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The Weather Outside Is Frightening, But Your Cooler Can Be Delighting

The Weather Outside Is Frightening, But Your Cooler Can Be Delighting

Winter Who? Dust Off Your Cooler For 'Cooler' Adventures

Planning to spend more time engaged in outdoor adventures this winter? You’re not alone. More and more people are expected to brave the elements to enjoy outdoor activity in the face of another year of the pandemic.

Of course, we all want the best gear to make our outdoor adventures that much better. So, why not consider repurposing your summer cooler for winter fun? If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you probably already own one or more coolers that you dust off after winter hibernation to keep food and beverages cold when engaging in outdoor spring and summer activities. Or, if you don’t, now may be a good time to invest in a cooler that can do double duty to make winter passions more enjoyable. Here’s how.

  • Keep food and drinks warm: Some insulated coolers can keep food warm as effectively as they keep food cold. This means that a hot stew you bring to a campsite in a cooler will still be deliciously warm when you’ve set up camp and are ready to eat. You can enjoy a piping hot cup of coffee after hiking to the top of a snow-capped mountain, eat steaming soup around a campfire, or sip hot chocolate around the fire pit at home. To ensure maximum heat retention, start off with a warm cooler that’s been stored inside at least a day before your trip. Then, when on your outdoor adventure, minimize opening the cooler so it retains the heat longer. Put your beverage into an insulated mug or thermos that you store in the cooler to extend the amount of time your drink will remain hot.
  • Prevent food and drinks from freezing: Coolers can also serve as a buffer to keep food cold without freezing. They can also keep your soda or beer cold without the risk of exploding cans when freezing liquid expands too much. To keep food from freezing in your cooler make sure that it isn't completely covered in ice. Keeping the food in the top portion of your cooler, only touching some of the ice, will help it stay thawed out. Just as layers are the secret to keeping your body at the right temperature, they’re also the way to keep your food from freezing in a cooler. You can wrap your food in insulated layers and then pack it carefully in your cooler. Another easy way to stop food from freezing is to use plastic storage containers and pack your food in these. The plastic will act as insulation and stop the ice from freezing your food.
  • Protect outdoor gear: A cooler is ideal for storing and keeping your outdoor gear dry. For snowmobiling, it can hold an extra set of dry clothes or an expensive camera that can be ruined if it gets wet. For ice fishing, the cooler will keep bait from freezing.

To get the most benefit from your cooler, use a cooler with ice retention claims that meet the requirements of your activity. And choose the type of cooler best suited to your winter activity. For example:

  • If you’re moving around on foot hiking or cross-country skiing, a hands-free backpack cooler is ideal. It’s great for carrying snacks and drinks as well as spare gear and clothing changes. Many backpack coolers have lots of outer pockets to hold accessories. Some have versatile designs that let you roll down and clip the top section when you’re packing smaller quantities or use it fully unfolded for extra capacity.
  • For activities that require standing still or sitting such as ice fishing or backyard entertaining, use a large capacity, ultra-sturdy ice chest or a cooler with a built-in tabletop surface.
  • On a road trip to a campsite or lodge, consider a rolling cooler that makes it easy to transport a large amount of food and beverages. For a long car ride, a great choice is a Zipperless™ cooler that allows you to flip the lid open with one hand to quickly access your favorite drinks or snacks.
Winter package

And, since you’re now putting your cooler to work year-round, take some simple steps to make sure it lasts for a very long time.

  • Clean the cooler immediately after each use, with mild detergent or dish soap to scrub down the cooler’s interior, exterior, and lid. This prevents the build-up of odors that are difficult to remove and that may impact the taste of food.
  • Let the cooler dry completely before storing. This prevents the growth of bacteria. You can use a towel to absorb any excess water and then let the cooler air dry.
  • Store the cooler in a cool and dry place, preferably inside the home. If being stored in a garage or basement, keep the cooler on a shelf to prevent it from being exposed to moisture. Make sure that the cooler is completely dry before putting it away. If the cooler has a drain plug, unplug it. If possible, keep the cooler open or with the lid off and cover it with a light sheet to protect it from dust.

Regardless of the temperature, being outside and moving can be a great way to clear your mind during this chaotic time in all of our lives. Whether you’re sitting in your backyard or hiking a snowy peak, a cooler is essential to keep food and drinks at the ideal temperature. Find your perfect cooler at and brave any winter adventure.