amount of preparation you made before the start."

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 16:48:41 MDT Print View

Burning plastic in fires is not good, imo. The LNT principles don't go far enough to give more specifics on what should not be put into a campfire, along with other things it leaves out.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 16:56:37 MDT Print View

Can anyone give an actual reason why burning trash is bad?

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 17:02:29 MDT Print View

Depends on what you think of the ozone layer.

Richard R
(alaskaoneday) - MLife

Locale: Northern CA
Re: Burning plastic on 05/08/2013 17:03:17 MDT Print View

Here is a start

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Re: Garbage ...Plastic Bags on 05/08/2013 17:16:34 MDT Print View

I guess that some people think that LNT does not include dumping junk into the air (what?, the solution to pollution isn’t dilution? When did that change?). Open burning is not allowed in most parts of California (Air Quality Management Boards and such). Even so, I am pretty sure that plastics are probably a no-no (hey, but I could be wrong). I don’t know why people think that this practice is acceptable on the trail (Its two, two….two products in one! It’s a wood burning stove AND it’s a trash incinerator!). For those of you that do burn your trash (and particular plastic), I suggest that they consider burning there plastic waste INSIDE their tent or shelter. You can use your lungs to pack out what you brought in. I guess that I am still strong enough to carry out my own trash and when I can’t do that any longer, I’ll list all of my equipment in Gear Swap. Anyway, my 2 cents - Jon

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
why burning trash is bad on 05/08/2013 17:20:32 MDT Print View

My first thought (see comment above) was that burning plastic in a camp fire would leave some trash behind. That is possible, but from googling this topic I have just learned that even if the plastic completely disappears you are still doing harm to the environment by burning plastic. This is why:

Burning plastic and trash in a camp fire releases toxins into the air.
It also leaves behind toxins in the ash. This ash is then dispersed over time and ends up polluting soil and water in the immediate area.

So the Boy Scouts, the forest service and the national parks are all united in saying: Please do not burn your trash. Pack it in and pack it out.