Re-bagging meals

On my recent trip I decided to re-bag my Real Turmat meals. RT meals are vacuum packed, which is good for maintaining freshness, but means that the packs are rigid. The rigidity means that they are more awkward to pack and take up more room. I decided to experiment by decanting them into some Lakeland Soup ‘n’ Sauce bags. To prevent them accidently opening, I sealed the top with a strip of clear tape. I also thought it wise to write what was in the bag 😉 and how much water it needed.

Bag, cosy and base

The Soup ‘n’ Sauce bag is a different shape to the RT bag, so I made a new pouch cosy (above right). I thought it would also be sensible to have an insulated base to stand the meal on while it was rehydrating (above top left and below).

Bag on insulating base

The system was very effective in ensuring that the meal remained piping hot. I usually allow double the recommended time for food to re-hydrate.

Inside the pouch cosy

The Soup ‘n’ Sauce bag has the added advantage of being shallower, so the food is easier to reach.

Ready to eat

I was very pleased with the system It improves packability and it is easier and less messy to eat.

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14 thoughts on “Re-bagging meals”

  1. Fantastic idea! I still believe that the Real Turmat meals are the best of the commercially available freeze dried meals but their packaging has always seemed excessive. Real Turmat are even sold in supermarkets over here and often go on ‘special’, sometimes as low as the equivalent of £2 each – that’s when I stock up! Thanks for posting this idea!

    1. I have a Snow Peak GST 100A stove (I think this is now discontinued, but you can get a stainless steel version) and a Primus clip on wind shield http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/product419.asp?PageID=110. The pot is a Snow Peak Solo. If you are interested in the Solo, you might want to wait for the Evernew equivalent, which Bob will stock at some stage. It looks better as it has volume markings and a better lid. The other key bit of gear to have is canister feet to aid stability. I use Jetboil ones.

  2. Robin I like your thinking, and with a big trip this summer, reducing volume is important, I will try this out on the next trip. By the way I now use my possum fur hat as a cozy, I figure 15 minutes or so I can live with out the hat, it works fine, just have to make sure I don’t spill anything : )

    1. That’s dedication to the lightweight cause. I suppose every little counts but at c.35g, I can live with the dedicated cosy!

  3. Hi Robin

    As I try to fit everything into a small pack for a 10 day trip, I wondered if you had anymore comments or experiences on repacking RT meals.

    It certainly would help me save some volume.

    Thanks

    1. I’m very pleased with my experiences. I used Lakeland Soup n Sauce bags which are very robust. Make sure you seal the top with Sellotape to prevent accidental opening (snip off before rehydrating). It’s also worth making a cosy to keep the pouch warm while rehydrating. I also put mine on a small strip of insulation to prevent cooling. Rebagging makes packing Real Turmat meals much easier. I’m not sure it’s worth it for other brands as they are not vacuum packed.

    1. Enjoy yourself. I’m also impressed by the lightweight Pod compression sacks for reducing bulk (not food, obviously!).

  4. Hi Robin,
    I am just packing for a 10 day trip to Scotland and i pack 4 days food. I did find RT meals somewhat awkward to fit in the sack on my last trip so this idea has got me thinking i should do the same.
    Considering you have already tried this, are there any issues regarding food going off after 4 days? Thanks for sharing the idea.–Alan

    1. I’ve not had a problem. The Drytech site suggests they will last for a week after opening. I think that may be over conservative. The main issue is likely to be oxidation. If you squeeze most of the air out, I can’t see it’s going to be a huge problem. If you are worried on a long trip just do 3 or 4. Another way of doing this would be to keep the original packing but make a small snip in the packet to break the vacuum then reseal with a bit of tape. That way you save on extra packaging.

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