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Ice and making it last when camping.



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Old 05-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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Ice and making it last when camping.

This thread is about making your ice last longer on your next camping trip, so if you have a better/another idea post it up.

Buying a 5 day cooler is the best way to start, but I also have a few other tricks I use.
1. I per cool everything the night before or buy stuff that is already cold like cokes and .
2. I freeze all my water bottles before I go camping. This also helps me save on my ice bill! They will thaw out fast enough in the sun, and they stay colder longer.
3. Use Dry Ice for long weekends when gas stations are to far away for ice runs. In my "food" cooler the first thing put in it is Dry Ice, Next will be a couple of rows of frozen water bottles, Last will be my food items, and/or cokes.
4. Keep your ice chest out of the sun.

The frozen water bottles will insulate your food, , and cokes from the dry ice and keep you for freezing your stuff. The dry ice will also keep your water bottles frozen longer, and the water bottles will not melt and turn into water in your cooler and water log your food, so your food will stay high and dry all weekend.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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I have paid for my big cooler a couple of times already just in savings from not having to buy so much ice all the time. A good cooler is well worth it's money.

When re-icing a cooler, I like to keep about 1/4 of the water in it. The water is usually already cold, and will help insulate also.
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
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Put a spare blanket and some kind of weight on top of your cooler when your away from camp. A lot of the lids don't fit well or the clamp is broke.

I keep food in one cooler and don't have to get into it very often. Beer goes into another cooler and gets used more.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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I have paid for my big cooler a couple of times already just in savings from not having to buy so much ice all the time. A good cooler is well worth it's money.

When re-icing a cooler, I like to keep about 1/4 of the water in it. The water is usually already cold, and will help insulate also.
You are spot on with not draining the water. Actually the water doesn't insulate, but it does provide extra thermal mass. Ideally you want the chest as full as possible at all times so that when you open the chest it doesn't fill with warm air, also the more thermal mass you can get to equilibrium(near the melting point of ice) the better off you are. Theoretically you can put super-cooled ice, at perhaps 5-10* below freezing in the chest and assume that it could supercool the contents, but realistically you could do the same thing by adding the supercooled ice to the water/ice mass which is already at equilibrium (due to the fact that some of the ice has melted and created water).

The only real reason to drain the water is to keep your food dry IMHO.

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Old 05-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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I saw an interesting thread the other day where the feller bolted one of those "blue block" ice packs to the lid of his cooler. He drilled out the little mold-holes in each and ran a 1/4" bolt or some such down through there. I can't for the life of me remember what site I saw it on, heck, might've even been here.

Anyhow, there was some speculation about the placement of his block. Since cold air sinks, the thought was that by placing the block up high it would radiate cold air to the bottom. The warmer air rising would hit the pack and more or less cause convection in the air. Whereas by placing the block on the bottom all you do is keep what's already cold, cold.

Thoughts?

Another thing he pointed out was that the extra weight of the block would help keep the lid closed better...
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:09 PM   #6
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That is why I take food that dont matter if it gets warm. You can keep it cool in the shade and just worry about the . That is the main concern anyway.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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It would also absorb the heat that soaks through the lid and help keep it from the contents.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:19 PM   #8
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With the dry ice I have always wraped it with cardboard. It helps to protect the ice chest from the hard freeze and serves as a bearer so than not everything in the chest gets frozen rock hard....depends on how much you layer with cardboard and where you put the dry ice( on one side of the chest or flat on the bottom). On one side allways worked well when out at Big Shell for me. The bigger the ice chest the better. All the meats closer the dry ice.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:01 PM   #9
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That is why I take food that dont matter if it gets warm. You can keep it cool in the shade and just worry about the . That is the main concern anyway.
I'm going to be camping for 6 days, so I'm trying to make sure my will have ice the whole time!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:01 AM   #10
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keep the drinkers out of your ice chest , opening a few hundred times a day really looses the cold air
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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keep the drinkers out of your ice chest , opening a few hundred times a day really looses the cold air
that will be hard too do...lol
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #12
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I saw an interesting thread the other day where the feller bolted one of those "blue block" ice packs to the lid of his cooler. He drilled out the little mold-holes in each and ran a 1/4" bolt or some such down through there. I can't for the life of me remember what site I saw it on, heck, might've even been here.

Anyhow, there was some speculation about the placement of his block. Since cold air sinks, the thought was that by placing the block up high it would radiate cold air to the bottom. The warmer air rising would hit the pack and more or less cause convection in the air. Whereas by placing the block on the bottom all you do is keep what's already cold, cold.

Thoughts?

Another thing he pointed out was that the extra weight of the block would help keep the lid closed better...
Convection means instability.

Ideally you want EVERYTHING: air, water, ice, food, beverages to be at close to the same temperature - in our case 32* the temperature at which ice melts. Water can't really get any cooler than 32* without turning to ice. Now if you add something colder than 32* it will try to spread out that cold as evenly as possible. Heat (and cold) flow from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration.

There shouldn't be any convection going on in the cooler unless there is a lot heat that gets introduced, in which case the cooler will try to return to equilibrium as fast as possible, so the convection will end very quickly. Also convection mainly occurs with Air and Water, but not between air and water - I think only conduction occurs at a phase change boundary, but it has been a long time since my last thermo class...

Really you just want the cooler as full of as cold of stuff as possible for as long as possible. When trying to keep stuff cold we are fighting the law of conservation. The stuff in the cooler will always spread the heat(or cold) as evenly as possible as fast as possible. Therefore we want as much cold stuff in there to share the heat bearing duties as possible. We also want the insulation to be as good as possible too so that we can benefit from the first law of thermodynamics... we want the system as closed as possible.

Put simply - Cold Stuff tends to stay cold unless heat is introduced, the more cold stuff present, the more heat needs to be introduced to change its temperature by 1*.

As for keeping the lid closed - that gravity thing can work both ways... as can momentum. I'd personally rather just throw an extra bungie on it and put the ice pack where it is most convenient inside the cooler.

Now if you have one of those coolers with the huge void in the lid and you don't normally put anything up there you'll certainly be better off filling that up with an ice pack than by leaving an air void.

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Old 05-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Don't forget old-fashioned rock-salt in your ice - gets it COOOOLD. Just make sure you don't need the ice water to be potable.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:12 PM   #14
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I use dry ice in my 100 qt. cooler with
reg. bag ice but I keep it up out of the water.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #15
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My #1 tip for making ice last while camping



Only camp when its cold out.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:16 PM   #16
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The frozen water bottles will insulate your food, , and cokes from the dry ice and keep you for freezing your stuff. The dry ice will also keep your water bottles frozen longer, and the water bottles will not melt and turn into water in your cooler and water log your food, so your food will stay high and dry all weekend.

Umm....I totally agree
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:23 PM   #17
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when we go fishing for 3-4-5 days at a time, we will drain the cold water off into an empty icechest and use that to chill any additional drinks we will be needing, or even for chilling fish to bring temps down before tossing on the ice.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:24 PM   #18
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when we go fishing for 3-4-5 days at a time, we will drain the cold water off into an empty icechest and use that to chill any additional drinks we will be needing, or even for chilling fish to bring temps down before tossing on the ice.
Good idea, redneck efficiency at it's best.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:14 PM   #19
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All these tips came in handy this weekend. Nowhere in Brady had any ice left Sat afternoon. Or was it Sun? Either way, LOTS of people.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:28 PM   #20
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I'm sure everybody I went camping with this weekend got tired of hearing about my ice chest. I was very proud that Monday when I packed up everything to head home I still had ice in my food chest. Most of my water bottles still had ice in them also.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:05 PM   #21
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I found that my house ice last a hole weekend. Compared to bought ice. They filter it alot. And that makes it melts faster. Something to do with minerals bring removed.

And freezing large bottel or water bottels help a ton.
And the blanket thing helps a ton.
And bring a spare smaller ice chest for the rig.

Hell my cokes were icey this weekend in mine. And it just a cheap'ol coleman one.
Only had house ice in it. And two 1-liter bottels. And had all my stuff in the in the fridge a day before the trip.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:37 PM   #22
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Saw these a few nights ago on a random trip to walmart at midnight.. We were bored... Pretty cool setup for $89.99. Beats the heck out of the Arb cooler for $700 that we had at work. Could either be plugged in 110v ac or 12v dc. Could be used as a cooler or stood up on its side and the extra shelves stuck in to have a mini fridge. I'll probably pick one up for the trip to the lake this weekend.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:51 PM   #23
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something else to think about is the size of the cubes, smaller cubes fit in much tighter and allow less airspace, making them last longer. Keeping the chests out of sun and wind makes a huge difference.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:43 PM   #24
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I'm sure everybody I went camping with this weekend got tired of hearing about my ice chest. I was very proud that Monday when I packed up everything to head home I still had ice in my food chest. Most of my water bottles still had ice in them also.
Yeah but everyone bitched about getting frostbite when you or Tab asked someone to get something out of your cooler.
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:24 AM   #25
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I found that my house ice last a hole weekend. Compared to bought ice. They filter it alot. And that makes it melts faster. Something to do with minerals bring removed.

And freezing large bottel or water bottels help a ton.
And the blanket thing helps a ton.
And bring a spare smaller ice chest for the rig.

Hell my cokes were icey this weekend in mine. And it just a cheap'ol coleman one.
Only had house ice in it. And two 1-liter bottels. And had all my stuff in the in the fridge a day before the trip.
Ice in your freezer's icemaker or out of trays is harder because there is less air in the water. The fast freeze of a commercial icemaker leaves more air in. That is why commercial ice is better for Margaritas(and for your blender) that the stuff you make at home!

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Igloo Kool Mate 40 Portable Electric Cooler

http://www.target.com/Igloo-Kool-Por.../dp/B0001DI42W

Saw these a few nights ago on a random trip to walmart at midnight.. We were bored... Pretty cool setup for $89.99. Beats the heck out of the Arb cooler for $700 that we had at work. Could either be plugged in 110v ac or 12v dc. Could be used as a cooler or stood up on its side and the extra shelves stuck in to have a mini fridge. I'll probably pick one up for the trip to the lake this weekend.
That looks pretty darn cool - lemme know how it holds up to wheeling, if you have luck I might grab one myself, looks to be just about the right size.
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