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How to Pack a Cooler Before a Trip


Whether you’re packing a haul of drinks or a few sandwiches to eat while hunting, fishing, or any outdoor activity of your choice, make your next outdoor adventure a truly enjoyable one. There is one thing that can help you do so. That’s a perfectly packed cooler!

How to Pack a Cooler Before a Trip

Coolers come in a variety of models to choose from. You can easily find one that is lightweight or hands-free. The roto molded coolers come in multiple sizes so that you can find the right one for every type of trip you take, be it rafting, climbing, or camping trips. 

Pick one that is easy to clean, durable, and perhaps even your favorite color. However, keep in mind that the coolers can only operate at their best when you know how to pack them well. Below are some helpful tips on how to pack your cooler before a trip.

Pre-Chill the Cooler

Pro tip - when your cooler is cold, it can keep ice frozen longer. So, before you use your cooler, place ice or dry ice in it overnight. Store the cooler in a cool place where the temperature is the lowest. Doing this will dramatically enhance the ability of your cooler to maintain cold temperatures for longer periods of time!

Freeze your Items

Pack all of your meat/produce items frozen to keep your cooler temperature lower longer. They will eventually thaw over time as you need them on your trip. You can also freeze all beverages that are non-carbonated so they stay cold for a longer time.

Eliminate Air and Pack Tightly

The secret to keeping your cooler colder? Less air! When packing your cooler, try to eliminate all “airspace”. You can do this by creating layers of ice with your items in between and filling in any remaining gaps with towels. Another option is using larger blocks of ice. Did you know that you can easily make larger blocks of ice at home using containers? If you go this route it’s smart to section out the interior of your cooler beforehand and create layers that fit snug to tightly pack your items.  Doing this will help keep the temperature lower for longer. Don’t forget to carry a pick or hammer to break the ice block into smaller pieces to use for your beverages.

Drain Your Cooler

Whenever the ice starts to melt, no matter how well-packed and insulated your cooler is, if you’re using it, eventually the ice will begin to melt. Once this happens it is important to note, the water that accumulates will further speed up the process of melting the rest of the ice. If you are on a short trip then you don’t need to drain your outdoor cooler often. However, on longer trips you will want to periodically drain the melted ice from your cooler. However, if you have a roto-molded cooler, it can keep your items cold for up to 7-10 days.

Buy the Right Size

Not having enough room in your cooler can spoil your trip. Tru Temp™ coolers are available in a variety of sizes. If you are going on a longer trip you might want to try a heavy-duty cooler with capacity to hold up to 120 liters. This way all your items are kept properly without worry of being squished or spilled. .

How to Choose the Right Cooler

No matter how you prepare your cooler, there’s no denying that the quality of the cooler affects the results you’ll get. 

Make sure your cooler has a strong latch system so that cold air won’t leak out. Durability is also an important factor. Shop Coolers that provide you with more amenities to make the most of your trip!

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