I hate to buy the additional bags of ice for my coolers during camping trips. Everybody hates that, it’s annoying.
So, I found my way to “How to keep my cooler cold when camping at least 5 days” and succeed somehow.
Here are the tricks. Save money, save time and they’re not rocket science!
1. Buy best high-end coolers – high-performance coolers
The price of these coolers are high but they are worth your extra dollars. They are durable and keep cold up to 10 days. Check the video on youtube at here if you’re wondering whether the claim is true.
Invest in the high-performance coolers and you can use it in many years later – the cheap coolers are fragile and easily broken after just several camping trips.
The best high-end cooler brands you should consider first are YETI, RTIC, Pelican, Engel, Grizzly.
If you want the best camping cooler for the money, I highly recommended Coleman Extreme. It is the best bang for the buck.
2. Use Block of Ice
The key of the second trick is using a big block of ice (or ice block). Don’t get the little ice cubes which are sold everywhere because the big ice block melts slower since they have less air-contacting surface.
* You may need cubed ice for cocktails during camping trip 🙂
You can buy the big ice block or make them at home by yourself – It is simple. You just add water to a plastic container, cover it with lid and then put in your freezer.
Note: It depends on the size of the ice block that it will take several hours to days to freeze completely.
How to make a block of ice at home
Last year, in preparation for a week camping trip, I made my own 4 big blocks of ice for cooler – my cooler is Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler. They lasted 5 days and kept the foods fresh the entire trips as I expected.
The Coleman 62 qt. Xtreme Cooler is good, but I think I’m going to buy another one better for my family camping in this year since we’re gonna camp longer and more frequent.
3. Use Bottle Water Ice
If you don’t like a cooler full of melted ice water, getting some bottled frozen water to replace block ice is a good idea.
You just have to do is simply use plastic bottles, fill water and freeze them in the freezer.
Here are some benefits of using bottles of frozen water:
- Water bottles can be re-used many times so the cost is minimal.
- They also serve as an emergency water supply.
- The chance the food is wet and floating in the cooler is low.
- Easily to prepare at home.
Note: I highly recommend you use big bottled frozen water because they take much longer to melt.
4. Use Dry Ice
Personally, I don’t like dry ice. Although dry ice is awesome and keeps your cooler really colder and longer than the regular ice, it is carbon dioxide (CO2) gas – not good for health.
If you use dry ice, here are some things you need to follow:
- Always bring gloves to handle dry ice or you will burn yourself.
- Put the cooler in a spacious area so the air has the chance to circulate and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) gas around. Often open up the cooler is also a way.
You can put dry ice and normal ice in a cooler together, that’s quite effective. The dry ice keeps the block ice out of melting longer.
However, the dry ice produces much carbon dioxide gas inside the cooler, the pressure of gas increases and finally, it may cause your cooler to burst open at the lid. That’s when a cooler can’t fulfill its purpose.
But don’t worry, that accident rarely happens unless you use too much dry ice in a cooler. Moreover, during your opening and closing the cooler, the carbon dioxide gas will get out of the cooler.
So, how much dry ice should you have in a cooler? Let’s me take an example, you can use 30 pounds of dry ice for 60qt cooler without worrying about carbon dioxide gas pressure.
Dry Ice vs. Block Ice vs. Cubed Ice vs. Bottle Water Ice – Which one is best for food coolers?
- Cubed Ice won’t last long, so just forget about it unless you need it for your favorite cocktails recipes.
- Block Ice is awesome takes more time to melt than cubed ice. You can also make it by yourself at home.
- Bottle Water Ice is similar to block ice, but it keeps food out of soggy and floating in the cooler. You can also drink it as a water supply.
- Dry Ice keeps food fresh longer than normal ice and no leaking water. However, since it’s CO2, you need to put in minds some notices so accidents won’t happen.
The last words
- Always pre-freeze everything before putting them in cooler.
- Open the cooler as least as possible.
- As for wet food, put them in plastic containers or zip lock bags.
I hope you like these tricks and clear about “How to keep my cooler cold when camping at least 5 days”.
Please provide any comments/ suggestions below.