How to Properly Pack a Cooler


You might consider yourself the king of packing camping coolers — and you may very well be — but there’s always room for improvement. Here are a few tips to help you pack the cooler more efficiently.

Start cold. – The first thing your camping cooler should be is cold. Coolers are built to retain temperatures, which means that if you pack a warm cooler, it’s going to stay warm for a while. If you pack the cooler cold, then it’s going to be colder much longer. You would be wise to dump a bag of ice in the cooler for a few hours before you pack it, just to make sure the cooler is cold.

Chill what you’re packing. – It’s the same exact idea with your food. The colder it is when you pack it, the longer it’ll stay that way. This is also a good reason to make sure you have everything properly prepared beforehand. Go shopping a day or two before your trip, and pack what’s going into the cooler into the fridge to make sure it gets cold so it’ll be ready for your trip. Any meats you’re packing should also go in the freezer.

Keep it cold. – Last but not least, you’re going to want to keep your camping cooler cold. It sounds obvious, but forgetting to check on the cooler is an easy mistake. Air is your enemy here. Even just a little bit of cold air escaping can bring the temperature of the cooler up a bit, something you desperately don’t want. So just be sure to only open it as necessary. Leave drinks outside in the snow, where they can stay. Meats and things should stay in the closed cooler to keep them sanitary. You should also avoid leaving the cooler in direct sunlight, too.

Do yourself a favor and pack the camping cooler this way for your next trip. You’ll be glad you did. If you have any questions about why you should pack camping coolers this way every time you go, feel free to share in the comments.

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