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7/25/2016 8:37 am  #1

Food Packaging - reducing waste

How do you package your food? I'm not talking barrel vs dry bag, I mean the actual food.

We try to be really cognizant of reducing waste and usually we come home with only a ziploc bag of garbage. But, we usually use a lot of ziploc bags for ingredients. I try to wash them out and reuse but that's not always possible.

We do have small nalgene containers for things like peanut butter, oil, etc. But I'd love to hear if anyone was any more re-usable solutions for ziplocs.

I'm thinking of getting some light-weight cloth bags to keep things like pre-packed oatmeal but that doesn't help with exposed food stuffs like dehydrated chili or flat bread. 

Any novel ideas out there?


7/25/2016 9:43 pm  #2

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

I think I hit 90 Glad freezer bags by the end of packing for our 3 week trip last year and by the time we got back I'm not sure how many were reused vs garbage so I feel your pain. The problem with Naglenes is the shape. I can't fit enough Nalgenes in to take 16 cups of flour (for example) so we pack one Nalgene jar and put the rest in freezer bags. I do seperate bags we will reuse from bags that are done (gooey for example) while on the trip. So no good answer. I think the idea of cloth where you can is a good one.

Last edited by ChristineCanoes (7/25/2016 9:45 pm)


7/26/2016 6:09 am  #3

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

For longer trips, or where weight is an issue (hiking mostly) we make wax paper envelopes with masking tape. Since we use the paper to start fires, or just burn it off as we go, it means minimal garbage. We still use zip locks to group meals together and for wet stuff, but since we started using wax paper there is significantly less garbage.


7/26/2016 10:15 am  #4

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

Wax paper and masking tape is an excellent idea! Do you find it seals well enough to avoid spilling and leakage? What sort of foods do you put in there? What sort of food do you still use ziplocs for?


     Thread Starter

7/26/2016 11:45 am  #5

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

We put all kinds of food in there, basically anything dry or almost dry such as: pasta, dried veg, dried pasta sauce, oatmeal, spices, bannock mix, flour, candy, dried fruit, coffee, etc....

We use a dehydrator to prep most meals for an extended trip. Then anything wet or snacks go in a ziplock, like condiments, trail mix etc... Snacks go in ziplocks because we eat a little at a time. The downside is that you can't re seal a wax paper envelope, so it only really works for meals that you have prepped and package before hand. 

Mostly though we just use large ziplocks to keep stuff dry in case we dunk. But since everything is in wax paper THEN in a ziplock, the ziplocks don't really get dirty.  

We have never had a leak. To make the packages, I fold the paper over so it makes a kinda flat tube, then fold one of the open sides in and tape it. Then I fill the package and tape the other side shut and write what the meal is on the tape.  

In the image below all the packages with green tape are wax paper packages in ziplocks.


Last edited by APPaul (7/26/2016 11:48 am)


7/26/2016 11:56 am  #6

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. I imagine the wax paper makes for a great firestarter too!


     Thread Starter

7/26/2016 4:56 pm  #7

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

CanoeClaire wrote:

I imagine the wax paper makes for a great firestarter too!



7/26/2016 11:57 pm  #8

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

That's a great idea. I wonder if you could use computer paper as we always have pages of it from our home office, that we put into the shredder. It would be nice to recycle it. Would it be too ridged???


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester

7/27/2016 9:35 am  #9

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

I don't think it would be too ridged but computer paper would have sizing, bleach, possibly ink and other chemicals. Maybe as an outer wrap, to group smaller packages but in contact with food may not be the best.

We have thought about using washed natural cotton, made into little bags ....just haven't gotten around to actually doing it though. 


8/02/2016 9:00 pm  #10

Re: Food Packaging - reducing waste

We pack dry ingredients in used milk bags, with the open end folded over and sealed with a #64 elastic band.  A milk bag will hold about 3.5 cups of ingredients.   Wet ingredients are stored in small Nalgene bottles.  If a meal requires more than 1 bag/bottle, everything is placed in a freezer bag (not a zip lock bag) with the open end of the bag folded over and sealed with a #64 elastic band.   All bags are washed and dried for reuse after a trip.


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