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Why waste water with that kooler gel crap. Just use the melted water as it melts for ice cold drinking water.
 

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Square Frozen Gallon Bottles

Try an image search for Crystal Geyser 1 Gallon. Their bottles have a square shape that makes them ideal for packing in the bottom of your cooler. We packed the bottom of our 110 L igloo cooler from 1998 with a couple of those bad boys, and with a wet towel covering the lid, we still had cold ones by the end of our 95 mile trip down Cataract last fall. Additionally, search cool shield thermal bubble roll. They sell it by the foot at most hardware stores. A sheet of that between your lid and the cargo will save you big time on losing your chill.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Try an image search for Crystal Geyser 1 Gallon. Their bottles have a square shape that makes them ideal for packing in the bottom of your cooler. We packed the bottom of our 110 L igloo cooler from 1998 with a couple of those bad boys, and with a wet towel covering the lid, we still had cold ones by the end of our 95 mile trip down Cataract last fall. Additionally, search cool shield thermal bubble roll. They sell it by the foot at most hardware stores. A sheet of that between your lid and the cargo will save you big time on losing your chill.
I have crystal geyser gallons frozen in my freezer right now and thermal bubble insulation in my 2 pre chilling coolers (with 108 beers.) 😄
 

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I like to freeze the 2 1/2 gal artesian water jugs from the supermarket. Drain 20% of the water and freeze upside down with valve open to let air out as ice expands. Close the valve and they fit nicely in the bottom of the cooler. On multi days you can drain off ice cold drinking water or use to make mixers for cocktails. You can cut the top off and chip for cocktail ice. Lastly a couple of those in the freezer will keep the freezer from using as much electricity to stay cold.
 

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I have some Kooler Gel and Polr cubes. I think Polr cubes went out of business which is sad because i think they worked much better. When I purchased them I did some homework and they made it pretty clear that they are not a Ice replacement, they are an Ice extender. You want to have your block ice also or regular frozen jugs and fill the gaps with cubes.. It sounds like you are on the right track.
 

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I've got one of those old (cheap) 150qt rubbermaid/Gott coolers. It has the screw-in spots for ice holders for the top. The correct size ones were impossible to find for cheap (ebay people wanted $20/piece)
I found somewhat smaller sized ones from lunch coolers and filled them with Kooler Gel. It works great for keeping a big cooler COLD.
I also filled some vacuum seal bags with the kooler gel. It helps extend the life of ice in my captain's beer cooler, but takes relatively little room.
 

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Why waste water with that kooler gel crap. Just use the melted water as it melts for ice cold drinking water.
Hear hear. My thought is that with good cooler management, wet towels (or paco pads) over the coolers & a day cooler you should be fine. I'd freeze good drinking water in jugs and then just decant ice-cold drinking water periodically. I just don't like the idea of wasting cooler space with such bulky stuff that you can't eat or drink.

-AH
 

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Always make your own block ice. And make it at least two months before your launch. The older it is the better. The block ice sold in stores has air pockets in them. Put towels over the blocks in your cooler. That way the hot air doesn't blast the ice when you open it. I put my lunch fixins in one of those plastic shoe boxes, so I am not fumbling around in my cooler looking for food. In and out quick. Never trust anyone to get in your cooler, and if they do make sure they have closed the lid tight. Keep wet towels on your cooler plus a reflective silver shield over that. I use those silver things people put on their car dashboards. I get them at the dollar store. I now use one of those white padded baby changing mats over my cooler. It works great. Much cheaper than buying a custom made one for you cooler.
 

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"According to court documents, CG Roxane obtained water by drawing groundwater from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains that contained naturally occurring arsenic. The company used sand filters to reduce the concentration of arsenic so the water would meet federal drinking water standards. To maintain the effectiveness of the sand filters, CG Roxane back-flushed the filters with a sodium hydroxide solution, which generated thousands of gallons of arsenic-contaminated wastewater."

It was naturally-occurring arsenic they filtered, then had to get rid of.
 

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Not being a fan of frozen beers, I have to go the other way from the previous advice.
From my experience:
Water is the enemy of ice. Drain your coolers 2x daily.
Use block ice and pack it tight. Use a wet potato sack under a reflective material that you sit on atop the cooler (cam strap it on and around the cooler). Float your beverages in a sturdy drag bag close to the boat and call it good.
Enjoy the onie/Juanie
 

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It seems to me that putting some non-potable gel in your frozen water makes it useless for anything else. For 7-day DesoGray trips in midsummer, 6 gallon jugs of frozen water lasted the trip (with rigorous freezer care, shading and wet towel covers) and made kids VERY happy on the last two days to drink that ice cold water. Of course, I don't mind river-temp beer at all, so that helps!
 

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Blueotter:

I have an old split lid Coleman. It is not great, are you saying there is no insulation in the fricking lid? That would explain a lot.

Tom
 

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Never seen the or used cooler gel, but I assume it isn't safe or fun to drink.

Total deal breaker for me, unless it has magic powers that triple (at least) its capacity to cool or last.

I too have the split lid as a 105 Rubbermaid. Is that the top that needs insulation injected? It doesn't feel that cheesy...
 

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A practice I’ve always followed from Engel coolers. “ REFRAIN FROM THE DRAIN
Each time you use your cooler, resist the urge to drain the water from your melted ice until you are finished using your cooler. That ice cold water actually helps to insulate the remaining ice. That being said, keep your exposed food and especially your meat out of that water. It’s also important to buy some sacrificial ice and pre-cool the coolers, and if you can find it “clear ice” in block form will last longer. This usually comes from specialty ice companies they sell by the pound.

https://engelcoolers.com/pages/keep-ice-longer
 

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twmartin

Many of the cheaper coolers have zero insulation only air in the lids. Hint: It is not just coleman!!!!

I have found that if you hold a flash light to the opposite side of these cooler lids you can tell if no insulation. You can drill a hole(S) and insert the foam bottled insulation to improve these coolers a lot.

I had a high dollar cooler that had passed quality control with zero insulation. Sent the manufacturer a picture and they sent me a new one asking me to toss the old one in the trash. I kept it to carry cooking gear.
 

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Exactly!
You can even knock on it with your knuckle and hear the difference from the sides...obviously hollow.
I learned the foam insulation trick on youtube...plenty of vids.
One thing to be careful of is that I drilled a bunch of holes and expected the excess foam to just come out of them when it expanded. However, I put a bit too much in apparently, and it warped my lid. It still closes and seals, but it's a little "round" on top, so maybe go easy on the great stuff.
Also, the vids recommend putting some kind of sealeant over the holes after the foam has dried, but I never did, and I seem to be ok...twitch...twitch...
 

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This is always a fun topic.

What I'm going to say has been vaguely mentioned already, which is, using the cold water from a melting frozen water jug has the major disadvantage of the time required to perform the task with the cooler lid open. If longevity of ice and cold storage is essential then disrupting your cold storage by taking out a jug then returning it seems like a bad idea especially if during the heat of the day when a cold drink of water would be most appreciated.
 

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We just completed a Lodore trip. The one and two gallon frozen water jugs we used still had ice in the water. Using a lazer thermometer; the exterior temperature of the jug of ice water(a little over half melted after sitting in my driveway for a couple of days beyond the five day trip) averaged 36.5 degrees on several jugs that got sampled. I zapped the clear portion of the water jug and the jug's label to make sure the clear plastic did not effect the thermometer. I then measured the interior temp of my refrigerator walls. The freezer side was average 37 degrees. The other wall's inside the frig were around and over 40 degrees. Not saying anything just providing information.

Collecting this information led me to consider an experiment. I'm trying to encourage a cooler challenge with soom friends. The four identical coolers will be prechilled and then loaded with10lb block of clear ice. The four coolers will then process through four procedures.
1. Ice, water drained daily.
2. Ice, water never drained.
3. Ice elevated above water that is never drained.
4. Ice frozen in a jug of identical weight to the ice blocks.

Coolers will be opened daily and temps measured with lazer thermometer on four walls and lids. Exterior walls and lid/bottoms will also be lazer thermometer zapped. Drain water temp will also be measured. Stats stored in spreadsheet and evaluated.

Seems like someone has already done this experiment. Does anyone know?
 
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