Ask Tess: Do I need to put an oxygen absorber in the vacuum seal bag, or only in the mylar bag?


I am just starting to accumulate my long-term food storage.  I have several bags of rice, salt, powdered milk, etc.  I also now have a vacuum sealer.  I got 15 food grade 5 gallon buckets with lids for free from Walmart and am now ready to start storing stuff.  I don’t really know how.  I have researched  this a ton – I am sure that I want to do both vacuum sealing, then the mylar bag, then put those in a bucket.  Do I need to put an oxygen absorber in the vacuum seal bag, or only in the mylar bag?  I see many people saying just put the oxygen absorber into the mylar bag, but that is with just pouring some grain in there and then sealing it.  Just not sure what the correct approach is?  I would really appreciate any feedback.




Hi Shelley,

First of all, congratulations on starting your long term food storage. You are right, there are multiple ways to begin long term food storage. Using vacuum sealed bags in conjunction with 5 gallon plastic buckets is a great way to create multiple layers of protection for your food sources.

When using this storage method, you want to create an oxygen-free environment with the food, therefore, I would add oxygen absorbers into the vacuum sealed bag itself. For added measure, you could add oxygen absorbers to the Mylar bag when you are ready to seal it.

How Many Oxygen Absorbers Do You Need?

However, this food storage method is not without its faults. There are some dangers associated with using vacuum sealing as a storage option.

Pros and Cons To Vacuum Sealing

Many preppers also use vacuum sealed pouches to make smaller and smaller food storage amounts and then store it into 5 gallon pails with a gamma lid. This way, all they need to do is unscrew the lid, reach in and grab the desired amount of food stuff and then screw the lid back on.

I hope this helps and thank you for submitting your question.





The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 29th, 2014
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