From the West Coast to the East Coast, the upper reaches of the Northern states to the tip of Texas, summer heat has arrived in the United States. As holidays like the Fourth of July beckon and summer road trips turn into hours of fun traversing down dirt-packed adventure roads, nothing is quite as important as mastering the art of packing your cooler. Fortunately, with these five tips, your cooler will be packed like a pro, your drinks will stay cold, and you can enjoy hours of summer fun no matter where your travels take you.
Tip #1. Use Ice Blocks Instead Of Ice Cubes.
The first step in maximizing the efficiency of your smaller drink cooler, such as the 25 Quart High Performance Premium Cooler, is to create a foundation out of ice blocks. These blocks of ice will take significantly longer to melt than ice cubes, they pack a higher "cooling power," and they won't take up as much room as the random ice cubes that you would otherwise haphazardly toss into your cooler. Use your favorite bourbon ice molds, square plastic storage containers, or reusable plastic bags to create your ice blocks.
Tip #2. Keep Your Food Organized.
Getting the largest amount of food (and drinks) into your larger cooler, like the 40 Quart High Performance Premium Cooler, is made easier when you keep your food organized. No one wants to spend precious minutes rifling through a cooler, melting ice, missing out on the fun, and inevitably discovering that your sandwiches have been squashed during the journey. As a best practice, you can optimize space by creating a section for each type of food. For example, meat, condiments, vegetables, pasta salads, etc. should each have their own designated place within your cooler. Be sure to keep the perishable items closer to the ice, while the more fragile items can be placed at the top.
Tip #3. Choose The Right Containers.
If you want to create the "Marry Poppins' bag" of coolers, then you need to choose the right storage containers. Mason jars are a multi-use option that will allow you to bring along a healthy salad or that delicious layered taco salad that you'll crave after a 10-mile hike. The jars can then be used as glasses or to store cookout leftovers. To further maximize space you should prep your food before packing your cooler. For example, a chopped bell pepper takes up far less space than a whole bell pepper. The same goes for drinks. Removing the cardboard caddy from six-packs can save you space and reduce weight.
Tip #4. Pack Your Cooler In The Right Order.
Efficiently packing your cooler will require a bit of patience. In fact, if you are heading out on a weekend long excursion and planning on taking a large cooler, such as the 75 Quart High Performance Premium Cooler, then you should wait until you are almost ready to leave before you pack your cooler. Start with the ice block that we discussed in Tip #1. Next, pack your food in reverse with the last day's food on the bottom and the first day's food near the top. Fill in air pockets to reduce melting. Use containers that fit together with the satisfaction of a well-played game of Tetris. Finally, create a fine balance between quantity and variety. Is it worth it to bring five different condiments, when you will only use the mustard and ketchup? The quantity-to-variety balance will prove crucial in fitting everything that you want for your weekend excursion into one cooler.
Tip #5. Upgrade Your Cooler.
Whether you are packing a cooler for the backcountry or a BBQ in your neighbor's backyard, one thing remains certain, upgrading your cooler is sometimes the most efficient way to fit as many things as possible. High performance premium coolers offer numerous benefits. From the additional insulation to the built-in wheels to the rugged construction needed for those impromptu adventures, the right cooler will stand up to whatever you dish out (terrible pun intended).
Need help finding the perfect cooler? Interested in learning more about the products that you need to worry less and explore more? Simply contact a member of the ThirtyFiveLines team to discover the best summer, winter, spring, and fall gear.