Cooler Packing Tips

Every time we go camping, something in the cooler inevitably gets wet from the melted ice and then there is worry about contamination since usually we have raw meat in the cooler!  So throughout the years, we have discovered some very simple tricks that may be helpful to you.

  1. Use a hard-sided cooler - Soft-sided coolers are NOT adequate to keep food cold for long periods of time.  The higher the quality of the cooler, the less you have to replenish the ice. High quality coolers are crucial when camping in hot conditions and/or ice replenishment is not readily accessible.
  2. Pack your meat in a separate cooler - Keeping meat separated from your other foods is just the right thing to do.
  3. Pack your beverages in a separate cooler - The beverage cooler is the one which gets constantly opened so separating beverages keeps the food cooler!
  4. Pack cold (or frozen) food - Leverage your frozen hamburger patties, steaks, soups or veggies to keep the cooler nice and cold.
  5. Put everything in a leak-proof bag or container - It just makes sense to control any leaking AND just helps keep things dry from melted ice.
  6. Monitor your cooler temperature - The www.foodsafety.gov website states "An appliance thermometer takes the guesswork out of knowing your food is safe to eat. So put one in your cooler, and make sure it reads 40 °F or below.”  Enough said.

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