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05/12/2022 12:41PM  
While going thru my gear (100th time at least) for my 5/17 trip I counted 53 ziplock bags and 17 food saver vacuum bags used in my food pack alone. 53!! 17!! In an attempt to be odor proof, water- proof, and organized I have created an ecological monster.
I will, of course, pack all of them out but my recycling location considers plastic bags as trash. Different land fill -same result.
I will re-pack at once and will try to remove at least 30 or more ziplock bags.
I'm calling on the collective wisdom of the BWCA forum to suggest practical alternatives to plastic bags in the future. The key word here is "practical", space and weight are always a factor.


Thanks, Merlyn
 
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05/12/2022 01:48PM  
Hey Merlyn, our overuse and waste of zip-bags specifically for canoe trips is what lead us to buying some reusable zip bags. A little heavier material but durable enough to wash and use over and over. We’ve eliminated buying boxes of baggies and haven’t looked back.
 
MarshallPrime
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05/12/2022 02:11PM  
Good Question and Good thoughts.

We also use MANY plastic bags, some ziplock, some with twisty ties.
I will be trying to use plastic containers with lids a little more this year. The problem I have seen with that is the good, strong containers with less chance of leaking and better locking lids are also heavier. Also, they take up a lot more space than bags.

Again good question, i dont have a good answer.
 
Banksiana
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05/12/2022 02:14PM  
Wash your ziplocks and reuse. Freezer bags are tougher and can be put to multiple use. Throw out when compromised.
 
05/12/2022 02:42PM  
Banksiana: "Wash your ziplocks and reuse. Freezer bags are tougher and can be put to multiple use. Throw out when compromised."



This was my way of dealing with that. For instance... I premeasured all my pancake flour. I packaged that in a sandwich type ziplock. Then I’d put like a weeks worth in like a quart freezer size ZL. I could reuse all bags. Not so much being cheap... but I didn’t like all the plastic being single use. Inside canisters they took little abuse.
 
05/12/2022 02:58PM  
I reuse freezer bags until they are not air tight. Then I use them for organizing small loose items in my shop.
 
4keys
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05/12/2022 03:54PM  
I also use freezer ziplock bags, wash, and reuse as much as possible.

I also use the plastic containers lunch meat comes in, but they take up a lot of room and are not good for liquids. I’ve recently started using silicone bags at home. They are reusable but they are bulkier than ziplock baggies.
 
pswith5
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05/12/2022 03:54PM  
Wow, 53 seems like a lot. Not sure how long you are going for or how many people. Seems like it may be excessive. ? Are you double or triple bagging ? I don't. Ifvyou are going to a spot with repeated bear issues I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. In my nearly 40 years of going to bwca ( bwcaw for some ) I still have yet to see a bear inside the park. I have recently started using a bear vault. Mostly for peace of mind. I can loan you one if you like. Most of those years big garbage bag in food pack. Everything just in freezer bags. Pete
 
05/12/2022 06:34PM  
We use these or similar at home and on trips.
 
lindylair
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05/13/2022 12:19PM  
In my pantry there is a paper grocery bag of BWCA food that I save from year to year and throw out what is no longer viable. In that grocery bag is a plastic grocery bag filled with ziplocs of different sizes- not quite 53 but probably 30 or better. I reuse them every year as well until they just won't work anymore. Probably end up using 10-12 for each trip but they don't get thrown away until their useful life is over.

 
05/13/2022 06:21PM  
pswith5: "Wow, 53 seems like a lot. Not sure how long you are going for or how many people. Seems like it may be excessive. ? Are you double or triple bagging ? I don't. Ifvyou are going to a spot with repeated bear issues I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. In my nearly 40 years of going to bwca ( bwcaw for some ) I still have yet to see a bear inside the park. I have recently started using a bear vault. Mostly for peace of mind. I can loan you one if you like. Most of those years big garbage bag in food pack. Everything just in freezer bags. Pete"

Solo 10 to14 days. After last years food container rules I purchased an ursack. I used just a 30l rolltop pack or a hand held duffel for food storage for many years without any problems . I will portage the ursack in the 30l rolltop pack, it and the canoe are one trip. Bears are not a big issue with me, clean camp and common sense have kept Yogi away so far. I tie the food pack to a tree facing the lake so it is not visible from camp or the woods ( in or out of the rolltop I haven't decided yet). My version of stashing the food away from camp. When I'm in the canoe so is the food pack (ballast)
Here is an example of how I created the problem: I portioned bulk cocoa mix and powdered creamer into sandwich size ziplocks and put them into larger ziplocks, results 14 ziplock bags, seemed like a good idea at the time. Fix was to bulk pack the cocoa mix in a plastic jar with a good lid.
Thanks for the offer of the bear vault (incredibility generous !) but not needed, except for first day lunch and snack I can just fit everything into the ursack. 15# on day one.
 
05/14/2022 11:48AM  



Everyone does there own thing but I decided to minimize a long time ago. The food displayed is for a 12 day trip in Quetico packed in the pantry style. Ingredients not individual meals. Variety of meats, dried vegetables and fruits, nuts, Bisquick mix for baking, powdered dairy, even some backpacking beer mix. Everything goes into a water resistant roll top 11 L bag then an Ursack.
Besides reducing the food bags I got my large pack down to just 4 bags, no stuff sacks or compression sacks.
The methods I use may not be good for others but work out well for me over the years.

butthead
 
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