Packing a Cooler – My Way

I was reading a magazine the other day when I came across this article explaining to me the correct way to pack a cooler. I read half of the article and then started to think to myself… What makes this guy an expert in packing a cooler? How does he know what I’m going to be putting in my coolers? Why does any of this really matter? portable keg cooler

The day went on and I found myself continuing to think about packing coolers and how I pack mine. The only time I really use a cooler is for beer in the summer time. I have friends that use them for hunting and fishing and a few that go camping once or twice a year. So then I find myself standing in front of my cooler. It’s a beautiful white 35-quart Yeti Tundra and it’s a solid piece of work. It’s been under in my garage for the last few weeks, so it’s a little warm. My research tells me I need to cool my cooler before I actually use it. Makes sense really. Coolers are made to keep the temp inside constant. If it’s hot and I throw ice in and close the lid, that’s an airtight seal and the ice will more than likely melt. I take the cooler down to my basement where it’s a constant 60 degrees and throw some ice from my refrigerator icemaker in to cool it off.

So now my cooler is cooling. What about the contents? Lets make the job of the ice easier and put everything going in the cooler in the refrigerator for the night. Again, this makes sense. Cold cooler, cold food, cold ice, no air. That is a recipe for a successful cooler experience. What about the ice? I’ve read somewhere, or I could be making it up, that ice surface area helps determine how long it will last. I don’t know the difference, so I just use the ice I can buy at the local convenience store. Ok. I’ve got my Yeti, I’ve got my cold goods and now I have my ice. I’m going to start by putting down a layer of ice. Why? No reason… In my head, it sounds like a good idea. Next I’m going to uniformly place the cold goods in the cooler. It’s looking good so far. Last, I’m going to back fill the voids with ice. I will do this until all my cold goods are in the ice chest and they are covered completely with ice. I want to fill the ice chest up all the way to the top.

That’s it! That is all I’m going to do to pack my cooler and I think it was pretty simple. My Yeti cooler has a rubber seal that keeps the air out and the cold in. I will be systematic when opening the cooler top to avoid wasting the cold air inside and replacing it with warm air. Last, let’s keep that cooler out of the sun as much as possible. My cooler is white, which will help repel the heat. Keep the latches firmly locked into place so there is no accidental opening and the seal stays tight (if your cooler has a seal).


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