How long does block ice last?

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How long does block ice last?

Postby phil » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:47 am

We've been using frozen gallon jugs to hold our ice and using 2 Coleman Extreme 5 coolers: one for daily use, the other for ice and which is rarely opened.

I've been thinking about buying an Extreme 5 120 quart cooler and putting a 25 lb block of ice in it. It would be our only cooler, with daily openings for meals. Would a 25-lb block of ice last the entire event? Isn't it all about surface area for melting? So a 25-lb block would last longer than, say, three 10-lb blocks?
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:16 am

This weekend we brought our extreme 5 with two 25 pound blocks and 25 pounds of cubes. The weather averaged in the high 80's, and mid 60's at night so a bit milder than the playa in the day but warmer at night.

We purchased the ice Thursday night and still had several pounds of ice on Tuesday night. We opened the cooler frequently, did not elevate it, or insulate it in any way. The cubes only lasted 24 hours.

Not sure if that helps.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby phil » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:47 am

Drawingablank wrote:This weekend we brought our extreme 5 with two 25 pound blocks and 25 pounds of cubes.


How big is your cooler? If it's the 120 quart, that's the size I'm looking at.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:42 am

I don't remember the capacity but I believe it is a 120 quart marine extreme 5. Size is close to 4 feet long x 20 inches square. It barely fits in the back of the Prius and at that only fits lengthwise with the seats down it is too wide to fit side to side.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby danibel » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:56 am

Ice is available for purchase at the event. Only $3 a bag or block. If your ice melts, buy more. I bring two coolers, neither one are anything special, we put two blocks in one and one block in the other. We also put a bag of chipped in one for drinks throughout the day. After 3 days we are happily standing in the Arctica line to re up. (I usually work a shift or two there as well). We just buy it when we need it. No biggie.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:59 am

Plus after it melts it can be used in a sprayer or shower. Recycle, recycle, recycle.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby Foxfur » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:57 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:Plus after it melts it can be used in a sprayer or shower. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

I used cooler water to fill my trailer water tank for showers last year. Got it from the camp next door who kept their ice in 16-mil trash bags in the cooler. I also used it for drinking water after boiling for 8 minutes. 5 minutes would be fine at lower altitudes but I wanted to be sure.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby jeskalgh » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:04 pm

I usually buy 1 block ice and 1 bag of cube and its lasts about two days, this is in the shade with out elevating the cooler off the ground (I hear this helps alot, im going to try it this year). My cooler is smaller though and primarily used to cool beer! You can use the melted ice water for showers or for your swamp cooler to cool your tent! I have read somewhere on eplaya of people using dry ice under their regular ice to make it last all week...something like the dry ice was placed on the bottom of the cooler and under a shelf of some sort then the regular ice on top. Not sure exactly how it works or how well it works but its something to look into!
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby illy dilly » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:13 pm

Huh? Maybe we're doing something wrong. We buy Ice almost everyday.
Typically not on Tuesday and Thursday because I work Ice and bring home a six pack.
But we also only buy cubed ice. For us its easier to poor the cubed ice in rather than try to rearrange the coolers to hold a block of ice.

We do the 2 cooler system. 1 for drinks, seems to get opened every 20 minutes. 1 for frozen/cold foods, gets opened a few times a day.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby jeskalgh » Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:16 pm

Found the dry ice thread pretty easily...
viewtopic.php?f=280&t=3232

All kinds of good info on keeping things cool all week without buying ice every day.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby phil » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:09 pm

Louise and I bring frozen 2-liter bottles of water and/or gallon milk jugs frozen at home. We do the 2-cooler dance, and we generally run out of ice Friday or Saturday. We plan on that and generally don't buy ice while we're at BM.

However, in the interests of learning, I was contemplating buying a honkin' huge cooler and stocking it with block ice, as a sales person told me block ice would last all week, where dry ice will keep stuff frozen a day or two then disappear (which, by the way, has been my experience with the 2-cooler situation). I was hoping the huge cooler with blocks of ice would last from Sunday to Tuesday or so, which is when we plan on being on the playa (we volunteer, so we get an extended stay of about 10 days with permission).

The thread on dry ice has lots of information, but our current coolers don't seem big enough to contain all the tons of dry ice people report buying. We can squeeze a block or two in our reserve cooler, but not 20 or 40 lbs.

Since nobody has information on how long blocks last, we'll just keep on doing it the way we have been.
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:19 pm

50 pounds of dry ice keeps my 8 one gallon milk jugs frozen for the whole 8 days.

The dry ice will be gone about day 5. 8)
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby phil » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:20 pm

FIGJAM wrote:50 pounds of dry ice keeps my 8 one gallon milk jugs frozen for the whole 8 days.

The dry ice will be gone about day 5. 8)


What are the dimensions of your cooler?
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Re: How long does block ice last?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:26 pm

105 qt igloo raised and wrapped in a quilt.

Any extra space gets packed with frozen entre's.

Opened once a day to grab a jug and an entre for the "daily cooler". 8)
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