Packing the perfect cooler sounds simple enough… throw some drinks inside, layer it with some food, throw on some ice and out the door…. right?! Well, after careful analysis, I’ve realized packing a cooler really takes some critical constructing. Ultimately, you don’t want the food to get soggy and you don’t want your drinks to get hot.
Today I had the chance to catch up with the anchors of Living Dayton to demonstrate the perfect summer snack pack, here are some simple steps you can follow at home!
- Selecting the perfect cooler: Cooler insulation has improved dramatically over the past few years. I recommend picking a that has at least 2 inches of insulation. Pro Tip: Depending on your group size, you may need one cooler for food and one for drinks!
- Packing your cooler: Sometimes, you need a layer of added protection, separating your food from ice, drinks and other things that could turn your lunch into a soggy mess. Once your ice and libations are packed, place a layer of cooling racks on top of them, then add your meant-to-stay-dry foods. They’ll stay cool — and in tact. If you don’t have a cooling rack that fits your cooler, Tupperware will also keep your food dry and safe.
- Prepping your cooler and food: Prepping your cooler and food is best done the day before! Pro Tip: If you store your cooler in an attic, garage or shed, bring it inside at least a day before your trip. This will ensure the core temperature of your cooler is as cold as possible!
- Cooler: I recommend thoroughly cleaning your cooler with soap and disinfectant spray. Once done, store it in a cool area and “pre-chill” with cold tap water or a little ice!
- Food: Packing up all of your food the day before is a no-brainer! The two most important things to keep in mind is removing excess packaging and transferring food or liquids to leak-proof containers. This will save you space and from creating a mess!
Now, let’s get to what to pack!
When it comes to beverages, I’m really loving The Long Drink your favorite beverages, mine has the smooth, refreshing citrus soda taste with a premium liquor kick from The Long Drink!
- The roots of long drinks go back to the 1952 Summer Games in Finland, when the country of only 4 million people was still recovering from World War II. Concerned with how to serve drinks quickly enough to all the visitors, the government commissioned the creation of a revolutionary new liquor drink with citrus soda, and so the first long drinks were born.
- The Long Drink comes in four unique varieties: Traditional, Strong, Cranberry and Zero
For food, I love packing:
- Homemade Trail Mix: Portable and tasty, trail mix is an easy way to combine your favorite snacks into one! One of my favorites is to incorporate dried-fruits with cashews, almonds, pretzels and chocolate chips or M&M’s!
- Meats and Cheeses: Packing your favorite meats and cheeses is a perfect way to bring along extra protein! Think: salami or pepperoni with a few varieties of snacking cheese. You can bring along crackers or just create a meat and cheese roll-up!