DIY Food Cozy
Simple, Cheap, and Light
When cooking on hikes, you will probably stick with easy, rehydration style meals.
After packing in the fuel and stove, spending time getting your water to boil, and then trying to heat your food, it's a shame to have most of the heat just escape into the wind.
Using an insulated pack keeps your meal hotter longer so it rehydrates faster, tastes better, and uses less fuel.
This size food cozy will fit a Lipton's Sides pouch or a quart zip-loc very nicely.
Here is an extremely easy, cheap way to make your own...
What you need: Insulating wrap, scissor, marker, ruler, packing tape
For insulating wrap, buy a 16 inch wide by 25 foot long roll of Everbilt radiant barrier at Home Depot, or something similar such as Reflectix. This is like bubble wrap, but is metallic silver color. For $20, you'll be able to make 30 cozies - guess what everyone gets for Christmas this year!
Cut a 20 inch length of 16-inch wide insulating wrap.
With a marker, draw a line across the wrap at 9 inches from one end.
Turn the piece around and draw another line across at 9 inches so there are two lines across about 2 inches apart.
Draw a line connecting these two lines at the center of the width (8 inches from both sides).
Cut on one line from one edge to the center line. Then, cut on the center line to the other line. Then, cut the rest of the way to the far edge. This creates two pieces, each one is a separate cozy.
Trim the sides off at an angle on the longest part of the cozy. When it is folded, this flap will more easily fit inside the cozy.
Fold the cozy in half and tape the side and bottom. A second piece of tape at the top of the edge makes it a bit stronger.
To use, put your bag of dry food in the cozy, pour water into the bag, seal it, shake it, and fold over the cozy flap. Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes to rehydrate.
Once your meals are ready, you can leave the bag in the cozy so the food stays hot longer and your hands are protected.
This also works pretty well as a seat on a log or rock. And, it can be used to signal in an emergency.