How in sam H E double hockey sticks do you......

Discussion in 'Refrigerators and Coolers' started by jkmk1725, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. jkmk1725

    jkmk1725 New Member

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    I have been using the rubbermaid version of the lock.n.lock's and they leaked. I will have to put them in baggies first and I think it may solve the majority of the problem. I have always kept food and drinks separate but when we had the van we only had so much room and could only do 2 coolers. Thanks for all of the replies....
     
  2. armyguy

    armyguy US [USA]

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  3. jmcdtucson

    jmcdtucson New Member

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    Drain often. Use watertight containers. Keep the food in separate cooler. Use block ice which doubles as a shelf to keep the food off the bottom.
    We have an icebox in the PUP. It's small, but it stays dry since the ice drains. We put our items in there that we absolutely don't want to get wet or are too fragile to be convenient in a cooler.

    If you use dry ice don't set it on the bottom of the cooler, or anywhere it can touch the cooler - it can crack it.
     
  4. wantingapup

    wantingapup New Member

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    I have found a plastic waste basket that it just slightly larger than a block of ice. The ice block goes in there and the melt water is contained. The ice goes in so the cooler is split into sections about 1/3 and 2/3. The meats stay on the short side (1/3) of the ice and the other items on the other side in progression as to how to cold they need to stay, milk etc right beside ice, with veggies etc the furthest from the ice. We have found with this that we can now also keep bread in the cooler without risk of it getting soggy. We keep a separate cooler for drinks as well. 90% of our camping is in bear country so we rarely can use our fridge. Tho we are thinking we might start to use the fridge for canned beverages and cut down on one cooler.
     
  5. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    Another option would be to freeze the blocks of ice and place them in a ziplock plastic bag. The water stays in the bag!
     
  6. kurtes

    kurtes Reno, NV

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    We usually put everything in zip-loc bags, most of the time they don't leak but sometimes they do. And we usually stick a ice block inside the cooler and then pour ice cubes over the top.
    I read a post a few minutes ago, she said they actually tested their coolers on their porch outside to see how they worked out. Does anybody know if having frozen plastic bottles inside the cooler keeps things as cold as sitting in the cold water? I believe water would be colder than the surrounding air so we leave the water in.
    We have 5 coolers, the newest being a Coleman 5 day and the oldest was built before the dawn of insulation apparently. The food goes in the new one, the drinks in the second newest which has the split top opening, and we carry a third with a block or two of ice and some cubes. I will have to pay more attention to what works so I can be more helpful.
     
  7. Deskpilot

    Deskpilot Member

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    For this past weekends trip, I deep froze an 18 pack of 1/2L water bottles and 2 tall 1.5L waters. I used the all ones to condition the cooler starting on Sun night, 1 large bottle rotated each evening between freezer and cooler. Nothing fancy, just cooling it down. The cooler sat over an AC vent in the kitchen. When it came time to pack up on Wed nite, cooler #2 got all the dry foods and sundries. It got staged in the kitchen too. Pup got packed, leaving the space over axle for cold cooler and space by door for warm cooler. Gas and 20# of ice upon leaving the house, dumped in cold cooler and off we went.

    Knowing that we would be waiting in parking lot AFTER concert (prior experience [:D] ) we took cold cooler with us and kept in Ranger wrapped in a blanket below sliding privacy cover behind front seats. We ate cold subs, had cold drinks @ 23:30 and the 1.5L bottles were still 80% solid ice. Water wasn't too much of an issue. Blanket kept heat away and cold in!
    When I unpacked @ home the next afternoon, the small frozen water bottles were just about thawed out but VERY cold, and the 1.5L were about 50% ice, and there was still plenty of ice left for another day or 2 of camping.
     
  8. themanfromvan

    themanfromvan Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds

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    Many, many moons ago, I bought some of those reusable ice packs. They don't have water in 'em - I don't know what's inside. Anyhow, they get much, much colder when frozen than water does. I mean, I am Mr. Winterhound and I can not hold these things in my bare hands for more than about 30 seconds after taking them from the freezer. They are factory sealed so, unless punctured, they do not leach moisture into your food. On the other hand, since they are NOT water and WERE to get punctured, I'm sure it would make all your food junk.

    But, knock on wood, no one is harder on stuff than my kids and they've never speared one in 6 years of using them. I think they're well worth the money I paid for them.
     
  9. 2girls1boy

    2girls1boy New Member

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    We too use the 2 cooler method with drinks in one and food stuff in the other. We do have a fridge in the PUP and we use that also. My best suggestion if dry ice isn't avalible (we can't get it) is to save some helf gallon milk jugs or other plastic jug and fill part way then freeze and that way when it melts in the cooler it won't release water. Only problem is that if you are going for more than a few days you can't really refill and freeze while on the road.
     
  10. ak_nd

    ak_nd New Member

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    I freeze 1 gallon milk jugs with water and seal the lids. Then I wrap then in kitchen tea towels to absorb the "sweat" and put the into 2 gallon zip lock bags and seal them up. This cuts way back on the all the condensation in the cooler. Also keep the ice a little longer. I also put a tea towel or two on the top of everything to again absorb "sweat" and condensation caused each time the lid is opened and hot air meets cool. It works very well. With all my reflectix in my cooler I have less melting than without too - I have made an inner liner for the cooler with food and a "cooler cosy" that goes over the top of the cooler and covers it down to the ground. It works well.
     
  11. jkmk1725

    jkmk1725 New Member

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    Well thanks for all of the replies....

    We went on our 4 day trip this past weekend and I used a couple of the ideas....one: leaving the drain plug open to leak out water.....granted I still has some at the bottom.....
    We were going to get blocks of ice but both places we stopped at were out.....that'll happen in near 100 degree temps i guess....
    I also used the L/XL blue ziploc baggies which worked very well to keep water off/out of the food.....I also used a deeper container to keep meats and cheese in that was well above any water levels that did occur.....they weren't the seal type but I did use a couple of smaller versions of those for items as well.....we had NO discarded food this year!!! YAY!! I think this thread will be beneficial to those just starting out.....it's one of those things you don't think of off the top of your head until you need to discard foods.

    Thanks again for all of the replies......keep the ideas coming :)
     
  12. nuthouseinva

    nuthouseinva Portsmouth, Virginia

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    I use a cooler with ice for food and drinks. Over the years, we have gotten better with making things stay cold longer.

    Some tips.
    The night before leaving, get your food as cold as possible. Freeze meats if you are not cooking them within a day or so. Turn the temp down on your fridge/freezer if you have to.

    Use small drinking water bottles. Freeze them and mix in with your food. Drink them as they thaw.

    Use a separate cooler for drinks. This keeps your food nice and cold in it's own cooler. And you can drain water in the food cooler. Keep cold water in your drink cooler.

    Pack your cooler full. Air is the enemy. Layer ice/food/ice/food/ice. Mix in the frozen water bottles to use less ice.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. outdoorsnga

    outdoorsnga Marietta, Georgia USA

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    We just tried a new method 2 weekends ago that worked great for the 2 of us. I am not sure of the quart size of the coleman cooler but it is big and has wheels. Instead of stocking up at home we went by kroger on way to camp for our food. But just before I finished loading the jeep up to leave I had our cooler sitting in garage and I had placed a 6 in high plastic container on top to get out of the way for a minute. As I was loading I kept looking at the cooler and container and it dawned on me that that 6 inch high container would almost fit perfect in the bottom of the cooler. I tested it and there was about an inch on each long end and less than 1/4 inch clearing on sides. This is a big cooler and the plastic container covered almost the entire bottom.
    I simply put a bag of ice in the plastic container, put the top back on it and when we bought our supplies put them on top of the container with ice. Had no idea how it would work. I had anticipated having to unload the food and drain and refill the ice container but the ice lasted from Fri evening to Sunday evening with some melting. I always leave water from melt with ice cause thats what coleman says to do. Our food stayed cool, never came in contact with ice and I think the ice lasted longer. We keep our drinks in another cooler so this one didnt get opened but for meals. I tell you, it worked pretty good. It does cut down on some of the space for food because you cant jam the food into the ice, but we still had plenty of room for 2 days, and we had dry cheese for a change. I didnt check the temp but all food seemed to be just as cold as in the refrig at home. We are going to try again this weekiend. We also always keep our coolers out of the sun and cover them with a beach towel with the drink cooler sitting on top of the food cooler. Works for us. Oh yea, we used some dish towels to act as cushions between the jars and food containers. without the ice filliing the voids when we moved the cooler there was too much clinking going on.
    I have thoght about drilling some small holes in the top of the plastic container but not sure how that would help keep cooler. It seemed to work fine so I think will leave well enough alone.
     
  14. outdoorsnga

    outdoorsnga Marietta, Georgia USA

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    after thinking about this for a few minutes, in the wee hours of the morning.....wouldnt a large durable plastic zip lock bag be a good solution. simply put a bag of ice in the ziplock, lay it on the bottom of the cooler, put the food on top. if you need a cup of ice unzip get your ice and zip back up. You could even use two bags, one on bottom and one on top......is that too simple or has my sleep apnay finally got to me??????????????
    Of course I have never seen such a large zip lock, but how hard would it be to manufacture and market?
    zzzzzzzzzzz
     
  15. Steve A

    Steve A A bad day camping beats a great day at work!

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    I'm going to disagree on the draining the water issue. It's far better to have COLD WATER in the bottom of your cooler than no water as it'll help keep your ice intact longer. Intact ice means cooler temperatures and longer use of the the ice.

    I used GOOD QUALITY freezer zip lock bags and, as someone else mentioned, freeze or heavily chill all foods, waters and juices before we leave. In addition. A few days before planned departure, I start raping the ice maker of it's gems, storing them in large zip lock bags. Spray a little water on the cubes, shake them around and lay flat. The water will help bind the cubes to make a more solid, and thus slower melting ice mass.

    Remember, cold sinks. Use the items you know will be gotten first, juices, waters, as your top layer. Not only will you be satisified you've grabbed yourself an ice cold drink (without thread of being traded in on a new model), but all that time in the cooler was helping everything else stay cool.

    As for the bags of ice. Because I've got them nice and flat, they are my bottom layer.

    Ciao,
     
  16. mcnizzle

    mcnizzle New Member

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    Freeze about 7-8 16 ounce water bottles. If you have frozen meat place it on the bottom of your cooler. Place frozen water bottles on top of meat. Then put all your other food on top of bottles.
    These will last about 3 days and keep your food safely cold.

    We do that and use a separate cooler for drinks. I think on the next trip I am going to try some dry ice for the drink cooler.
     
  17. muffyluvscamping

    muffyluvscamping New Member

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    We camp in bear country, so ALL food goes in the bear box. Camper fridge is for drinks in bottles and cans only-no smell. Kids are not allowed to get stuff out of bear box since all toiletries are also stored there and I don't want to mess! I use block ice and ziplocs. Eggs go on top of block ice so they don't get soggy. so far, so good!
     
  18. cjjtc

    cjjtc New Member

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    We also use one cooler for drinks and one for food. All meat gets double bagged with heavy duty ziploc freezer bags. All of the lunchmeat and cheese gets bagged and then put into a plastic container in the food cooler. This makes is very easy to get everything out for lunch, with the cooler being open the least amount of time. We use the fridge for light items like condiments and bagels. On our next trip, I want to organize the food cooler with dividers for each meal. The one problem we've had is trying to find things covered in ice at the bottom of the cooler.
     
  19. jkmk1725

    jkmk1725 New Member

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    I LOVE these bags....outdoorsnga was wondering about them in an earlier post I think. These are what I used for some of our foods this time and they worked great......I used the smallest (L) size. These worked better than storage containers because when we were done with the food I dried them and folded them and put them away. I would like to try the totes they have now. Not for food because they aren't waterproof but for packing clothes and other things.

    http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/ProductsHome.aspx?browseBy=Oversize&browseByCat=NonFoodStorage
     

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