LTS: Sealing The Bags

Last week, I talked about layers of protection and the need to seal bags. I’ve been putting off talking about the sealing as I had the opportunity to try a 16″ impulse sealer, and was given the strong impression it could and would handle the 5-gallon mylar bags. First, let’s look at some of the options for sealing.

Here we have a small impulse sealer often advertised for resealing chip bags and the like (crisp bags for the Brits). Next to it is the venerable iron, which is good for much more than clothes. At the top, the extra-long impulse sealer.

The little bag sealer is touted for resealing bags and sealing a variety of small bags. Short and sweet: I was and am spectacularly unimpressed with it. Save the $8 or whatever.

The iron, set to wool, does a good job with the mylar bags. The drawbacks for me are getting a uniform width on the seal, and not overdoing it on the heat. That said, this is a good way to go, especially if you are on a budget. As an FYI, I use a scrap piece of lumber covered in cardboard as my sealing surface. Works like a charm.

If you get a good impulse sealer, they are wonderful for a uniform seal and can be adjusted for a variety of bag thicknesses and even bag types. The drawbacks are that there are far too many out there that don’t work as advertised and some apparently go through internal fuses and heating elements like candy.

The one I got to try did a good job on most bags, but despite the length it did NOT fit the 5-gallon bags as indicated. This meant that I had to do two (or more) sealings at various angles to get a full seal. Thinking it best to do those (and liners) with an iron. Glad to have tried it, but if you are looking for something to handle the 5-gallon bags in one go, this isn’t it. Save some money and get a smaller to do the most common bags.

As I noted before, for Long Term Storage (LTS) I do recommend sealing the bags and not just using the inner ziplock. For short or medium term, you can get by with just the inner seal. To me, it’s all about the layers and making it as redundant as possible to limit any leakage of light, air, or water into what is being stored.

Questions or suggestions, sound out! I’ve already picked up some good tips from you, and hope some of what I do may have returned the favor. With the way things are headed, not a bad idea to have a few things tucked away.

Remember, there is no such thing as Preparedness Club. Meantime, be safe, be prepared, keep your friends and family close, and your things where you can find them in the dark. More soon.

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