Things You Didn’t Know You Should Know Before Shopping for Mylar Bags

There are things you need to know before you can shop for Mylar bags – even things you didn’t know you should know. These topics are usually never discussed but will help you understand more about them. These include how to store them and how much food it will fit.

Mylar bags in variou sizes

black mylar bags – photo credit: Pouchworth

The goal is for you to establish a long-term supply of food that’s easy to bring together, has a long shelf-life, and is not just nutritious, but is also tasty. It should also be affordable to assemble. We want to help make it easy for you, so you won’t have to delay implementation. Once you understand these things, it wouldn’t be hard for you to make a decision when it comes to shopping for Mylar bags.

How to store your Mylar bags of food

Below are three different ways for you to store Mylar bags:

Steel storage container

We recommend that you use steel storage containers for storage, although a lot of people use 32-gallon galvanized trash cans, 30-55-gallon food-grade steel drums, or 55-gallon steel drums. Drums are space-efficient for Mylar bag food storage but they need to have a full-size steel lid and utilize a bolt or clamp-lock band to seal it.

If you’re using a 7-mil Mylar bag, you can store it in any container that is inert and has not been previously used to store anything unhealthy. It shouldn’t give off gases, etc., like standard plastics.

If you’re using 1-quart to 1-gallon size Mylar food bags, steel drums are the best storage option. You can still use other containers as long as they are constructed of steel, food-safe, and they have not been previously used to store unhealthy substances. They should also be painted or galvanized with food-safe rust-inhibiting treatment. Pantry shelves or plastic bins might work, too, but steel containers are necessary if you want to protect food from rodents.

Try not to put your emergency food supply at risk. Even though you never had any water or rodent problems, do not assume that this will always be the case, especially during the many years your food supply may be stored. Don’t put your food bags on the floor, and if possible, make sure that there’s airflow. It should also be cool, but not freezing temperatures. Most importantly, secure from pilfering and damage.

Don’t forget to include measuring cups and utensils, camp stove, recipe books, and cookware, with your emergency food supply. Lastly, do not store fuel with your food.

Plastic food-grade buckets

These buckets are very popular when it comes to storing Mylar food bags. However, they’re not that efficient, unless they’re used with a single 5-gallon Mylar bag. Also, the buckets need far more storage space compared to most options. Since they’re round and they lack structural stability and strength, they shouldn’t be stacked more than 3 buckets high. What’s worse is when you need to transport them in a vehicle, their space inefficiency makes it hard to move as much food as needed.

While they’re a popular option, we don’t recommend that you use them for food storage. None of these plastic buckets are rodent-proof. Rats, mice, squirrels, and other critters can get through the plastic. And even if you don’t have a problem with rodents now, food storage is rarely inspected. Any unobserved problem can develop, which brings catastrophic consequences. There are risks when using plastic containers.

Collapsable totes

Collapsable totes come in different forms, and they’re made from an assortment of materials that are used for various reasons. They’re typically sold as book bags, blanket bags, grocery bags, car trunk bags, etc. They also come in different sizes. It’s easy to find the size, shape, and style to fit the Mylar bags you’re using.

For example, an extra-large storage tote which measures 29x12x13.5 is cheap and can support a 50-pound load. It can also hold six 1-gallon Mylar food bags. Because of its flexible sides and rectangular shape, it’s space-efficient.

When it comes to transporting them, they can be adjusted to fit the available space. Totes can also be carried in longer distances compared to buckets, thanks to their handles and backpack straps.

How much food will fit in Mylar bags? What food can you choose?

How many Mylar bags do you need for the amount of food you want to package, and which foods are the best? How many pounds of food can you pack into a Mylar food bag or a 5-gallon bucket?

This list below contains the top 6 healthy dry foods that you can package in Mylar food bags. And to help you buy the right number of bags, it also includes an estimate of how many pounds it will fit into the three most popular sizes of bags. You don’t have to pack all 6, as this is just a recommendation. Just pick several types of legumes and beans or another source of carbohydrates. Again, this is only a recommendation and the foods on this list exceed WHO’s basic nutrition recommendations.

Anasazi Beans

1-gallon Mylar bag – 6.8 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10.25 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 34.2 lbs.

Calories per cup – 280 calories

Black Beans (Turtle Beans)

1-gallon Mylar bag – 7 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10.5 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 35 lbs.

Calories per cup – 227 calories

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

1-gallon Mylar bag – 6.7 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 33.3 lbs.

Calories per cup – 269 calories

Green Peas

1-gallon Mylar bag – 6.7 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 33.3 lbs.

Calories per cup – 125 calories

Kidney Beans

1-gallon Mylar bag – 6.7 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 33.3 lbs.

Calories per cup – 215 calories


1-gallon Mylar bag – 7.2 lbs.

1.5-gallon Mylar bag – 10.7 lbs.

5-gallon Mylar bag – 35.8 lbs.

Calories per cup – 230 calories

All foods can lose nutritional value the longer they are stored, but if you maintain a food supply at a constant, low temperature without thawing/freezing/refreezing, this will extend the shelf-life. Storage temperatures that are above 75 degrees can significantly diminish the nutritional value of the foods but don’t affect the shelf-life.

So, when Mylar-packaged foods are eaten 35 years after its packaging, then it can still be healthy and safe. They just don’t have the same nutritional value as fresher foods.


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