We have a logistics challenge. We are backpacking for 3 nights on Mt Rainier this month, with the usual dehydrated foods and meals. Upon returning to the vehicle, we drive a few miles to a campground for 3 nights of car and tent camping and “better” food. (We hope!) We have a good Canyon outfitter cooler, albeit a bit small (35qt.) What has worked for you in this situation? Dry ice on the bottom, loaded with block frozen food? Frozen food and block ice? Wrap the whole thing in Mylar? Dry ice and block ice? Minimize air space? Any warnings of what NOT to do?
When I’ve rafted and camped for a week, I froze our food and it was fine in a roto-molded cooler until the end of the trip without ice. It was hot during the day, 80 ish degrees; plus we were in and out of it every day. If there’s room for ice, that would help I’m sure!
You are talking Mt. Rainier, not Death Valley here. What is hot on Mt. Ranier?
My thoughts are…
Everything you said about prepping the cooler.
Hopefully you are in a car with tinted windows. If not. Assuming that your state allows it, get those windows tinted as dark as the state will allow. It will make the car use less energy / AC in the summer anyway, so good thing. Use one of those aluminum foiled bubble windsheild shades, and if possible, park in the shade.
You probably don’t need dry ice. I have never had to use it. Pre chill the cooler, and freeze everything that freezes well.
I manage 5 days ice retention in Texas summers doing the pre chill, freeze food / use block ice thing using a 55 qt Lifetime high performance cooler…
Something I learned while a photographer was to have insulated bags or cooler, and wrapped film in the freezer bags, but with food and drinks, there is the moisture to contend with.
Not a problem so much but I do not like cameras getting cooked either. But while I still put the camera in a ziplock, I cover the cooler and bags with winter coats or blankets I always carry (!) then they stay out of the direct sun… I learned this quite by accident but realized the benefit.