Coolers etc.

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Coolers etc.

Postby J » Fri Sep 26, 2003 6:50 am

What type of set up is everyone using for coolers. how many, sizes, things like that. Tips tricks.

J
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Re: Coolers etc.

Postby nymphgonebad » Fri Sep 26, 2003 7:46 am

vonfunk wrote:What type of set up is everyone using for coolers. how many, sizes, things like that. Tips tricks.

J


looks to me like you're volunteering for a leadership position,

i hope you have a degree in stuctural engineering.

sounds like you'll need it.
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Re: Coolers etc.

Postby J » Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:12 am

princess strych-9 wrote:
looks to me like you're volunteering for a leadership position,

i hope you have a degree in stuctural engineering.

sounds like you'll need it.


I sell books, We do have an engineering section at work, does that count.

I'm just trying to figure out how to keep my beer cold.
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Postby precipitate » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:04 am

I'm a big fan of the Coleman stainless and Coleman Xtreme [58qt; the 36qt is pretty small inside] coolers. They're awesome at keeping ice frozen.

Cooler tips:
- Keep them in 100% shade all the time; use silver tarps or reflective blankets
- Keep them off the ground (use 2x4 or something similar)
- Pre-freeze everything you can, including bottles of water to use as your preliminary ice
- Have a beverage cooler, a daily cooler, and a storage cooler. Open the beverage cooler whenever you want, the daily cooler in the morning (or evening before) to stock up with the day's food and then to eat, and the storage cooler at most once per day. Expand numbers of said coolers to fit your group.
- Check ice levels daily, esp. with perishables. Ice melts fast, so when you get low, restock or risk having a cooler full of rotting stuff.
- Dry ice deep freeze is great for freezing stuff for the end of the week. Don't recommend it for daily use because opening the cooler will greatly reduce the life of the dry ice.
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Postby J » Fri Sep 26, 2003 10:45 am

at this point of time, it's just me. I planned on picking up coolers once I land. I hadn't figured what to do with them after I still need to decide whether they are heading back with me to Canada, or finding a new home in Reno, either give them away or donate them to charity.

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Postby dust devil » Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:36 am

We have two coolers: one Coleman Stainless and one plastic cooler. Here's our system:

Fill the home freezer with bottled water and/or a case of cans of Kern's juice a few days before departure. Put meat and fish into freezer baggies, add marinades, and freeze.

Immediately before departure, put frozen bottles/cans in the plastic cooler, followed by frozen meats and other perishables.

En route to the playa, get ice and dry ice if you can find it. We found ours at a local Albertson's. We put two bags ice (about twenty pounds) and dry ice (maybe seven pounds?) in the stainless cooler.

On the playa, keep coolers in shade up on wood blocks, and cover with a space blanket (mylar). Keep the food cooler closed as much as possible. Don't open the ice cooler at all until the frozen stuff in the food cooler thaws. After that transfer ice as needed.

Doing this, we made it to the fifth day before buying ice from Camp Arctica to chill drinks. By then we've cooked and eaten anything that could spoil, so ice is a luxury rather than a necessity.

Precipitate's recommendation of a separate beverage cooler seems tempting.
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Cold Beer Here!

Postby bruno » Tue Sep 30, 2003 12:45 pm

Don't know about your camp as far as electric, but if 100% uptime for beer is your goal you may want to get one of those 12/115v electric coolers from Coleman once you get to Nevada. You can cool down 6 brewskis before you need to head out on your daily ice run. You'll need a generator for 115 or run your vehicle occasionally to charge the battery for 12.

Remember to hydrate ounce for ounce of beer.
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evaporative refrigerators

Postby jennnk » Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:26 pm

does anyone have any experience with evaporative refrigerators? from what i understand, it's 2 earthenware pots, one that fits inside the other, and the space between them is filled with wet sand. they're used by humanitarian groups in desert places with no electricity (i.e. africa) and a friend who was a girl scout said they used one at her camp & they worked well there, but i was wondering if anyone out on the playa has used one b/c it sounds like a great idea, and cheaper than coolers & easier to maintain, too (no melting ice to deal with).
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Postby precipitate » Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:40 pm

A friend did that a couple of years ago.

1. Wet sand is heavy. Well, dry sand is heavy too, but wet sand. Ick.

2. You have to monitor it pretty closely. If it dries out, it's the equivalent
of letting all your ice melt in the cooler.

I'm not sure it's easier to maintain. And it will only keep somewhat
perishable items (vegetables, etc.) cool. It won't work for meat or dairy
products other than aged cheese. I'm guessing that you can only get a
couple of dozen degrees cooling from ambient temps, which means if it's
90F in your shade structure, your food is at 70F. It'll keep tomatoes for a
couple of days, but those chicken breasts? No way. And useless for
beer.

But yeah, it does work, and would be worth considering for veggies, which
can be really difficult to keep in a cooler.
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Postby PetsUntilEaten » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:28 pm

if this got missed -

dry ice - can carbonate your veggies/fruit in a unpleasant way

for 5 or more people - we use 4 medium/large coolers with large trays inside.
1) beverages
2) veggies & fruit - tomatoes, herbs & delicates in trays - cool & very dry.
ice on the bottom - makes dumping cooler easier.
3) meat & cheese - all meats & cheeses are put in ziplocks
wether package is open or not.
4) dry ice & frozen precooked meals

zipper style ziplocks are less likely to come open - or look closed when they're not.

for bigger camps we've had 4 additional coolers with dry ice & regular ice taped close for later in the week.

ps - precip - freezing water, juice etc to use as ice blocks - can you believe I just learned that this year!
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Postby Tiara » Wed Oct 01, 2003 4:01 pm

Precip hit most of the points that I would have made. And I second her praise for the Coleman Xtreme series coolers.

A few other things to consider:

Ice works best when it's in contact with the items you want cooled. Don't just put a full plastic bag of ice on top of your cooler full of stuff. Break the bag open and scatter the ice cubes through all the crevices.

To avoid dealing with nasty cooler water, put anything that is likely to leak into separate plastic bags or containers. ex: Cans of frozen juice concentrate will thaw over the course of a week, and the cardboard exteriors get all mushy from water in the bottom of the coolers. The lids on soy milk containers can get opened by brushing against other items in the cooler. etc.

Also, avoid putting fresh fruits and veggies in a cooler that contains dry ice.
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cool

Postby unjonharley » Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:29 pm

Coolers are easy. I have a 100 qt. cooler. First I wash it out with soap and water. Then wash it again with Hydrogen peroxide. Fill it waith block ice. Flood the blocks with party ice. Close it and keep it closed. The trap door in the lid leads to a food storage bin. Open this as little as possible. Attach a hose to the drain. You will have ice cod drinking/cooking water all week. I had about four blocks when I got home. Don't put any food in the ice. Keep it simple.
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Postby Kinetic » Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:17 pm

Tiara already praised the Coleman X-treme series....they are the best coolers I have ever used. I own 2 and I gave away my older coolers and will run nothing else on my camping and BM trips. Precipitate already covered most of what I do, except I avoid dry ice. I didn't like the hassles of it, and if I did the pre-chill steps and shielding I really didn't need it.

Precip also covered using 3 coolers. After my disasters with cooling in 02 I went to 3 coolers like she mentioned and had a very good experience with it.

I'm curious though....what does everyone recommend for cleaning those coolers now that I'm back home? I've also got 4 - 7 gal water containers I would like to flush out and I've heard use baking soda and water on the coolers, and a bit of bleach water on the water containers. The important thing on wahtever I use is that it leaves no aftertaste or residue. I don't want any toxic junk in my ice or in the water containers.
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Postby J » Sun Oct 05, 2003 10:27 am

Kinetic wrote:I'm curious though....what does everyone recommend for cleaning those coolers now that I'm back home? I've also got 4 - 7 gal water containers I would like to flush out and I've heard use baking soda and water on the coolers, and a bit of bleach water on the water containers. The important thing on wahtever I use is that it leaves no aftertaste or residue. I don't want any toxic junk in my ice or in the water containers.


bleach and water should do the trick, I'm not too sure about whether it would leave any aftertaste. The only thing I can every recall a bleach smell hanging around for awhile was with some piping bags I had. If you do use bleach be sure to rinse it out with cold water. Cold water when you rinse will cut down the chances of any smell/taste remaining. as long as you wash it after you sanitize/disinfect it and let it airout there shouldn't be any smell. I wouldn't however use this for the collapsable bag type of water carriers, it's too hard to try and air them out.
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Postby precipitate » Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:32 pm

I use mild detergent and water, followed by a bleach rinse.

As long as the bleach isn't one of those fucking ridiculous scented kinds,
leave the cooler open and in the sun for 24 hours and all trace of odor
should be gone.

Also make sure your drainage tube is open during storage to reduce the
chance of mildew forming inside the cooler.
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Postby antron » Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:36 pm

PetsUntilEaten wrote:dry ice - can carbonate your veggies/fruit in a unpleasant way


you haven't lived until you've had carbonated lettuce
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Postby J » Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:48 pm

antron wrote:
PetsUntilEaten wrote:dry ice - can carbonate your veggies/fruit in a unpleasant way


you haven't lived until you've had carbonated lettuce


I am truly thinking of letting some vegitables "carbonate" just to know what that tastes like.
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A Dry One!

Postby Oreally? » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:43 pm

Don't forget a cooler for dry goods...Keeps most the playa on the playa.
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Postby wheeldog » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:05 pm

I guess my experience on the Colorado river as a river cook will come in handy, eh?
****
FREEZE all liquids except beer. Take powdered milk. Buy some MRE's.
Jerkey is great. Have a backup cooler with dry ice. Dry ice is neato when you are done with it.
Take a hand held can crusher.
No glass.
Get a cooler with wheels on it. You'll be glad you did when your buddies are having heat stroke and can't help you move it.
The thermal blankets are great. Use them to keep sun off the coolers and keep you warm at night.
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Postby Dork » Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:04 pm

I went apeshit last year and added two 104 qt coolers to my collection and shared them with a couple of people in my camp. One had 50 pounds of dry ice ($20 total from the local Airgas distributor - forget that grocery store stuff) and the other had, well, everything else.

I ate extremely well. Better than I normally do, actually. I opened no cans, boiled no noodles, and ate food that was either fresh or prepared the week before and frozen or frozen to begin with (ice cream!)

The dry ice lasted 6 days. The coolers sat on top of a camping pad, had a blanket on top (most of the time) and the dry ice cooler had another one placed inside when it started to empty out. I think that helped. They were also in 24 hour shade. They were opened only when necessary and water was drained out often.

One rule that I set up but wasn't anal enough about enforcing was the need for everything to be in a sealed container. Next year, EVERYTHING will be. Including bread, containers that don't stay sealed completely (sour cream tubs) bags that get opened and put back (folding them in half ain't good enough) and anything else I'm not completely confident about. Ziplock bags are cheap and can be cleaned and reused after the event. Once the food gets in the water or the water gets in the food, I can't use the water for a cold afternoon shower and can't dump it on the playa. Soggy bread tastes like crap. Cooler water should stay clear!

If you're flying out of town and not keeping the cooler, I'd just try to find the least expensive 50 quart cooler at the Walmart of whatever. The Coleman Extremes will save you a few bags of ice which is nice, but if it costs $10 more you probably aren't saving money if you only use them for one trip. For multiple trips or use the rest of the year, they rock.

I'm not sure how much stuff you're bringing.. one possibility might be to buy a 100 qt cooler ($50 off the shelf, less if you can find a used one) and use it as checked luggage. Strap the thing shut for the trip cause those latches and hinges aren't very secure. When you get into town, transfer the gear to bags and load it up with food and ice. Check with the airline of course.. make sure the size is within their guidelines.
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Postby Chai Guy » Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:54 pm

I went camping last weekend and a buddy of mine had one of these

http://www.loftyshelters.com/RC3000.htm

It's a portable refridgerator that can run on propane, electricity, or you can plug it into your car's cigarette lighter. I've never been very impressed with those ice chests that run off your car battery, they just didn't seem to keep things "cold" especially in BRC. This thing on the other hand rocked! It kept the beer cold-cold all weekend long. Granted the weather was only around 75 degrees or so, but my friend claims that it works just as well in BRC as long as you keep it out of the sun.

I'm seriously considering investing in one. Anyone else have any experiences with these or could reccomend a certain model or brand?
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Postby talisen » Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:51 pm

I can't comment on that model directly, but the fridge in my RV will run on propane or electricity. When on propane it works great. In fact I frequently find I have it turned to cold and have to turn it down.
I would imagine these work on the same principle........
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