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Thread: Efficient packing for food/drink to take on board

  1. #1
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    Efficient packing for food/drink to take on board

    I'm mightily impressed by everyone's packing tips, whether loose items or Tetris-packing (something I haven't tried yet). I'm stymied by how to pack efficiently for food and drink to take on board. I often have an empty water bottle (not always, as once my empty water bottle accidentally fell out of the overhead bin and onto somebody's foot - I stopped packing it for a while) as well as sandwiches and snacks in small Lock 'n Lock containers. I'm usually packing this stuff for myself and a kid, so I need to have items handy and be mindful of empty containers.

    How do you all deal with this aspect of packing? The beautiful videos linked to various products show lots of folded items, cameras, tech, and such - but I'm lost when it comes to how to accommodate food into these bags. I'm thinking of getting a packing cube or other soft bag specifically for this purpose.

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    Hmm, what a good topic! I can't say I've mastered food packing quite yet myself. For my EDC, I dedicate the bottom pocket of my Synapse 25 to my lunch which works pretty well, and I also always have a ziplock of mixed nuts easily accessible for snacking (my mood is very susceptible to drops in blood sugar). For flights, I usually just have my water bottle (filled after security) and mixed nuts - I'd love to add more snacks/possibly a meal to my packing list when traveling, but I usually use my Synapse 25 as my carry-on and can't spare the bottom pocket for food.

    I'm guessing a bento box would be a good solution if you're looking to carry multiple little snacks - great compartmentalization and it'd all be in one place in an easy to pack rectangle. But they're typically hard-sided so would take up unnecessary space when empty.

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    Registered User Tachiyaku's Avatar
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    Efficient packing for food/drink to take on board

    I don't usually pack food for travel, but I'm out all day fairly often and so I regularly pack lunches/snacks. I love the Eco Lunch Box line of steel containers http://ecolunchboxes.com/products/. They also offer really nice cloth bags to carry the stuff in if you need it. For snacks like apples, granola bars, baggies of nuts or trail mix, I usually use either a stuff sack or a 3D cube. All of this fits really nicely in the bottom pocket of my synapse 25, which I like since I prefer to keep my food items separate from my laptop/books,etc. If empty containers are a concern, you might want to try something like a plastic sandwich wrap, which can also be used for other items like cut up fruit - and that can go into a stuff sack for added protection: http://store.kidskonserve.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=20


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    Last edited by Tachiyaku; 03-26-2014 at 04:21 PM.

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    I believe someone posted a while back that they use the travel tray for snacks/food. I use a zip lock bag. Also, before a flight we buy sandwiches in the airport, usually at Starbucks, and hand carry in one of their little shopping bag. We've never been busted for having an additional bag in hand as its clearly a consumable.
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    I pack food in a zip lock bag kept within a TB stuff sack.

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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    For packing food, I have used the Travel Tray, the Clear Quarter Packing Cube, the Sizes 2 & 3 Travel Stuff Sacks, and even the Packing Cube Shoulder Bag -- at different times, of course. It all depends on what and how much I need to bring along with me. I also always carry an empty water bottle -- and that's one of the reasons I love all the TB bags that have a water bottle pocket!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
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    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
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    I use reusable snack/sandwich bags that fold up flat when empty; mine are from ChicoBags and one bag can fit a sandwich or be folded down for smaller sized foods. I've even used them for wetter fruits like pineapples and have never had issues with leaking. I bring an insulated water bottle because I prefer that type of bottle for traveling, but if space is a premium, I do have Platypus water bottle that I can bring. None of this takes up too much space.

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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    For flights of less than 3 hours I don't pack food. For flights of 4-5 hours I pack a ProBar Meal bar and a water bottle. The thing has like 400 kcal so it's actually pretty filling. I usually don't require more than that until I arrive.


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    i'm prone to blood sugar issues and getting hangry (you know, hungry + angry), so i usually pack some snacks tied up in a furoshiki, which is basically like a really big bandana, and can be used for all sorts of things besides packing snacks. i got some fancy-looking printed ones at uniqlo for about $5. they can double as a crumb catcher, scarf, and gift wrap, among many other things (that is, if i don't slop any food on them), and they pack down to absolutely nothing once i've housed all the snacks contained within.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capncat View Post
    i'm prone to blood sugar issues and getting hangry (you know, hungry + angry)
    Dear capncat,

    What an awesome term - I love it! I am going to remember that the next time I get irritated at something because I am hungry and hopefully laugh rather than stay irritated!

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    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I've been trying out various "green" food packaging items recently - the UKonserve/KidsKonserve reusable sandwich wrappers (mentioned in a previous post) are good, as are cotton "snack bags", e.g. Keep Leaf

    I do also use lock'n'lock boxes for fragile things that would otherwise end up a mass of crumbs, but as you say, they do take up space when empty. Mostly I just pack nuts and snack bars (and buy water once I'm through security) - the restrictions on food imports make it difficult to carry more than needed on a single flight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by capncat View Post
    i'm prone to blood sugar issues and getting hangry (you know, hungry + angry), so i usually pack some snacks tied up in a furoshiki, which is basically like a really big bandana, and can be used for all sorts of things besides packing snacks. i got some fancy-looking printed ones at uniqlo for about $5. they can double as a crumb catcher, scarf, and gift wrap, among many other things (that is, if i don't slop any food on them), and they pack down to absolutely nothing once i've housed all the snacks contained within.
    Wow, I've now been sucked into looking at different furoshiki designs and methods of tying - so cool! Looks like it'd be the cutest thing for bringing food to a picnic (and could then serve as a little tablecloth for said picnic).


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