food-grade plastic for kayak camping?

No, not boats, but bottles. I want to know what food-grade plastic is and what differentiates it from other plastics. I figure that food-grade plastic bottles are what I need to carry olive oil and maybe vinegar with me in my kayak for a Feb. trip to the Everglades. (When car camping I carry those liquids in glass – but when they tip over, they leak!) So would I find food-grade plastic bottles at REI? Or should I be looking for something else, somewhere else?

G in NC

container leaks
if you place a Piece of plastic wrap, such as Saran wrap, over the top of the container, then screw on the top; it will not leak, works on glass or plastic.

I’ll try that!
The glass bottles I use are excellent. They’re old McCormick spice bottles – glass, before McCormick turned to plastic. They’re small and tough, and if I can seal them with some plastic wrap, I’d love to keep using them. Thanks, Dave! I’ll give your method a try.


Use old ketchup bottles, plastic or glass. Wash 'em out first of course.

I’ve never had a problem with olive oil, etc leaking from these small containers.

I’ve used Nalgene bottles forever in all sizes (used to work in a research lab and could buy them in all sizes cheap). They are “food grade”, the tight screw caps are resistant to leaking and the plastic will stand up to any normal solvent you’d find in food (even alcohol). I have never had one leak, and have confidently carried stuff like soy sauce, maple syrup, honey and cooking oil in them.

Thanks, all.
I appreciate the information. I didn’t realize that Nalgene was food-grade plastic, though I should have guessed. I’ll be packing things in bottles that make food taste great.

G in NC

Soda bottles…
Also work well, with some plastic under the cap to ensure there is no leaking. Come in lots of sizes as well…

Beware soft Nalgene or plastics
There used to be Nalgene that was not hard. I would not carry food in the Glades that was not protected by a hard plastic.

If you are using ketchup bottles or other soft plastics, be aware that raccons can and do chew right through them.

Collapsible water containers seem attractive. To the coons too. You will be better off with hard sided plastics. I tend to avoid glass. If you do break a bottle and leave shards by accident at campsites its a hazard to you and others.

food grade plastic
probably means BPA free…

there is a lot of info out there

soup cans with epoxy liners have higher levels of BPA

if you are storing something for a long time in a container where it can leach chemicals glass is the cleanest followed by stainless steel…

most people aren’t concerned about it but Canada just banned BPA

glass, hard plastic

I understand the reason not to carry glass, and I know that it is banned in some places. I will think about whether to use my small, thick glass jars with the plastic wrap under the lid to seal them – for carrying olive oil. Maybe Nalgene instead.

Also will be taking playpus bags for water. Not sure what category they fall into, soft plastic?

What do people carry water in, in the Everglades?

My understanding is that we’ll be on the Gulf side on island beaches where raccoons are fewer. Advice welcome, concerning repelling raccoons – if that is possible.

Finally, I’m ordering Johnny Malloy’s book just to get a little more prepared.

G in NC

I don’t think it is BPA free
I think plastic with some BPA is still allowed here in the states. So I don’t think food grade means BPA free.

food-grade plastic simply means
you can eat it

The raccoons live mostly on the Gulf
Island beaches. There is a lack of fresh water out there. They travel in gangs and will be seeking your platypus containers.

As you will be in a kayak, those containers will be safer but don’t leave them on a beach. Also make sure that raccoons cannot break in to your kayak.

Glass is not banned as far as I know in the Everglades. I looked a little.

If you aren’t familiar with the area, you will get this when you arrive but its on line for you to plan now!

Food-grade plastic mean that the
manufacturers of the resin and the colorant have certified that their components are safe for food contact i.e. no heavy metal, harmful chemicals, etc. are contained therein. Some of these components may be FDA approved.

Many retailers are asking their suppliers to provide lab reports delinating the composition of the plastic. If you are nervous, ask your retailer if they have received any form of assurance from their vendor.

hey, thanks, KM, and more on raccoons
I hadn’t seen trip planner so will take a look. I’ve just been reading trip reports posted here on PNet. There’s one interesting reference by someone who turned his kayak upside down at night and banked sand around it, so that no part was open (cockpit) – as a way to keep raccoons out. I thought I’d heard that where there are tons of raccoons (where the Everglades Challenge begins) they’ll chew through anything to get to your water. Does that include hatch covers?

Thanks again for all info, everybody.

favorite bottles
I use all sorts of things for kayak camping but here are my new favorites:

They are perfect little squishy bottles that don’t leak. I used them for pesto sauce, peanut butter, butter, jam… they are really great.

Also use the 2 ounce sizes for airline travel - liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner and other odds and ends. I bought initially for this purpose and as they were so useful, bought a mess of them to use for kayak camping.

These are food safe, silicone based and BPA free.



Where do you get them?
Suz, those gotoob things look good – and food-safe. Where do you buy them?

Thanks very much for the recommendation.

G in NC

sold at different stores
I bought mine at the big Outdoor Retailer show but you won’t be able to do that!

Do a google search - you can buy at REI and on Amazon at first glance…

I have never seen a raccon chew on
a kayak but suppose its possible if the kayak had pb&j on it.

The sand idea is novel but raccoons are very good at digging and it seems a waste of time. Raccoons like eggs buried by animals in the sand.

I would just guard your water and keep it in the bulkheaded hatches and not leave food loose in camp while you explore the area on foot.

We have seen some people leave coke bottles of water in styrofoam coolers along with food and get lucky and not get raided. I have also seen styrofoam everywhere…

No you don’t need to stand armed guard at night. Pile the pots on the yak…The coons hate that noise.