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How to recycle your freeze-dried bag?

It is always best to take a light backpack with you on an expedition or a longer or shorter trip. Whether on foot, by bike, in a van or on a boat, it is important to save as much space as possible and not to overload yourself. So we often think about what we are going to take with us in terms of food, but we don’t necessarily think about how useful the bags can be in other circumstances once we have finished eating.

On the occasion of World Recycling Day, which has taken place every 18 March since 2018, this article will provide you with all the tips and tricks from the Lyo team for reusing your bags once you’ve finished your meals. Indeed, with global warming, it is increasingly important to be conscious of our consumption, and to try to reuse our things as much as possible. This is what this international day is all about: raising public awareness of recycling challenges and encouraging the implementation of the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. This highlights more responsible consumption with better habits, while reducing waste and reusing items to enable more efficient recycling.

In addition, when you head off on a longer expedition, you may sometimes run out of things that you don’t necessarily think about when you leave: a hot water bottle, water storage containers, rubbish bags, or cold packs to treat trauma, for example, are things that you don’t always think about, or can’t afford to take with you. In short, at the end of this article, you will know how to lighten your bag, while gaining in practicality and doing something for the planet – certainly something to take note of!

1. Use it as a hot water bottle by filling it with hot water

Whether you decide to travel the world in summer or winter, it’s always best to take a hot water bottle with you in case the weather is really bad, or if you’re simply someone who feels the cold. If you don’t have room to pack anything to help you warm up, that’s no longer a problem!

Indeed, today, almost all freeze-dried brands offer resealable sachets. Just note that we advise you to be careful when opening one for your meal, and make sure that you don’t remove the resealable tab and find yourself without the means to reseal your bag later on. If you can do this, then making your own hot water bottle is a piece of cake: heat up some water once you’ve emptied your bag, pour it into your bag, and there you go!

Moreover, if you would like more advice on keep out the cold at night when you’re in your bivouac, we have a full article on the subject that might be of interest: How to keep warm at night in a bivouac ?

2. An emergency water container

During a trip to the middle of nowhere, it is more than important to always have enough water with you (both for drinking and other purposes) in order to be prepared for whatever problems or situations you may face. Unfortunately, this commodity can very quickly diminish during your various outings, depending on what your plans are. Freeze-dried sachets, once empty, can help you store water easily.

Beware, it can be quite risky to take this bag with you if you are planning sports activities that might see you move around more extensively, as water can get through the re-sealable flap and then get the rest of your stuff wet. It is still a good idea to have a little extra water close to you when you are in a bivouac and don’t want to run dry. Just make sure you clean your bags well so that your water doesn’t taste off.

3. Use one as a water bowl for your dog

And yes, let’s not forget our pets. Depending on where your travels take you, a dog bowl can take up a lot of space. It’s not just for us, you can also use the freeze-dried sachets to keep your pet hydrated! This is a good way to save space while being highly practical.

4. After cleaning, use it as a container for your meals

If you are short of plates or bowls for your expeditions, simply have freeze-dried or sterilised bags at hand. Cut off 5 or 6 cm above the base of your bag so that you can reuse it as crockery after washing it well. In addition to saving you money, space and breakage, it will also save you money because you won’t need to buy extra items!

5. Use it as a rubbish bin

Some of you may already know this tip, but a reminder never hurts. You can reuse your freeze-dried and sterilised bags as a resealable bin if you have no way of disposing of your rubbish around you, but still want to avoid bad smells. This will also allow you to keep everything that needs to be thrown away in one place, making your life easier!

6. Use it as a waste bag

Sixth tip, and not the least: use your bags as waste bags. If you’ve ever travelled in bad weather, or found yourself in a place so cold that you didn’t even want to get out of your tent at night to relieve yourself, then this idea could be of great use to you. No need to motivate yourself to get out of your shelter or tent, your empty freeze-dried bag could become your best friend in these conditions.

7. Use it as a cold pack to treat injuries

If you travel to cold countries and are surrounded by snow, then feel free to use your bag as a cold pack to treat your injuries. Although it is always important to have a first aid kit when going on an expedition, sometimes we may be missing a few things that can be very useful, and the cold pack is one of them! And it’s easy to use, just fill your bag with snow and place it over the injured limb.

8. Use it to replace your tent pegs when the ground is too soft or hard

If you can’t pitch your tent with pegs in the snow, or somewhere where the ground is too soft, or on the contrary too hard, freeze-dried bags can take the place of your pegs. By adding snow or soil, for example, all you have to do is make a small hole under the zip in your bag and tie it to a string in your tent, then bury it – nothing more to worry about.

In conclusion

Who would have thought that an empty freeze-dried bag could give you so much on your travels? This list is not exhaustive but should be able to help you gain in practicality and save space when packing for your travels.