Ten alternative DofE/expedition uses for a sandwich bag. We like to think that we are promoting the use of less packaging, and the re-use of these nifty items by training our DofEers from the word go into the alternative life of a ziplock…
1. Washbag – avoid kids lugging flowery Cath Kidston numbers around the moor by enforcing transparency – tell them its for easy kit checking purposes.
2. First aid kit – in a sandwich bag (their small personal ones). Encourages self-assembly and therefore knowledge of the contents, avoiding the ‘my mum got it for me’ effect. Big group kits are brilliant if compartmentalised into sandwich bags and labelled – a burns kit, a blister kit, a wound kit, a sprains/strains kit etc.
3. Rations – package of each meal or day’s worth of grub, labelled and contents visible.
4. No mess scramble – put egg(s) in a sandwich bag, scrunch about a bit, add other things if needed (parsley?), immerse in boiling water for a few minutes, tip into a pitta = yumminess and no crusty pot!
5. Portion control/carry less packaging – measure out porridge or muesli into bags with dried milk, sugar, raisins, apricots etc. before leaving home – just pour into bowl and add water, then the bag is free for more use.
6. Emergency funnel – can’t get that meths in the bottle/water in the platypus? Cut a small triangle off one corner, insert into vessel and fill from the top.
7. Comfort – over gloves as emergency waterproofing/wind proofing.
8. Poo bag – pack it in, pack it out…if the ground’s too hard for a trowel…seals poo, paper and sanitary items. Suggest double bagging until suitable disposal is possible!
9. Digit-saver – an amputated finger should be put into a clean bag before cooling in water or ice – to avoid direct contact between the living tissue and the cold.
10. Lifesaver – sucking chest wound anyone? Tape a sandwich bag on three sides over the hole, leaving the bottom edge untapped as a flutter valve.
Just a few ideas…certainly not an exhaustive list, would love to hear more ideas from the expeditioning community out there!