How to Keep Foods and Drinks Cooler While Camping
Time is the enemy when it comes to being able to keep foods and drinks as cool as possible for as long as possible. While there are plenty of tips and tricks out there that can be helpful, most of them involve the same basic principles. Let's take a closer look at how to use some of these tried-and-true methods to your advantage when you head out on your next trip.
Fill some plastic bottles or containers with water and freeze them ahead of time. Place them in your cooler right before you are ready to leave. Solid blocks of ice will thaw much more slowly than ice cubes, and they also radiate cool air that can help to keep temperatures down inside of the cooler as well. When you do use ice cubes, place them in smaller zipper bags. Keeping the cubes together can slow the rate of melting, and the bags will protect the water from becoming contaminated. This will also allow you to use the melt water for drinking or cooking later on.
Put any items that can be frozen in the freezer beforehand as well. They will melt slower and stay cold for longer while being stored in your cooler. They can also help to radiate cold air just as ice cubes. Just make sure that you place items that have the possibility of dripping or leaking into plastic bags or containers to prevent contamination as well.
Cool Items Ahead of Time
Keep water, soda, beer, veggies, fruits, sandwiches and similar items in the refrigerator before packing them in the cooler. Packing cold items will slow the rate of warming, and it will also help to preserve cold temperatures inside of the cooler as well. Doing this can also dramatically extend the amount of time that ice remains frozen.
Make sure that you distribute frozen items evenly throughout the cooler. Try to place heavier, denser items along the bottom and smaller items along the sides. There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to packing your cooler, so doing a little bit of experimentation will help you to achieve the best results.
Finally, use some common sense as you load up your coolers or set them up on-site. Don't keep them in the hot trunk of your vehicle. Don't place them in direct sunlight. Don't keep them open for extended periods of time.
Try these solutions for yourself, and see how a little bit of thought and planning can go a long way to keeping your cooler as cold as possible for as long as possible.