Originally Posted by Kilroy
You guys have me thinking of a question I've been wanting to ask. How well do items like cheese, milk, soda, eggs, red-bull, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc... freeze when preparing for a long trip?
Obviously you'd have to keep fresh fruit out of the cooler, but I've always wondered how the stuff I've listed fairs being frozen solid...
What's the standard for a long trip?
We used to run Deso in late July/August, 5 day trips we packed in Denver, so the last night's meal and last day's breakfast and lunch had to go a week minimum in a cooler.
We used dry ice.......lots of dry ice.........and managed to still have lettuce, tomatoes, and other fresh veggies. The trick was to pack one cooler/day with the food. The day one cooler had first nights dinner, 2nd days breakfast and 2nd day's lunch. When we hit camp dinner came out to thaw, next day's lunch was packed in the lunch cooler with whatever ice was in the food cooler, and breakfast stayed in the cooler until the next morning.
When using dry ice we wrapped it in paper, then in plastic seal bags. Dry Ice was always insulated from the food, newspaper and cardboard worked fine; meat and such in the lowest (coldest) part of the cooler, veggies on top. We broke the eggs and mixed them so they would freeze properly and never had a problem. We rarely had problems with the veggies, but frankly after a week bouncing around in a cooler they were never what one would call "first grade". More "useable grade".
On my first Grand trip we went 14 days and had fresh veggies through 10 days. We had frozen stuff through 12 days, and i think we could have gone 12 days with veggies. We had more problems with bread cause, you know, the twig eaters in the group thought whole wheat bread was mandatory, not the chemical laden Wonder Bread that would have gone 14 days without mold. The whole wheat was moldy by day 5.
Stuff like mayo and catchup was generally kept in the food box until opened, and then just kept in either the lunch or dinner cooler.
Cheese did fine, we never carried milk, (always the powdered stuff) and by the way, Oranges and Potatoes made fine packing filler for the dry box; Oranges not so much if you got really abusive, but they are amazingly tough otherwise.
I recall now that on the second Grand trip we sailed onto Lake Mead with a 5 Lb. wheel of cheddar that had been "lost" in the bottom of a food box. It was part of the ransom we paid to a houseboat of newlyweds for a tow out. It was fine, hadn't been opened.
The key in my mind has always been cooler control; the one cooler per day scheme worked fine, mainly because we promised passengers that anyone opening any cooler besides the beer cooler-accidentally or otherwise-would be hung. We were using Gott coolers at the time, and they would carry ice for 7+days if you kept them sealed until you emptied them, used dry ice on 5 day trips, and packed carefully.
We even managed ice cream on one July Deso trip, and didn't do anything special with it except freeze it HARD and bury it in the bottom.