How to Properly Pack a Cooler

- Jan 12, 2021-

Coolers are only as good as the users who package them. If organized incorrectly, you will waste all the exquisite insulating materials paid through the teeth.


For tips on how to make the most of these cooling features, I asked some guide friends who brought radiators on their rafting, mountain climbing, and camping trips throughout the week. This is their tip.


Cooldown the cooler before packing

The cooler keeps the ice longer. If you can use a commercial refrigerator, put it in the refrigerator overnight. For everyone else, please leave it overnight on the porch the night before your trip, or paste it on the coolest part of the house.


Freeze food and drinks

If you plan to eat steak and chicken on the third night, pack them frozen and let them melt over time. They will contribute to the overall effect and be prepared in time. The same is true for water and other non-carbonated beverages. First, take it out of the freezer bottle in the cooler and pull it out and thaw it when it reaches the camp. "[Freezer bottles] are also a great way to save money," said Lars Alvarez-Roos, the guide who owns the biological expedition.


Use ice cubes instead of ice cubes

You can make ice cubes at home by freezing water in Tupperware. It is much more complicated than ordinary cubes-you need to break these pieces with a pickaxe or hammer-but their extra mass means that they melt almost not so fast. "The Grand Canyon Guide" and outdoor educator Saylor Flett said: "It's easier to make a cocktail with ice than to watch a cube melt in front of you."


Long-distance drainage, short-distance drainage

The guide I talked to will not lose cold water during short trips because it keeps items such as beer extremely cold. However, water will also make the remaining ice melt faster, so if you want to save the blocks for the next 7 days, you need to drain the cooler several times a day.


Layered packaging

Place the ice cubes on the bottom of the cooler, and then cover the ice cubes on a thin solid layer, such as the sides of a milk carton or cardboard. This barrier prevents food from sliding between ice cubes and getting wet.


Don't trust food packaging

For most of us, this is correct: after resealing the tortilla bag and putting it back in the refrigerator, when you have breakfast, you will find a pile of wet mashed potatoes. To avoid this misfortune, I always take the food out of the original packaging and put it in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware before traveling. Once in the camp, this can also reduce garbage. Expert tip: Wrap the vegetables in wet paper towels and put them in the bag. This will help them stay crispy longer.