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  1. #1
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    Help me out with food bag ideas please

    Hi, it's hard to find anyone who writes about packing a food bag and isn't a) a thruhiker on the pacific coast trail or b) driving in a long car trip. I need to think about strategies for packing and maintaining a food bag that will see us through our three-week train trip.

    This includes:
    -- some days where we will be on the train most of the day, where the quality, price, and availability of real food and even snacks may be dubious.
    -- some days where we will be on the train part of the day but through a meal
    -- some days where we will be picnicking but not on the train

    We're generally staying not at hotels but at hostels and AirBnB's where we'll have access to a kitchen.

    There are four of us -- two grownups, two kids under 12.

    What I know we will bring:
    -- in a round stainless lidded container:
    -- 2 sporks
    -- plastic bags, mostly 1l but one 3l size
    -- four plastic clips for bags
    -- a cloth napkin
    -- a foldable cup
    -- a travel shaker with salt, pepper and paprika (I'd love to have another with with sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom but I haven't found another travel shaker...)
    -- an x-bowl (folds flat, has a cutting board surface)
    -- a sharp knife
    -- 3 lightweight plastic containers with sealable lids filled with food, which we can empty and refill. I use glass for everyday but plastic will be more durable and much lighter for the trip.

    With three plastic containers and no knife (since that and the water bottles are elsewhere in the packing), this comes in at 1kg, and fits in an old Fjällräven Kånken backpack with room to spare. Presumably the room will fill up with fruit etc. I'll also clip in a folding nylon tote bag for shopping. The Kånken is useful because it has good grab handles as well as backpack straps, and we can empty it to be a day pack (or more likely carry it around filled with food....)

    Have I forgotten something? we typically don't eat sandwiches on picnics, the kids don't like them, but usually plain meats or eggs or cheese, plain vegetables (carrots, peppers, cucumbers etc), and plain fruits, plus bread on its own and maybe yogurts or similar... anyway anything you have to add or suggest would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    Hi ejvc,

    I sewed 3 of 5 "food" bags/items with "food" fabric (& coton fabric),
    I don't know if it will help but,

    already sewed bags :
    - 1 furoshiki (with "food" fabric on one side, 50x50cm maybe too small, 75x75cm or 1m² may be better)
    - 1 mini folded bag (a really tiny pouch to hold candies and such, 10x10cm)
    - 1 zipped bag (I intented to sew a club sandwich size bag, but I think it may be a little too small, 20x20cm)

    photos later if you want.

    planed to sew bags :
    - another zipped bag (15x15cm, for seeds, cut vegetables, etc.)
    - cuttely bag (20x6cm, I intent to sew the zip a little in the GWP way)


    BTW, my friend uses an insulated flexible bag (big enough to contain her lunchbox + 50cl bottles, don't lnow the exact size)
    Last edited by Rei; 05-03-2019 at 05:13 AM.
    just a Bihnion here

  3. #3
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    I could use oilcloth snack bags instead of plastic containers you mean? That's good apart from sometimes you have food like tomatoes or grapes that would squish. But maybe I don't need so many of the containers, like maybe just the steel one would do for carrying the soft stuff. I'll think about it!

    I made waxed cloth food wraps last year, I could certainly wax some cloth and then sew it for snack bags.

    Here are the six I made -- they could use a bit of re-waxing also as we've used them a lot! The small ones for snacks, the medium for sandwiches, the big for blocks of cheese...

    Help me out with food bag ideas please-img_2403-jpg
    Last edited by ejvc; 05-03-2019 at 07:28 AM. Reason: wrong photo

  4. #4
    Forum Member Rei's Avatar
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    yes! sounds good, one hard container for fragile items/food, and some snacks bag
    just a Bihnion here

  5. #5
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    Yes, very smart.

  6. #6
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    You're much more thorough than I am with my food kit. The only thing else I'd suggest is more than one cloth napkins. Gigantic surprise messes have struck me many times. Like yogurt landing upside down in someone's lap and the spoon that flew out of it landing on someone else's jacket. Disclaimer: My family could also be unusually messy

    I'm a big fan of bringing multiple containers when I travel. I eat a lot of squish-able foods plus there isn't always a trash can for messy stuff like apple cores or that flying yogurt.

  7. #7
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    Greetings,
    Do you need anything to clean out the containers? Soap, a scrubber or a cleaning sponge, perhaps? Maybe a linen dish towel to dry it after washing. Do you need drinking glasses or water bottles? elisa

  8. #8
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    Cleaning stuff is an excellent consideration-- even a little cloth in its own "dirty" bag could be helpful.

    Re -- multiple napkins (which is also a great idea) maybe I could issue an "eating kit" that has to come with in everyones bag, and which they're responsible for. My sister gave me four canvas rolls with bamboo knife/fork/spoon/chopsticks/straw/straw cleaner, to which I have always added a napkin on top before rolling. Maybe although they would be heavier overall it's a better idea for each person to have their own eating gear that they take care of -- water bottle, plate/bowl, cup, napkin and cutlery roll, and wiper cloth. It would be easier for us for sure to just have to hand out food.

    I think part of the challenge of being a good traveller is not just being organised but being organised in a way that makes sense to everyone else and which they can easily follow. Us having everything increases our stress when the kids ask for stuff. If they had their own, and maybe even a little picnic/food store bag, they could be quite self-sufficient, which would make them happy. Happy kids, happy vacation :-)

  9. #9
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    If you have room, a couple of extra implements would open up some additional food options. I carry a small peeler and a small grater in my travel food kit. The peeler can be used to cut veggies into ribbons/noodles. I use the grater mostly for cheese but also for ginger and chocolate.
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  10. #10
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    Great idea -- we will be staying mostly where there are kitchens (only one night in a traditional hotel) so I believe they will be equipped, but a grater and peeler I can see being really useful. And extra cloth napkins/tea towel -- check.

    BTW I tried sewing myself a waxed sandwich bag and boy was it hard! I had to put paper both over and under the seam, which made it kind of hard to judge a straight line. Sew first, wax later maybe? I might have to use plastic (or make tiny little dry bags awwww (but I don't have any spare silnylon unfortunately...). Just having flat waxed pieces is pretty useful though -- they can substitute as plates or placemats, they wrap easily around food and stick, and they don't take much place.

    Last year I ordered local wax from a local beekeeper which came at a 500g minimum in a big amorphous chunk. I melted it and brushed it on to create the first set of wraps, then I poured the rest of the wax into soap moulds -- this year I could easily grate the wax on, and it was *a lot* less messy. If you ever do it by melting a big amount, you do the cleanup of the bowl with boiling water -- the wax will float to the surface of the water and you can pick it up with a rag or paper towel. Otherwise good luck getting the stuff off!

  11. #11
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    It's nice to have small (2-3oz) containers of olive oil and some kind of vinegar. Nice to put on salads or to dip veggies, and the olive oil helps if you're cooking (I find that airbnbs usually don't have any, and I hate having to buy and then carry or abandon an enormous bottle). I like having mustard and hot sauce too, as my worst fear is being without hot sauce D:

  12. #12
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    Another excellent idea -- so, since we'll be cooking and staying at AirBnB's/hostels, we should have a basic seasoning kit and oil with us.

    -- one shaker -- salt, pepper, paprika
    -- a second shaker -- sugar, cinnamon, cardamom
    -- maybe bags of oregano, thyme, basil, chili flakes

    I also like to bake, I can bring a small bag of baking powder so we can make scones (American biscuits) and pancakes along the way. Flour is cheap and easily available, as are butter, eggs, and milk, so we'll just get them on the way and if we need to abandon them so be it. And then of course it's easy enough to bring tea.

  13. #13
    Forum Member KmK's Avatar
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    You mention a travel shaker... Film canister and an awl? Teeny marmalade jar and an awl?

  14. #14
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    Help me out with food bag ideas please

    Quote Originally Posted by KmK View Post
    You mention a travel shaker... Film canister and an awl? Teeny marmalade jar and an awl?
    Since she mentioned the canisters hold 3 spices each I'm guessing it might be something similar to this, which holds 6:
    https://gsioutdoors.com/spice-missile.html

  15. #15
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    Container Store also has a tiny inexpensive pocket shaker, there's no rule you have to put salt and pepper in it.

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/poc...=salt%20shaker
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

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