I came across this ancient “reader’s tip” in the September 199 issue of Backpacker Magazine. Why no one has talked about this since then is beyond me! Easy, cheap and it works.
If you have noticed I like to call for exact measurements in my recipes versus the “cover with water” method used by others – simply because your meals will come out more exact and taste better. That means though you need to carry a way to measure. Many drinking cups/mugs made by outdoor companies now come with measuring lines, as do some cooking pots. Lets say though you are making cold meals – like my Lentil Couscous Salad – and you don’t want to carry a mug, a pot or a measuring vessel. After all, you are going light and trying to carry less weight and bulk.
Pull out some freezer bags! Pint size works best, you can also use a quart or a sandwich bag as well (Wal-Mart usually carries the pint size by Ziploc® brand). That and a permanent marker. Using a measuring cup add ¼ cup water to the bag, hold it up by the top and make a line across the bag and then repeat through 1 cup, marking each measurement.
I did 4 measurements but if you might need 1/3 or 2/3 cups, make those lines as well.
Now that you have one bag done use it as a template and make a couple more for future use (stash the template away in your hiking food stash!).
With water in the bag:
Now get out there and have fun!