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[pct-l] Sealing Machines

Hiker97@aol.com typed:
> What is everyone's opinion about those sealer/vacuum machines for bags
> that  you can buy at SAMs and other stores.

There are basically two types at the consumer level: Those that just seal,
and those that vacuum and seal.

> I saw a demo today and it looks interesting for backpacking foods.

I rely heavily on mine for packing food and supplies. It's far better than
taking dozens of zipper bags. Stuff keeps a lot longer in the
vacuum-sealed bags, especially relatively fresh stuff like breads &
tortillas, or the more hydrophilic dried stuff like tomato sauce or fish.

> But I have heard that for resupply boxes they will leak eventually.

I've found that there's a techniques for making a good seal:  You have to
keep the pressure on the seam after the heat is off for about twice as
long as you heated it.  If you just release the pressure when the heating
cycle is done, the bag will leak.

> May be they would be good
> for general backpacking and not  for long term use.  I think the kit at
> SAMs was $100 and the extra bags box was  $30.  Probably the best buy
> around.  Thanks, Switchback

It's not a best buy if it doesn't work.

After carefully researching the subject and trying a few out from places
that had no-questions-asked return policies, I bought the Deni Magic Vac
Model 1750:

< http://www.deni.com/magicvac.htm >

The bags come on rolls.  The rolls cost about $10 each. Or you can buy
pre-made bags, but that is a less versatile option.

Undoubtedly, there are other manufacturers and models that are either
cheaper, or work just about as well.

I've pulled dehydrated meals out of the freezer after a year, mailed them
off to a resupply stop, and have enjoyed food as good as when I first
sealed it.