When you're packing a cooler for an outdoor adventure you want your food and drinks to stay cold. If you're on a long trip it may be important to keep foods frozen. How you prepare and pack your cooler can have a huge impact on how long you have access to cold food and drinks. Read on for tips and surprising hints to keep your food and drinks cold as long as possible.
Ice Chest and Cooler Pro Tips on Keeping Ice:
- Keep your cooler out of the sun.
- Limit opening and closing the lid.
- Prep your cooler.
- Keep the ice chest in cool environment.
- Keep a thermometer in your cooler to ensure meats and other foods that can spoil are kept at 40 degrees for refridgeration.
Preparing your Ice Chest or Cooler for use:
- Wash your cooler with a gentle soap and warm water inside and out. Dry the cooler with a tower or cloth.
- 12 to 24 hours before cooler use, especially for long trips, fill the cooler with ice to ensure a cold environment for food and beverages.
- Prep your food and beverage items. Make sure your food and drinks are cold prior to placing them in the cold prepped cooler.
- Don’t drain excess water. Ensure water stays out of meats and other food products to avoid cross contamination.
Efficiently Packing your Ice Chest or Cooler:
1. For long trips or occasions you will be cooling both drinks and food consider using two coolers. One for drinks and one for food. You can freeze non-carbonated drinks to keep them colder longer.
2. Store all foods in airtight containers to minimize cross contamination or water getting in to your food items.
3. When packing a food cooler place meats in the bottom of the cooler. You can also freeze your meat. This will help keep the cooler colder, longer as well.
4. Pack the cooler with the first in last out method. If you are planning multiple meals try to pack the food for your first meal on top, and last meal on bottom. This will help with minimizing opening and closing of the cooler and digging for items on the bottom.
5. Make sure your ice type is the best for the length of your trip. Longer trips may require dry ice, or block ice with cubed ice. For more on types of ice, and the advantages of each kind click here to read our article "What is the Best Ice for my Cooler?"
Taking the time to prep your cooler will improve the life of your ice significantly. Packing your cooler to avoid excessive opening will also help keep ice in your ice chest longer. Happy adventures to you and may your ice last as long as your trip! Check out PIERCE coolers, one of the best coolers for keeping ice. Our rotomolded coolers come in a variety of colors and three sizes.