Sunday, December 3, 2017

GunBlog VarietyCast Radio #172 - Vacuums Suck

But in a good way!
  • Beth has never done yoga because she’s not flexible. But that’s the whole point of yoga! Similarly, some people don’t get involved with firearms training because they aren’t proficient with firearms.
  • It's a story with a happy ending, then a sad one: a robbery suspect is beaten with bat by Raleigh store clerk. Sean explains.
  • Barron is on assignment
  • Talk is cheap, and talk without the skills and knowledge to back it up is even cheaper. Miguel is tired of the fake outrage at those who didn’t help a woman and child shot by a gunman.
  • In this week's Main Topic, Sean and Erin talk about HR38, the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which just passed the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Tiffany is on assignment.
  • Just because something sucks doesn't mean it's bad. Erin talks about vacuum sealers.
  • All through life,  one must seek intellectual guidance on complicated issues. Who better to seek knowledge from than a puppet,  especially a puppet that’s an anti-gun nut! Yes, Weer'd is about to Fisk a puppet.
  • And our Plug of the Week is the TOPOKO 25 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle.
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Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.

Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript: 
Vacuum Sealers
If you’ve assembled a bug-out bag, you have no doubt run into situations where you wish you compress items into smaller forms so that you could pack more of them into your bag. 

And if you’ve ever fallen while crossing a stream, or gotten caught in a sudden downpour, you know how important it is to have dry clothes and how difficult it is to keep them that way when your bag is drenched. The same also goes for valuable electronic devices like cell phones, weather radios, and the like.

Fortunately there’s a way to accomplish both of these tasks, and that’s with a vacuum sealer. While you’d be hard-pressed to use one after the SHTF due to their need for electricity, they’re great for setting up long-term storage before disaster, and and they make your life easier in the meantime.

Vacuum sealers are quite simple in operation:
  1. Take the item you want to seal and place it inside the smallest bag which will fit it, leaving an inch between the end of the bag and whatever you put inside it. (Most vacuum sealers come with pre-made bags with only one open end, but you can also make your own using rolls of plastic; more on that later.)
  2. Place the open end into the sealer, close it, and press the activation button.
  3. The sealer will then suck all of the air out of the bag. When there is no more air to be sucked out, a heating element will fuse part of the top and bottom of the bag together, creating a seam. 
  4. You now have a vacuum-sealed bag that is both watertight and airtight!
The applications for a vacuum sealer are limited only by imagination and what you can fit inside the bags. Here are just a few uses:
  • Foods like beans, rice, and dehydrated meals can be protected from spoilage and pests. 
  • Clothes are not only kept dry, but are compressed into a compact shape. I have a friend who sent me a set of surplus BDUs by vacuum sealing them so that they fit into a flat rate box. 
  • Protect things which would be damaged by water like medicine, first aid supplies, electronics or important documents. 
  • If you throw in some desiccant packets -- the moisture absorbers which are included in a lot of over-the-counter medicine and supplement bottles -- you can waterproof ammunition, and possibly even an handgun. 
  • And heck, you can even use it for its original purpose: vacuum sealing meat and fish so that they last longer and don’t suffer freezer burn.
I mentioned making your own bags with rolls of plastic, and while it involves a bit more effort -- you have to measure out the bag, seal one end, then fill it and seal the other -- it’s actually more economical because not only do sheets of plastic cost much less than pre-made bags, you also have the ability to make custom-sized bags instead of being forced to use the ones made by the manufacturer. We’re talking the difference between 100 feet of 8-inch tube plastic for $20 vs $20 for 44 bags.

The one drawback to vacuum-sealed bags is that once you open them, they aren’t air- and watertight any more. This is fine for food items, but you might want a way to keep your clothes, electronics and fire-starting tinder dry afterwards. The solution to that is simple: Include some ziploc bags for small items, and waterproof dry bags for larger items, in your bug-out or get-home bags.

I’ve included a link in the show notes to a good, all-around vacuum sealer that has high ratings on Amazon and only costs $30. If you’d like to know more about vacuum sealers, or want recommendations on different options, I suggest you read the two Blue Collar Prepping blog articles written by Chaplain Tim -- they’ll put you on the right path.

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