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#1958 - 10/08/01 02:26 PM Re: Condoms for water storage
NAro Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 479
I have condoms in my kit, also, and share in the reservations I've read here. I've noticed that some forumites have FoodSaver or similar vacuum packers. I cut off a JUMBO hunk of bag stock (12" x 18") and put my kit in the southwest corner of the bag before vacuum packing. Then shrink and seal. <br><br>The "tails" of the bag fold up easily around the tin. They're held with a jumbo rubber band cut from a bike inner tube (also a fire starter). When you need your kit, just cut off the smallest corner of the bag needed to release the vacuum and slip your tin out, and you now have a pretty large water container. There's excess plastic, so roll up and tape/tie to carry.<br><br>

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#1959 - 10/09/01 09:00 AM Re: Survival Tins and Water?
Anonymous
Unregistered


>>, try the clear oven, baking bags. They are very strong and also food grade. <<<br><br>Thanks- Iíve read this suggestion a couple of different places, but yesterday I finally got around to purchasing some. I opted for the smaller (not turkey size) "Reynolds Oven Bags", 5 to a box.<br><br>I need to experiment some more, but preliminary results look very good. Iíve folded and re-folded one of these bags tightly several times, and thereís no sign of fatigue failure at the corners of creases. The stuff does seem to be very strong for itís weight, MUCH more so than polyethelene, and the size (10Ē x 16Ē with the opening on a 10Ē edge) is about ideal. It seems this would likely be both more durable and much easier to fill and reuse than a condom or balloon, and it folds very flat and thin, or, when folded and then rolled tightly, is not really much larger than a condom. You do have to take care not to trap air in it. <br><br>If my water-holding and resealing tests go well, I think this is the solution Iíve been looking for even for the smallest ďAltoids tinĒ kits.<br><br>I think one of the things that kept me from trying it until now is just the box they come in- these could have been packed in something a tenth that size, and the box gives the impression that they must take up much more space than they really do. <br><br>I wonder what sort of polymer this is? Could it be Mylar? I donít think Iíve ever seen Mylar without a metallic coating of some sortÖ<br><br><br>

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#1960 - 10/09/01 02:25 PM Oven bag and zip lock test
Anonymous
Unregistered


Inspired by this discussion and hunter's post, I did the same thing yesterday (bought and tested oven bags for holding water) with similarly positive results. Although I could only find the turkey-sized bags which are too large, and the seam was leaking on the sample I tested. I was able to create a new seam with my FoodSaver (run it through 2 sealing cycles as it takes more heat to melt this material). The new seam held well and I was able to make more convenient-sized bags, especially one sized about like a 1.5 liter Evian water bottle. I had good luck closing the top per billvann's procedure of spinning the bag, doubling it over and wrapping with a twist-tie. It really held water even up-side-down. One survived extended handling while full and even some moderate stabbing with a ball-point pen and I finally developed a pin-hole in another after dropping it in the bath-tub a couple times from about 2 feet high.<br><br>I would say that based on this limited experience that the oven bag has the potential to be practical, much more so than a condom, and it would be pretty compact when properly stored. You would still have to handle it with extreme care, obviously, when full of water if you expect it to last several days in a survival situation, but it is worlds ahead of a condom, which I don't think is worth even its negligible weight and size, based on my testing of them.<br><br>However, compared to a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag, it wasn't as durable, not nearly as convenient to open and close, and only a little more compact. In the end, I decided to stick with my Ziplock for now. I could see the oven bag being a good choice where the need to trim down a little more bulk is crucial and I may use one in the future for that reason.<br><br>On a side-note, while shopping for oven bags, I noticed a (new?) style of zip-lock bag that (according to the packaging) is pleated so that it will stand upright and stay open all by its self for easy filling, sort of like a bucket. That might be a convenient feature for survival use. It would allow unattended filling from a siphon or through a make-shift filter, or free up a hand when scooping water from a shallow source. I may look into testing some in the future. Anybody have any experience with these?<br><br>

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#1961 - 10/09/01 06:12 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
Anonymous
Unregistered


>>However, compared to a 1-gallon Ziplock freezer bag, it wasn't as durable<<<br><br>This surprises me. Of course, I think Iím more concerned with abrasion resistance, rather than burst resistance. Dropping any of these while full in the woods when you need it is going to be a Real Bad Idea. On the other hand, the oven bags seemed to me that they would resist wear from packing and re-packing the kit much better- polyethylene seems to get bumpy with abrasion and develop pinholes pretty easily.<br><br>Note that with any of these failure tends to be much less catastrophic than with a condom or balloon. Pinholes are easy to spot, lose water slowly, and may be reparable with tape.. I think thatís a stark contrast to the way a water balloon expires.<br><br>>>not nearly as convenient to open and close<<<br><br>No argument there.<br><br>>>and only a little more compact<<<br><br>Well, in trying to use a ziplock style bag in small kits, I havenít been pleased with the ďzipperĒ part. It takes up space, it's springy and doesnít want to fold, and Iím afraid that folding that part multiple times, and creasing it, as Iíd have to for the smallest kits, would compromise itís sealing ability anyway, at least over time. <br><br>The oven bag seems to me to store very flat indeed by comparison. For instance, I think one of these and a couple of ties could be stored in a wallet and forgotten about, and it would still be viable years later if needed.<br><br><br>

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#1962 - 10/09/01 08:22 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
Anonymous
Unregistered


>>polyethylene seems to get bumpy with abrasion and develop pinholes pretty easily.<<<br><br>Yes, this is not the perfect material by any stretch. The ziplock I happened to be testing yesterday was a particularly tough variety. I don't have the exact product name handy (sorry). There is certainly a lot of variation in thicknesses and strengths and some would be lousy while others might be better than that. In any case, in directly comparing the ziplock I had in my hand and the oven bag I had in my hand, I felt the ziplock was holding up better and I would have more confidence in actually using it in the field. Just my impressions and not a real field test, but both would be usable.<br><br>>>Well, in trying to use a ziplock style bag in small kits, I havenít been pleased with the ďzipperĒ part<<<br><br>Yes, that's the problem in packing them and certainly the oven bag is going to avoid that problem and get smaller, too. It boils down to how much space you have, and like I said, I would use the oven bag if that last little bit of space were crucial, which it would be in a wallet or an Altoids tin.<br><br>I wasn't intending to dismiss the oven bag in my post above, but I thought it would be helpful to compare it to something that most people are very familiar with and which is also a pretty good solution to this problem. <br><br>The set-up I currently am using is probably a bit different than what most people are using. The core of my kit is a micro kit with no purification means and no water container in order to keep the size/weight to a minimum (it's 1.1 oz.). I haven't gotten one of those neat vials for the Potable Aqua, so I have mine in the original bottle which I carry separate from the micro-kit. The ziplock I carry is rolled up, starting at the zipper edge so the zipper is inside, making a long, thin tube. I then take the "tube" and wrap it around the bottle from top to bottom (not around the circumference like you would expect). This combination of Potable Aqua and Ziplock is then slid into a vacuum bag and sealed forming a single unit. I feel like that protects the zipper pretty well and avoids kinking it excessively, but I will be keeping an eye on it over time to make sure. This vacuum-packed unit is carried loose and the size difference between what it is and what it would be with an oven bag is not important to me since the bottle is really the thing that is determining it's bulk. This set-up probably would not work well inside a typical tin where the oven bag would be a better choice.<br><br>This isn't the most compact set-up for water treatment, but I am comfortable with it for now. Some day I might get around to getting a small vial for the Potable Aqua and then I might move that into my micro kit along with an oven bag and twist-tie. But for now the space isn't an issue and I feel a little more confident in the Ziplock. <br><br>Thanks for the discussion!<br><br>

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#1963 - 10/09/01 08:25 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
tfisher Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
I have done some limited testing with mylar balloons, they seem to have pretty good strength, but difficult to fill. Any one else tried these.<br><br>Ted Fisher<br><br>
_________________________
If you want the job done right call "Tactical Trackers"

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#1964 - 10/09/01 08:40 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ted, didn't you post about this idea back in March? I've been anxiously waiting to hear about your test results! After this much time, I think a full-blown article with illustrations would be in order, not just one sentence and a question!<br><br>

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#1965 - 10/09/01 10:20 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
Anonymous
Unregistered


>>Yes, this is not the perfect material by any stretch. The ziplock I happened to be testing yesterday was a particularly tough variety. I don't have the exact product name handy (sorry).<<<br><br>If it is handy sometime, Iíd appreciate knowing. There are no perfect materialsÖ<br><br> >>I felt the ziplock was holding up better and I would have more confidence in actually using it in the field. Just my impressions and not a real field test, but both would be usable.<<<br><br>I havenít done any real field testing either- I think my negative bias towards the abrasion resistance of polyethylene comes from all of the objects that Iíve stored in zip lock bags and thrown in a drawer over the years. After just a couple of years of encountering other objects in the drawer, they look pretty funky and beat up, I wouldnít trust them- but then, theyíre probably not the best available. The oven bags have a surface that feels harder and more slippery- seems like it should be more abrasion resistant, but it could surprise me.<br><br>I agree that both are useable, in the end it probably boils down to space more than anything. The convenience of the zipper is certainly worth something.<br><br>>>I wasn't intending to dismiss the oven bag in my post above, but I thought it would be helpful to compare it to something that most people are very familiar with and which is also a pretty good solution to this problem. <<<br><br>Not at all, I appreciate the insight.<br><br>>> The ziplock I carry is rolled up, starting at the zipper edge so the zipper is inside, making a long, thin tube. I then take the "tube" and wrap it around the bottle from top to bottom (not around the circumference like you would expect). This combination of Potable Aqua and Ziplock is then slid into a vacuum bag and sealed forming a single unit. I feel like that protects the zipper pretty well and avoids kinking it excessively, but I will be keeping an eye on it over time to make sure.<<<br><br>Sounds to me like it should work- itís the sharp kinking that worries me, and youíve avoided that. Different kit conditions, different solutions.<br><br>>>Thanks for the discussion!<<<br><br>Ditto- learning is why Iím here. For my larger kits Iíll probably just use the military survival bags, and in pouches I have Platypus bags, but itís good to know what might work in different conditions.<br><br>So far, Iím pleased with the oven bags for the smallest kits. I just filled one of these and threw it around a bathtub. The closure device (a cinch-strap) that came with it was useless- almost impossible to cinch without a third hand, and it popped right off. Too bad, itís very flat. I ended up spinning the bag and tying a half-hitch in the top, and when I slammed it around some more, the knot actually untied itself from the pressure without the bag failing first. I dropped it a few times from about 3-4 feet. Of course, by that time the outside of the bag, and thus the knot, was wet, and since itís sort of a hard and non-stretchy material, the water acted as a lubricant on the knot. From other comments here, they may also not all be uniformly strong. <br><br>Has anyone tried any of the new bags with a slider? Iím just curious as to whether thereís always a tiny gap there to leak, as youíd expect, or whether they designed it out somehow.<br><br><br>

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#1966 - 10/09/01 10:23 PM Re: Oven bag and zip lock test
tfisher Offline
Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 186
Loc: Illinois, USA
It is true I have been lazy in posting any information in this matter. I will have to take some time and organize what I have found out.<br><br>Thanks<br>Ted Fisher<br><br>
_________________________
If you want the job done right call "Tactical Trackers"

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#1967 - 10/10/01 09:34 AM mylar baloons
jet Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/06/01
Posts: 220
After the suggestion of using mylar balloons as emergency water bags was made some time back, I went out and bought some at a local grocery store. They sold the large 18" ones deflated, but the smaller 9" & 4" ones only came inflated. I got an 18" round one, a 9" round one and an 18" heart shaped one (on the premise that, turned upside down, it would have a broad base and narrow "spout"). The 4" ones didn't look like they'd hold a useful amount, but I ended up being surprised how much these things held, so I may go back and get one, just for the pursuit of knowledge.<br><br>First, I began by testing the 18" round one.<br><br>Getting water into these things is tough! The necks are tiny and tight. I had to stick a piece of teflon tubing down the neck to pour water through. Small passage = small flow. Obviously, this was an unacceptable situation.<br><br>Getting the water back out is even tougher! They have one-way valves in their necks to prevent air from coming back out as they are inflated. It works real well against water too. Too well. But, I found that if I stuck the same length of teflon tubing down the throat, I could get the water out easier, and sometimes, I could drag the valve out around the tube and rip it out. Drinking out of the bag became easier after that was done.<br><br>I put some water in it and let it sit around for a few days. I hung it, I dropped it (lightly), I laid it down in many different positions (spout down, spout up, spout to the side) and it never leaked. Then, I opened it up and checked the quality of the water. Drinking it was not bad at all. The water had stayed clean, whereas water that sits in my mil-spec 1qt canteen starts to taste like plastic after some time. So, I feel that part was a success.<br><br>After all this messing around with it, I finally just snipped the neck off in the middle. That opened the passage up some little bit, and I could fill it more easily by swishing it back and forth underwater, as Doug says he does with condoms.<br><br>Snipping the neck completely off of the round ones makes them much like an open oven bag, I suppose, in that you have to tie the whole top portion to seal it. Snipping the heart shaped one was better. The slimmer portion near the top of the inverted heart made tying easier. I twisted the top of the heart shaped one and tied it with a twist tie. It worked great except when held upside down, whereupon it began to very slowwwly unwind/untie itself, just due to the weight of the water. Not bad, all in all, but certainly not up to any abuse at all.<br>So, note to self: Tie the large ones in a knot.<br><br>One thing about snipping the necks off:<br>Mylar is tough, but once cut (or, presumably, torn), rips like wet tissue. I destroyed the 18" round one by the time I was done. In order to avoid this with the others, I put a strip of electrical tape on both sides across the top of the balloon just below the neck, and then cut (into the tape with the large heart shaped one, just above it with the small round one). That worked great, but made knot tying more interesting.<br><br>The 18" bags are just freaking big! They hold a LOT of water! It makes them pretty heavy, and rather unwieldy. I got about 200oz into the 18" round one (roughly 6000ml), about 235oz into the 18" heart shaped one (roughly 7000ml). The biggest problem with them was that they were larger and heavier than my infant nephews. Seriously, I would be scared to carry them, expecting them to burst if I squeezed them too hard. And it seems a waste to carry such a large bag/balloon and only plan on using part of its capacity. Better to carry a smaller bag/balloon and fill it completely.<br><br>The 9" round one held 40oz (just under 1200ml) when held shut with a twist tie. When I tried to tie a knot in it, that amount fell dramatically to about 12 great big whopping ounces (350ml). <br>So, note to self: Use a twist tie for the small ones.<br><br>About paint:<br>Whether tying with a twist tie or into a knot, I twisted the top of the balloon around tightly first. This had the effect of stripping the paint off! After tying the spout to seal it, and then untying it to drink, the mylar was clear and the electrical tape had become painted the color of the balloon! Ugh! Drinking dried paint off the spout of my emergency water bottle doesn't seem like a particularly wise idea, but maybe I won't care in a true survival situation. Nevertheless, it's enough to convince me to continue to pursue other options.<br><br>I'd be interested in hearing other results.<br><br>Stay safe,<br>J.T.

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