cooler ice

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, ALJuly 7, 2011

The tiny bits of ice you buy in the bags (or make in trays) melts so quickly and is ridiculously expensive, IMO. So for a recent camping trip I froze entire gallon jugs (former milk jugs.) We still had ice (and cold drinks) on the 3rd day. As they melted, we had clean, COLD water to drink or make coffee with, despite the 95 degree heat every day.

We do this when going to the beach, also. Plastic water bottles, or rinsed soda bottles which take up much less room work well and stay frozen all day.

For any size, fill about halfway first, then add more water after the first part is frozen. Leave a little room at the top for expansion, and wait until they are frozen solid to put the lids back on.

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Good idea--we use a cooler most of the time at our country house, because we aren't there enough to justify the expense of running the fridge constantly.

But--what do you do for ice in your drinks? Do you still buy a bag of ice along with the frozen plastic bottles?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

We didn't plan any iced drinks, just cold sodas, water, beer, and single-serve juices kept cold in the cooler. I also made some tea and put it in empty water bottles to go in the cooler, some of them frozen beforehand. We put cozies on the drinks when we take them out so they don't get warm before they are gone.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:46PM
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I've done this since my teenage camping days. Block ice always lasts longer but cubes will cool things faster so sometimes if you can't pre-chill things, put your cans and stuff in with cubes then add the blocks to maintain. Ice water is the fastest chiller.

Simple little things that so many forget about like keep your cooler in the shade! Don't open it needlessly or you lose the cool. When camping we kept separate coolers for the drinks to let the foodstuffs not be subjected to the frequent opening of the cooler that the beer/pop cooler would have. And wrap a blanket or your unused jackets around the cooler. If you're at a lake, set the cooler in the lake, preferably under a dock if possible for extra cooling ability.

At home I have several of those "blue ice" can coolers to freeze and boy do they work nice! Otherwise I generally toss the can coolers in the cooler too and rotate them out. A little extra cool on a hot day, although usually I'll go through a beverage of choice quickly enough that it's not too big a problem.

I too seldom use ice cubes at all. I prefer the beverage to be cold rather than dilute it with ice. Holiday time when I have a special type of drink I might keep a couple trays of ice in the freezer, otherwise, I don't bother. And I always fill the trays with filtered water too. Helps for the taste.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 3:01AM
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We always keep some gallon jugs frozen in the freezer. The freezer is more efficient when it is kept full. The extra jugs full of ice water are really handy if we decide to go somewhere on the spur of the moment. It is really handy to have those jugs in the freezer if the power goes out. The frozen jugs help keep the freezer from thawing so quickly, just don't open the freezer door.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 5:49PM
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