Tuesday, August 15, 2023

2023 Summer Road Trip: Cold Cooler in a Hot World


Not what you want in a cooler. July 2023. Flagstaff, Arizona. Credit: Mzuriana.A
Not what you want in a cooler. July 2023. Flagstaff, Arizona. Credit: Mzuriana.A

This here, 9 Mistakes EVERY New Camper Makes With Their Cooler, by Playing With Sticks, is the best video on the subject I've seen thus far, in all of my searches for same, on how to keep cooler innards cold. If only I'd had this before I embarked on my road trip through the Hotlands this summer.

Almost every rule that Drew presents is gold, although some are common sense, like: Do not put your cooler out in the sun.

I'm especially entranced - and can't wait to experiment with - these hacks: 

  • Place a wet towel atop the cooler contents. Whoa! I hear angels singing. Not only is this a good hack, it has so much more utility for me than the blue-ice packs, which, as I've sniped about before, spend a lot of their life squatting rent-free in my limited packing space while I'm on the road. 
  • The 2:1 ratio of ice to food is sobering, but I guess, necessary, if I want to eke out all the blessed coldness I can. 
  • Employ a two-cooler system: One cooler for food. A second, smaller cooler for drinks. Reason: Protect the food cooler from the more-frequent hot-air invasions to grab cold beverages throughout a day.

I did, in the past, make the mistake of draining the ice-melt from my cooler. Yeah, in a moment of illumination back then, I realized that was kinda crazy. I stopped doing that. Better to protect my food in water-impermeable bags or containers to prevent unpleasant sogginess than to let go of precious cold melt. 

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