Packing cooler for long Term

Packing cooler for long Term

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:26 am

This may be common sense to some people but for those of you that have never done this you can pack a food cooler for about week. We used to go on a 8 day canoeing trip and the cooler would last the whole 8 days. Usually by mid-afternoon on the eight day the final piece of ise would be about the size of baseball or the water would still be cold enough for the day. Of course the first thing you need is good cooler.

You first need to freeze all your food, anything that goes in there should be frozen. When you're freezing it try and freeze it so you can pack stuff in there as tightly as possible. If you have steak, hamburger, chicken or whatever take them out of the packaging and put them in zip lock bags, Get all the air out and and try to mush the separate bags together to form a block with them. The hamburger for example works well to form around odd shaped chicken.

For ice you'll want to freeze one gallon plastic gallon jug (2 if you have big enough cooler) and a few quarts. How manny quarts depends on how much space you have but you will want a few of them. No cubed or loose ice to create water, it has to be in containers. Pack everything in as tightly as you can in the bottom of the cooler keeping the very top as level as possible. One of the keys here is trying to avoid air pockets below the top of the food .

Always keep the cooler covered with a blanket and and in the shade if possible at all times preferably one that is white except of course when you open the lid. When do you open lid do it quick and be sure you know exactly what you're going in there for. You want to make sure you keep the top even and everything as tightly packed in there as possible so you may want to occasionally repack it real quick. If you have old wool blanket cut a piece out that you can use to put over the top of everything inside the cooler. I never used cotton or other material and I don't think that will work well unless you keep it real dry. Take out the quarts if they have completely melted.

That lasted me and another guy with a regular sized cooler, one gallon jug for 8 days in 85 degree weather in the beating sun most of the day. Now the cooler itself was always tightly packed on both sides so during the day the only thing that was really exposed was the top. None the less 8 days is pretty long in those conditions.

One thing to note is this doesn't keep things super cold once once it thaws. Be sure if you have chicken or anything else that goes bad quick to eat that first and such items should be as close to the block as possible.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Packing cooler for long Term

PostBy: ken On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:24 am

We use to go on a fly in fishing trip to Canada every year. We used dry ice. Keept everything frozen. After a week there would still be some left. We would put the coolers in the shade and wrap them in an old sleeping bag. As far as the beer goes. Each canoe had small cooler that holds about 12 pack. Put couple pcs of dry ice in there each dry and had nice cold beer. :D
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker - Rice Coal
Stove/Furnace Model: 75K - Bay Window - Direct Vent

Re: Packing cooler for long Term

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:37 am

We took one cooler for food and one for beverages. What was good about the food cooler is you didn;t have to mess around getting any meat and could concentrate on more important things like beer. :D The beverage cooler would stay cold for the first four days because we had a frozen gallon in there too. We'd even trow the beer in the freezer for few hours too, just enough to get it almost frozen. We'd stop in a place called Towanda that was exactly right in the middle to get more ice and beer, food etc. It was perfect because you walked up the boat landing and they had food store, liquor store and beer store right there... What more could ask for except a stripper joint maybe? We'd get beer and ice there to replenish beverage cooler and that would last almost rest of the trip. We did that trip so many times people would remember us from the years before.

We considered the dry ice thing but no one was really familiar with using it so we didn't want to chance how long it was going to last.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Packing cooler for long Term

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:59 pm

This brings back bad memories for me ...

When I was shacked up with this loser of a woman many years ago, our power got shut off (she was getting evicted anyway, so nobody cared) & I lived out of an Igloo cooler. This is the one that has insulation in the cover. I used to get right around 1 week to 8 days out of several bags of ice with the indoor temp hovering in the low to mid 90's.

By the time I rigged up an extension cord to steal power from the included hot water heaters' fuse panel, all the food had rotted in the fridge, so even though we had power again, opening the fridge was out of the question! :lol:

Good times! :roll:
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Packing cooler for long Term

PostBy: europachris On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:24 am

And if you have a little extra $$ to burn or do a lot of camping, etc. you could buy one of these: ... 4000?Args=
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
. I've not seen one in person, and it doesn't appear to be all that large - so an 8 day camping trip is probably out of the question unless it's only one or two people, but since no space is taken up by ice, it might be OK.

Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner