Food storage in a survival situation can be harrowing because you have to make sure you have plenty of room for your food stores and also keep the food safe and sealed. One kitchen tool can help with both of those issues – a vacuum sealer.
Your food sealer will usually come with a pack of food sealing bags but if you’re prepping for long term storage, you do not want to use the clear plastic bags that come with the sealers.
These sealing bags are air permeable, and just like plastic water cartons, they will eventually deteriorate and leak air into your container, compromising the safety of the food.
Preppers will tell you that they use a different kind of bag to seal their foods in for long-term storage – Mylar bags. And you don’t just use the Mylar bags – you use oxygen absorbers along with them.
Mylar bags offer more durability (they don’t puncture easily like a plastic bag will). Plus, they provide light protection that see-through plastic food sealing bags don’t have. Some preppers use a combination of the two, double sealing each item.
How To Vacuum Seal Your Food
Place your food item (such as grains or beans) inside the Mylar bag and add the oxygen absorber to the bag with the food. Some preppers use a flat iron to seal most of the bag shut, leaving enough room for a formidable straw (hard plastic, not disposable).
Using a vacuum sealer with an attachment hose, you attach the hose to the straw, which is inserted into the bag, and allow the machine to suck out as much air as possible. Then you seal it with the flat iron and remove the straw. You may not be able to get out every bit of air, but that’s what the oxygen absorber is for.
Another way you can do it by double sealing your meals. Place your entire meal into a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorber. Then place the Mylar bag into a regular plastic vacuum sealer bag and let the machine suck out all of the air for you before sealing it.
It takes awhile to seal big batches of food because most food sealers require the motor to cool down a bit before using them again and again. It’s good to do a little at a time, purchasing supplies on each grocery trip and sealing them off for storage.
You can reuse some bags, but make sure you have them marked so that you’re not putting raw meat with bacteria in a bag first and then putting other foods into the same bag afterwards.