Originally Posted by DangerousDave
We're launching on the 31st as well. I've never run it before so I appreciate all the advice here.
I have a cooler loading question. We'll have 2 rafts and each will have a cooler so I plan on using one as the frozen food cooler and one as the cold food cooler. I'd like to stack meat in the frozen food cooler organized by the day we plan to cook it so we don't have to root around. Will the meat in the bottom of the cooler stay frozen for 5 or 6 days if the cooler is drained daily and only opened briefly to move food to the cold food cooler to thaw overnight for the next dinner?
Also, does anyone have any advice for loading 8-gallon kegs in a raft?
My advice is to find the largest sealed container that will fit in your cooler, and pre make your own jugs of ice using a chest freezer set to the lowest temp it can cool to.
All your food items should be pre frozen in your chest freezer at least a week before the trip. Same goes for all the jugs.
You can pre chill the cooler before packing with a bag of cubed ice the night before you load your food.
Then while on the trip, dont open your freezer cooler for anything more than to pull out your thaw meat. That includes NOT draining your cooler as you won't have water in the bottom of it, and the jugs of ice/water still have the ability to cool (more so than cold air) until the ice is all gone and the water in the jugs gets above 40 degrees
I find a gallon a day is minimum. More if you have space after you have put all your meat and frozen items. You can always add cubed ice in ziplocks to fill out the top of the cooler.
Besides, the jugs contain clean cold free drinking water -- why would you want to waste this resource?
Open the cooler every night and take out your next nights meal so it can thaw in the day cooler, and it will act like a bit of ice for your day cooler.
Keep the cooler out of the sun. A paco pad helps shade it and provides added insulation. If you have something like a wet towel you can drape over the cooler it will keep the exterior colder (evaporation) which will slow the rate of heat absorption. Use a supersoaker every few hours to keep the towel wet. The evaporation is pulling heat out of the walls of your cooler, which makes the ice last longer
This trick also works for the drive to the river. All that air will cause evaporation (if you stop to re soak the towel) keeping your ice intact during the long drive. Be sure to use straps so you don't lose your towel.
If you follow these guidelines you should have at least enough ice to guarantee frozen meat on day 6. You may even decide to drink some of that ice cold water or transfer some of the jugs to the other cooler on Day 4 if there are no issues