Whether you’re off to the beach, away camping, or just spending the afternoon at the backyard with your family, it wouldn’t be complete without a cooler that has all your chilled drinks during the warm summer days! However, your high-end cooler or icebox is worth nothing if you do not know how to make ice last longer in it. So here are some ways to keep your ice longer in your cooler.
Choose Your Cooler Wisely
Get an icebox or a cooler from a trustworthy manufacturer that guarantees you get the most out of your cooler for your next trip. Another factor to consider when buying a cooler includes the size, depending on how much food and drink you need to put inside. Should you buy two small ones or one large one?
Chill Your Cooler
Preload your cooler a few hours before you put ice in it. Store it in a cool place. Otherwise, a significant amount of ice will be wasted cooling the cooler itself.
Cool Your Drinks as Well
Just as the cooler needs to be chilled, so do your drinks. Your cooler will perform at its best if you cool down the contents that will go inside it. Place your food items in a fridge for a few hours first, then put the cold contents into the icebox. This way you’re saving your ice from having to cool the contents down, which in turn makes the ice last longer.
Use Block Ice
There isn’t much actual solid ice in crushed ice, so it melts quickly. Instead of leaving your cooler with just cold water, use block ice for a solid mass of ice that doesn’t quickly melt. You can buy block ice in soft and hard packs that make handling and packing easy. You might also want to try making your own using ice cream containers or juice bottles, although you should only fill them partly for expansion.
Add Rock Salt to Your Cooler
You can add rock salt to the cooler or make ice by freezing saltwater. Either method helps reduce the freezing point so your ice will last longer throughout the trip.
Keep in Mind that Ice Temperatures Vary
There is warm ice, which is about 32°F, and it is typically warm, dripping, and not going to last long. On the other hand, ice that is colder than the freezing point is relatively dry and will last substantially longer.
Maintain Ice and Water Levels
If your ice is melting, don’t drain the cooler since keeping the water inside means the air won’t go between the ice, reducing the chances of melting. If you can, add more ice halfway through the day.
Keep the Air Away
Speaking of air, having it in your cooler will accelerate ice-melt as the ice is consumed with having to cool the air, instead of your contents. Try adding extra ice, towels, or crumpled newspaper to avoid too much air inside. A cooler that is loaded to the brim will preserve its ice longer than a part-filled icebox of air. The more food or drinks you have in your icebox, the less air you will have which would otherwise need to be cooled down and kept cold
Bury or RaiseYour Ice Chest
Avoid having the cooler directly on the ground, especially if it is hot. Raising it a little will promote the flow of air underneath. You can also bury it in the sand where it is cooler. It goes without saying that you should keep your cooler out of the sun to preserve the ice inside. Putting it in your tent or car is like baking it in an over as temperatures can climb 10-20 degrees higher than outside.