Ice for ~ week long trip - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-08-2018   #1
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 4
Ice for ~ week long trip

I've been using a 27 lb cube shaped plastic kitty litter bucket (link below), filled with water and frozen, for several years in my Yeti 125 quart cooler. It has worked well - takes up about 1/4 of the cooler, and extra water can be dumped. If managed well, the block inside can last for 5-6 days. Over time, the refreezing process compromises the plastic and I end up with cracks and wet food. I can't find any products on the market that offer a big block of ice like that. Aside from dry ice (which I have a love/hate relationship with) does anyone have any solutions they like?

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Old 06-08-2018   #2's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Depends on mood, Colorado
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,143
Check with local restaurants for 4 gallon mayonnaise buckets. They are food grade with snap on lids. Measure 10" x 10" x 13" and are tough as nails. I get them for free, washed even.
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Old 06-09-2018   #3
Join Date: Aug 2006
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You are on the right track making your own ice! Most of the block ice you buy is aerated and does not last long. I just finished filling up old lettuce bins for block ice for my small cooler for Fibark.
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Old 06-09-2018   #4
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Hopelessly Stuck in Yesterday, Colorado
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I like 1 Gallon jugs of water from the store. The ones in a clear square jug (like Crystal Geyser) use a better plastic and caps than the milk jug type. They are also square and pack well in the cooler. The round ones like Arrowhead are only 3 liters and make for inefficient packing. The jugs also make for a nice source of water if needed late in the trip. It's important to dump out 2-3 oz. of water before freezing to allow for expansion.
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Old 06-09-2018   #5
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2015
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I have 2 dromedary bags that I've laid in the bottom of the cooler. Their odd shape can make it harder to pack but I'll have more water if I need it. Something I will try is making the ice in some type of flat pan, like a disposable aluminum baking pan or bus tub, that will fit into the bottom of my cooler. An inch of water every day or so and the ice will be clear and solid. I think making ice right in your cooler is a great way to go but you need to have access to a walk-in freezer.
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Old 06-09-2018   #6
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In my yeti 120 (older style Sherpa, so don't know if the inside dimensions are the same as the newer models) the 2.5 gallon drinking water rectangles fit perfect. The ones with the handle and the spout. Laying on side they fit into the corners of the cooler like it was made for them.
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