When it comes to take foods on camp trip, there is no other option to have a portable cooler. Coolers are the only way to keep things cold during the trip. High-end roto-molded coolers are great for keeping your foods cold for several days. But you can still maximize the ice retention capacity by packing the cooler perfectly.
Here in this article we will try to give you some tips on how to pack a cooler. This will surely help you to increase the ice retention capacity of your cooler.
How to Pack a Cooler Perfectly
Ice retention mostly depends on the build construction of a cooler. Top rated coolers are always the best option to get maximum ice retention. Traditional coolers can hold ice for 2-3 days only.
But you can increase the insulation in both traditional and premium cooler for up to 1-2 days by following the tips and pack your cooler perfectly.
Here are the tips:
Pre-cool the Cooler
The first step is always pre-cooling the cooler. If your cooler is stored under hot weather, this will waste a lot of ice to bring down the temperature. So, it is very important that you pre-cool your cooler before start packing your foods and drinks.
You can put cold water or ice into the cooler overnight before packing. This will reduce the temperature.
Pre-cool Foods and Drinks
The second step will be pre-cooling the foods and drinks that you are going to put on the cooler. It better to frozen the drinks before packing them on a cooler. This will increase the ice retention and keep the drinks cold for longer time. If you plan to have meat on your cooler, pack them frozen also.
Maintain Ice to Content Ratio
Now it’s time to pack the cooler. Here the best way is to make several layer. First, put dry ice, then put your drinks, after that put more dry ice and then put meats or other foods. Finally put more ice on the top area.
Always try to pack as much ice as you can. The standard ice to content ratio for most coolers is 2:1. Try to fulfill at least this standard ratio. Check the following video to learn the exact way of packing foods and drinks in a cooler:
Fill up Every Empty Space with Ice
Try to fill each and every corner of the cooler. Don’t leave any air gaps. Fill the empty spaces with ice. If you leave any place empty inside the cooler, it will melt the ice faster. So, don’t left any place empty. You can fill the extra spaces by some light weighted things like paper towels or newspaper to avoid the extra weight.
Keep the Cooler Closed
After packing everything, close the cooler perfectly so that no air can get into the cooler. Also try to limit the opening. Once you open the cooler, the cool air is replaced by the hot air inside the cooler and it melts the ice faster. The more you open a cooler the less ice retention you will get at the end of the day. So, try to limit the opening during the whole trip.
Never Drain the Water
Once you pack your cooler, never drain the melted water until you finish your trip. If you drain the water there will be empty space and this empty space will cover with hot air which melt the remaining ice faster. So, never drain the cooler instead keep the melted ice inside it.
Keep the Cooler under Shade
This is the best way to keep a cooler really cool. Always try to keep it under shaded area so that hot sun can never effect on melting the ice faster.
No matter how much you pay for a cooler, you can always be able to get the maximum benefit from it. If you pack your cooler perfectly it will stay longer for sure and you can enjoy your trip with your favorite foods and drinks.