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Old 06-12-2010   #11
Ft Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Just got back from the Grand Canyon. We used the method that Mogur had listed. We dedicated one cooler to just ice. In order to do this right you need a full week and you need to visit the coolers. Fill a cooler with 3-4 inches of water and let it sit for a couple of days to freeze. Come back and pour another 3-4 inches of water on the now frozen ice. Repeat until you are happy with the amount of ice in the cooler.

To avoid cooler soup there are a couple of techniques. The first is to buy a couple of basins to put your food in. Problem with this is when you go through a gnarly rapid the water tends to slosh up into the basins. Another technique is to use 2.5 gal water jugs and put them in the bottom of the cooler before pouring water around them for the walk in freezer option. This leave more water contained but still takes advantage of the mass of frozen ice. When the ice melts your food stays on top of the jugs. you can then drain the water to a level below the jugs (keep as much water as you can) and avoid cooler soup.

Note- Block ice is usually compressed ice cubes. This leaves a lot of air bubbles in the ice that you may not see and poor quality ice. If you go with blocks go with half gal plastic jugs fozen in a freezer.

If you are on the Grand bum ice from J-rigs taking out at Diamond. By that point the river no longer keeps the beer cold enough and you will want it on ice.

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Old 06-12-2010   #12
Salem, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 5
Ok guys all great ideas, but......... I need to put my two cents in.
I was introduced by a friend to Techni Ice a few years back. Try googling and you can see where to order it on the net.
We did the Idaho Salmon in the dead of summer with scorching tempertures. Techni Ice is Thin sheets that go in between your food. We froze empty 2 liter bottles with drinking water, we then put Techni Ice sheets in between the rows of water bottles. After day 7 of these being in the coolers the water bottles were still frozen solid. We also opened our coolers as often as we liked. When we wanted water we just let a bottle melt a little in the sun. The obivious advantage is that your things are kept very cold, but also you have more cooler space without the block ice, you don't have as much weight and last you don't have a sloppy contaminated cooler.
This is a must for multiple day trips. The sheets are first soaked in water, then put into your freezer at the coldest possible setting for several days. My freezer go to -8 degrees, but the colder the better. I promise you won't be sorry.

Rafter 30

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Old 06-12-2010   #13
BoscoBoater's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 228
TECHNI ICE Reusable Dry Ice Packs / gel packs / ICE BOX - Welcome to Techni Ice Head Office

This stuff?
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Old 06-13-2010   #14
yakrafter's Avatar
Whitewater Boater, Boating Whitewater
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 147
Originally Posted by carvedog View Post
Ok youse guys, some good tips in here for sure.
Yakrafter- are you helping Stu with the shopping - he didn't get back to me about any of my menus......I know you got it covered just a shout out. Sure wish I could join...haven't hit the lottery yet. Dammit.
I am sure you are welcome to join us. Normally we may worry about Stu, but his other half will be backing him up this time, so we are set.
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Old 06-13-2010   #15
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Originally Posted by yakrafter View Post
I am sure you are welcome to join us. Normally we may worry about Stu, but his other half will be backing him up this time, so we are set.

He might wanna practice before he jumps on the sticks on the MF....
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Old 06-13-2010   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 140
Instead of cardboard, I use ensolite sleeping pads cut to the size of the cooler to separate the frozen from the produce and another one on top of the produce.
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Old 06-13-2010   #17
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 68
cooler management

Besides towells on top of your cooler, put one inside your cooler on top of your ice. When you open the cooler it stops the hot air from blasting your ice. Put your lunch, condiments, etc. in a plastic container for easy quick access to what you want. Open you cooler and grab that container very quickly then shut it. No fumbling around. Put a silver reflective shield, the kind you put on your car's dashboard, over your coolers. This goes over two or three wet towells. Make ice in the largest blocks you can well in advance of your trip. The older the ice, the longer it lasts. Fly up to the arctic and bring back glacier ice. Drill down and get the real old stuff.
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Old 06-14-2010   #18
Boring, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
TECHNI ICE is great stuff but you need to play around with it to find the proper hydration level. If you over hydrate it, the little packets will over expand and burst. The hydrated sheets have kind of a slimy feel to them, so once we get them to the proper hydration level I vaccum seal them in a seal-a-meal machine and the packets are always properly hydrated. This way they can be used with ice if so desired without over expanding as well as eliminating the slimyness and are easy to clean. As stated above get them as cold as possible for best results. For the amount of cooling they provide, they take up a lot less volume than block ice.
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Old 06-14-2010   #19
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Ft. Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 36

In addition to everyones great ideas about ice and keeping the cooler cool. I've found that having a quality cooler can make a huge difference in how long the ice you use keeps everything cool and keeps the ice frozen. I have a Galaxy 165qt (the brand some outfitters us on the Grand), and an Engle 123qt ordered from on-line, and a Coleman that I picked up at a local sporting good store. The Galaxy and Engle coolers if filled with block ice, chip ice, food and covered with a Paco pad during the day keep everything cool and the stuff in the bottom frozen for 5 day river trips in Utah in August- we were swimming in the water the entire time. That also includes 8 hrs of driving with the empty coolers in the back of a truck and then filled the day before launch. The Coleman keeps drinks cool-cold when filled with various forms of ice, and most of the ice is melted near the end of the trip but it's just keeping the drinks cold, however, I wouldn't trust it to keep my food at an appropriate chilled temp for the entire trip- probably just the first three days.

There are also many types of Igloo coolers that my friends use, and have had success with keeping ice frozen and food cold.

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