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25 Apr 2022
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Perhaps nothing is as important for a successful beach day as a well-packed cooler. Many of us have a favorite cooler; one that has been with us on many trips to the beach. We love its worn corners and each scratch is a reminder of a day in the sun on Oak Island. However, most of us probably don't get the most out of our cooler. This week we have all the best tips and tricks to make sure your cooler is...well, the coolest on the beach. 

Give your cooler a head start

One of the biggest mistakes most of us make when getting ready for a day at the beach is not planning ahead. Your cooler needs a little prep for the next day. Don't leave your cooler in the the hot car and then expect to toss in some ice and get the most out of it. The best practice is to bring your cooler in the house the night before going to the beach. Pack your cooler with ice and let it chill for the night. You'll be surprised how much cooler it will be the next day. 

A full cooler is best

Coolers work best when they are full. This is because there is not dead air space, which in general, will be much warmer than the chilled items in the cooler. This is a principle most us are aware of because the same is true of your fridge and freezer at home. Hey, on the bright side, this means you have an excuse to throw that extra six pack in the cooler. 

Place the coldest items at the bottom

Remember in science class when you learned that cold air sinks and hot air rises? Well, this is true even in a small space like a cooler. Why is this important you ask? Simple. You want to keep the items that require the coldest temperatures at the bottom of your cooler. With the latest rotomolded coolers, you can keep items frozen for a very long time. 

Use big chunks of ice

We all love those small pieces of ice that we get from a fountain machine. That ice is great to chew on, but not ideal for use in your cooler. For your cooler, the larger the ice block, ice pack or chunks of ice the more efficient and longer lasting they will be on a hot day. 

Meal prep 

Doing a little bit of preparation the night before is a great way to have everything you need ready to go for the next day. 

When you meal prep consider the types of containers you want to use. Things that stack easily are much better suited to life in cooler than soft sandwich bags. 

Don't forget if you have condiments it might be best to reduce them to a more manageable size by placing them in smaller plastic containers. 

It is all about the layers

Layers are very helpful when packing your cooler. Remember to put the items you want the coldest on the bottom. Then add the ice, and frozen water bottles. The cool air drops so you want the ice on top of the first layer. Do not put the ice in first as the items will then be sitting on the warmer side of the ice. After that, layer by use. Things you will be grabbing throughout the day should be on top. Once these items are in, try this trick:  Grab a sun screen (you know... the reflective type you use in your car to keep the sun off your steering wheel). Cut it into a shape that fits like a small blanket on the top of the final layer of items. This extra layer will add to the cooling power of your cooler. 

Bring some shade

Remember to bring some shade. It isn't just you that will benefit from the cooling effect of a beach umbrella, your cooler will too. Besides, we should all make sure to have a little shade to get out of the heat and the harmful sun. Didn't bring an umbrella? Use a blanket or towel to cover your cooler. Another great tip we saw was to bury the cooler in the sand if you are near the water's edge. Now you are a real beach pro.

Are you ready to book an Oak Island beach vacation? There is still plenty of time to book a great late summer or early fall family vacation. The weather is beautiful and the water is warm. Give us a call today at 910-278-1147 or click the button below to book your vacation rental today. 


How to Pack the Perfect Cooler for the Beach