Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (75% of Full)


Advanced

Re: coolers, ice or dry ice

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

coolers, ice or dry ice
May 28, 2014 11:00PM
This summer I am going on an extended driving trip to several national parks and I hate having to get ice all the time. On short trips we use a small rubber maid cooler which drive me nuts because you have to get ice twice a day. We have a 26 year old Coleman cooler which I have not used in years and frankly can't remember how many times I have to refill it. However, it is a little bit bigger than we need. Has anyone here used one of the smaller Yeti or Pelican coolers? I am also wondering about dry ice. It has been many years since the time I tried dry ice and I really over did it that time. I used it in our Coleman cooler and the steaks froze so hard that I had to leave them in the bear box for two days until they thawed enough to cook. Has anyone tried the method where you divide your cooler with cardboard and on one side put the dry ice in first and then your food so it does not freeze and on the other side put the food in first and then the dry ice last so it will freeze?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2014 11:02PM by parklover.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 28, 2014 11:40PM
I usually use both 1/2-gallon and 1-gallon milk jugs filled with water and placed in a freezer for several-day jaunts, but I also have wide-mouth 1-gallon ranch dressing plastic containers for extended trips. Fill the container with ice cubes and you don't have to worry about leakage ruining the stored food.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 06:48AM
Thanks for that suggestion. We are doing a 19 day driving trip, the longest we have ever done. Because I have food allergies, I like taking things I know that I can eat safely. I always end up being the one fooling around with the cooler and as I get older, I am always trying to find ways to make it easier to do.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 09:14AM
Maybe a second cooler with dry ice to keep water ice in?
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 10:55AM
I am trying to keep it down to one cooler if I can because of all the camera equipment my son and husband will be taking.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 01:47PM
Quote
parklover
I am trying to keep it down to one cooler if I can because of all the camera equipment my son and husband will be taking.

Okay, then be prepared to be buying a lot of ice. Try to get block ice, it lasts a lot longer.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
June 02, 2014 02:32PM
Quote
Dearborn
I also have wide-mouth 1-gallon ranch dressing plastic containers.

Sounds like you're not shy about the amount of salad dressing at your house! Feed ME!
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 10:13AM
Quote
parklover
This summer I am going on an extended driving trip to several national parks and I hate having to get ice all the time. On short trips we use a small rubber maid cooler which drive me nuts because you have to get ice twice a day. We have a 26 year old Coleman cooler which I have not used in years and frankly can't remember how many times I have to refill it. However, it is a little bit bigger than we need. Has anyone here used one of the smaller Yeti or Pelican coolers? I am also wondering about dry ice. It has been many years since the time I tried dry ice and I really over did it that time. I used it in our Coleman cooler and the steaks froze so hard that I had to leave them in the bear box for two days until they thawed enough to cook. Has anyone tried the method where you divide your cooler with cardboard and on one side put the dry ice in first and then your food so it does not freeze and on the other side put the food in first and then the dry ice last so it will freeze?


Yeti and Pelican coolers are overpriced and overweight. They're simply overkill.

Instead purchase a top-of-the-line Coleman (Xtreme) or Igloo (MaxCold Ultra) or RubberMail (DuraChill) cooler.

Nowadays, I only use dry-ice when I want to keep my food frozen. (I'll put the dry-ice in a separate cooler just used for ice cream and other frozen foods.)

To keep things cold (refrigerated) not frozen for multiple days, I don't use ice at all. Instead I have a collection of ice-substitute (aka "Blue Ice" ) freezer blocks in different sizes from RubberMaid, Coleman and Igloo that will keep foods cold for days at a time before they need to be refrozen.

If you want to get fancy-schmancy, you might want to check out some of the electric-coolers offered by Coleman and Igloo that you can plug into a car's electric accessory outlet (or cigarette lighter) besides a 120 volt A/C outlet. I don't own one, since they're not very useful for campsites without an electrical outlet (or access to a electric generator), but if you're going to be staying overnight mainly at motels, hotels and lodges with electrical A/C outlets in the rooms, then these electric coolers might be something you'll want to consider.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 11:17AM
My husband knows someone that can get us a Pelican at cost but we are concerned about the weight and dragging it in and out of the car. We are not spring chickens anymore and a few of the places we are staying at are historical lodges without elevators and we don't have rooms on the ground level. On shorter trips I use the blue ice blocks but this is 19 days and no where will we be staying has a place to refreeze them. Over the years we have looked at the electrical ones and decided that they are not practical and the good ones are too expensive. From what I have read unless you keep your car running, they will only keep the cooler cold a certain temperature under the ambient temperature. Not a good idea for traveling in the SW desert areas or during the summer when car interiors can get over 120 degrees when you leave the car. On this trip with staying in historical places, you are lucky you get one outlet. We have sections of our trip where we are staying in a different place each night and I am trying to minimize the time I have to spend fooling around with a cooler. I hate being whiny but after all the traveling we do, I hate dealing with ice anymore so that is why I had asked about the dry ice option. If I didn't have the food allergy thing, it would be easier to restock along the way. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 02:56PM
With what you've stated, I would definitely stay away from the Pelican and Yeti coolers. They weigh a ton and simply do NOT outperform the high-end Colemans, Igloos and RubberMaid coolers to a degree that justifies their extra weight.

Just get a new high-end cooler from Coleman (Extreme), Igloo (MaxCold Ultra) or RubberMaid (DuraChill) and then fill it up with either ice or dry-ice. If you decide to go with dry-ice do some test runs with it before your trip so you learn who to pack it correctly without freezing the food and drinks you don't want frozen. Also be sure to map out where you can get resupplies of dry-ice along your route since its not as readily available as regular ice.

But those new high-end coolers from Coleman, Igloo and RubberMaid do keep the ice frozen a lot longer (for days) compared to the older (or cheaper) coolers from the same companies. Those top of the line coolers from those companies would be your best bet, IMHO.

.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 05:57PM
I will pull out my old Coleman and try that first before buying a new one. Thanks for you advice.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 29, 2014 06:20PM
I don't have any advice on coolers, but hope you'll favor
us with a trip report/photos on the upcoming trip.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 30, 2014 08:36PM
We aren't going for a few months but when we get back I will beg my husband and son to give me some the pictures.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 30, 2014 09:20PM
You don't need to have the photos physically, just access to them somewhere online like Flickr, Picasa, or even Facebook.

.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 31, 2014 05:35PM
I know that I don't have to have them physically. The issue is to get them to download them from their cameras or hard drives and put them where I can access them. I don't take pictures and I don't touch their camera, flash cards or hard drives. They sometimes will shoot a hundred plus pictures a day and since they have been busy the past year, I still have not seen pictures from some trips we took last year. I probably should start taking my own pictures to share with people.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 31, 2014 08:08PM
If you own any type of mobile phone, that's super easy to do.

(Of course it's a lot easier with a "smartphone" like an iPhone or Android, but even old-fashioned cell phones have built-in cameras which are good enough for posting on the web.)
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
May 31, 2014 09:20PM
My cell phone is really old and barely takes pictures. We have enough cameras to choke a horse from point and shoots all the way up to a Hasselblad so it is not the lack of cameras. I stopped taking pictures years ago since I would rather be looking at the scenery with my eyes and not through a camera lens. Not to mention that they are excellent photographers and I'm not. I will occasionally use my point and shoot but not often.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
October 03, 2014 03:30AM
In this advanced age it is hard to believe that someone is having a mobile without a camera in it. We can now have a mobile phone with reasonable camera in it at really cheap prices in these days. I currently have Samsung Galaxy S5 and it has a fantastic camera and whenever I need to take any pictures I just use it so I don't have to carry a camera with me on my trips and parties. Even I have done some Android app downlods from Google Play in my phone to edit the pictures easily and make them even more stunning.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
October 03, 2014 10:20PM
Quote
Morrison
In this advanced age it is hard to believe that someone is having a mobile without a camera in it. We can now have a mobile phone with reasonable camera in it at really cheap prices in these days. I currently have Samsung Galaxy S5 and it has a fantastic camera and whenever I need to take any pictures I just use it so I don't have to carry a camera with me on my trips and parties. Even I have done some Android app downlods from Google Play in my phone to edit the pictures easily and make them even more stunning.

My phone is ancient and it is not a smart phone and has a really horrible camera in it which is basically worthless. If I want a picture, my husband can take it. I can't get internet on it or emails. I like it because it is really small and it does have a flip screen so the keys turn into a keyboard. I have carpel tunnel and find it is easier to text on than a touch screens like the smart phones have. If I want to use features on a smart phone I can always use my husband's. Eventually I will get a smart phone but currently it is a life style choice that I have made since I don't feel the need to always be "plugged in".
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
June 02, 2014 10:21AM
For week-long stock supported trail crew trips, we run in to associated problems all the time. Tips that we have learned:

More modern coolers are MUCH better insulated that older versions, even the same size and brand.

Pre-cool the cooler with ice for a day, as well as the food. Freeze the food that will tolerate that.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT, open the cooler repeatedly. Do not go on searching expeditions to find things. Organize them to start. An expedition with partial emptying of the cooler can lose an entire day of cooling. Do not use your cooler for drinks, unless you do the following:

Use a insulated soft cooler for the days' uses, meaning that you only have to open the cooler ONCE a day.
Stay out of the cooler on an hour-to-hour basis.

Tape around the opening. It will seal small leaks and ad a little insulation at the least insulated part.

We have found that this will extend the cooling with one load of ice (and we also prefer frozen jugs of water) from 2 days to 6, easily.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
June 02, 2014 11:18AM
Thanks for your suggestions. We bought our Coleman cooler in 1988 and investing in a new one is a good idea. Especially since we let someone borrow it and they did not treat it very well and now it is rusting. It has been a while since we have done a long trip like this one so my mind has not been in the big cooler mode.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
July 27, 2014 09:34PM
Cooler update: We broke down and bought a small Yeti cooler. With frozen bottles of water and some really cold ice, we made it 5 days and then only had to add less than 1/2 of one of those hotel ice buckets of ice. It was a lot of money but not having to get ice twice a day like we used to for me, made it worth it. After the 5 days using the ice you buy which is not very dry, we still only had to add a small amount of ice every 3 or so days. After 19 days, one bottle of water still had a chunk of ice it in and this was after being in Zion in over 110 degree weather.
avatar Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
July 28, 2014 02:55AM
Looks like your heart was set in getting a Yeti regardless of its cost. I'm glad that it was perfect for your needs.


For others, I'll reiterate: one can achieve basically the same level and length of cooling by purchasing a high-end cooler from Coleman, Igloo or RubberMaid at a fraction of the cost of a Yeti (and they weigh less too!).

Just purchase a Coleman Extreme, Igloo MaxCold Ultra or a RubberMaid DuraChill cooler and save your money.

(While I don't usually use ice (I prefer the solid "blue ice" and equivalents) I've been able to keep food and drinks chilled easily for six to seven days with my Coleman Extreme and Igloo MaxCold Ultra coolers. One doesn't need to purchase a Yeti (or a Pelican) to get this level of performance.)


.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
July 28, 2014 09:53PM
None of the stores in our area had those other coolers in stock before we left so we just went with the Yeti. At least I got it at REI and will get a dividend on it.
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
July 29, 2014 05:55PM
Re: coolers, ice or dry ice
July 29, 2014 11:35PM
And I thought I paid too much for the Yeti I got. It was less than that and is an actual cooler.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login