Keeping Food and Ice Separate

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Keeping Food and Ice Separate

Postby Shiro » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:40 pm

Some of the stuff in the cooler gets waterlogged. Coleman says that the temperature stays colder if you don't drain the melt water.

Any tricks on keeping stuff dry? Ziplock bags come to mind, but I wonder if someone else has developed a better system.

Thanks
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Postby toypusher » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:50 pm

Freeze water in plastic bottles and use it to drink as it thaws. Or just freeze bottled water and drink it as it thaws. Freeze water in containers that you know will fit nicely with the food that you want to carry. Like tupperware or the glad things that you can get now.

Use the 'blue ice' stuff and there is no water except the condensation, but it takes up space and can's be used for anything except keeping the cooler cold.(non-consumable, like water bottles)

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Postby february1966 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:57 pm

Tupperware or similar plastic containers. Plus it helps to put sealed items like soda cans at the bottom.

Another idea; two wire shelves cut to size put one on the bottom about two inches up, put the other on top of the food to hold the ice (block if you freeze it yourself). Let the ice melt and drip down thru.

Another Idea : freezer packs or freezer blankets (or home make by filling 20oz plastics 3/4 and freezing)
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Postby Shiro » Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:10 pm

Thanks for the replies. The problem with freezing water in jugs, which I have done, is that you can't replenish it on the road. The wire rack idea is intriguing....
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Postby Arne » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:57 pm

We put a plastic storage (no cover) container in the cooler. It is almost as deep as the cooler is tall, and takes up about 1/3 the area. All dry stuff goes in there (cheese, lettuce, fruit). any ice, either in milk jugs or cubes is outside that space. Soda cans and non-soggy type stuff goes in with the cubes. So, the dry stuff stays dry..... has worked pretty well for the past several trips we took. Like it better than a rack....
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Postby madjack » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:03 pm

arnereil wrote:We put a plastic storage (no cover) container in the cooler. It is almost as deep as the cooler is tall, and takes up about 1/3 the area. All dry stuff goes in there (cheese, lettuce, fruit). any ice, either in milk jugs or cubes is outside that space. Soda cans and non-soggy type stuff goes in with the cubes. So, the dry stuff stays dry..... has worked pretty well for the past several trips we took. Like it better than a rack....


...we do the same, works very well, also I almost always use 2 coolers, one for food stuffs, one for drinks and somethimes a 3rd just for spare ice.........
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Postby Juli n Bill » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:47 am

I found a plastic shelf in our alley, you know one of those cheap plastic shelves that go together with plastic pipes. It was just the right size for the bottom of our cooler with some minor adjustments. It lets everything sit a couple of inches off the bottom of the cooler and out of most of the melted water.
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Postby Arne » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:49 am

For us, having a well, the milk jugs serve a dual purpose. Either we are just used to our well water, or it really is better tasting (which really means kind of having no taste).... as the jugs melt, we use it for drinking water. It can get us through about 4 days. We use 2 gallon jugs and 2, 1/2 gallon jugs for ice.

And, no way will our 5 day cooler keep ice for 5 days. Even with putting only cold stuff in it.... but it is better than our older cooler. But, it is a big cooler, 80 qts, I think.
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Postby Red Baron » Tue Aug 23, 2005 9:45 am

On day 2 of our last trip we picked up a small block of dry ice and dropped it in the cooler. About an hour later I pulled out a beer and the water in the bottom of the cooler had formed one big block of ice. After chipping the ice away from my beer I had the coldest dring in a long time. Next trip we are taking only dryice.

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Postby Arne » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:27 pm

Is dry ice readily available, and is it expensive?

Sounds like it would work well, especially at the start of a trip... and then switch to cubes when necessary.
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Postby madjack » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:04 pm

...just remember, dry ice is DANGEROUS, it is MINUS 110 below zero and will give you instant frost bite if handled improperly. Also, dry ice is frozen CO2 and as it sublimates it give off CO2 gas and should be kept in a well ventilated area, since it displaces oxygen.
Availability and cost will depend on the area you are in and the sources you have. Because it is -110F, keep in mind it may freeze all your goodies in the cooler solid and cause damage to anything it is touching(plastics, foods, ect.)
At one time I was a licensed cryogenics handler(mainly liquid CO2 and liquid nitrogen) in the trucking indutry, I woudn't recommend using dry ice on a regular basis for your cooling needs. Personally I wouldn't use it at all...way too many issues
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Postby Chris C » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:23 pm

Hey Madjack, there's something else to consider...............dry ice is much colder than regular ice and doesn't leave behind water because it evaporates...........but it doesn't last any longer. So if one is looking for longevity with ice, build a custom icebox for your needs.

I know it's been on this site before, but check this out Shiro. http://tinyurl.com/dxt9n
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Postby remarquian » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:23 pm

Chris C wrote:dry ice is much colder than regular ice and doesn't leave behind water because it evaporates...........but it doesn't last any longer.


I dunno. I too use the three cooler method for long desert camping trips:

1) cooler for bevs and snacks, that one will be in and out of.
2) cooler for other foodstuffs, where one limits access to.
3) cooler for block ice and frozen foods, which contains dry ice.

The dry ice will keep the block ice and frozen foods frozen for 4-5 days. After the dry ice goes, the frozen stuff goes to cooler 2, and I redistribute the ice to coolers 1 and 2.

It can be dangerous. Handle it only with gloves. And keep the ice chest it's in in a well ventilated area. If you start to pant, it's not ventilated enough.

This site give a tonne of info on it, the safety and camping sections apply:

http://www.dryiceinfo.com/

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Postby campadk » Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:05 pm

Uggh... this is always an ugly soggy topic. We always end up with wet soggy food. You have to be organized and use good sealing containers or you'll be cursing at that dang cooler!

We use one for food, one for drinks which we find helps too. Nothing worst then pulling out a can of beer covered in wet blue cheese!

We drain the melt water to help keep things drier, and refresh the ice as needed.
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Postby madjack » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:04 pm

remarquian wrote:
Chris C wrote:dry ice is much colder than regular ice and doesn't leave behind water because it evaporates...........but it doesn't last any longer.


I dunno. I too use the three cooler method for long desert camping trips:

1) cooler for bevs and snacks, that one will be in and out of.
2) cooler for other foodstuffs, where one limits access to.
3) cooler for block ice and frozen foods, which contains dry ice.

The dry ice will keep the block ice and frozen foods frozen for 4-5 days. After the dry ice goes, the frozen stuff goes to cooler 2, and I redistribute the ice to coolers 1 and 2.

It can be dangerous. Handle it only with gloves. And keep the ice chest it's in in a well ventilated area. If you start to pant, it's not ventilated enough.

This site give a tonne of info on it, the safety and camping sections apply:

http://www.dryiceinfo.com/

rob


...this is the best way to use dry ice and the only way I would endorse the use of dry ice
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