There are several brands of vacuum sealers on the market, most are familiar with the Foodsaver brand. For this article, I am using a Foodsaver v2840 purchased from Amazon.com for approx $140. If your food saver vacuum’s and seals, then you have all the necessary features to start making up some emergency packs.
I am assuming you are already used to using your sealer and storing plenty of preps in the freezer as well as dry preps on the shelf. If not, then you’re missing out on a whole bunch of benefits of your sealer. Some things work much better than others though…Beans, rice, pasta, dry corn, candy, and nuts (but still can go rancid if not rotated.) Other things not so well…anything ground will tend to get sucked out by the vacuum and soft items will get crushed unless frozen first.
I decided to try and seal up some Tylenol when I was repacking my wife’s car kit and noticed that we were out of the little 2 pill packs that I usually put in. After thinking about them for a minute, I decided that it was foolish to keep paying a premium to buy them sealed in flimsy paper. I was paying more than double for that convenience.
I decided to give the Foodsaver a try since it does such a great job on everything else. The first step was to pull about 5 inches of bag material off the roll and cut it. I sealed one end to make it into a bag.
I then turned the bag sideways and sealed a line about every inch…this divided the bag into tubes measuring 1”x 5”
Then I placed two pills into each tube and squeezed them to the bottom like I was trying to get one more dab from a tube of toothpaste.
The next step is a little tricky. You have to vac and seal the pills as closely to them as you can. On my machine, I have to almost roll up the top of the bag and shove it into the little trough that’s supposed to be the liquid catcher. If you don’t, you’ll end up without having enough bag left to seal in the 2nd set of pills. It’s not hard, just takes a little practice to get it down in there long enough to get the lid closed and locked. ***If you plan to separate the pills after sealing them, you should put the bag back into the sealer and seal another line next to the last one, this creates a double seal in the middle of the bag. This step will allow you to cut the strips of pills apart without cutting into the vacuumed portion of the bag.*** Once you have that sealed up, you repeat the step of putting in another set of pills Set the bag in and seal the top normally. Your bag should look something like this:
You can also see that I put an empty tube on the right. This allowed me to divide up the bag even more. Now my wife has some waterproof packets in her purse as well.
If you wish to make a lot of small packets, just fill the tubes like this
This should just be a starting point for you. There are literally hundreds of other things that you can vac which will make them much more useful. Shogun shared with me the idea that he has used his vac to pack clothes in a BOB. Not only does this reduce the size, but it makes your gear waterproof. I've vac'ed matches and tinder, first aid supplies, and socks/shirt/jeans/shorts.
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