Looking for how to keep cooler cold for camping? Whether you’re camping in the summer or during the winter months, there are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your cooler cool and fresh.
7 Steps On How To Keep Cooler Cold For Camping
Nothing beats sitting around a campfire, surrounded by the aromas of a delectable camping meal cooking.
However, many campers are curious about how to keep food cold on a trip. After all, the prospect of contracting food poisoning while stranded in the middle of nowhere should suffice to dissuade most people.
I’ll walk you through a foolproof method for keeping your food cold on camping trips in this guide, as well as some critical tips to remember.
1. Before leaving, freeze or cool the food
Prepare your meals ahead of time to alleviate stress on your camping trip. This can alleviate a great deal of stress, especially if your diet includes meat.
Food and beverages should be frozen or chilled before leaving to keep the cooler cool for an extended time. Additionally, you can save time by purchasing frozen food at your neighborhood grocery store or gas station.
All of your food should be stored in freezer bags. You do not want the food to thaw and contaminate the cooler’s other contents. Due to the dangers of contamination, raw meat should be sealed with extreme caution.
2. Collect several ice packs (Or Make Your Own)
When camping, it is critical to use the proper type of ice.
It is perfectly acceptable to chill your cooler before leaving with a bag of loose ice cubes purchased from the store.
However, this type of ice is not ideal for keeping food cold after you leave. Due to the cubes’ small size, a great deal of air enters, and the ice melts quickly. A torn bag or strewn ice can also cause water to spill everywhere.
Instead of cubes, a large ice block should be used. Because it retains its cold for an extended time, block ice is a far superior option.
This is where a thermal ice pack comes in handy due to its ability to be frozen and reused multiple times. The packed ice aids in keeping the food in the cooler dry. Packs made of non-toxic materials should be used only in the event of a spill.
Do you want to learn how to make ice cubes at home? Season with salt and half-fill a freezer bag with cold water. When water is mixed with salt, the melting point of the water is lowered, which accelerates the process. Finally, deflate the bag completely and freeze it. Some people have discovered that adding a few drops of dish soap increases the flexibility of the ice packs.
I strongly advise you to use freezer bags for this task. The last thing you want to come across is a cooler brimming with ice water. A milk jug can be substituted if you prefer a different container. Additionally, milk jugs can be used to create a massive ice block.
Is it necessary to use dry ice?
Dry ice is a very cold substance made entirely of carbon dioxide, not water. Dry ice packs are used by some campers to keep their coolers extremely cold. However, we do not recommend using dry ice packs as a standard practice due to the additional caution required.
If you choose to use it, make sure you wear insulated gloves (it’s that cold!).
Bear in mind that when dry ice melts, it produces carbon dioxide rather than water. As a result, it should be kept away from humans and pets.
Finally, the pressure in the cooler increases as the dry ice melts and the gas escapes. If you’re using a lot of dry ice, you’ll need to periodically open the lid to prevent it from bursting. Typically, 10 pounds of dry ice will last 24 hours.
3. Allow sufficient time for your cooler to cool before using it
You must bring a cooler if you intend to bring perishable food.
However, you do not want the chilled and frozen foods in your room-temperature cooler to defrost.
If you’re unsure how to keep the food cold, place some ice in the cooler a few hours before packing it. Simple ice cubes from your neighborhood convenience store will suffice, but they should not be used to pack the food.
Placing the entire cooler in a large chest freezer is one of the most effective methods for keeping it extremely cold.
4. Maintain an adequate supply of ice in your cooler
When packing a cooler for a camping trip, one simple rule to follow is to keep the food that requires the most refrigeration closest to the cooler’s bottom.
This means that perishable (and more delicate) foods should be placed at the bottom of the cooler, while meat and frozen foods should be placed at the top.
Double-pack meats and other foods in freezer bags whenever possible to avoid cross-contamination (what if a freezer bag tears?). After that, wrap it in aluminum foil.
Is any meat required to be defrosted? It should be elevated to the top layer!
Simply layer your food with ice cubes or an ice pack to keep it cold. Create a base layer of ice, a layer of ice above the meats, and a final layer of ice on top.
Tip: Avoid overfilling the cooler with food, as the ice packs will take up a lot of space.
5. Tightly Pack Your Cooler for Maximum Chilling
If the cooler has less space, the food will remain colder for longer.
Fill any remaining space with additional ice cubes, ice packs, or food.
6. Open the refrigerator as little as possible to maintain the temperature of the food
To keep the food cold, the cooler’s cold environment must remain undisturbed. When the lid is retracted, warm air rushes in to compensate for the loss of cold air.
Make every effort to keep your cooler as tightly closed as possible.
7. Store your cooler in a shaded area away from direct sunlight
One quick tip to avoid melting the ice and spoiling the food? Allow it to bake in the sunlight!
When camping, keep the cooler in the shade as much as possible to keep the food cooler cold. Shade can be found in a variety of places, including the following:
Keep an eye on the shade as the day progresses and the sun moves across the sky.
Camping can be an amazing way to reconnect with nature and enjoy the best outdoors. But one of the biggest challenges that campers often face is how to keep their cooler cold for camping trips. Fortunately, there are several simple tips and tricks that you can use to keep your food chilled in even the warmest environments.