Coolers, what size and how many?

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Coolers, what size and how many?

Postby Sandwichman » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:26 pm

I was out today looking at coolers because I have not owned any in my lifetime and will need some to bring out. I am already looking at the Xtreme series they have them running about $25 for a 50 quart here in PDX any advice good bad?

I also want to know for a single person who eats pretty small amounts of food how many coolers I should think of brining and what sizes. Thanks

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coolers..

Postby pokiedot » Sat Jun 12, 2004 4:01 pm

for years i've done the 'two cooler dry-ice method', which works really great but is a big production and a pain in the ass. last year some campmates brought one of those 'extreme' 5-day coolers, and while i generally as a rule hate things that are called 'extreme' (even worse when they are called 'x-treme'), i must admit that i was impressed. they had one of the giant ones, and, after 5 days at burning man, they still had ice when they got home (that's ice that they brought with them.. they didn't ever have to stand in the dreaded ice line). and some of their frozen stuff was still frozen! how cooler technology has progressed, my oh my.

i think one of those smaller 'extreme' coolers would be fine for one person.

and fyi, if you're curious: the 'two cooler dry ice method' consists of having one cooler filled with dry ice wrapped in some kind of insulating material and the other cooler full of your food. you use the dry ice cooler to freeze blue ice packs, which are then used in your food cooler. when the ice packs soften, you put 'em back in your dry ice cooler and put fresh froen ones in the food cooler. and it works... but fuck that noise! the 5-day coolers are much simpler.
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Postby Dork » Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:12 pm

It depends on a few things. Will you want frozen items with you, like ice cream or snowballs to throw at people?? Set aside one cooler for that. Will you have any items that MUST stay refrigerated, such as raw meat, medications, etc? It's nice to have one cooler for long term storage that is rarely opened and one "beer cooler" for every day use. If it's opened a lot the ice can run out sooner than you'll think and it could get hot before you notice.

If none of the above apply, one 50 quart cooler should be plenty. Worst case, you'll have to leave some of your beverage of choice in the shade and put them in the cooler on an as needed basis. Budget an ice run or two if that's the case.
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Postby diane o'thirst » Sat Jun 12, 2004 9:48 pm

I'm bringing three: one for meat, one for fruit/veggies, one for ice and dairy (including ice cream base), plus a small softside cooler that I'm going to carry lovely little delicate treats like chocolate, truffles (the fungi), fresh pasta, jams...

Keep an eye on Freecycle, because that's where I got two of my three, including the Fire-less Fire 'n Ice 2 Go. It came without the gas grill so I'm going to make a tiled countertop for it and put my Coleman and gas chef's burner on that.

Note: I'm bringing the shelf-stable Horizon Organic Milk single-serving cartons. No refrigeration necessary, just stick it in the ice cooler to chill. Yes, it's MOOP, just bring another garbage bag, they fold down to virtually paper for the inbound and crush easily for the outbound.

The Fire & Ice is 30, the other two are 20 and 24, the softsider is 2-qt.
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Postby Angel Ben » Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:10 pm

Eh, I wouldn't waste any thought on it, because if you already have a small appetite, be prepared to go home with the majority of your food still left. I went all out my first time, with 2 coolers and a few bags of food for 2 people, and ended up nibbling on granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit almost exclusively. Just make sure you bring a whole lot of vitamins (Potassium, B1, and C are about to be your new bestest friends).
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Postby diane o'thirst » Sat Jun 12, 2004 10:49 pm

Mileage varies. The "eat like a vegan bird" size doesn't fit all. I know some people who can subsist on gorp and crackers all week but personally a diet like that would have me face-planting within two days and I know not a few people who'd be in the same sitch. Lots of people get a monumental appetite out there: if you're doing some serious building, such as an elaborate theme camp, installation or performance, yeah, you're gonna be the proverbial starving wolfpack by the end of the day.

Good rule of thumb: bring the amount of food you normally go through in a week and bring half again as much. If nothing else you can treat the neighbours or invite new friends over for dinner, an age-old desert tradition.

Agree on the potassium, vitamin C and B-1 point and would add 5-HTP or flaxseed oil.
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Igloo Maxcold

Postby calsur » Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:31 am

Sandwichman,

I got 60 quart Igloo Maxcold from Costco for $23.00. Every other place I ran across them they cost at least $39.00 or way more. I "tested" them out in my garage with 20 pounds of ice and after 5 days there was more ice than water. All I can tell you.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Jun 13, 2004 7:57 am

...AGAIN... I have a 100 qt. cooler with a food pan. Packed with block ice toped off with party ice. Gives me 25 gal. of nice cold water to drink. It lasts 8-9 days which includes a camp on each end of BM. Most of my food is dry. Select foods and left overs are contained and placed in the food tray. One year this method served two of us nicely. Also carried two 7gal. water cans. I like a bath. Less camp=more fun.
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'two cooler dry ice method'

Postby gilmore » Mon Jun 14, 2004 12:37 am

pokiedot,

I want to be able to use blue packs for a mobile cooler (aka playmate) and couldn't think of how to pull it off. PLEASE provide more details about the 'two cooler dry ice method' .

How big was your dry ice cooler???

How big was your the 2nd cooler???

How much dry ice???

How many blue packs???

THANKS,
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Postby Angel Ben » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:50 am

diane o'thirst wrote:Mileage varies. The "eat like a vegan bird" size doesn't fit all.


Oh yes, I completely agree. I didn't mean to suggest that anyone who's never been not bring much food, that would be dangerous. I just meant that it would be silly to put a lot of effort into some sort of a complex cooler set up for your first time, because you don't even really know that you'll use it.
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Postby Dork » Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:39 am

I didn't mean to suggest that anyone who's never been not bring much food, that would be dangerous.


It's entirely appropriate to suggest that newbies not bring much FRESH food. It's hard to predict how much you will eat and what will turn to mush in the heat after one day.

Bring enough dried or canned food to last the week, then a little fresh food for sanity's sake. Use it all up BEFORE it goes bad or haul home the smelly remains.
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Re: 'two cooler dry ice method'

Postby pokiedot » Mon Jun 14, 2004 2:39 pm

gilmore wrote:pokiedot, I want to be able to use blue packs for a mobile cooler (aka playmate) and couldn't think of how to pull it off. PLEASE provide more details about the 'two cooler dry ice method' .

How big was your dry ice cooler???
How big was your the 2nd cooler???
How much dry ice???
How many blue packs???


certainly, the two cooler dry ice method would work really great for this purpose, you'll be able to re-freeze your blue ices and pop them in your playmate. so to answer your questions:

both of our coolers are i think 16 qts? smallish. sorry i don't know the exact specs, the coolers are up in my storage loft right now, and i have a broken foot, so i'm looking up at them right now, trying to guestimate.

we used 4-5 blocks of dry ice, which we buy at crystal ice in reno. (look here for directions and info about crystal ice: http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... water.html). we wrap the dry ice blocks in those silver emergency blankets, and duct tape them to keep them nice and insulated. i've also heard recommendations of keeping an absorbant material like a towel in the cooler, to absorb any moisture.

we have about 6 bags of blue ice. the dry ice cooler will freeze about 2 at a time. sometimes the emergency blankets insulate it too well. if you find that your blue ice isn't freezing, poke a few holes in the emergency blanket. we get very obsessive about finding the right balance of freezing capacity vs dry ice loss, it's funny.

so, like i mentioned, the whole swapping blue ice scene is a little bit of a production. the object of the game is to keep the dry ice cooler open for as little time as possible. also, be sure to dry off your melted dry ice packs really well, as any drop of moisture will eat at your dry ice. we duct tape our dry ice cooler shut, too, to create an even better seal on the cooler. hell, we kind of duct tape everything out there. anyways.. we do this swap about once a day, rotating the two meltiest blue ices into the dry ice cooler, with the other four in our food cooler. works pretty well.

hope that helps!
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Postby Sandwichman » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:42 pm

Lots of good advice so far.

I am thinking that two 36 quart coolers and the one smaller beer cooler with be a good plan. The super Xtreme and other hot weather coolers will definitely be on my list.

To give people an idea of my eating habits. In the middle of summer in tucson I used have only two meals a day the first a bowl of granola in soy milk. Then maybe a snack or two then for dinner pasta and different sauces and noodles for different days.

I eat a lot of piss poor food for snacks. I drink plenty of water with ease. I like Kool-aide and gatorade drinks. I think I am on the right path just some last planning maybe making some sauces beforehand and different noodles that just need a quick boil.

Well keep the replies coming I love the advice.

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Postby jbelson » Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:56 pm

WOW. This year I'm bring 1 100qt. marine cooler with a small flip up door to keep the chill in. 1 60qt. cooler for food and I can open more regularly, and a 48qt. drink cooler that will get opend 100 times a day.

The 100qt. cooler I'm gonna test out with the dry ice for a week to see how long it lasts.

But so you know, these are gonna be coolers for 6 people. 3 early in the week, and 3 later. Also plan on using a vacume sealer for food later in the week. Plan on marinating staeks and chicken for dinner for 2 days, then stick them in the freezer. Then under some dry ice to keep frozen for as long as possible.

Also am bringing some small pieces of 2x4 to put under the coolers to keep them off the ground to help keep them cool.

Did something similar last year and we ate like royalty for every meal. It was really nice to have a bit of salad with our meals. But my advice is don't bring bacon or breakfast sausages, too much greese.
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Postby Donita » Sun Jun 20, 2004 2:56 pm

diane o'thirst wrote: <snip-snip-snip> Keep an eye on Freecycle,



What is FreeCycle?? How do I get to it? thanks :)
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Postby AntiM » Sun Jun 20, 2004 5:01 pm

We use four basic coolers: a drink cooler which needs lots of ice because it is opened frequently, a small cooler for the bikecar, and a big "deep" cooler for ice and food, aka the "once a day open" cooler. We also have a slimline and/or a weird little cooler too, but they're interchangable for in the jeep while driving. Don't underestimate the goodness of a small cooler for cold drinks on the drive. Our colemans have been quite adequate; I think the big one was advertised as a five day cooler and has performed as such. Our trick is to keep them shaded, off the ground and covered. I made fitted cooler cozies out of qulited material and fake fur during a Martha moment and have been glad of the extra bit of work ever since.

Wait, there's five coolers, we keep a "dry" cooler locked in the jeep for medicines, cameras when not in use, our playa-useless cellphones, film and batteries. Keeps these things cool, dust free, and secure.

Of course, once you add extra campmates to the mix, it gets complicated if they're not on board with your cooler routines, especially if you're a control freak.

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Postby Bob » Sun Jun 20, 2004 6:41 pm

Just use cheap ones, keep them in a cool shady place before you load them, duct-tape around the lid for the drive to the playa, and keep them in a cool shady place on the playa.
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Postby diane o'thirst » Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:33 am

Freecycle is a worldwide movement, started in Tucson AZ and went all over. Oregon leads the world for most Freecycles and most people Freecycling (guess we gotta excel in something other than unemployment ;))

Yahoo!Groups hosts all the Freecycle lists. You can go straight to the Freecycle web page and follow the links to your local Freecycle community list.

http://www.freecycle.org

Just scored six months' worth of dried milk powder, raisins and pasta, and some beautiful chunks of an old cherry tree this week via the Portland list. Getting some bamboo for camp structures this week from the Eugene list. I'm making a shade canopy from materials gleazned exclusively from Freecycle and got two of my three coolers that way as well. The list admin of the Portland Freecycle is our own Nutmeg Alfredo.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:01 am

Freecycle is a theme camp too, almost every year
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:12 am

What Bob said... especially the part about taping the lid. If you have a cooler for stuff to be used later in the week, it will keep better if you seal it around the lid with duct tape.
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