How to Use Dry Ice in a Cooler for Camping?

  • 24 Oct 2022 09:02
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How to Use Dry Ice in a Cooler for Camping?

If filling out the cooler and also searching for wet food in a pool of melted ice bothers you, why not attempt utilizing dry ice instead? 

Dry ice works to keep your food or beverage cooler and also will evaporate rather than melt as ice does. So how to use dry ice in a cooler for camping?

If you have the same question after that, this article is for you. Let’s check it out!

How to Use Dry Ice in a Cooler for Camping?

A guide on using dry ice in the cooler for camping.

To rapidly freeze meat, fish, or other foods with dry ice, adhere to these actions:

Step 1: Choosing a Cooler

Choose the suitable cooler for your needs.

You should select a cooler with the right ventilation system for your demands. Dry ice can be used with many coolers as long as they can ensure a way to aerate the dry ice.

The cooler must have a lid that does not close entirely or a drainpipe cap (generally located near the bottom of the cooler).

Additionally, if you need a portable cooler or wish to utilize dry ice for a day, choose a foam cooler or a urethane-protected box.

Select a plastic cooler or roto mold for more extended dry ice use or better air conditioning. If you use a urethane-protected box, purchase a box at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick.

Put foam or cardboard inside the cooler.

After picking the cooler, you need to organize the cardboard or fold it inside if required. Nevertheless, if you are not using a foam cooler, safeguard its plastic inside from the extreme cold of dry ice.

All you need to do is reduce foam or cardboard items and place them on the bottom of the cooler. Besides, you should likewise need to put them alongside the cooler ones if you will have dry ice touching the internal wall surface.

Focus on loosening the drain pipe cap of the cooler

The evaporation of dry ice can trigger the gas to develop in the cooler.

You need to loosen up the drain cap to avoid damage to the cooler for foam or urethane canisters.

If you are using a roto-molded or plastic cooler, the drain cap will certainly additionally require it to be slightly open.

Failing to do so triggers pressure to develop inside the cooler as well as damage the plastic.

Step 2: Buying Dry Ice

dry ice

For every 24 hours, you must purchase 10 to 20 extra pounds of dry ice. 

Determine the right amount of dry ice

Depending on the size of the cooler, you need to choose just how much dry ice you will undoubtedly buy. For every 24 hours, you must purchase 10 to 20 extra pounds (4.5 to 9 kg) of dry ice.

Besides that, you will certainly likewise need to consider how much dry ice will certainly fit inside your cooler in addition to the sorts of items you wish to store.

For example, a 40 to 60-quart (37 to 56-liter) cooler can typically hold ten extra pounds (4.5 kg) of dry ice for one day.

Get a dry ice block.

Presently, most dry ice marketed on the market is offered for acquisition wholesale or bulk. They will outlive little pieces of dry ice or dry ice cubes.

As a result, you need to consider determining your cooler before getting dry ice to know how many blocks will fit inside your cooler.

Wear gloves when dealing with dry ice

Make sure to use handwear covers or shield your hands when you come into contact with dry ice. Because dry ice reaches exceptionally cool temperatures, it can melt bare skin.

Step 3: Arranging the Dry Ice in the Cooler

Use newspaper to wrap the dry ice.

To make the dry ice last longer, you use newspaper to wrap the dry ice blocks. 

The newspaper will protect and also slow down the dissipation time of dry ice. It can also stop you from inadvertently touching dry ice with your bare hands.

If you are using little blocks of dry ice, it is unnecessary to wrap them in the newspaper yet border the blocks with paper to reduce evaporation.

Put dry ice at the end of the cooler to keep food cool much longer.

If you intend to have the ability to obtain food and beverages frequently or quickly, it's best to place wrapped dry ice at the end of the cooler. 

Then put the food on the ice to ensure you can open the cooler and take it out.

Also, foods or drinks will freeze if they touch dry ice, so place newspaper or cardboard between dry ice and things if you're saving food.

Cover the dry ice with paper

You can take some paper and roll dry ice into liquid balls to help them dry longer. 

Position the newspaper in between blocks of dry ice or any other open space because the spaces between dry ice will undoubtedly make it evaporate faster.

Make use of an item of cardboard to cover the dry ice.

It's best to position a piece of cardboard straight on the dry ice at the end of the cooler to stop your products from freezing.

Then, reduce an opening to 1 inch (2.5 cm) prominent in the cardboard so that the gas can escape as the dry ice evaporates.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Dry Ice for Camping

Pros and cons of dry ice for camping.

Dry ice is cooler than routine ice made from the icy water. Its co2 gas freezes at -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-78.5 degrees Celsius), much more relaxed than regular ice, which stays at 32 levels. Also, due to its chilly temperature level, it will be extra efficient in keeping your upper body cold.

On top of that, dry ice does not thaw. It will undoubtedly become a gas instead of a liquid as it warms up, maintaining your ice chest from being taken in a pool.


This article has provided you with "how to use dry ice in a cooler for camping" and some information about dry ice's benefits in preserving your food.

Hopefully, this article will be helpful to you and help you prepare well for your trip. Thank you for being so interested!

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Hailey Abbott By, Hailey Abbott
Hailey Abbott is an outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer for CampfireHQ. She has a passion for hunting and fishing, which she often enjoys with her family and friends. Hailey also enjoys staying active through sports such as golf, basketball, and softball. Hailey has worked as an editor for several years, providing content that is both accurate and engaging. She has also had the opportunity to interview numerous experts in various fields. This wealth of experience gives her a unique perspective when writing about the outdoors and other topics.
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