Best way to keep food cool?(4 Posts)
Is it the traditional cool box or could we get away with one of the cool bag type things? Am thinking space in the boot may be limited so a cool bag may be better as it would fold and squash down a bit more? Not sure they're as good at keeping cool though are they? Are there any other solutions I've not thought / heard of?
I find stuff does stay cooler in a rigid box than a cool bag, I do take both but the bag is really for packing picnics into.
The electric cold box that you can plug into a 12 volt car socket is very good, but don't leave it running while you blob around on a beach for several hours. It made the battery so flat that not even a jump start from the French version of Green Flag could get her going again, and we had to be towed to a garage to be sorted out.
I bought an Igloo coolbox a few years ago, they come in different sizes and were originally designed to keep bait and fish fresh on long term fishing trips. IMO it is excellent, you 'prime' it with a lot of icepacks for a couple of days before your trip and then it keeps chilled / frozen stuff edible for several days. The exact level of chilled / frozenness depends on factors like where the box is kept while in use - to give you an idea we take it to France every summer (late July / August) where it sits in a tent all day, probably 30oc + most days, and we have never yet had off milk etc. To keep it at maximum chilling capacity I buy a block of ice from the local supermarket every 4 days (ish), this slowly melts but keeps everything nice and cold until it is gone. I also stick a folded travel rug over it for extra insulation. It would work just as well with freezer packs but at the campsite it is easier to just buy a block of ice every now & again. Admittedly I don't keep frozen food in the box, just chilled stuff. Also, as an added benefit, as it is a rigid box you can use it as an extra seat!
It depends on how long you need to keep things cold. If you are planning on buying every day then a standard cool bag or box with blocks (check your campsite does swaps on these) will be OK.
We don't do that, and have a Colemans ultra box which we chill down with ice for two days before leaving, then fill with chilled or frozen goods and fill and gaps with more ice. Keeps frozen things frozen for a week if you don't open and close it. Plus a standard cool box for every day things like milk.
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