How to Pack a Cooler for Camping – Like a pro

How to Pack a Cooler for Camping

Pack a cooler in a proper manner can give great results. Cooler which is packed properly can keep stuff fresh for long. Do all the coolers come with their specifications like for how many days the cooler can prevent ice from melting? Let’s say for 4 days. 

The cooler will only be able to keep ice frozen for that long in particular conditions. The cooler should be packed properly and used properly. Packing should be done keeping some goals in our mind. These goals will help you to pack in a proper way. Packing properly doesn’t only mean that the cooler will look clean and arranged but will also work properly.

Some of our goals while packing a cooler are food and drinks that stay cold, organized, dry, unsquashed, no massive ice melt by day, and don’t forget to bring two coolers i.e. one for food and one for drinks (if you have extra space). 

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Actually packing your stuff properly actually provides you with some other major advantages. Packing a cooler in a proper and balanced manner also makes it easy for users to carry it. You can find your stuff more easily and along with all this, you will also be able to maintain the ice retention capacity of your cooler.

Tips to Pack a Cooler for Camping

  1. Pre-chilling The Cooler

A prechilled cooler can easily keep your food and drinks cold for more time. This is a basic concept which actually plays a crucial role while preparing your cooler for your plan. A warm cooler will use more ice for cooling which can lead to low ice retention

When you decide to use your cooler for a plan, make sure your cooler is ready too. Clean and wash the cooler a day before the plan and pour a bag of sacrificial ice in the cooler. Leave the cooler overnight with ice in it. This will make it super frosty before heading out. Remember, next day you have to put that ice out and pour fresh ice in it. 

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  1. Pre Chill All Your Items 

The thermodynamics of an ice cooler is all about balance. The items you are going to put in the cooler should be pre-chilled otherwise ice can melt early than expected. We should try our best to keep the cooler cold. Every single item you put in the cooler should be already refrigerated. Common culprits are room-temperature 6-packs of beer or soda.  The colder the contents of the cooler are to start with, the longer the “chill” will last. Make a list of all items that you planned to carry and refrigerate them a day before leaving, they will get refrigerated and later, ice will keep them cool. 

  1. Place Ice At The Bottom Of The Cooler 

Ice at the bottom of the cooler will be frozen for longer as cold air sinks. Try to find ice blocks rather than ice cubes as the ice cubes don’t fit properly and make space for air. Ice tends to melt fast when more surface is exposed to air. Ice blocks are perfect in such conditions as they occupy space properly and don’t let the air fill in the cooler. This maintains the ice retention of the cooler. Ice blocks are easily available at gas stations and convenience stores and they even fit well at the center of the cooler.

  1. Reduce open time 

The open time of the cooler can be reduced by organizing your food and beverages by meal. If you are using a cooler again and again by opening the lid, the ice will melt more quickly. For maintaining the ice temperature in the cooler avoid opening the lid again and again. The general problem people face is that they waste time finding stuff in the cooler which results in ice melting. Arrange your stuff in a proper manner. The most effective and common way is to keep your food on one side and drinks on the other side. This will help you to easily grab your stuff. You can go a step further and organize your placement by meal, so the items you need first are always on top. This will save your time as well as the cooler will be able to maintain the ice retention. 

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  1. Put ice block to fill empty spaces

As said earlier, try not to keep any air space in the cooler. The cooler should be filled up with food, beverages, and ice. Ice will melt fast when the surface space fills with air. There will be space in the cooler between food packers and cans/bottles. Any pockets of air in your cooler will use up energy and melt the ice, so you have to avoid air contact with the content of your cooler. Fill those spaces with ice blocks or crushed ice to make sure that there is no air space left in the cooler. 

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  1.  Keep the cooler in the shade 

Always try to keep cooler in the shade. The ice will last twice as long if you set coolers in the shade once you are at the campground. If you keep cooler in the sunlight, the sunrays will start heating up the cooler walls externally which will result in low ice retention. The cooler will start heating up and in a few hours, the insulation walls will not be able to maintain the temperature inside the cooler. So always find a place in the shade and keep your cooler there. 

  1. Take your  cooler camping

The best part about packing your cooler for camping is that YOU ARE GOING CAMPING!! Now because you have invested so much time packing your cooler in such a systematic way, you don’t have to worry about anything at all. You know your cooler is packed well with ice and it’s going to keep your stuff long last. As you packed your food and drinks in such a systematic way, you know well where the food that you are going to eat first and last. Now it’s time to enjoy your camping experience. 

how to pack a cooler for camping

Also, See- Best Coolers for Camping 2020

Final Verdict

Packing is an important job which should be done very sincerely. It comes with a lot of advantages if done properly. It’s not a long process, just a few steps that you have to do a day before the outing. So, pack your cooler properly and enjoy your adventure without any worries.

About the Author: Yash

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