Grand Canyon cooler questions - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-30-2018   #1
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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Grand Canyon cooler questions

Going down the Grand for first time launching early March for 23 days. Wondering what to expect regarding cooler performance. I have the Canyon Prospector 103, but longest time period I have used it was an August deso trip for 8 days and a few travel days. I use the common techniques to enhance the performance, wet towel, cover with pad, insulating layer inside on top etc. My plan is to find some walk in cooler space to freeze at least some meals in a solid block of ice and freeze as many of the other contents as possible. Based on schedule, the latest meal would be 18 days into trip. Plus two days of travel/rigging. Roughly 5 meals for 14people. Any input appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 12-31-2018   #2
 
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If you freeze a few inches of water then layer your food in, freezing it as you go you won't have a problem Problem is you're going to run out of room. 5 meals for 14 people is a lot of food. Did a grand last march with 10 people. I provided days 11-16 with a 220. I did everything frozen with no canned meals. With 5-6 inches of ice in the bottom and layering food in I barely had room. I was able to keep the cooler in a walk in for a couple of weeks. If you decide to freeze make sure you make a map of where stuff is. I layered mine by days and I still had to search and chip out ice to find stuff.
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Old 12-31-2018   #3
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I think you will probably run out of space, like Hooligan said, if you try to put 5 days of food, plus ice in there. A 105 Qt. just isn't that big of a cooler.
Make life easier on yourself, and have a non refrigerated day or two of meals towards the end of the trip, even if you can fit 5 days of food in there, it's less of a PITA
for you, helps mitigate chance of spoilage, and hopefully you have some Ice left to keep beers cold at the end.
Have a great trip down there!
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Old 12-31-2018   #4
 
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Layered up a 125 yeti for a June trip this year. Was able to pack in plenty of things for both dinner and breakfast and didn't open the cooler until day 10. Everything was vac sealed and layered per day. To my surprise once the cooler was opened, the last layer or top items were still encased in ice, yet the items that were on the very bottom were thawed. As the ice melts and the remaining block floats. The melting was uniform so imagine a somewhat smaller block melting from all directions. I ended up pulling a lot of items from the sides up and out as the top items were still solid. After a day or two of opening and closing the top items were freed up. I'm of the opinion that the icy cold water is still better than an empty cooler, so I didn't piss it at any point.
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Old 01-01-2019   #5
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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Thanks for the replies! I may not have been clear enough initially so to clarify I am talking about 5 meals not 5 days of meals. Seems like I have regularly packed that amount for summer desert floats with 15-16 people but for shorter amount of time.
Sled if Iím understanding your post correctly 6 days x 3meals x10 ppl=180 meals/servings? Iím looking at a total of 5meals x 14 ppl=70meals/servings? Sorry to geek out with math just want to get it right.
Matt good call on non cooler meals. I have one such dinner planned for very end and will add more if necessary.
Hooter interesting how your cooler thawed, not what I would have guessed.
Thanks everyone for your input! Certainly welcome more.
Happy New Year!!
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Old 01-01-2019   #6
 
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Think five meals is doable. Pre cook and repackage every thing. Make sure all your meals will fit beforehand. If you freeze your cooler go layer by layer. 2 inches of water at a time. If you try to freeze to much in the bottom it'll freeze the top only and insulate the bottom frome freezing solid.. freeze as much water on the bottom that you can.
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Old 01-01-2019   #7
 
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If you can spare enough cooler space for 2# shredded Monterey jack cheese. I have attached a really good white chicken chili recipe that feeds 16 or so and needs no other cooler space than for the cheese.


White Water chicken chili
Ingredients:
24-36oz's of canned boneless chicken breasts diced and cooked and packed in water
3-15oz cans white northern beans drained
2 - 7oz cans of diced mild green chilies
30oz can of mild hatch green chili enchilada sauce
1-24oz jar of pace picante sauce, mild, medium or hot (I use medium)
48oz of chicken broth
2 lb shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Prep:
Toss everything in pot except cheese.
Simmer for one hour while having a beer, add 1/2 of the cheese and stir in just before serving.
Put in bowl, sprinkle with left over cheese, serve with warm flour tortillas and cold beer.
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Old 01-01-2019   #8
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You should be fine with just 5 meals, especially with a meal or two that doesn't need very much cooler space. I was going to mention my red beans and rice with Andouille Sausage that I do some times, pretty easy. What Bighorn just said though, sounds way gooder!!
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Old 01-02-2019   #9
 
Steamboat, Colorado
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Thanks everyone for the input!
I will precook and vacuum seal. Good point on making sure it fits before starting freeze process. If needed I could add a smaller cooler (canyon 35 or 55)perhaps to either store meal to be used in first couple days or to fill with ice to replenish main cooler later. Appreciate the recipe ideas! Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2019   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efis View Post
Thanks for the replies! I may not have been clear enough initially so to clarify I am talking about 5 meals not 5 days of meals. Seems like I have regularly packed that amount for summer desert floats with 15-16 people but for shorter amount of time.
Sled if Iím understanding your post correctly 6 days x 3meals x10 ppl=180 meals/servings? Iím looking at a total of 5meals x 14 ppl=70meals/servings? Sorry to geek out with math just want to get it right.

Geek away man. That math is solid reasoning.


There were two recent threads on GC meal planning that had full spreadsheets. Search them out, if you can't find them, I'll try looking.





Quote:
Originally Posted by efis View Post
Thanks everyone for the input!
I will precook and vacuum seal. Good point on making sure it fits before starting freeze process. If needed I could add a smaller cooler (canyon 35 or 55)perhaps to either store meal to be used in first couple days or to fill with ice to replenish main cooler later. Appreciate the recipe ideas! Thanks!

Precook and vacuum seal is also a solid plan. Meal prep on the river takes time...and un-prepped food also takes more cooler space. Are you thinking you'd precook and then do the boil-in-bag thing in a chickie pail? I saw that on the Main this summer and it has me rethinking my river meals.


I'm also building a dory, and will be downsizing from a 128 to a 100 or 75/80qt cooler...so my own meal planning style is going to change.



Have an awesome trip!!
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