PDA

View Full Version : Questions about food



John B.
2005-01-13, 09:57
I've bugged the Hades out of people at Whiteblaze with my questions, so I thought that I'd bring the misery over here. Aside from that reason, I want to use Sgt. Rock's lists and discussions of food as a basis for my questions. Any advice, comments, and clarifications would be welcome.

First, in his 'breakfast' list, there is mention of grits, oatmeal, and cream of wheat. My question is, are these repackaged from whatever container they come in from a grocery store into, say, a small ziplock baggie? If so, would each baggie contain the exact amount for 1 meal?

Second, Sgt. Rock mentions that he makes "2 cups of coffee with 3 bags..." Bags of coffee? Are they like tea bags? Although I'm a coffee snob, I had planned on using instant coffee for the simple reason that I want to carry as little trash as posssible. Am I missing something? I'm tossing around the idea of carrying a pre-mix of instant espresso coffee and instant hot chocolate to drink at breakfast -- sugar, caffine, and good taste -- sorta like cafe mocha.

Third, I hadn't planned on carrying a mug/cup. Instead, I was going to use my cooking pot for everything. Bad idea? Do most carry a light-weight mug of some sort?

Fourth, I've read that many put, say, a serving of oatmeal in a plastic baggie and then pour boiling water into the bag, presumably to make clean-up easier. While I could answer this myself with a simple experiment, that said, don't the baggies melt or become so pliable that they puncture/rupture easily?

Fifth, I've noticed that few seem to carry peanut butter. Is there a reason? I'd think that a sleeve of saltines and peanut butter would make a pretty decent lunch -- nothing really to clean up, decent nutritional value, etc.

Finally, and this isn't a question but a comment, and I know that this subject is wide open for personal preference, but I was a bit surprised that I haven't read more about people carrying the single-serving foil pouches of tuna or chicken. I'd think that would be a great source of protein, easy to pack/carry, relatively light weight, etc.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Sgathak
2005-01-13, 10:14
1) Yes, repackage if possible.

2) I drink tea... no comment on coffee stuff

3) Up to you. One-Pot-Meals are no biggie. Only thing you might encounter is wanting to drink some of that nasty coffee while your eatting breakfast. Hard to do if your coffee pot is full of oatmeal.

4) Boiling water will destroy a common ziploc. Ive never heard of anyone doing this. Sounds like a flop to me... but maybe if the bag is just being used a liner for the cooking pot????

5) I almost always have peanut butter (or tahini, or nutella)

6) Those single serving MRE like retort packages are VERY water heavy. thats why most ultralighters dont carry them. That being said, for overnights Ive been known to use stripped MREs for dinner. Heavy, but for their convinence? Its worth it sometimes.

Hog On Ice
2005-01-13, 10:31
Fourth, I've read that many put, say, a serving of oatmeal in a plastic baggie and then pour boiling water into the bag, presumably to make clean-up easier. While I could answer this myself with a simple experiment, that said, don't the baggies melt or become so pliable that they puncture/rupture easily?




4) Boiling water will destroy a common ziploc. Ive never heard of anyone doing this. Sounds like a flop to me... but maybe if the bag is just being used a liner for the cooking pot????


I use common ziplock bags all the time for my meals pouring boiling water into the bag. The only bags I have had problems with rupturing are the WalMart sandwich bags - about 1 in 5 would have a problem with the side seam. Normally I use Food Lion store brand reclosable sandwich bags - have only had one failure out of over 100 meals with these. Note however I put the bag into my cozy before pouring the boiling water into the bag - the cozy supports the bag in the open position and I don't have to worry about softening plastic and possible scalding if it does rupture. The cozy I use is a closed cell foam pad folded and duct taped in such a way as to form a steep sided bowl that holds the bag upright and open without me holding the bag or cozy thus allowing me to use both hands for pouring the water.

Sgathak
2005-01-13, 10:49
I just tried this making breakfast.

It didnt work for me.

Hog On Ice
2005-01-13, 11:51
What happened ? What brand of bag were you using ?

SGT Rock
2005-01-13, 12:03
I've bugged the Hades out of people at Whiteblaze with my questions, so I thought that I'd bring the misery over here. Aside from that reason, I want to use Sgt. Rock's lists and discussions of food as a basis for my questions. Any advice, comments, and clarifications would be welcome.

First, in his 'breakfast' list, there is mention of grits, oatmeal, and cream of wheat. My question is, are these repackaged from whatever container they come in from a grocery store into, say, a small ziplock baggie? If so, would each baggie contain the exact amount for 1 meal?

I use single serving instant grits myself, and the boys like oatmeal. I suppose grits or oatmeal would be just like a few other re-package jobs I have done - experiment with a mark on the side of your bowl or some field expedient method until you can get it by sight.



Second, Sgt. Rock mentions that he makes "2 cups of coffee with 3 bags..." Bags of coffee? Are they like tea bags? Although I'm a coffee snob, I had planned on using instant coffee for the simple reason that I want to carry as little trash as posssible. Am I missing something? I'm tossing around the idea of carrying a pre-mix of instant espresso coffee and instant hot chocolate to drink at breakfast -- sugar, caffine, and good taste -- sorta like cafe mocha.


I have been using the Folgers coffee singles and using three bags to make a strong, big cup of coffee. I recently got one of those MSR mesh things and I fresh grind my coffee based on number of days the morning I leave to go hiking, then keep it in a resealable foil pouch to maintain the best freshness for a few days.



Third, I hadn't planned on carrying a mug/cup. Instead, I was going to use my cooking pot for everything. Bad idea? Do most carry a light-weight mug of some sort?


This will be based on your preference. Some can get by with it, I don't. At dinner I like to have some hot tea while I eat, so I need something for the drink and my pot to eat from. Another thing I have found is in the morning with my jar, I can boil the water in my pot, then pack the potup without any cleaning since it was just hot water. I pour the water into my bowl and cup so I can eat grits and drink coffee while packing up camp, then slip the jar/bowl combo into the outside pocket of my pack with some coold water and noodles hydrating for my lunch.



Fourth, I've read that many put, say, a serving of oatmeal in a plastic baggie and then pour boiling water into the bag, presumably to make clean-up easier. While I could answer this myself with a simple experiment, that said, don't the baggies melt or become so pliable that they puncture/rupture easily?


Some of those freeze dried meals are packaged to do this. I haven't tried it with zip-locks or such, but I imagine it would work. If you do this, you
wouldn't need much of a pot or a seperate cup.



Fifth, I've noticed that few seem to carry peanut butter. Is there a reason? I'd think that a sleeve of saltines and peanut butter would make a pretty decent lunch -- nothing really to clean up, decent nutritional value, etc.


I don'tlike PB, but it could be done. I like to bring some Nuttella and some tortillas tomake wraps with.



Finally, and this isn't a question but a comment, and I know that this subject is wide open for personal preference, but I was a bit surprised that I haven't read more about people carrying the single-serving foil pouches of tuna or chicken. I'd think that would be a great source of protein, easy to pack/carry, relatively light weight, etc.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
I think it is a great idea. I am not much of a tuna fan, but there is now samon, chicken, and beef. The beef sucks.

Sgathak
2005-01-13, 12:06
What happened ? What brand of bag were you using ?

I did it sans the benefit of a supporting structure (boiling water poured into freehanging bag held over sink)

The bag shriveled up at first, presumably as the heat contracted the plastic. Then, the bag rapidly stretched out under the water weight. A small hole (approx 1/8in) formed at the seam and the water drained out.

I used Ziploc brand sandwich weight bags.

Hog On Ice
2005-01-13, 13:42
OK - yeah without support it probably would stretch a lot and thus possibly develop a hole.

Here is what I use for a ziplock cozy: http://www.datasync.com/~wksmith/hoikit.html along with the rest of my cook kit

Lanthar
2005-01-13, 14:53
1) Yes, repackage if possible.
6) Those single serving MRE like retort packages are VERY water heavy. thats why most ultralighters dont carry them. That being said, for overnights Ive been known to use stripped MREs for dinner. Heavy, but for their convinence? Its worth it sometimes.

Actually, the packages I've used don't seem to have much (if any) free-liquid in them. In fact they have far less liquid than canned tuna. So, you're only dealing with any liquid that is bound in the cells of the meat.

and, HOI, I've been meaning to ask you. Do you prepackage your meals into individual ziplocs?

Hog On Ice
2005-01-13, 15:27
and, HOI, I've been meaning to ask you. Do you prepackage your meals into individual ziplocs?

Yes mostly - I'll put all the dry ingredients (Liptons dinners, spices, dry milk, etc.) into individual ziplocks and take a bottle of olive oil for adding to the zip lock just before adding the boiling water. The individual ziplocks are put into a bigger heavy walled ziplock before they go into the food bag - this is to keep things organized (breakfasts in one big ziplock, dinners in another) as well as to keep the sandwich bags from being holed by other stuff in the food bag. Meats I just pack in their unopened pouches. Snacks I just toss in loose in the food bag. I usually pack my pot, stove etc. in the food bag also putting the pot in the center to keep it from getting too bent up. The olive oil I stick in my cozy to insure its bottle does not get holed.

jimtanker
2005-01-13, 19:52
I make all my meals in Ziploc bags. Get the double thick freezer bags and you will never have a problem. Get a cozy and youll be set. You shouldnt ever have to boil water either. Just get it hot enough that it is the temp that you want it after your entre has sat for 5/10 min(whatever it takes to cook) saves fuel too.

Best thing is that you heat enough water to say, make your coffee and your meal and you dont have to clean up a pot. Just have a few ziploc bags to throw away or even reuse.

Foil wrapped tuna is good in anything.

Sgathak
2005-01-14, 00:17
Actually, the packages I've used don't seem to have much (if any) free-liquid in them. In fact they have far less liquid than canned tuna. So, you're only dealing with any liquid that is bound in the cells of the meat.

Yeah... Of course thats why I bring jerky, not a steak ;)

Sgathak
2005-01-14, 00:35
I make all my meals in Ziploc bags. Get the double thick freezer bags and you will never have a problem. Get a cozy and youll be set. You shouldnt ever have to boil water either. Just get it hot enough that it is the temp that you want it after your entre has sat for 5/10 min(whatever it takes to cook) saves fuel too.

Just for giggles, I tried a freezer bag as well. Same thing, just took a bit longer.

I repeated the test using a Starbucks cup as a support for both weights of bags.

The only one that survived boiling water was a double thick bag -IN- the cup.

Due to altitude here, a rolling boil temp is approx 95Deg Cel.

JimM
2005-01-14, 01:16
I made a "Sgt Rock" lemonade bowl with a reflectix cozy. Last deer season, I used it while cooking a half dozen meals over a couple of days using an alcohol stove. I used 1 qt. freezer bags to line the bottom of the lemonade bowl. I cooked instant oatmeal in the mornings, and ramen noodles for lunch (adding foil packed shrimp and some cashews one day). I used a lexan spoon and didn't have any problem poking through the baggie. It didn't melt either. I carried an old 12 oz insulated coffee cup from the local convenience store for hot chocolate. I was a pretty efficient setup. A windscreen and a reflector under the stove made it easy. I added a couple of individual servings of peaches for dessert. Jerky and GORP rounded out the food I carried. I enjoyed having some hot food when the woods got quiet, and the alcohol stove didn't make any noise either. The setup exceeded my expectations.
Jim

Iceman
2005-01-14, 01:56
I use doubled cheapo ziplock sandwich style bags, and then save the outer "clean one" to double the next meals bag. This way I am covered for leakage, and reduce the need to carry a double for each meal. Place all your trash in the dirty bag and away you go... Used to use the Ziploc Free standing ones (they were awesome) but can't find them anymore out here in the Northwest.
Coffee and Instant Breakfast make a yummy mug of go-go juice in the am. Titanium mug for the coffee, can reheat in mug if needed. Leave the juicy foods home to save on H20 weight, add the water when you get there. I am a big guy (300lbs) and wouldn't think of not including peanut butter (maybe thats why I am big...?)

Sgathak
2005-01-14, 08:38
Maybe Ive just got the worlds softest run of ziploc bags?

jimtanker
2005-01-14, 14:13
maybe, and like I said, you dont need to boil the water. Just get it hot.

ICE - we need to go backpacking some time.

woodrat
2005-01-14, 19:02
I repackage 90% of my meals, get my bags from restuarant supply store. great vereity of sizes, or try clear oven bags, cut to size you need.

redneck
2005-01-27, 19:50
I always carry peanut butter. Skippy packages it in little packs like what comes in some MREs, and in a big tube. Love that stuff.

http://www.peanutbutter.com/squeezeproducts.asp

Rosaleen
2005-01-27, 23:39
Fellas-

We are all going to do what works for us. I stopped cooking most breakfasts several years ago. If I bother it is probably because I am feeding some "company." I've made steamed muffins and poached eggs for hubby, but can't be bothered doing it on a regular basis.

Used to do something like oatmeal and coffee bags, similar to Sarge. Now I bring some sort of breakfast drink, anything from Slimfast to Instant Breakfast or some soy based high protein/low carb, vitamin fortified powder, or even plain dried milk. Before the trip I portion out servings into bags, add some instant coffee and probably some artificial sweetener. Some fruit and nuts or a nutritional bar and maybe some coffee beans to chew and I'm good until lunch. I might munch the solids as I head down the trail. I do like to finish the drink, rinse the bottle and start some tea for lunch while still in camp. One tea bag and a couple of Nutrasweet tablets usually render a fair cold tea by noontime. (On a longer trip I might go to instant tea for convenience and less weight.) I use a windshield reflector-wrapped Gatorade bottle for this. It easily doubles as a hot drink holder and is great for filling with very hot water and slipping into the bottom of my sleeping bag. A hot water bottle in the foot of my sleeping bag is WONDERFUL if I've been hiking in damp shoes all day in a swirl of snow flurries.

Lunch can be anything from a sandwich packed and frozen in advance to some sort of a pasta salad, to Luna-type bars. Sarge has his Italian pasta salad posted. I have dehydrated tuna or chicken and veggies and made a ramen pasta salad or just tuna salad on crackers. I go by whim a lot if it is just a weekend trip.

Lipton packets and ramen noodles can be a boon, as can some of the couscous mixes. I do enough cooking at home that I'm comfortable tossing stuff together from foods in the pantry, or foods that I've dehydrated. I also bought several cans of freeze dried foods through eBay to re-package for this summer, mostly because the price was right and for convenience. My preference is to "boil water and dump" trailside. Once I leave my kitchen with running hot water, microwave, pasta machines, etc., behind, I'm ready to go for fast and easy.

I'm not actually big on plastic bags. Too many times a corner leaks, some tiny points of food poke through the bag, etc. Ever have your pack smell like cat food and been carrying dehydrated tuna? Next time, make a paper enelope to fit inside your plastic bag or pack the food into a washed and dried mylar snack bag. An iron or a handheld $5 sealer from Walmart will close the bag until you open it. The snack bags are lighter, and more puncture and vapor proof. What I haven't tried is pouring boiling water into one.

Sarge posted that the retort packages of ground beef "suck." I only tried one flavor and that was because hubby wanted to check it out. I bought one marked "Mexican" flavor, IIRC. Half mixed into a Spanish or Mexican rice dish and the other half added to bean and cheese burritos were both great. Whether or not this works for you, experiment at home to find out first!

Peanut butter? For a longer hike, maybe I'd use it. Normally I'm eating enough peanuts in my gorp.

Cheers!

Rosaleen

Lanthar
2005-01-30, 23:47
mmm... couscous...

Iceman
2005-01-31, 22:41
mmm... couscous...

homer!,.....

deadeye
2005-02-01, 15:05
couscous Donuts! D'OH!

Rough
2005-02-02, 17:20
I've taken to the coffee that comes in individually wrapped tea bags - sold in boxes of 20 by Folgers and Maxwell House - in regular or decaf. Boil water, dunk the coffee bag, and it tastes like brewed coffee, not instant. Yes, you have to carry out the wrapper and used bag but the weight is minimal and they do meet the need.

Major Slacker
2005-02-03, 23:01
I carry a Holiday Inn Express styrofoam cup -- light, durable and free. I pack and cook my breakfasts and dinners individually in quart-size Food Saver bags, the kind used with vacuum sealing machines. (I don't have the machine.) I pour boiling water into the bag with the food, let the food cook from it's own heat, eat out of the bag, pack it out, wash and reuse it. Depending on what I am wearing at the time, I use my fleece hat, extra clothing or sleeping bag for a "cozy." My pot is always clean.

I carried peaunut butter and honey a lot back in the day and usually mixed it together ahead of time. I think I ate too much of it and haven't eaten it again for 20+ years.

The tuna/chicken foil packets are expensive compared to cans. I will sometimes carry one can of chicken. It makes a tasty and filling addition to dinner the first night out and can also be a backup stove. Carbs are more important than protein over the long haul.

fly.fast
2005-02-05, 22:13
I've developed some favorites over the past few years. For breakfast I favor the coffee pods from Folgers and others. The pods have a better roast and stronger flavor than the little teabags. Breakfast itself is usually a cereal and instant non-fat milk in a baggie to which I add the rest of the water used for coffee.

My longstanding favorite lunch is [/B]peanut butter[B] on usually crackers. I will often have a tuna packet for my first day out. I like the little package with mayo, relish, and crackers. It's pricey but a convenient meal.

I snack through the day on whatever mix I came up with at the grocery store. My trail mix is that day's blend of nuts (almonds, cashews, or peanuts) with some dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, pineapple, mango, papaya, etc.).

Finally, I have tried a number of freeze dried dinners. Many are OK. I really prefer to dehydrate my own meals at home. I alternate between whether I'll rehydrate the meal in a gallon Ziplog bag or in my pot. I really like to avoid washing dishes. So, I guess it's more often that I prepare a meal in the bag. I've recently started to experiment with a homemade cozy. That seems to keep everything piping hot while the food rehydrates.

Lastly, I've used both Ziploc bags and the bags that vaccuum seal. Both have worked fine for rehydrating meals with boiling water. I can't recall having a failure in several years.

Phil

deadeye
2005-02-06, 10:30
The disposable plastic "tupperware" bowls from Ziploc and Glad are a light alternative for 'just add boiling water' cooking. They can handle boiling in a microwave. I carry one or two and have yet to have any problems with leakage or melting. I use them as my only plate or bowl. They seal well enough to rehydrate a meal as you hike and clean up easily. For hot meals, I add boiling water, snap on the lid, and keep dinner hot in a bubble-wrap cozy.

fly.fast
2005-02-06, 19:24
Deadeye, those disposable bowls are also handy for carrying crackers and other stuff that you don't want to crush. They are lightweight and can be reused as a bowl. Good stuff.

Major Slacker
2005-02-07, 16:57
I think it is a great idea. I am not much of a tuna fan, but there is now samon, chicken, and beef. The beef sucks.

I'm with Sgt. Rock on the tuna, but Kroger had packets of crab and baby clams on sale. I dropped the crab packet into my pot and let the boiling water heat it while the last bit of alcohol in the stove burned out, then I added the crab to one of those just-add-boiling-water-rice-noodle-spring-vegetable-soup things. It was GREAT! The soup came in a great little lightweight bowl that I used for the rest of the weekend.

I haven't tried the baby clams yet. I was going to make a clam chowder thing, but the potato soup mix wasn't in my stash like I thought. Next trip for sure. Also, I'm thinking maybe ham with pea soup...

Sgathak
2005-02-07, 18:17
I just came across a product that seems very interesting.

Its a resealable (like Ziploc) retort pouch (like MRE/Tuna/Chicken pouches)

I sent a msg to them to find out costs and so on.

If its as tough as the site says, it might fill the place of Ziplocs and Cozies.... plus fill a few other small niches as well.

Lanthar
2005-02-08, 10:42
site currently a wholesaler?

Sgathak
2005-02-08, 10:59
No, but their sales rep gave me a phn number for a place in MN that does sell wholesale.... I havent talked to this new companies sales rep yet, but it appears they have some VERY interesting options, including a flexible "bowl" specifically designed for "fill, seal, and eat" applications.

Whitesmoke
2005-02-11, 22:21
My first back packing trip ever was about 4 years ago....all I took was several flavors of ramen and a couple mac and cheeses...lol. :stupid:

I think I've eaten only 1 ramen since then since I was so sick of them at the end of that trip....lol.

Dreadie
2005-03-01, 17:56
Hi all. I'm new here and in backpacking too. My friend and I have been doing a lot of day-hiking and want to step up the pace and get into longer distances/overnights, and eventually (2009, when my daughter's out of h.s.) thru-hike the AT. So, we've started experimenting on different things - like EATING! (One of my fave things) I found a site that has explanations and recipes for "freezer-bag cooking" here: http://www.freewebs.com/freezerbagcooking/index.htm . (Sorry, haven't figured out how to make it a link yet.) Also have checked out numerous books from the library on this subject. My favorite so far is "Lipsmackin', Backpackin'". AW, I tried WalMart brand freezer bags and they leaked when I put the boiling water in. Ziplocs didn't. My problem with eating out of the bag though, is that digging my spoon down to the bottom of the bag, past the "muck" of food along the sides of the bag, got my hands full of "muck". Not that I'm a sissy about being dirty or anything, but it would just be more pleasant to eat out of a bowl. So, after I made myself a "prototype" cozy for my bags, I am looking into a lightweight, sealable bowl. I was eyeing those "throw-away" Ziploc/Glad containers with the "new, even better seal". Thanks for everyone's input - on this whole site! It's been cool reading all this info to help us on our new adventures!

Lanthar
2005-03-03, 10:23
I am looking into a lightweight, sealable bowl. I was eyeing those "throw-away" Ziploc/Glad containers with the "new, even better seal". Thanks for everyone's input - on this whole site! It's been cool reading all this info to help us on our new adventures!

3-cup ziploc round with a homemade cozy is nice...

Major Slacker
2005-03-03, 21:09
My problem with eating out of the bag though, is that digging my spoon down to the bottom of the bag, past the "muck" of food along the sides of the bag, got my hands full of "muck".
It might take a little practice, but you can fold down the top 2/3 or so of the bag without turning it muck side out. Pinch the sides of the bag about 1/3 of the way down and tuck the next 1/3 of the bag up and under.

Or… you could just use a bowl.

Even if you use a bowl you can save the weight of a cozy by using a fleece hat, another article of clothing or your sleeping bag to insulate the food. Sealing your bowl or bag in a second zip-lock bag will keep the clothes clean.

Dreadie
2005-03-03, 22:31
Lanthar & Major Slacker, thanks for posts. I was checking out some Ziploc containers at Wally World the other day, and surfing the net for Nalgene containers. I would feel a lot better with something that seals well in case I want to soak something while hiking. I did find some Nalgene with screw-top lids in up to 32 ounces. I think I'm leaning toward those.
P.S. - I figured out how to turn an address into a link :rolleyes: just type it in!

SGT Rock
2005-03-04, 09:11
Have you thought about using a simple Gatorade or Country Time type container instead of Nalgene? It would only weigh about 1.5 ounces or so.

Lanthar
2005-03-04, 11:15
Lanthar & Major Slacker, thanks for posts. I was checking out some Ziploc containers at Wally World the other day, and surfing the net for Nalgene containers. I would feel a lot better with something that seals well in case I want to soak something while hiking. I'm going to try one for soaking while hiking, I figure the worst case scenario is that I need to find a large piece of elastic / rubber band / velcro to give it a little extra hold on hikes...

deadeye
2005-03-04, 11:53
I was able to use a ziploc bowl for soaking food while hiking (tabouleh for lunch, usually) when I used my circa 1968 kelty external frame pack. Since switching to internal frame/frameless packs, I'm not so comfortable that things will stay put, so soaking food goes into a wide-mouth nalgene bottle. Not the lightest solution at about 3 oz., but as solid, leakproof, and fall down/sit down/tumble down proof as you can get.

Dreadie
2005-03-07, 13:10
Have you thought about using a simple Gatorade or Country Time type container instead of Nalgene? It would only weigh about 1.5 ounces or so.
SGT Rock, is the Gatorade/Country Time container ok to put boiling water into? I've been reading a lot about heating certain plastics giving off fumes that are BAD for you. In fact, after reading this, I have been more leery of using the ziplocs too. AND, will the Gatorade/Country Time containers seal well? I am planning on pre-soaking some things as I hike and don't want THAT mess in my pack. Thanks so much for your site and your reply(ies).

SGT Rock
2005-03-07, 14:47
I'm still doing fine.

Dreadie
2005-03-08, 14:00
^:rofl:
with no signs of plastic fume poisoning?

Rosaleen
2005-03-08, 14:10
Dreadie-

If a significant amount of plastic were leaching into the food, I would expect to notice a plastic or hydrocarbon smell or taste. I haven't had a problem, so far.

Rosaleen

SGT Rock
2005-03-08, 14:13
The only problem I have seen so far is when making hot drinks in my cup, I see a tendency for there to be a slight taste carryover. So if I drink berry tea at night, the next morning I can sometimes taste a little berry in my coffee.

Major Slacker
2005-03-08, 22:53
I'm still doing fine.
I hardly notice the twitching anymore, but the third eye makes glasses real expensive.

Dreadie
2005-03-10, 16:00
:rolleyes: Okay guys, if I end up having to buy those expensive glasses, I'm going to post my pic LOUD on this site so everyone has to see it and take warning. I have purchased a container of CountryTime lemonade to use the "bowl". I'll let you know how it goes. I will give it a leakproof test too. I hope it works. I like the idea that the top is a measuring "cup" too. (I read up on your kitchen equipement SGTRock - thanks again for info). I will be making a clam chowder out of Knorr's leek soup, instant potatoes, instant milk, and a foil pack of baby clams. I think that was from the ziploc site I previously posted. Rosaleen, are you from the women hiker's board too? Thanks to all of you for posting.

Dreadie
2005-03-19, 18:06
The "soup" was REAL good. The bowl works like a charm, though a little hot to hold. That will be fixed when I make a cozie for it. Thanks again you cool people for all the info. AT 2009 or BUST!

GregH
2005-03-21, 17:23
The only problem I have seen so far is when making hot drinks in my cup, I see a tendency for there to be a slight taste carryover. So if I drink berry tea at night, the next morning I can sometimes taste a little berry in my coffee.

...And that ain't berry good! :biggrin:

therob
2005-03-22, 00:48
I'm still doing fine.

So said the first billion tobacco smokers.
I dont want to get so ultra light that I put my safety or health in the way. We all know how 50 years after a product is introduced on society, they find long term health risks. Its already been found reusing a water bottle without washing, promotes bacteria growth. How many people wash their water bottles religiously now? (not after a trip, but during). If the bottle wasn't made for repeated fillings with cold then hot liquids, I would wonder. Am I being responsible to my family? They are the ones who will have to suffer if I get some new funky disease when I'm old. All because I saved a few ounces.

therob

On the other hand, at least I hiked. And got old.

Major Slacker
2005-04-02, 22:36
I pack and cook my breakfasts and dinners individually in quart-size Food Saver bags, the kind used with vacuum sealing machines. (I don't have the machine.)
I'm packed -- and pumped -- for 9 days on the AT, starting Thursday.

I eliminated 4.65 oz. of extraneous packaging by repacking meals in quart-size Food Saver bags cut down by 2-3". I still don't have the vacuum machine, so I squeezed air out of each bag by mashing it between two pillows. The pillows compressed around the lumps and bumps and squeezed out more air than I could get out by just rolling the bag. I sealed them using the wife's iron -- set between 5 and 6 on a scale of 7 -- and a strip of foil folded over the end of the bag. I might never need the machine.

Turk
2005-04-02, 23:02
I sealed them using the wife's iron -- set between 5 and 6 on a scale of 7 -- and a strip of foil folded over the end of the bag. I might never need the machine.

That is a BRILLIANT IDEA! did it ruin the iron or anything ?
I am going to have to try sealing bags that way. Genius!

Rage in a Cage
2005-04-02, 23:16
Turk I think he is saying that he folded the alum foil over the bag so that the foil was between the iron and the bag. I agree that does seem like a cool idea.

Major Slacker
2005-04-03, 00:33
…did it ruin the iron or anything?I tore off a piece of kitchen foil and folded it until I had a multi-layered strip 2 inches wide and long enough to extend beyond the width of the bag. Then I folded that in half -- long way, to make a 1 inch strip -- over the open end of the bag. I was careful not to touch the iron directly to the plastic. I expect it would make a nasty mess on the iron but maybe not ruin it.

Setting 4 sealed the bag but not completely airtight. Setting 5 did a better job but still not completely airtight. Setting 6 made the plastic stick to the foil. Hence, setting it between 5 and 6.

Rosaleen
2005-04-03, 09:47
Dreadie-

I just found your post-

Your clam chowder sounds good. You can do something similar with Bear Creek Potato Soup mix. I made a great salmon chowder wit the soup mix as a base, adding home dehydrated salmon, corn, celery, and some extra dried instant potatoes and milk. (Mabe some chives, too.)

Yup, WomenHikers member, too. I see we live in approximately the "same neck of the woods." I'm between Boston and Worcester, MA.

I store my beer can pot, stove, etc., inside my drink mix container, so I have to cut off the cone shaped part above the threads. The cone part is integral to the seal and allows enough fluid to collect that I have a mess when I toake off the top. This is more of a problem when I'm using the container as a shaker. This year, I've switched to using a (ribbed) Gatorade canister, adding a circle of plastic cover from a can to help seal the "jar." Works great, no more mess or leaks. I lose the "cup," but I wasn't using it anyway.

Rosaleen



[QUOTE=Dreadie (SNIP) I have purchased a container of CountryTime lemonade to use the "bowl". I'll let you know how it goes. I will give it a leakproof test too. I hope it works. I like the idea that the top is a measuring "cup" too. (I read up on your kitchen equipement SGTRock - thanks again for info). I will be making a clam chowder out of Knorr's leek soup, instant potatoes, instant milk, and a foil pack of baby clams. I think that was from the ziploc site I previously posted. Rosaleen, are you from the women hiker's board too? Thanks to all of you for posting.[/QUOTE]

Rosaleen
2005-04-03, 10:00
I do something similar.

Difference # 1 is that I use washed and dried mylar snack bags. As long as I work in a school, I should have a larger available supply than I can exhaust. Thiese are free for some hot water, soap, and my labor, an lighter than Food Saver bags.

#2-Stick an straw into one corner of the bag, iron to the straw, squish out air, and, holding firmly around the straw, suck out as much air as possible, pinch shut and hold while pulling out the straw and ironing the corner shut. I often end up with a small brick-like lump that looks like I've vacuumed the bag.

# 3-I used the aluminum strip between plasti bags and the iron, but don't need to when ironing the mylar bags. Start ironing samples of what you need to seal on a very low setting, and ratchet the heat up a tiny amount at a time until you have a good seal without damaging the bag or getting goop on your iron. It isn't that hard to clean melted gunk off, but who needs to be bothered? IIRC, for my iron, the setting at the beginning of steam works well.

# 4-Baby bottle liners work well for samll amounts of things I want to seal, like a day's supply of vitamins. I'm thinking of using washed EmergenC packets, too. I would lose the see through aspect, though, for instant ID of contents. It would be great if I could make this work for singe use portions of shampoo, etc., for a mail drop package....

Rosaleen :)




I eliminated 4.65 oz. of extraneous packaging by repacking meals in quart-size Food Saver bags cut down by 2-3". I still don't have the vacuum machine, so I squeezed air out of each bag by mashing it between two pillows. The pillows compressed around the lumps and bumps and squeezed out more air than I could get out by just rolling the bag. I sealed them using the wife's iron -- set between 5 and 6 on a scale of 7 -- and a strip of foil folded over the end of the bag. I might never need the machine.[/QUOTE]

Major Slacker
2005-04-03, 11:17
I do something similar…Difference # 1 is that I use washed and dried mylar snack bags…lighter than Food Saver bags.Questions:
1. Can I pour boiling water into and cook in a mylar bag? That's the main reason I use the Food Saver bags, which can be frozen, boiled, microwaved, washed and reused; and now that I can seal the bags I think I'll buy a roll instead of the quart-size, which should allow me to custom size packets with less waste.
2. Do you know any retail sources for mylar bags or rolls of mylar? I don't work at a school or buy lots of packaged stuff.

#2-Stick a straw into one corner of the bag, …suck out as much air as possible…I thought of this too. I'll try it.

#3…It isn't that hard to clean melted gunk off, but who needs to be bothered?I do. It's my wife's iron.:) I'm pushing my luck as it is taking over the dining room with all my crap and leaving her a backpacker's widow now and then.

Thanks for the input. Good stuff.

Turk
2005-04-04, 04:00
I am surprised this hasn't come up. But I guess its been several years or more since most of you had babies in the house. An absolute bombproof bag to pour boiling water in is a baby bottle bag. (I use the ones made by Gerber baby food) They are actually meant for boiling water. And one would believe that if they are in direct contact with a babies food source, they gotta be safe to eat out of.

Also worth noting, the plastic bottles the bags sit in are very light, has graduations in both imperial and metric, and a removeable rubber nipple even substitutes an eye dropper. Also worth noting, the foam cozies for beer bottles fit the 8oz gerber baby bottles perfectly.

Major Slacker
2005-04-04, 04:43
…An absolute bombproof bag to pour boiling water in is a baby bottle bag. …the plastic bottles the bags sit in are very light, has graduations in both imperial and metric, and a removeable rubber nipple even substitutes an eye dropper. Also worth noting, the foam cozies for beer bottles fit the 8oz gerber baby bottles perfectly.Are there 24 oz baby bottle bags? I'm usually adding 2-3 cups boiling water to at least a cup of food.

Closest thing to a baby around here is our Anna Banana, the wonder-beagle -- except, of course, if you catch yours truly behaving badly. ;)

parkender
2005-04-04, 05:41
I have had great success using the new generation of oven/microwave roasting bags. They are lighter and more resistant to heat than a freezer bag – I’m in the UK and they cost around 1 pound (roughly 2 dollars) for 10 but I’m sure I can get them way cheaper if I look around and buy in bulk. I've had no problem pouring boiling water straight into the bag - let the mixture stand for 15 minutes insulated by wrapping a fleece or cozy round it - don't hold it in your hands whilst pouring the boiling water in!

NiteShiner
2005-04-04, 13:27
Thanks Turk. The baby bottles/liners sounds like the perfect thing for me. I don't eat alot so the size would be good and it gets even better because I can get them from my daughter who has a 'small fry'.

Rosaleen
2005-04-04, 14:55
Questions:
1. Can I pour boiling water into and cook in a mylar bag? That's the main reason I use the Food Saver bags, which can be frozen, boiled, microwaved, washed and reused; and now that I can seal the bags I think I'll buy a roll instead of the quart-size, which should allow me to custom size packets with less waste.

I haven't tried pouring boilng water into a mylar bag, yet. I don't usually leave enough room, anyway.

2. Do you know any retail sources for mylar bags or rolls of mylar? I don't work at a school or buy lots of packaged stuff.

I have heard some of the Mormon run (I believe) preparedness/bulk dry food sellers have them. Check out waltonfoods.com, waltonfeed.com, etc.
...
I do. It's my wife's iron.:) I'm pushing my luck as it is taking over the dining room with all my crap and leaving her a backpacker's widow now and then.

I think you didn't read my whole meaning in to what I said. What I meant was that (ALTHOUGH) the (melted) plastic is easy to clean off, who wants to be bothered (with NEEDING) to do so?

Thanks for the input. Good stuff.

Always happy to share!

Rosaleen

Rosaleen
2005-04-25, 12:55
Major Slacker-

I hadn't tried pouring boiling water into bags when you asked. Well, now I'm just back from hiking Spivey Gap south to Hot Springs, NC. I boiled water for supper in my beer can pot using Coughlan's fuel tablets. Light and easy. My suppers were portioned out #10 Mountain House or Alpine Aire meals. People have been dumping them for ridiculously cheap prices on eBay lately. I used the mylar snack bags and was very pleased. Pouring the boiling water into the middle of the dry food did not split the bags even once on this trip. I first put the bag into my Gatorade container, then the water went onto the food, after a quick stir, the whole thing into a cozy. All I had to clean was my spoon. That was easy enough to lick clean and swish in the boiling water the next night before using it on my food. Don't tell my Mom or sisters, as they'd be grossed out, but I thought the system worked great!

Rosaleen

SGT Rock
2005-04-25, 13:14
Did you use your hexamine to make your fuel tabs?

And...

Do you throw away the bags after each use?

Rosaleen
2005-04-25, 16:24
Did you use your hexamine to make your fuel tabs?

And...

Do you throw away the bags after each use?

Sarge-

I did play with the hexamina a bit and haven't gotten it quite down. I had a couple of boxes of Coughlin's, so just used those. I only needed one per day.

This trip I sure did toss the bags, although I could have washed and reused them. Pretty disgusting by next week, though, don't you think?

I've been skipping the AM hot coffee. I either mix instant coffee into a dry milk latte/shake or into some protein powder most times. This trip I mixed up a morning blast of coffee beans, M&M's, raisins, craisins, peanuts, and soy nuts. Not for everyone, but it worked for me!

Rosaleen

Major Slacker
2005-04-25, 20:23
Congrats on your section hike. I hiked nine glorious days from Springer to NC a couple of weeks ago.

You've convinced me to try the mylar bags -- as soon as I can come up with some. So far the only bags I can recycle with any regularity are cereal box liners. I haven't tested any of those yet, because I still have quite a few Food Saver bags.

Sarge, I pitched my empty Food Saver bags and trash every chance I got this trip. Since it was only the nine days, I didn't fool with resupply.

SGT Rock
2005-04-25, 20:50
I had my eye on a 1.9 ounce Ti pot that I could do the hot water in and just do a boil-in-bag style cooking with a cozy instead of cooking in the pot. I'm still not sure it is for me yet.

Major Slacker
2005-04-26, 13:15
1.9 oz is getting a lot closer to the 1.1 oz / 24 oz capacity beer can pot. What's the capacity on the Ti pot?

And, yeah, bag cooking is not for everyone. For me the priority is minimizing weight, so the bag system works for me. My beer can pot would be a pain to clean if I used it for anything but boiling water.

Rosaleen
2005-04-26, 17:07
MS-

I agree the beer can can be a pain to clean, but I HAVE successfully cooked in them. A whole package of Lipton Noodles and Sauce, a can of tuna, and some vegetables (plus water) can work. Boil the water, add the other ingredients, bring the whole up to boiling and hold for 1-3 or so minutes, then plunk the whole shebang into a cozy for about 15 minutes. You HAVE to boil the noodles for a bit, not just dump boiling water onto them, or you will have a clump of paste. Only briefly boiling, though, usually gets the "pot" off of the stove before the noodles start to stick and burn.

Cheers!

Rosaleen

Lanthar
2005-04-26, 19:01
1.9 oz is getting a lot closer to the 1.1 oz / 24 oz capacity beer can pot. What's the capacity on the Ti pot?


This one (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47875650&parent_category_rn=5760728) holds ~ 2.5+ cups

Rosaleen
2005-04-26, 20:42
Clever-REI has this listed as a bowl, but what do they know? A bowl/cup/pot at 1.9 oz, add a foil or cut down pie plate lid. It should be more efficient for heating water/foods with its wider base....

Hmm-my next wish list, maybe???

Rosaleen

Major Slacker
2005-04-27, 10:08
…I agree the beer can can be a pain to clean, but I HAVE successfully cooked in them. …Lipton Noodles and Sauce…You HAVE to boil the noodles for a bit…
I'm wondering if a double boiler kind of thing would work -- noodles, water, etc., in a bag, then the bag in the can with a little water between the can and the bag. I've heated "Tasty Bite" pouch meals in the can pot but had to be careful not to use too much water, or it would boil over and put out the stove.

Rosaleen
2005-04-27, 13:33
It is worth trying, maybe. Bear in mind that you need to get the food heated all the way through, not just at the contact with the bag area, and room to stir.

If you want to try this, I would suggest that you heat the water to boiling, then pour most of it into the bag, stir to combine, and slip the bag into the pot. Make sure not to have direct contact between the bag and the pot surfaces, too.

Tricky, but maybe....

Rosaleen

SGT Rock
2005-04-27, 18:05
The 1.9 ounce pot is actually the Snow Peak Ti bowl. My outfitters carries one for $12. I think the capacity is 20 ounces. I could add an aluminum flashing lid for about 0.4 ounces if I wanted one.

Lanthar
2005-04-28, 10:43
Clever-REI has this listed as a bowl, but what do they know? A bowl/cup/pot at 1.9 oz, add a foil or cut down pie plate lid. It should be more efficient for heating water/foods with its wider base....


The 1.9 ounce pot is actually the Snow Peak Ti bowl. My outfitters carries one for $12. I think the capacity is 20 ounces. I could add an aluminum flashing lid for about 0.4 ounces if I wanted one.

I have one. Works great. 2.5 cups (I think 20 ounces is the same) fits just fine, you gotta be slightly careful as it could boil over, 2 cups is no problem at all.

I use my leatherman squirt with the pliers to pick it up when hot.

one nice thing is that it nests around a ziploc 3-cup bowl with bubblwrap cozy perfectly.

Major Slacker
2005-05-02, 16:43
It is worth trying, maybe…I would suggest that you heat the water to boiling, then pour most of it into the bag, stir to combine, and slip the bag into the pot. Make sure not to have direct contact between the bag and the pot surfaces, too…Tricky, but maybe...I considered it but opted out. I figured there wouldn't be enough room in the can pot for the bag, the food, the water and more water between the bag and the pot.

I tried something else with a "Simply Asian" noodle dinner: I boiled the noodles in the can pot, then mixed the noodles, sauce, etc., in a bag. It worked O.K., but noodle goo stuck to the pot and wouldn't go away without scrubbing -- too much hassle for me.

Major Slacker
2005-05-03, 14:07
…I used the mylar snack bags and was very pleased. Pouring the boiling water into the middle of the dry food did not split the bags even once on this trip…
I haven't found any mylar bags to try yet, but I did try cereal box liner bags. They seal with the iron set at like 1.1, so forget about pouring boiling water into them. The only good use I've found for them so far is to seal my meds in single dose packets. I might use them for snacks, but I doubt it. The little ziplock snack bags are so much easier.

fly.fast
2005-05-03, 14:53
On a hike last week at the Buffalo River Trail, I actually cooked in my pot for a change. I have always opted for in-the-bag cooking in the past. I took home made 1-pot meals. My meals used 1 1/2 cup of water. Using the Ion stove, the food came to a boil with about 1 oz. of fuel. I finished simmering with a homemade pot cozy. My Snow Peak Ti pot was actually very easy to clean with just a wipe and a little water. To me, this makes meal planning a lot less hassle.

Krusty
2005-05-30, 02:24
Does anyone ever eat real food, like a chicken leg, hamburger or steak? Or does everyone always eat boiled food? I only ask because I only see recipes about boiling bags of cereal etc. Yes I understand the weight factor.

Krusty :confused:

Mutinousdoug
2005-05-30, 11:21
Krusty;
Chicken or hamburger would taste good on the trail but they suffer from alot of dead weight in water as you acknowledge. Even the retort stuff is pretty heavy with water. That's the reason for the popularity of "just add water/boil in bag" stuff; certainly not the superior taste.
On the other hand, a rabbit,squirrel, fish or grouse obtained along the way, (ahem, in season, of course) makes a welcome addition to that amorphous mass in the bottom of that plastic bag you got there.
Cooking these types of food doesn't work well with your typical Ion stove and Ti cookware; about the only way you could use them is to cut up and fry the meat in little chunks. They're generally better roasted or slow cooked in foil with potatos, carrots and onions (=more dead weight). That necessitates a fire which flys in the faced of the "leave no trace" campers. I've not fully embraced that philosophy just yet and don't mind camping in an "improved" site as long as there isn't TP blowing through camp and garbage in the fire ring.

Rosaleen
2005-05-30, 13:53
Does anyone ever eat real food, like a chicken leg, hamburger or steak? Or does everyone always eat boiled food? I only ask because I only see recipes about boiling bags of cereal etc. Yes I understand the weight factor.

Krusty :confused:

Krusty-

Once in a blue moon, I'll cook fresh meat. Usually it would be on the first or second night and cooked over a fire. I don't want the fuss or weight, though, for myself. Most likely, I'd be cooking on a "You carry the stuff, I'll fix it." compromise with hubby.

Rosaleen

GregH
2005-05-30, 22:58
Sometimes we'll freeze steaks and bring them along with some onions and potatos. We generally will eat them the second night. Yes it's extra weight but it can really be worth it.

Nomad
2005-06-08, 02:02
Does anyone ever eat real food, like a chicken leg, hamburger or steak? Or does everyone always eat boiled food? I only ask because I only see recipes about boiling bags of cereal etc. Yes I understand the weight factor.

Krusty :confused:

Oh yeah I do!

I love winter.

Winter = STEAK!!

The biggest problem with your grocery list is the cooler fulla ice you have to pack if you want any of that stuff to be any good anywhere past a few hours. *wink wink*

Seriously tho. I hate most dehydrated food. I will hump some extra miles with a big ol grin if I know I have some killer grub to cook up at the end of the day. I usually have chicken fajitas (chicken in those aluminumm pouches), or maybe jumbalya w/spicy sausage (Zatarans is KING), ok that's a boiled one but it still rocks. I like instant pancakes, salted bacon, and biscuits too.

I always pack a large amount of fruit. Mmm,,mmm. Apples, grapes and oranges. i also like cheese, crackers and fried veggies.
Last time I brought brown eggs and made all kinds of stuff including omlettes.

Bad news is that's all rather heavy. But dehydrated food is funky tasting by day 5 and it does odd things to my digestive track after living on it too long.

Good news is my pack gets waaay lighter everytime I eat and I have alot less trash

There's a bunch of trail recipies out there if your willing to carry the extra weight. Heck I got a buddy who carrys an old black iron skillet who cooks some amazing stuff and is into baking also. I love going with him, we eat like lords. :biggrin:

heck, if you see a good one post it plz and i'll try it maybe.