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Old 08-25-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
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Dry ice question

Hey guys I wasnt sure where this post would belong.

We are going camping for about 2 weeks+ in September and we were toying with the idea of using dry ice in one or two of the coolers. We were thinking that it might be able to keep chicken, steak, ground meats, etc frozen for most of the trip so we could thaw foods as needed.

1) Would this work? (none of us have ever used dry ice)

2) How should the cooler be loaded? (I assume the sealed meats shouldn't be in contact with the dry ice). Do we need some type of barrier (plywood etc) to separate the dry ice and freezer bagged foods?

Thanks for any info or tips, much appreciated


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Old 08-25-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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I am not sure that you would get a full 2 weeks out of it, but you would certainly get longer than you would with regular ice.

Put the dry ice in and then put down a decent barrier using newspapers. Put the food on top of the newspaper.

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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I've only used dry ice a couple of times this past summer and found no need for special packing or dividers, treating just an ordinary source of cold and putting it on top and on the bottom. Mine came already wrapped in butcher paper. What does need to be done is to keep the ice chest sealed tightly shut! I used an ordinary chest without a latching lid and the dry ice only lasted about a day and a half. Using a metal Coleman with a latching lid, it lasted a little more than 2 days, but this was all during 95-105 degree weather. For the money, block ice or regular ice bags serve better than expensive dry ice. About the only real advantages I found was that dry ice allowed more cooler storage space, and it didn't create a lake at the bottom. Others may have a different experience.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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I have used dry ice this way as well.

I would freeze everything you can. The wrap the dry ice in layers of news paper. Don't put it on the bottom of the cooler. Put a layer of frozen meat there. next add the dry ice and then continue packing.

You want the dry ice near the bottom of the cooler but not ON the bottom of the cooler. The first time I tried using dry ice, I had it on the bottom and after the cooler sat on the ground for a couple of days, the ground under the cooler was frozen a little. I was using a high quality cooler but over time that cold did permeate. it would be better to keep the cold in the cooler freezing meat than freezing dirt under the cooler.

When you buy dry ice get it in one big chunk - not several small ones. Use at least a 8 lb chunk for a metal coleman sized cooler
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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Good sugestions above. Also it depence on type of ice you get. There are those ice cubes. They look just like cubes you get from the freezer, but they are dry ice. Works wonder. But you do need a lot of them, because they avaporate faraly fast. Faster than chunks of dry ice, but what is nice they provide more even cooling. To make it simple. Get ahuge ice chest load up with foods and dry ice, and you are set for couple - tree days.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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Do not touch dry ice bare handed.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:04 PM   #7
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Great thank you all for the quick replies and good info
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:28 AM   #8
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Do freeze everything, and don't worry about keeping the ice from contacting the meat--it won't hurt it. Pack the cooler full--if you don't have enough meat for a full cooler, freeze some bottled water to fill in the empty spots.

I always put the dry ice on top--cold air sinks.

Don't open the cooler unless you have to--take enough meat out for two meals, and let tomorrow's chicken defrost in your other cooler. Keep it in the shade, and cover it with something (sleeping bags during the day, for example) whenever you can. Some people seal the cooler with duct tape.
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:14 AM   #9
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Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

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