an art to packing a cooler efficiently, but anyone can master the
technique with a little practice.
So, to begin, let's say the family is going camping for a few days, and there's no camp store nearby, so you'll be taking most all the food you'll need for the duration of the trip and you need to keep it cold so that it doesn't spoil.
How can you fill your ice cooler(s) so that the ice will last and you won't have to drive down the road to find more?
you need a quality ice chest for storage of perishables.
Ideally, this should be a larger cooler with good insulation, including the lid, a drain plug, and an inside bin for those items you don't want sitting in melted ice.
idea cooler: a 150 quart Coleman marine cooler, has a deep bin and
two lids, with panel inserts to create compartments inside the cooler.
Can hold a block of ice to last in this "refrigerator" for over two weeks in 80º weather.
Also, take along a second, smaller cooler just for drinks, which keeps you from frequently opening the storage cooler.
that's the main trick:
avoid opening the cooler as much as possible,
particularly during the heat of the day, because that let's in warm air, which melts the ice.
Here's some other tips to help prolong the ice:
pre-chill, or freeze, food and drinks
put food in first, then cover with ice
keep the cooler out of the sun
make sure you close the lid tight
don't drain all the cold water
keep meats/perishables directly on ice
avoid opening frequently
Cover the ice in a picnic cooler with foil to help it last longer
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