View Full Version : Sucking up in the off season

Wild Bill Bucks
March 20, 2007, 11:20 AM
I have found a great deal of use for my vacum sealer, besides its intended use as a food storage, and I thought I would share some of them with you.

#1 For Emergency Fire Starter Kit:

A handfull of Kitchen Matchs ( with heads broke off)
Small tube of Sterno-Flame
Chips from Fire Starter log

Pack them all seperate in sandwich baggies, and put them in a seal-a meal bag, and vacum seal them. Easy to carry in back pack, and waterproof with no chance of accidental ignition. Makes fire building a snap, in an emergency.

#2 Emergency First Aid Kit:

Several Band Aids of different sizes.
2 or 3 feet of gauze(off the roll and folded)
Packets of anti-biotic creme.
Ace bandage (folded not rolled)
Packets of Sunscreen, Insect repellant, Handy Wipes.
anything else you might want, as long as it is flat.

All this can be put in one neat seal-a-meal bag and vacum sealed.

#3 Emergency shelter Kit:

Medium sized pocket knife (sharpened)
20 ft. of nylon cord (trot line size)
10 to 12 ft. of nylon rope ( 3/8 to 1/2 )
Cheap Wally World Tarp ( Apprx. 8 by 10 or so)

This can all be packed in seal- a-meal bag.

#4 Other Emergency Stuff:

Small flashlight with extra batteries ( do not store batteries inside the light)
Small diameter wire for making traps and snares.
Sharpening stone
Extra underwear, shirt, socks,pants,small blanket.
Anything else you can think of.

All these things can be packed into your back pack, or an emergency kit for your 4-wheeler, and can be taken with you without taking up much space or adding to much weight. Having these things with you, could mean the difference between life and death, in the right circumstances.

Don't mean to sound like a commercial for seal-a-meal, but they sure are handy.
Any the rest of you guys think of anything else I missed?

March 20, 2007, 11:50 AM
I have all those items and these other ones from my emergency pack (small backpack)

sterno folding stove
bic lighter
couple tea candles
zip ties
rubber bands
ink pen
wad of ziplock bags
instant ice pack
variety of otc meds
field med book
dental floss
extra socks
variety of ammo
bright orange bandana
thermal blanket
multi tool
ear plugs
panty hose (figure it out)
orange vest
duct tape
bug off
8x20 binoculars
deck o cards
bag of granola

March 20, 2007, 01:15 PM
What a great idea! I don't have a vacuum-sealer set up yet but have seen them at WallyWorld/WalMarx. Is there a vacuum sealer that you would recommend? I would use it for sealing food And for making up emergency kits for the house and truck.

March 20, 2007, 01:43 PM
I have the Rival "seal a meal" model. It's a cheapy from Walmart. Works fine, but you need to let it cool if you are doing more than 5 bags at a time.

Buy a commercial model if you plan to use it constantly. My use is rather seasonal and I have had no problems.

March 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the quick response. I'll check out the 'seal a meal. If they are bags I suppose I could store backup binoculars, ammo, etc. Anything besides the pet cat that I shouldn't vacuum seal?

March 20, 2007, 01:58 PM
I'm told cat tastes like chicken, so seal away.

Wild Bill Bucks
March 20, 2007, 02:18 PM
I'm like Fisherman, I bought mine at Wally world also, but it seems to work fine.
I re-load quite a bit, and they come in real handy for sealing loaded ammunition, or brass that I have prepared and don't want to load immediatley. Also great for storing pelletized powder if you buy in bulk and want to keep it fresh. I store my smokeless powder (in the container) also.

I have several pistols, that I keep well oiled, and sealed in a bag, when I'm not using them. If you can find the bags on a roll, you can make them as long as you want, and they are great for sealing out moisture and dust from rifles and shotguns as well (be sure to oil them good before sealing them up, and make sure there isn't any moisture on them before sealing)

If you are a fisherman, there are a hundred ways you can use the vacum system. I might even use mine to occasionally store food with.:D

Smokey Joe
March 20, 2007, 05:42 PM
Have heard tell of guys who (1) shoot a really odd, or a wildcat cartridge, and (2) are going on a long-distance trip to hunt, using a seal-a-meal to pack their ammo, to better ensure that it is usable when it arrives.

Might even be useful with common cartridges which are carefully developed handloads, just to ensure that you don't have to use "store-boughten" ammo for your .308Win.

March 20, 2007, 06:01 PM
I have vacuum packed some ammo myself. Mainly for moisture proofing it.............hpg

March 20, 2007, 10:08 PM
Sounds like your very prepared.

I remember being shown how to make fire starters as a young boy scout with tightly rolled newspaper about 4 inches long tied with a string and dipped into wax. I would probably just look for a lighter stump instead of carry one now though.

Also you can dip strike anywhere matches into clear fingernail polish for some nice waterproof matches.

As far as all the emergency packing goes my emergency pack is my JEEP! I hate going hunting without it. Anyone else feel really weird when your buddy volunteers to drive and you don't have the comforts of all the stuff in your own vehicle?

March 20, 2007, 10:38 PM
The off season...go fishing--that's what I do in the off season. Fresh panfish in beer batter.

I never did spend the ~$100 on one of those vaccuum sealer thingies. Are they worth it? I could be talked into it--especially for fish storage if they work well for that.

March 21, 2007, 01:16 AM
Chemist308 et al,

The better units are the Tila brand FoodSaver machines and their specially designed packaging material. I bought one of these in 1998 and it paid for itself in about 6 months by allowing bulk purchases that could be stored for long periods.

I've eaten fish & steaks that were sealed fresh, then frozen for up to 15 months.

Tips and Cautions:
1. Do not try to seal up liquids, especially flammables ones. Bad idea.
2. Using masking tape on sharp edges (e.g. front/rear sights) to prevent vacuum loss through poking a hole in the bag.
3. Pointy things can be sealed if you embed their tips in wood or styrofoam first (needles, pins, knives, nails, etc.)
4. Thin pasta (angel hair) and similar stuff should be placed on oval shaped cardboard & sealed.
5. For matches, batteries, coins and other small items, put them into a sandwhich baggie and partially seal it before vacuum packing. This gives you a carry pouch for them when you open the package or a spare baggie for other uses..and it helps protect the sealed bag from punctures.

It's important to keep the units very clean both for food sanitation reasons as well as to ensure a good heat seal.

When I bought mine, we started buying chicken, pork ribs, ground beef, steaks and tri-tip roasts at CostCo (good quality meats) in bulk packages. Since there were only 2 of us, we bagged things in pairs and sealed them for freezing. We used a permanent marker to write the contents and purchase date on the outside edge. Just before the whole Y2K thing, we made two big buys at Costco, sealed up lots of stuff, just in case. Afterwards, we used it up and didn't have to buy any meat or vegetables until Thanksgiving of 2000 (and only then 'cuz turkeys are too big to vac-bag). :D

Best of all, if you have kids, you can cook up a bunch of food then create a long bag of "leftovers" divided into entree, veggie and side dish for the kids to heat up on their own. Works great if you cook in a wok and add cooked rice to a single bag.

March 21, 2007, 01:22 AM
Found countless uses for mine (besides food)--Really cool little gadget!
Since it's in topic for the thread...


That one is worth a good read.

March 21, 2007, 11:38 AM
I'm with BillCA. I have a Food Saver brand that I got at Costco. It has an option where you can do liquidy type stuff too. I do a lot of my own meat smoking and it is indispensible for sealing and freezing smoked stuff. No odor seeps out in the freezer. When I go on long hunting trips, I will make ready to eat stuff (stews, chile, etc) and freeze them in blocks and then vacuum seal them. Drop them in boiling water at camp and you have instant food with no mess. That rocks. I do all of my fish in the sealed bags now too.

Wild Bill Bucks
March 21, 2007, 12:38 PM
One of the worst things you have to do for a camping trip, is plan the groceries. I love to cook, and having 3 children, and their freinds most of the time, I learned to cook for an army. Since my children are all married and gone now, I am always cooking to much for the wife and myself. I have found that if you purchase some of those aluminum pie plates that have the seperations in them, it is easy to take your leftovers, and portion them out in the plates, place them in a vacum bag and seal them. Place them in the freezer, and when you go camping, just float the bag upright in a hot pan of water, and enjoy a meal that is better, most of the time, than when you originally cooked it.

If you like steaks to be marinated, but hate the overnight wait, you can apply your marinade to your steaks at 2:00 in the afternoon, seal them in a vacum sealer, and your steaks will be ready to cook by 3:00. After cooking them, you can reseal them, and the next time you heat them up, you won't believe how good they are.

March 21, 2007, 08:50 PM
After the last day of Deer season, I wash and dry my camo in UV/Scent free laundry stuff and seal them. The seal-a-meal works great in the gallon size.
The laundry is flat and packed and ready for use when needed.
Stores well and remains scent free no matter how much fru-fru smell my wife sprays all over the house.

You better make sure the clothes are dry before packing them up. On the larger items, roll them in the bag tight before sealing. It helps my cheaper machine get a good vacuum on the bag and remove the air. After sealed unroll it and flatten it.
This is how I pack for mountain hunting. Rain, Snow, Sleet or leaky water bottles will not prevent me from having clean dry socks, etc.

Packs up nicely too.

March 23, 2007, 04:17 AM
For clothing and similar large items there are the "Space Bags" sold at department stores and places like Bed, Bath & Beyond. These bags allow you to attach a vacuum cleaner hose to suck out the air. They work pretty well too. I sealed up guest pillows for over a year and have stored cold weather gear in them too. Best part is that if you can lay things fairly flat, the thickness is reduced about 5:1 when they seal up.

March 23, 2007, 11:31 PM
seal a lot of ammo don't know how long it will last but I'm betting if I don't live long enough to shoot it all it will still work when my kids decide to fire em up.