Cooler tips - Free ice and keeping food/drinks cold longer

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Cooler tips - Free ice and keeping food/drinks cold longer

Postby Steve_Cox » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:22 pm

I've been making my own 20 lb blocks of ice in a plastic battery box for a couple of years, it takes about 3 days to freeze in my refrigerators freezer. Even in the Florida summer weather I have a little ice left after a 4 day camp-out. I use an old Igloo cooler and an insulated plastic blanket on top of the food. As the food, drink and ice level goes down in the cooler the blanket keeps the air space over the stuff in the cooler to a minimum. The blanket is the size of the coolers width and length, It has a vinyl cover and is has 1/2" thick foil-bubble-foil insulation inside. So far the milk as never spoiled. :D

I lived on a sailboat for quite a while without refrigeration, just an ice box. Block ice lasts about twice as long as crushed or cubes, the insulating blanket seemed to add about 25-30% more life to the ice. I found my ice-box blanket in a sailing magazine ad several years ago.
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Postby Podunkfla » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:29 pm

Steve... Dang cool information! :thumbsup:

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Postby Arne » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:17 pm

I freeze gallon jugs of well water... a couple will last about 3 days, normally..

Then I can drink good water and start to buy ice if needed..

I usually start with 2 - 1 gallon jugs and 1 or 2 - 1/2 gallon jugs....

I save the gallon jugs, but heave the 1/2's as I buy them all the time at home.

1/2 gallon with the top cut off make a clean way to get my oil filter off my van at oil change time as well.
I hope I never get too old to play (Arne, Sept 11, 2010)
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Postby Q » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:26 pm

I've been using one of those cheap aluminized emergency blankets, the really thin crinkly ones that come in a little package for a couple bucks. I just stuff it in on top of the food and ice then put on the lid. Seems to help a lot.

For early summer mountain camping here in the Northwest I fill the ice chest with snow. While car camping last week I was able to find plenty.

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