Mylar Bags: The Key to Manageable Food Storage That Lasts


Mylar Bags: The Key to Manageable Food Storage That Lasts

There has been a lot of excitement recently regarding emergency preparedness. Both the wide range of “end of the world” movies and theories that have come out recently and the unfortunate string of severe natural disasters have caused people to be more aware of what they would do if caught in a disaster situation. Nobody can predict what is to come in the future but we can all be sure that taking the time for emergency preparedness is only going to make things better in a crisis situation. And although it does require an investment of both time and money, the piece of mind it affords is something that pays off immediately.

At the heart of any emergency preparedness plan should be building a good supply of food storage. It is far more plausible for most people to build their supply gradually and it is important that the necessary steps are taken to keep the food storage you buy fresh for as long as possible. When it comes to keeping food preserved long-term, mylar bags should definitely be a part of your plan.

Mylar bags are metalized storage containers that create an oxygen barrier to protect food and keep it from going bad during extended long-term food storage. The bags are composed of a polyester film laminated to aluminum foil so the seal is strong enough to keep out both oxygen and unwanted moisture. The material also makes them much more puncture resistant than other storage bags so it is far less likely that you have accidental spills, tears or rips.

Another distinct advantage to using mylar bags is variety in storage container size. Many common food storage items (rice, beans, flour, wheat, etc.) come in large fifty-pound bags or sturdy plastic containers. Containers this large make it difficult to rotate and use food storage systematically. Dividing up food into smaller, more manageable, mylar bags allows you to more conveniently access your food storage while still maintaining long-term freshness.

Using mylar bags is simple and can be done relatively quickly without the need for any professional equipment. Mylar bags can be found in most places that emergency preparedness supplies are sold or in many places online. There will also be a variety of sizes available and the bags often come in traditional bag shape or pouches that can stand upright.

After purchasing your mylar bags the first step is labeling them. It is important that you label each bag before sealing it because the bags are not see-through. After clearly labeling the bag (also include the date it was packaged) you will want to carefully transfer the food from its larger container to the bag. In most cases, it is a bad idea to try to pour directly from a large container into the mylar bag so use a pitcher, ladle, or other type of scoop. It is also not a bad idea (depending on the food) to throw in an oxygen absorber as well.

Make sure to leave several inches of space at the top of the bag to allow for heat sealing. Heat sealing can be done with commercial machines (check local food storage centers, many will allow you to use theirs for free) or can be done with a standard clothes iron. Ensure that the top of the bag is free from any food (especially with messy contents such as flour) because it will negatively affect the quality of the seal. Fold over the top inch or so and press the iron down firmly for several seconds, moving it across the length of the opening. And as easy as that you have smaller, more manageable, food storage containers that still effectively maintain food longevity.

Lee Flynn is an outdoor fanatic and personal preparedness writer.


20 survival items ebook cover
Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these dirt-cheap little items!

Just enter your primary e-mail below to get your link:

We will not spam you.

3 thoughts on “Mylar Bags: The Key to Manageable Food Storage That Lasts”

  1. I prefer using an electric hair straightener to seal the bags. It doesn’t require a surface to iron against and lets you choose the width of the seal.

  2. It would be a good idea to purge the air out of the bag before sealing it. There are almost certainly insect eggs contains in the grain and they will hatch unless you can purge all of the oxygen from the bag. I’ve use dry nitrogen (from a 160 liter compressed gas cylinder), but dry ice also works very well. For added measure adding a oxygen absorber can be included inside your sealed bag. Standard hand warmers will work if you don’t want to purchase commercial oxygen absorbers.Just open the hand warmer sealed bag before you put into the bag your sealing.

    Another suggestion is to seal your food is smaller mylar bags instead of one giant bag. This way when you need to consume some of your stored gains you don’t need to expose the whole 10-20 pound bag. In a crisis situation, you may not have the resources to re-seal the bag (perhaps because lack of electricity to power the sealer). You can also package multiple grains inside a single bucket so you have a variety of foods available. Consider if you stack or stock pails in a tight spot. You don’t want have to pull 5 different pails to get weeks supply of rice, wheat, beans, oats, etc. It would be more convenient if you can pull out one pail that has them all, already package in a one or two week supply.

    FWIW: I would avoid storing Flour for long term storage since it will go rancid. The better option is to store wheat berries and grind them when you need flour instead.

    Also consider storing other foods besides grains, including:

    Powdered milk & Powdered eggs (for making baked goods)
    Baking powder and baking soda (making biscuits & pancakes) [you can’t long-term store yeast]
    Freeze dried fruits
    Freezed dried or dehydraded vegetables (carrots, peppers, etc) that can be mixed in rice or beans.
    Spices (Cinnamon, Pepper, dry mustard powder) [anything you like that is imported]
    Flavored drink mixes (Ice tea, kool-aid, hot Chocolate mix)
    Tea and Coffee.
    Cocoa powder (for making treats)
    Sugar & hard candy
    Powdered Mash potatoes [although I have not investigated long-term storage yet]
    perhaps packets of condiments (ie hot sauce and soysauce for the rice and beans)

    Now if you put an entire set of these items in one pail you just pull one pail and you have a two to three week supply of everything you need to eat well. If you need to bug out in an an emergency, you can just pull a pail or two and know that your not going to get stuck with a whole pail of just wheat berries or corn that will have limited use in a bugout situation. You make also choose to set up special Bugout pails that also contain useful items that allow you to consume your food without access to a kitchen, such as a sterno cans, paper-plates, plastic forks/knives, and a small pot to prepare hot meals.

    If you going to store your pails in the basement or garage, it would be a good idea to store them a foot or higher above the floor in case of flooding. I recall reading that during Storm Sandy and other events that preppers lost most of their long term stored food because of flooding. I would also recommend dating your packages and pails so you have an idea how old your food is. A full inventory of the pail might also help, You can use a clear plastic mailer sticky to attach your inventory and permit you to update or change in the future as you consume or swap out expired\end-of-life items.


Leave a Comment