On-board Food and Water

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Fanie, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    For the life of me couldn't think of an appropriate heading for this thread :(

    Anyway. Things for boaters are getting easier and have a lot of possibilities if one exploit them a bit. Making food just became easier if one use what is available every day, sunlight. Have a look on youtube at the go-sun solar cooker (and I'm not selling the product, just the idea)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzyXye7rir8

    These cookers can be used even when it is cloudy, doesn't require additional fuel, power, etc etc. so no more chopping forest trees to prepare food, unless you want to carve a wooden spoon ;)

    While cooking or heating is solved, it may well be possible to make water from even salt water when distilling the clean off the rest. These solar tubes goes to around 250oC in full sun and if you can boil water you can get drinking water. It can be made maintenance free except perhaps for adding water.

    Where the movement of the boat affect ie solar dishes (not to mention the size), using a solar powered cooker like this is almost not affected by that.

    Myself and a few other people have investigated cooking and dehydrating food for extended time availability (claims up to 20 years), and this really works great. The food becomes less in volume and weight is a lot less. All you need is water to re-hydrate, and if you want it hot you can now heat it also.
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Fanie, US military rations have bags of dried food in plastic type bags that when you add water they self heat up to be a hot meal for one. Quite good.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It's a solar battery charger and a heating element.
     
  4. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Gonzo, all I did was add water twist close the top and shake it. hot food. I figure it is a chemical reaction. The stuff had been in drawer for 2 years.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I mean what the link shows. The military rations are different.
     
  6. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    I figured something like that after I posted and thought what the hell--solar panel-heat element???? for C rations??? This is good Vodka. Point of interest 1961 in Marine corps in the field, rain and cold. they passed out C rations dated 9/1944. Tasted OK Mine had a pack of 4 cigs in it.
     
  7. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    The problem with manufactured stuff is you need a factory to make it, which can be costly and not available everywhere. Military has support, we don't. When the food is out it's out, so we have to come up with other ways not to need support.
     
  8. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    If one is serious about this sort of thing ( I am) small new freeze driers can be had for $4000 US or one can buy used ones that are much larger for less than that.

    If you compare what they charge for a freeze dried meal vs the cost of the rice/veg/ small amount of meat the markup is 1000% or more.

    It wouldn't take too long to pay the machine off based on these prices-a new small one maybe a month....the large used one, a week or so.

    Youtube has some nice videos.

    Look on ebay for prices
     
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  9. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

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  10. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hello WestVanHan,

    Interesting process, but I still prefer the pre-cooking (with salt) and drying. The first advantage is it is so simple to do. I have a drier for meat, but vegetables I dry on a dense dark color shade net which runs hot in the sun and offers a large surface for drying. All you need is sun. No power or fuel to cook or to dry. And of course a storage container that will keep moisture out. It seems the space saving is less with the freeze dry process. The reason I mentioned the solar tube is it works even in clouded weather, just not as fast.

    The volume of these dried foods are amazing, for instance a 5kg bag of potatoes makes two full steam cookers (chopped in slices) and when dried and ground into flakes it fits in a ~150 x 90 x 200mm brown paper bag, weight is perhaps around 1kg.

    One do not only score on the size, but on the weight as well, and if the food is already cooked, it re-hydrates faster (than raw dried) and requires a lot less energy to heat up than cooking, or you can simply eat it cold. All you need is water. Btw, you need 50% of the energy to heat water to just under boiling point, then you need again the same amount of energy to get it to boil.

    Some of the guys are not worried about appearance, they grind the cooked food fine then dry and one can pre-mix the foods and take it on the go in a shake to save preparing and dining time. Dried food like this may be something Manie will want for his round the world trip.


    There are some water from air units, and may I apologize for the advert bogus using "military technology" and the years of research in advance LOL. It simply works on the principle of water that condensate when a surface is a certain temperature lower than the air temperature. So any fridge unit can do that, and I have not tried heating the air ie with a solar glass tube and condensate on a room temperature surface cooled by water, but it should work also. There are some temperature tables on the net. For this cooling you can use any water and a very small PC fan can do the circulation.

    If you have something like this it seems amazing to think people have died because they did not know how to make drinking water.

    The idea is always to be independent, not too fancy stuff, it must cost as little as possible, and work extremely well and it must be easy to use.
     
  11. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I agree keep it cheap if one can,however when it comes to food other than biltong you know for sure how to keep...I'd rather pay then end up in the middle of nowhere with either a) moldy useless food and/or b) not moldy but still spoiled food and a case of food poisoning.

    Perhaps a sponsorship deal for Manie.

    BTW the heating for MREs is calcium chloride,perhaps some iron-add a little water and it heats up
     
  12. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Hi West,

    You can make dried food in packets, if you put in plastic you have to add an oxygen remover. I have dried food in a sealed container in brown bags for quite some time, check it every now and again and it's good.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/The-5-minute-instant-hand-warmer/
    The 5 minute instant hand warmer!
     
  13. hoytedow
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    hoytedow wood butcher

    Some fresh iron filings in a small cloth pouch will make a good oxygen trap.
     
  14. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Aye, I use steel wool, since some are coated not to oxidize, I cut into pieces with a tin snips which goes into a small cloth bag with some damp salt. The salt aggravates the oxidizing which then use all the air up. After a few days you can see the rust stains on the cloth, which is a good sign because you know the oxygen is executed. The oxy is exe'd.

    So next time you see rusty steel, be careful, the oxygen is less in that area, maybe that is why rusty old cars are so slow, the rust use all the oxygen up and the fuel doesn't burn too well... and/or the driver suffers from oxygen deprivation :D
     
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  15. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Last time I bought oxygen absorbers it cost $20 for 250 of them or about 8 cents each.

    Manie may want to consider some MREs as emergency back up,though they are quite salty.
     
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