Author Topic: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing  (Read 986 times)

Offline OrchidBetty

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« on: September 15, 2018, 04:13:27 AM »
Hi, I'm new to prepping and went into overdrive getting ready for hurricane season. I have two questions:

1.) I got a hand-me-down Rival Seal-a-meal vacuum sealer, model VS100. I'm in love with it. However, it started burning holes in two spots while sealing bags. I couldn't find that much info online but I assumed it needed new Teflon tape. It wasn't easy to replace but I got a new strip of teflon HOWEVER there seems to be a wrinkle in the heat coil that is causing the problem. It's no longer burning holes but there is definitely a bubble in the same place as the old tape.   Anyone else have this problem? Is it fixable or do I junk this unit?

2.) I live in a humid & salty area. I have a storage problem and have to keep my supplies outside. I have been sealing nearly all of my emergency supplies in the hopes of keeping out moisture, bugs, and slowing down (salt) corrosion. I also have the food in a (dry) cooler, in the hopes that the cooler will create more of a barrier from the heat (in vain?)  What would be best -- cutting a hole in the factory food package and then vacuuming the air out or vacuum sealing the outer package but leaving the factory sealing alone? The package would be puffy but it will be puffy from the manufactures air (if that makes sense).

Thanks!   

Offline Morning Sunshine

  • Geese Smuggling Moonbat
  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6082
  • Karma: 284
  • There are no mistakes, just Learning Experiences
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2018, 06:21:40 AM »
a lot of times the air in the factory bag acts as a cushion against crushing.  Personally, I would leave the factory bag as is.  An extra barrier doesn't hurt either.

I do not use my vacuum sealer much any more.  But I live in the high mountain desert of northern Utah.  Dry as a bone.  And, I think more to the point, with 5 kids we don't have a lot of time before food is gone rotated through.  ;D

Offline Chemsoldier

  • Pot Stirrer
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5726
  • Karma: 544
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2018, 09:01:58 AM »
Dont be afraid to explore other storage options.  While you can and should store a healthy supply at home, you could also consider some off site storage. Friends, climate controlled you-store it, family, encouraging your church to stock up for disasters that you could potentially tap into, etc.

I would also challenge that hurricane disruption duration food preps can be stored in the home/apartment with enough creativity.

Also outdoor storage could work well enough if you are willing to have a relatively high turnover rate (for long term storage). Instead of 3 years or whatnot, give it to charity or eat it every 18 months.

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7102
  • Karma: 598
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 02:46:08 PM »
I don't personally have any experience with the Rival seal-a-meal unit. Mine is a FoodSaver. I've had it for many years and it still works like a champ... it may be that you should investigate getting a new one, depending on how expensive it might be to replace parts on yours. Mine cost less than $80 several years ago, but I don't think the price has gone up very much...

I like my Foodsaver because I bought the adapters that allow me to store in glass canning jars... because of that, I rarely store things in bags anymore.

Offline OrchidBetty

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 11:54:02 PM »
I live in Hawaii and everything is ridiculously expensive -- rent, storage space, food. Wages are not in line with the cost of living. Depending on what happens, it could realistically be weeks before assistance arrives. In addition, given the nature of my job, I will be expected to report to work in a major event so I need to ensure my kids are secure/comfortable as much as possible. Moving is not an option so I have to work with what I have. 

Offline Frugal Upstate

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1158
  • Karma: 62
  • aka Jenn Fowler and Jenn @ Frugal Upstate ;)
    • Frugal Upstate
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2018, 04:37:37 AM »
You may want to consider the Mylar bag (maybe with desiccant packets) inside 5gallon buckets, metal trash cans or plastic bins combo for things being stored outside. The Mylar truly is impermeable to air, so the amount of moisture inside when you seal it is all you will get.  The bucket adds rigidity and protection from punctures or animals  teeth.   

We use a cooler more as a dry box and rodent protection for things like crackers and pasta that we store in our cabin during the summer.  I don’t think the cooler will have any difference in temperature from the outside long term.


Offline OrchidBetty

  • Fledgling Prepper
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 02:07:07 AM »
I just started prepping and I didn't know about Mylar bags until just recently and of course, it was after I purchase a decent supply of plastic vacuum bags. Do you think the mylar bags need an O2 absorber even if they are vacuum sealed? I was on youtube looking up DIY MREs and stumbled across the home freeze dryer! That thing looked awesome! Unfortunately, its woefully out of my budget and I would need to prioritize and purchase a generator first. That would be cool if they were rentable.

All this research is making me feel like I'm WAY late to the party! Thanks for sharing your notes and helping me play catch-up. :)

Offline Redman

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1629
  • Karma: 47
  • Lost in the 50's
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 04:34:44 AM »
Hi Betty, it's never too late to join the party. Here is a website with good information about food storage. Perhaps you've run across it already, don't know. I haven't used mylar bags so I can't help more on that.

https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/information-center/packing-your-own-food-storage

Offline Stwood

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2742
  • Karma: 59
  • Wut wuz dat Olie?
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 04:35:21 PM »
Outside storage. Wow.
Well, 30 gallon trash cans with lids would give you a lot of outside storage.

I would really think about inside storage somehow.
Under the bed is one place. Buy/make containers that slide under the bed.
Attic space. Do you have attic access?

Offline bcksknr

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2149
  • Karma: 313
  • Child of the Cold War
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 06:55:54 PM »
     Exposure to heat, light, moisture, oxygen and insects or rodents are the enemies of food storage. Any one of these can adversely effect the shelf life of stored foods. Commercial freeze dried, vacuum packed (or nitrogen flushed) foods will generally give you the longest shelf life, assuming there is no physical damage to the packaging; this is also the most expensive type of emergency food.
     I use a vacuum sealer and bags for long term storage of meat in the freezer ( first wrap the product in "Seal-Tite" plastic wrap as an extra barrier against freezer burn). Storing meats in the "styrofoam trays" from the store is not a good idea. I also pressure can meats (especially venison or tough roasts) in pint Mason jars. This tenderizes it and it is then pre-cooked and ready to use right out of the jar. The bulk of my garden produce (tomato juice, saurerkraut, and pickled vegetables) is water bath canned in pint Mason Jars also. All of the home canned items are in milk crates, in the cool basement, usually dark.
     I have accumulated about 150 Mountain House freeze dried meals (mostly entrees). I usually buy them at clearance prices at the end of "camping season". They and a couple of dozen MRE's are also stored in cartons on shelving in the basement. Along with these items I have a couple of months of canned goods (and oils), dated and rotated, on steel shelving. In the garage, which isn't optimal from a temperature viewpoint, I have two dozen 5 gallon buckets of wheat berries, beans and legumes, dried corn and salt. I "flushed the buckets with CO2 from dry ice before sealing. It is a "tuck under garage" that does stay cooler in summer and never freezes in winter, so I have a potato bin with 200 pounds of potatoes and onions from the garden.
    The common thread here is diversity and as much protection from the "spoilers" as possible. I have never had anything spoil (I do use the left over potatoes that have begun to sprout in the spring as seed stock for the next year). Of course, the frozen meats (and frozen squash) will have to be rapidly canned, jerked or consumed in a protracted power outage; the vacuum sealing won't protect against room temperature spoilage.
     Places to not store food are in attics, garages (with some exceptions), the trunk of a car or anyplace with wide temperature swings. if you keep emergency rations in a vehicle, perhaps in a "go bag", either use freeze dried meals, "Clif" type meal bars, "lifeboat rations" or jerky. MRE's will degrade rapidly stored in a hot vehicle. In any case you will have to rotate hose items more frequently than if they were stored in a cool place.
     One last thing, I vacuum sealed a 5 gallon bucket of book matches, strike anywhere matches, waterproof matches and butane lighters to use as barter items. Being able to deliver the ability to make fire could be a good bargaining chip.
       

Offline Frugal Upstate

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1158
  • Karma: 62
  • aka Jenn Fowler and Jenn @ Frugal Upstate ;)
    • Frugal Upstate
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2018, 04:58:30 AM »
My understanding is you can’t vacuum seal Mylar bags-they are smooth on the inside & don’t have those little channeling ridges to help the machine suck out the air.  That’s why they use O2 observers in them.  If you vacuum seal something o2 absorbers is def overkill.


Offline Redman

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1629
  • Karma: 47
  • Lost in the 50's
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2018, 05:42:23 AM »
Frug you are correct that mylar bags are not designed for vacuum sealing however it can be done. Here is a video of one way. You can search "vacuum sealing mylar bags" on YouTube for other videos. Disclaimer, I have not tried any of this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dzaeC0hG0

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2018, 06:05:52 AM »
  I had no idea that one could safely vacuum seal butane lighters.....

Offline Redman

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1629
  • Karma: 47
  • Lost in the 50's
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2018, 08:34:01 AM »
  I had no idea that one could safely vacuum seal butane lighters.....

 :jaw-drop:

Someone did that?!!!!!!!

I was always told not to light cutting torches or rosebuds with them or have them in a pocket while using a torch. We did all that anyway.

Offline Stwood

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2742
  • Karma: 59
  • Wut wuz dat Olie?
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2018, 08:59:16 AM »
:jaw-drop:

Someone did that?!!!!!!!

I was always told not to light cutting torches or rosebuds with them or have them in a pocket while using a torch. We did all that anyway.

 :facepalm:

Offline LvsChant

  • Resident Master Mudder
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 7102
  • Karma: 598
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 03:01:12 PM »
I've had good luck vacuum sealing mylar bags... there used to be a thread here somewhere about how to do it... basically, you cut a strip from a regular vacuum seal roll about 1" and place it inside the mylar at the site where you plan to seal it up. Then vacuum seal the mylar bag. This allows the air to be extracted from the bag because of the little air channels in the portion at the seal site... takes a little bit of fiddling to get the hang of it, but works like a charm once you do.

Offline Carl

  • Mr HamTastic!
  • Forum Veteran
  • *********
  • Posts: 13111
  • Karma: 712
  • COW?...No ,I haven't seen your cow.
Re: I'm new to prepping - question re: Vacuum sealing
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 04:36:22 PM »
  The long term storage is not as easy as it may sound as temperature,moisture,oxygen all must be kept to a minimum for best storage and as yours is outdoor storage,I suggest you store food and water in CANS and rotate the stock every month or so for best chance of quality in your food and water....water in metal cans is best to avoid critters and light damage. Even the best freeze dried foods require temps at or about 60 degrees and consistent light,temp,moisture for the best chance of quality.