Peanut butter and tahini sauce are very high in calories and I am searching for a lightweight but safe way to carry some while backpacking. They are soft and oily, so of course I really don't want any leak from the container. But also, I'd avoid a container that is so big and heavy to cancel the advantage of the high calories-to-weight ratio.

I am thinking about sturdy freezer bags (would you recommend any?) that would resist some impact or scratch that may accidentally happen, closed with a clip like this: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70083252/

but I did not try it yet, so I don't know if it would work and how well, or not. Any reccommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • I sometimes take those little plastic single serve thingies that they give you at hotel breakfasts. Carry the plastic out, of course – WW. Jul 17 '15 at 9:11

Try Coghlan's Squeeze Tubes (available from REI) The base of the tube opens up so it's easy to fill and then closes securely. It's easy to squeeze the contents into your mouth, or on to crackers or other media for eating, without using utensils or trying to lick/scrape the gooey contents out of a bag.

  • I think I would have an hard time filling them. How would you do that? Thanks – Dakatine Jul 19 '15 at 20:26
  • The bottom of the tube opens up with a clip that holds it closed. From the description at the link above:"Open end allows easy filling; then simply fold and clip to keep food in the tubes." – Arluin Jul 19 '15 at 22:09
  • Also as you use the contents you can fold 'n clip higher up the tube to keep the remaining contents near the opening. – Arluin Jul 20 '15 at 14:23

Your best bet is going to be small mylar pouches (any other thick plastic you can get your hands on will probably work just as well). They hold up much better than flimsy freezer bags and have a thick reassuring seal on the edge.

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You can get them resealable as shown, or you can weld non resealable bags closed. What you're really going for is something like the food relief peanut butter we send to starving nations.

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If you don't want to specifically buy bags for this, Capri-Sun bags are made of mylar and just about the perfect size for small snacks. Mylar welds at household ironing temperatures as long as you keep the seal clean from the bags contents (very difficult with peanut butter I imagine). After you seal your mylar bags you can cut a small notch in the side so you can rip them back open without any tools.

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  • I didn't know Mylar's welding temp was that low! That's a trick I'll have to try out when designing my meals & repackaging things. Think that could be easily managed/replicated with a knife & a stove? – Zach L Jul 17 '15 at 19:31
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    not sure about the temperature control you'll have with knife and flame. i'd prefer a bigger block of heavy metal. maybe a cast iron frying pan (try to recreate one of those old fashioned irons) – Steve Cox Jul 17 '15 at 20:19
  • A friend gave me a large-ish (5mm thickness on spine of a full-tang blade) knife for my birthday, so I'll look into what sort of temperature control I'll have if I were to use the back of the blade near the tip and either solid fuel or a few piping hot coals. – Zach L Jul 17 '15 at 20:29
  • Would such a seal stand if I - for instance - drop my bag on the ground, exhausted, forgetting of that fragile content? Or, if a fellow backpacker just sit on my pack? Thanks – Dakatine Jul 19 '15 at 20:27
  • These bags can take a lot of abuse. If I wanted to pop one I'd place it on some flat ground and stomp on it. I don't think sitting on it would do enough damage. Still, try not to keep them next to anything sharp in your bag. – Steve Cox Jul 20 '15 at 21:05

If in doubt, double bag...

put them in a sealed bag of your choice, then put them in another sealed bag with the open end (of the first bag) facing towards the closed end of the second bag, if the first leaks the second should catch it.


I would probably use a small tupperware or similar, something like this. You can also get ones where the lid clips down which are probably more secure. If you are concerned about it leaking/coming open I would use some elastic bands to secure the lid and store it in a separate freezer bag to contain any leaks.

Using a freezer bag as you suggest may work, but I would definitely double/triple bag it. My main concern would be how easy it would be to get the paste out again. I think you would end up wasting a lot. But I've never tried so it may be fine.


Out of some wonder, the peanut butter in our area comes in plastic jars, meaning that it is lighter than a normal jar. I save these plastic jars during the year and use them later on hikes.

Also, in the local grocery stores I can buy some dairy products which come in plastic buckets and boxes (like this one, this or this) - I save these for trips and hikes: they can be easily packed into each other, or I can fill them with other objects (berries I pick from the forest, socks or anything else) after they get empty. They also hold liquids quite well, although I use a plastic bag to be sure there would be no leaking. Also, in case they become redundant I am not so sorry to dispose them as if I would be for a tupperware box.

  • Thank you, but I am searching for something softer and somewhat pliable. Those containers look bulky no matter if they are empty or not, thus reducing plenty of space in the pack. – Dakatine Jul 19 '15 at 20:29
  • @Dakatine What about something like this? i.slimg.com/sc/sl/photo/v/va/vapur_bottle-dd-def.jpg – Akabelle Jul 20 '15 at 5:11
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    Dakatine, peanut butter is not particularly compressible, so you are not losing any space by using peanut butter in a plastic jar. If it is empty, well, you packed it out, and the volume you need in your pack is not going to increase until you get to a resupply, at which point you can throw out the old jar if you want. The plastic jars are not heavy. If you are concerned about the fraction of weight that is the jar, buy a 2 lb jar instead of 1 lb to reduce the surface area to volume ratio. – James Bellinger Aug 9 '15 at 3:01
  • @JamesBellinger The old costco peanut butter jars had an astoundingly high calories per unit of weight. Also, you can gently heat the empty jars and the plastic will shrink and compress, making this optimal for larger groups or longer trips. – gbronner Aug 12 '15 at 13:46

GoToobs. They're food grade plastic, super light weight, and reusable.

  • Thank you. They look interesting, but quite small though. – Dakatine Jul 19 '15 at 20:25

I agree with the double-bagging or using a plastic tub inside a bag or the other way around.

I think the best thing you can do is to test out various methods/containers before you go. It will allow you to find out what works and will also allow you to practice having to deal with the messy stuff at home where you can figure out what else you might need to bring along.

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