How to Pack a Cooler

how to pack cooler

We love our Yeti coolers. After upgrading from our old Colemans, the Yeti has been a dream to use. But knowing how to properly pack a cooler, makes the most difference in how long your ice will last, no matter what type of cooler you have. Here are some simple tips for ice retention to remember the next time you pack for the beach or camping trip.

Pre-Pack With Ice

Pulling a hot cooler from a garage will melt your ice within hours. The best way to prepare your cooler is by pre-packing it with ice or ice packs overnight and then loading it within 12-24 hours. A hot cooler can take hours just to cool to room temperature.

Pack Frozen Food and Drinks

Frozen food is the ideal condition for a cooler as it will retain the cold air in the cooler longer and have time to gently thaw by the time you need to eat it. If you want to freeze ice water to consumer later that’s even better.

Don’t Skimp on Ice

Yeti states the ideal ice-to-content ratio is 2:1. Which means you probably need a lot more ice than you realize. That also means you need a much larger cooler than you think you do. Better to use two coolers that are packed properly, than stuffing one cooler with not enough ice.

Ice Temperature Matters

If you can grab some dry ice that’s the best. Otherwise, the ice blocks and cubes you buy from the grocery store, will last a lot longer than the ice you dump in your cooler from your refrigerator. Ice blocks are second to dry ice in effectiveness.

Avoid Air Gaps

Ice is used to cool the air in your cooler, which in turn keeps your food and drinks cool. If your cooler has too much air, it will waste ice cooling it. Instead make sure your cooler is filled to the proper ratio, and if you can’t pack anymore ice, use a towel or newspaper to fill the gaps.

Don’t Drain the Water

Unless the water in your cooler is dirty, don’t drain it. It will help retain the cold. Keep food in water tight containers to stop the spread of bacteria.

Use Shade

A white cooler in the shade is the best outdoor combination for keeping your food and drinks cool. Covering your cooler with a towel or blanket can also ward off the heat if shade is not available.

Keep It Closed

Every time you open the cooler to grab a beer, all of the cold air escapes which means it will take longer for your cooler to stay cold. Grab drinks for all your friends to limit the open times and also be a better friend.

Rock Salt Can Help

Load your cooler with drinks and then sprinkle rock salt on top of the ice and close the lid. When salt is added to melting ice it lowers the freezing point, and in 30 minutes you’ll have perfectly chilled drinks.

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