1. Rick Bergstrom
    Rick Bergstrom August 4, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Good tips, indeed, Ray! Just got off the trail from our SOBO hike.
    Regarding tip #1…we contacted one of the dehydrated dinner mfgrs. regarding this idea; not good they said, especially those containing meat! Once opened, the meal starts to rehydrate and could start to go bad. Also, re-using the “cook-in” pouch could lead to some potential stomach/intestinal distress if any little particles of left-over food start to “grow”. Best to boil a few extra ounces of water and give the pouch a little extra cleaning after the meal or before the next one. Some meals seem to have more “air” in them than others, taking up more space. When we picked up our cache at Red’s and MTR, we punched a small hole (above the water line!) with a pin, forced out the air, then sealed the hole with a piece of tape which we had previously stuck to the lid of our canister. Saved all kinds of space. Just don’t do this to the meals you have to send in your cache weeks ahead!
    Have a great hike! Water was plentiful and the mozzies were almost nonexistent! The wildflowers were out in full force!!!

  2. Chad Patton
    Chad Patton August 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    All good points but if I may add to the dehydrated meal one. I repackaged all of my meals in Zip-Loc zip-n-steam bags so I didn’t have to re-use bags and cross contaminate. They could take the heat and hot water no problem and were less bulky than the original packaging. Good tips all the way around…….

  3. Richard
    Richard August 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Nice tips Ray…I thought about doing what you said in tip #1…I ordered 2 big tins if MH meals as I got them cheap…..I was told by mfg that foods good for 7 days once tin is opened…one can will stay shut in my MTR bkt and one to fly out with me sealed until night before hike. I guess I’ll include a can opener in my bucket and leave at MTR…also one for flight got first tin. What are those small can openers called? I can’t recall? I might do what you said or just put in 5 separate zip lock quart freezer bags to rehydrate…I really hate all the waste that is created with re packing but doesn’t make sense to haul extra weight as I’m trying to keep my loaded pack well under 30lbs so I can make the miles to finish in 14 days….as far at the duct tape I prefer to wrap some duct tape and leukotape on a pen for writing in my ETB atlas/map. Also put a needle inside pen incase need to sew up anything with the dental floss I carry. I want keep my trekking poles lite as possible as I’m picking up thousands of times each day….just my $.02…thx again

  4. John Smallwood
    John Smallwood August 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I have made my own meals using quart freezer zip lock bags. Pour in boiling water and let sit in my cozy until hydrated. Works great and after hundreds of meals I have not had a leak.

  5. Richard
    Richard August 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Yes…I think that’s it! I’ll have to look online…not sure who still sells them! Thx again

  6. Jim Hill
    Jim Hill August 7, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Ray, Thanks for the tips. I really enjoy your weekly postings. I have a couple of questions for you. I will be doing an eleven day section hike starting August 27, and am still a little unsure about packed clothing for that season in the Sierra. (I am from the southeast USA) Could you post what your clothing list will be for the JMT this year?
    I also know you take naps on trail sometimes. Do you take your bear canister out and place it away from you during a mid-day nap? Jim

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