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Old 08-31-2011, 03:34 PM
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Default Asking input from experienced mylar bag packers and users



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I have been prepping for a few years now, but it took a much more serious turn this year with the addition of freeze dried and dehydrated items, mostly in #10 cans. Also have added some other non-food supplies to my prep items such as medical supplies.

Now I have a decent supply of rice, beans, sugar, salt and so on, but all of it is still in the original bags. I want to move this to mylar bags in buckets for ease of storage and perhaps to prolong the quality of the stored items.

My question is, (and I am asking input from those who store goods in mylar and have used from that storage) when storing beans or rice (and sugar and salt) in mylar and then into 5 gallon buckets, is it better to use just one 5 gallon mylar bag to fill with rice (or other product) or to use smaller, say 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon bags of mylar to store the items in. It is only me and my wife and possibly a couple of grown kids and spouses to care for.

We live in the Houston area, where it is not as cold nor as dry as in some other areas, and it seems to me it would be a better idea to store these items in the smaller bags since opening the larger bag would expose the remaining content to moisture, bugs and possible degradation. The cost of using only 1 of the 5 gallon mylar bags versus the cost of say 5 of the 1 gallon bags is not an issue. I am trying to find the right balance of keeping food stored for the day we need it and yet keep it in good condition once it is opened. This leads me to think that the use of the smaller bags, thus opening a bag to satisfy the needs for a shorter period of time leaving all the remainder still sealed in a mylar bag is the best way to go. I've even seen some of those flat bottom, zip seal mylar bags of the 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon size that caught my eye. I would use the zip seal then heat seal the top of that, but would be able to use the zip seal to keep what's left "fresh" after the initial opening of the heat seal.

But I would like to hear from those that have experience with this firsthand.

Thanks for your input.
Old 08-31-2011, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Wind Breaker View Post
is it better to use just one 5 gallon mylar bag to fill with rice (or other product) or to use smaller, say 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon bags of mylar to store the items in. It is only me and my wife and possibly a couple of grown kids and spouses to care for.
If you are just starting out, start with 1/2 and 1 gallon bags. Also, go with the upright bags with the ziplock seal. The ziplock seals cost a few cents more, but they are a lot easier to work with then the non-ziplock seal bags.

Follow this link to a thread I posted about storing food in mylar bags


I have done 2 1/2 gallon bags with no ziplock seal, 5 gallon bags, 1/2 and 1 gallon.

The 1/2 and 1 gallon with ziplock were by FAR the easiest to work with. Seal the seal, and then run an iron over the extra 3/4 of mylar material for a double seal.

Instead of buying different sizes in oxygen absorbers, I bought 1,000 units. That way they can be used in smaller bags, and put 2 or 3 of the 1,000 in a 5 gallon bucket.

Salt does not have to have an oxygen absorber in the mylar bag.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:48 PM
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Kev,
Thanks for the quick reply. Actually, it was your posting of this video that I saw a few weeks ago that I first learned about the flat bottom resealable mylar bags. Thanks for posting the video and sharing your valuable information for all of us, especially those of us new to this part of prepping.

We eat rice and beans all the time just cause we like it, but we usually buy the one pound bag of each and they just don't last that long around our house. So, the food won't go bad just being a small portion. My concern was that opening a 5 gallon mylar bag of either rice or beans to get one cup out of it, how long would the rest of it still be good to go. I really like your idea of the smaller bags vs the bigger ones.

Another advantage I see, is that if I want to share with someone that is not in my home with me, I can just get a smaller bag and hand it over to them.

Thanks again for sharing from your vast experience. We appreciate you.
Old 08-31-2011, 04:18 PM
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My concern was that opening a 5 gallon mylar bag of either rice or beans to get one cup out of it, how long would the rest of it still be good to go. I really like your idea of the smaller bags vs the bigger ones.
That was the same concern my wife expressed with the larger bags. She did not like the idea of opening the mylar bag, then then having to find something like a chip clip to hold the bag shut.

The bigger bags that fit in a 5 gallon bucket were a hassle to deal with. The largest I think I am going to mess with are around 2 1/2 gallon.


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Thanks again for sharing from your vast experience. We appreciate you.
Your welcome, but there are lots of people around here that know a lot more then me.
Old 08-31-2011, 04:23 PM
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That was the same concern my wife expressed with the larger bags. She did not like the idea of opening the mylar bag, then then having to find something like a chip clip to hold the bag shut.

The bigger bags that fit in a 5 gallon bucket were a hassle to deal with. The largest I think I am going to mess with are around 2 1/2 gallon.




Your welcome, but there are lots of people around here that know a lot more then me.
Are you free to share what part of East Texas you are located in? I was born and raised in Liberty, but now live north of Houston.
Old 08-31-2011, 04:37 PM
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I wanted to chime in here too, Kev. I learned alot from your video on food storage in mylar bags.

I had already ordered 100 8"x10" bags and the same amount of 300cc o2 absorbers, but I'm going to be taking a page out of your playbook and getting the resealable bags and the 1000cc absorbers. When you drop the kind of cash we do on storing food, it makes sense to pay a little extra to make sure it stores well.

I also found this video:

http://youtu.be/S-aTHVEgGa8


I think I'll try that with my upright vacuum hose. Seems like a good way to quickly verify whether or not your seal is good.
Old 08-31-2011, 04:52 PM
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When it comes to beans and rice and such, I can't justify going with 1 gallon bags. It lasts just fine after opening. And if you're eating out of your buckets, it's going to get used in plenty of time anyway. I live by myself and I eat out of my stores. I have yet to have a problem with beans or rice in 5 gallon amounts. Even by myself, they get used up in plenty of time.

Where the smaller bags are handy are items that don't do so well after opening, or foods that you won't be using as much of. Tomato or peanut butter powder for example. Or perhaps finely milled foods like bisquit or pancake mix. Powdered milk absorbs moisture from the air relatively quickly, so it might benefit from smaller bags too.
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:54 PM
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Are you free to share what part of East Texas you are located in? I was born and raised in Liberty, but now live north of Houston.
I grew up in Bridge City and currently live in Jasper.
Old 08-31-2011, 04:59 PM
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When it comes to beans and rice and such, I can't justify going with 1 gallon bags.
My first experience with the 5 gallon buckets was not too good. I will probably go back to 5 gallons buckets for rice, beans and whole oats. But for right now I want to practice with the 1 gallon bags.

My thread about homemade superpails


I think there were 2 issues with my 5 gallon buckets:

1 - the mylar bags were too big. The store said they would fit a 5 gallon bucket, but the bags looked like they were for 6 or 7 gallons.

2 - the buckets were not filled "all" the way up. I had to push a lot of air out of the bags when I sealed them.

The next time I do a superpail, I am going to overbuy on the beans and rice, and fill the bag all the way up to just below the lid.
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:44 PM
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Could anybody give links for resources of mylar and o2 absorbers? Who has the best price/quality combo? How about local sources? Are there any national chains (I know walmart doesn't sell them, but something like that.) or other types of stores that may sell them?
Old 08-31-2011, 07:33 PM
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I don't know who has the best, but I've bought the few I have via Amazon.
Old 08-31-2011, 08:15 PM
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Wind Breaker
I use https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/ they're great and have a lot of info. I use 1 gal Ziploc bags I can usually get four into a 5gal bucket. In more than a few buckets I stuffed the empty voids between the bags with all kinds of stuff, silver dimes, matches, candles, can openers, salt, pepper, measuring cups and a lot if odds and ends just incase we had to take off with a only few buckets or if we got separated we'd have some basics. be careful if it’s something sharp wrap it in another prep.
kev
I think the 5gal bags work for 6gal buckets too. I fold the bag over the edges of the bucket to keep them clean while I'm filling them, so it should be bigger than the bucket. it sucks when you get, lets say baking powder onto the part of the bag your going to heat seal and it wont seal right.

P.S. Sam's club sells bulk food already sealed for long term storage, when you check the website look for food storage and emergency
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
When it comes to beans and rice and such, I can't justify going with 1 gallon bags. It lasts just fine after opening. And if you're eating out of your buckets, it's going to get used in plenty of time anyway. I live by myself and I eat out of my stores. I have yet to have a problem with beans or rice in 5 gallon amounts. Even by myself, they get used up in plenty of time.

Where the smaller bags are handy are items that don't do so well after opening, or foods that you won't be using as much of. Tomato or peanut butter powder for example. Or perhaps finely milled foods like bisquit or pancake mix. Powdered milk absorbs moisture from the air relatively quickly, so it might benefit from smaller bags too.
I'm with Mike on this. Using Gamma lids (spin on) can help on those big 5 or 6 gallon buckets once opened. If you're feeding out of the bucket slower than you expected, I bet extra oxygen absorbers thrown in before spinning the lid on would help. Just a thought.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:53 PM
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I use the smaller bags for a different reason: Portability.

I don't have too many bug-in options. The food I stock in my house is for if I lose my job, or there some small-scale thing that I think I can weather in my condo, and because the price of food stands to get ridiculous.

Either way, my plan is to try to make my buckets stand alone units. That is to say, each bucket will have a little bit of everything in it, as opposed to a bucket of flour, a bucket of coffee, a bucket of salt and so on.

By the way, I tried to suck the air out of a a mylar bag with some salt in it just for fun. I got a bunch of salt in my vacuum. Drawing board.
Old 08-31-2011, 09:20 PM
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I'm with Mike on this. Using Gamma lids (spin on) can help on those big 5 or 6 gallon buckets once opened. If you're feeding out of the bucket slower than you expected, I bet extra oxygen absorbers thrown in before spinning the lid on would help. Just a thought.
Its good to hear the various methods that some have tried. I wouldn't have much problem with using larger bags if I lived in a more arid climate, but the humidity along the Gulf Coast is something that works hard against keeping things fresh once opened. Another thing that came to me after I first started this thread is that my wife would really struggle rolling around a 45# bucket of beans or rice, but a 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon bag is no problem. Just more options to think about.

Also, it might be a good idea to have at least a couple of buckets of mixed items in smaller bags, even if the bulk of the storage is all of one kind of item in one large mylar bag. The portability of that system has a lot of merit. Good information to have on hand when the time comes for me to begin to fill those bags and buckets.

Thanks all for sharing your experiences and your wisdom.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:24 PM
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Wind Breaker
I use https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/ they're great and have a lot of info. I use 1 gal Ziploc bags I can usually get four into a 5gal bucket. In more than a few buckets I stuffed the empty voids between the bags with all kinds of stuff, silver dimes, matches, candles, can openers, salt, pepper, measuring cups and a lot if odds and ends just incase we had to take off with a only few buckets or if we got separated we'd have some basics. be careful if it’s something sharp wrap it in another prep.
kev
I think the 5gal bags work for 6gal buckets too. I fold the bag over the edges of the bucket to keep them clean while I'm filling them, so it should be bigger than the bucket. it sucks when you get, lets say baking powder onto the part of the bag your going to heat seal and it wont seal right.

P.S. Sam's club sells bulk food already sealed for long term storage, when you check the website look for food storage and emergency
Hey Don,
Thanks for the link. Lots of good info there. Some of that is such a time saver as it tells you how much of certain items you can fit into different size containers. This helps to plan how many bags, buckets and O2 absorbers you will need for a particular session.
Plus lots of other great info for a newb or maybe even for the not so new prepper.

Thanks again.
Old 09-01-2011, 09:10 PM
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Default mylar bag sealing issue solved?

Here's a pretty slick way of sealing a mylar bag,although I believe I'd go over the seal with an impulse sealer or Iron just to be on the safe side.
>>

I watched this video 3-4 times and it sure seems simple enough!!!
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:14 PM
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....And,here's billy garners way of sealing a mylar bag

>>
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:48 PM
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Thanks for those two videos. That answers another question of mine which was couldn't you just use the plastic food saver bags with an oxygen absorber inside to vacuum seal them, then insert those into a mylar bag for light proofing and better protection? I had known that mylar bags alone were difficult to vacuum seal due to the smooth interior of the bags. So, I was thinking a belt and suspenders type approach, but these two vid clips show that there are ways to do it efficiently and economically,

Thanks again for your input.
Old 09-01-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Wind Breaker View Post
Thanks for those two videos. That answers another question of mine which was couldn't you just use the plastic food saver bags with an oxygen absorber inside to vacuum seal them, then insert those into a mylar bag for light proofing and better protection? I had known that mylar bags alone were difficult to vacuum seal due to the smooth interior of the bags. So, I was thinking a belt and suspenders type approach, but these two vid clips show that there are ways to do it efficiently and economically,

Thanks again for your input.
Most assuredly!!....I'm going to start with the procedure being shown in the first video early next week(my first foodsaver bit the dust...time to get another one)
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