Alternative Storage Techniques using Mylar Bags

We recently covered the step-by-step process of storing food in Mylar Bags and went over some of the advantages of them, key of which is protection from air and moisture. It’s pretty clear that you can store most any dry food in Mylar Bags, but what else can be stored in them? A Mylar Bag is an easily portable, strong, waterproof bag – there are lots of things you can store in them! Here are a few ideas (we welcome any other ideas!):

  • Cough Drops – wintering TEOTWAWKI will probably lead to a cough or two, better be prepared for it! We purchased 20 bags of 50 cough drops each from the dollar store. Each Mylar Bag received 2 big handfuls of drops. The normal shelf life of a Halls cough drop is 2 years. I think I’ve probably at least doubled that by storing them this way.

coughdrops

  • First Aid Supplies – nothing major, but a practical ensemble that will keep owies clean and safe. For ours, we purchased 20 boxes of differing types and sizes of band-aids, several tubes of neosporin and several Ace Wraps from the dollar store. Into each bag we put around 100 band-aids, a tube of neosporin and an Ace Wrap. As an afterthought, I realized we should have put about 50 alcohol wipes in each one as well – but we have that covered with the 50 bottles of alcohol and all the rags we have stored. We made about 9 of these bags and each one should last quite some time once opened. These are meant to supplement and re-supply our Primary Emergency Medical Kits (which are extensive). The shelf life of a band-aid is about 2 years, less for medicated ones. All the ones we bought were non-medicated. I’m not sure, but I would be surprised if they failed to stick after 3 years, I know I’ve used 10 year old band-aids from my parents storage. The Neosporin has a shelf life of 2 years and it’s not recommended for usage after that.

firstaid

  • Disposable Razors – sometimes you just feel more human when you’re clean-shaven – and honestly, who wants to use that Jim Bowie knife method? We purchased about 150 disposable razors from the dollar store and put about 10 in each bag. Disposable razors have an indefinite shelf life but are susceptible to rust, sealing them in a Mylar Bag will ensure their integrity.

razors

  • Tampons/Pads – if you’re a husband/father, you better be prepping for your wife/daughter! My wife says I better have a 20 year supply socked away for her :D I forgot to do these today and don’t have any pictures, we’ll get them done next time but my women report to me that about 24 tampons and several pads will make a good monthly bag for each female. We have purchased lots of the 88 count boxes of tampons from Sams Club.
  • Candy – you’re giving up so much in TEOTWAWKI, why give up your sweet-tooth? ;) We purchased about 30 pounds of bulk candy from the grocery store. The candies that made sense for us were: skittles, reces pieces, tootsie rolls and cinnamon bears. We made several bags with a scoop or two of each candy in it. Shelf life for candy is anywhere from 6 months to a couple years. I commit to a follow up post in four years to tell you whether the candy is still good. :)

    img_1776

The key here is to fill bags with a usable quantity, not as full as you can. Our goal was to safely store products that we would need/want on a cyclical basis but that needed protection.

Don’t miss Jayce’s post discussing a great technique for storing a week’s worth of food (mostly in Mylar Bags) in a bucket. We’ll have at least one more Mylar Bag post reviewing lots of feedback and tips we’ve received from our readers via email, message and conversations. So, be sure to check back with us or, better yet, subscribe to our RSS feed!

Anyone have any other ideas or tips they would like to share?

9 Replies to “Alternative Storage Techniques using Mylar Bags”

  1. One thing to remember is that chocolate does not have a long shelf life – it can go bad (as it has fats in it) and leave you very sick. It might be a good idea to store your chocolate separately or even in plastic inside of those bags.

    When we lived in Santa Clara – the Cannery had a story about a family who had stored Hershey bars in #10 cans. They decided to rotate them after 9 months and used them for s’mores at a family reunion – let’s just say the reunion was cut short.

  2. One thing to remember is that chocolate does not have a long shelf life – it can go bad (as it has fats in it) and leave you very sick. It might be a good idea to store your chocolate separately or even in plastic inside of those bags.

    When we lived in Santa Clara – the Cannery had a story about a family who had stored Hershey bars in #10 cans. They decided to rotate them after 9 months and used them for s’mores at a family reunion – let’s just say the reunion was cut short.

  3. I like to take the mylar and cut them into fourths. Seal all but one side. Store dry milk, potato pearls, oatmeal and any other food items in smaller-sized amounts. Place o2 pack and seal. I have many different food items packed this way in my 72hr kit.

  4. I like to take the mylar and cut them into fourths. Seal all but one side. Store dry milk, potato pearls, oatmeal and any other food items in smaller-sized amounts. Place o2 pack and seal. I have many different food items packed this way in my 72hr kit.

  5. As far as stocking tampons and kotex. Why not make some pads that can be washed out and reused. Anyone who has made diapers can easily make these. You can make them waterproof on the bottom and even apply a snap to hold in place. Just an idea! The others can take up a lot of room and who knows how long we could be without such items.

  6. Instead of tampons/pads, consider using a menstrual cup. I’ve been using one for the past 4 years or so and I’d never go back to pads/tampons. I paid about $40 for the “diva cup”, and that’s all I paid for the past 4 years in feminine sanitary supplies. It can last forever. The idea from tamerasergent of making/buying cloth pads is also good. They sell some good ones around if you check around.

  7. Concerning packing Bulk Candy! You might want to Vacuum Seal Bulk Candy instead of putting the Candy in Mylar Bags! The biggest killer of ANY FOOD is Oxygen! If you eliminate that, The Bulk Candy might last much longer!

  8. When you pack non-food items in mylar are you still using O2 packets or do they do ok with just the sealed mylar since they are protected from moisture?

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