Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Freeze Dried vs Tinned
15 May 2014, 17:29,
Freeze Dried vs Tinned
Now here's a hotly debated question. Which is best, Freeze Dried packets, or Tinned goods?

Well, I have been thinking about this a lot. I had a conclusion a while back, but it makes sense to post this up for the newer members, and include more of the research I've done.

As we all know, storing a few tins of food is a good idea. Having goods stored away for a rainy day, is not a bad thing. It's common sense and a damn good basis to work off.

The qualms that a lot of people have with one type vs another, is usually the reason so many people opt for that other kind of packaging.

Lets look at a few different kinds of stored food.


We all know that tinned goods last....forever. Pretty much, anyway. So that can't be a bad thing.

Tins are easily stacked, so can be stored very easily and they are very strong, so can be stacked high! Brilliant hu? Well, not quite...according to some people. The problem a lot of people have, is that although tins are easy to store, the shape of the tin is not the easiest to pack a high density into a given area. Whenever you have a 2x2 floor grid of tins, you end up with that hideous gap in the middle of all the tins. This is called DEAD SPACE!

The creation of dead space is one of the reasons a lot of people opt for storing more dried goods that can be crammed into a box, and reduce all dead space.

Even though dead space is not ideal, it can be converted. Personally, I like to slip toothbrushes down that gap. Tubes of toothpaste and things like that, are also good options to start to fill the dead space created by the circular tinned goods.

So problem solved. Tins are perfect now, right? Well no.

Tinned goods are stored in a liquid medium, e.g. water, brine, syrup, etc. Water weight is not the lightest. 1 litre of water is 1kg (if you're a science buff, and a knob, then 1kg is mass and it's actually 10newtons, but if you go down that line of being facetious then you clearly have problems making friends...please don't comment on this post, life post SHTF will be very lonely for you as life is now.....sorry, just went off on one there). So if you have a few tins, and they hold 1litre of water, that's a lot more weight to be carrying.

Okay, so a tin weighs as much as the food inside and the medium it's held in too, right? WRONG! It's the weight of the tin as well.

However, if you are looking at dried foods, you have a very thin bit of packaging and little to no medium that they are stored in (the heaviest I've heard of was nitrogen sealed packs). So for portability, and the lack of dead space, freeze dried food is king. It stores as long, has no useless space and weigh's nothing....right? Correct!!! But you do need a supply of water to rehydrate it, and that process can take a while. Not great for 'quick food' hu?

Taking water into account, you can carry a lot more food in a bag if it's dehydrated and you have plenty of water purification tablets...oh and a spare bottle to fill up with water....and a container for the rehydrating process to take place in.

So now we're in a quandary as to what is really the best course of action. Should you opt for just tins, or would it be best to go for the greatest density of food for the area, and go for dried food?

The answer is pretty simple really. NEITHER!

You should not stock up on just tins, nor should you only have freeze dried food. Nor should you stock just those 2 kinds of foods.

I'll explain.

If you are at home, you can afford to stock up with loads of tins and freeze dried food. So that's the good news.

The not so good news is that if you have a BOB, and you're packing tins...not ideal.

The best route to go down is to have both at home, as well as a plentiful supply of shorter life foods (think protein bars, packets of flapjacks, etc). The more perishable items should be rotated. I like to stock up with protein bars, and I always have a spare pack in the cupboard as a prep. When my personal supply in the kitchen is running out, I'll buy 2 more boxes. One to replace the stored ones, and one for 'access packs' like going to the gym or if I can't be bothered to make lunch.

The idea behind this is that if you are bugging out, you will have a supply of 'quick snacks' as well as your usual freeze dried food. So that you can bug out and not worry about having to soak your next days meal overnight. You will be able to get up and go, nice and quickly.

Further to this, by combining the tins and freeze dried, you have provided more variety and make the most of both situations. As an example of this, if you have tinned peaches, you can use the syrup with those oats you have stored. Lovely porridge!

The tins can be used for many other things, e.g. water collection, alarm system, etc. However, you also have the benefit of the more densely packed freeze dried stuff too. Win-Win.

Include more perishables at the front of your stores, but also optimise the empty spaces between tins for permanent items like tooth paste. Get a corner and start ramming it full of freeze dried goods too.

Do what is within your budget, but also for your situation. If you have limited space, put more emphasis on freeze dried goods, but include tins as a side. Maybe a 4:1 ratio, 4 packs freeze dried to one tin. If you have a small budget, you can get more tins for £5 than you can freeze dried food.

Before I disappear off, two more things to remember:

1. Stored food is a second to last resort. Your garden should be feeding you. Stores are for if your garden is failing, or until it's established.

2. Store what you eat. If you don't eat it, don't store it.

Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
15 May 2014, 18:16, (This post was last modified: 15 May 2014, 18:44 by CharlesHarris.)
RE: Freeze Dried vs Tinned
The best foods for long-term storage are freeze dried items prepared to US Military specifications, sealed in tins. Outer cardboard packaging should be shrink-wrapped in plastic and treated to protect against moisture, rodents and insects.
Properly prepared goods maintain their taste and nutrition for up to 30 years, but not all brands are equal. Mountain House and Oregon Freeze Dried Foods are two suppliers to the US military who have been in business for many years and their shelf life has been verified both by the military and through independent lab tests.

With suppliers recently new to the business your mileage may vary.

Flexible aluminized Mylar plastic packaging is OK for a few years, but not for long term storage. It is necessary that such items be over-packed in rigid, rodent and insect-proof containers.

Food storage info from the archive of Howard Godfrey's blog:

73 de KE4SKY
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
15 May 2014, 19:26,
RE: Freeze Dried vs Tinned
I tend to favor de'hydrating, .....the volume and reduced size are brilliant and less space required. Long term? How long will the produce stay good ...tbh. I don,t really know ......this thread is a reminder for me to test my stock.....cheers S
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
16 May 2014, 12:49,
RE: Freeze Dried vs Tinned
Freeze dried(mountain house)every time if you didn't need to remortgage to buy itAngry
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
16 May 2014, 22:30,
RE: Freeze Dried vs Tinned
If military contract information on food suppliers is public information in UK, as it is here, it may be worthwhile to look for commercial products offered by tbe suppliers of military rations. The Mountain House and Oregon Freeze Dry case lots I have in my own stores are military contract over runs with NATO type codes and US NSN numbers, of the same type flown to deployed troops overseas and served in military field kitchens and ships underway.

73 de KE4SKY
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)