Are you thinking about camping on your next vacation? If so, you?re not alone: over 41 million Americans camped last year; a full 14 percent of the population over the age of six! Since the average stay at a state park during a camping trip is three to four days, having the proper equipment is a must. While purchasing a durable tent and cold resistant sleeping bags are obvious, one thing many novice campers overlook is also one of the most important: the camping cooler.
While you may be about to shrug it off because you already own a cooler, think again. Most likely, your cooler is the department store variety, designed for quick trips to the beach or an afternoon spent tailgating or grilling. When you?re about to face the elements for three days or more, a quality camping cooler is a must-have for proper food preservation.
For example, the Engler DeepBlue Coolers are designed specifically for campers and boaters; the two inches of high-performance foam insulation will keep your ice frozen for eight to 10 days. Doesn?t that beat running to the store for ice every day when you?re trying to rough it?
Speaking of roughing it, the DeepBlue Coolers are built to take a beating, too. They?re so tough, they?ve been certified as IGBC-certified Bear Resistant Containers. That?s right; coolers have to be able to withstand 60 minutes of contact time by a bear to earn that claim! Before you finish laughing, keep in mind that bears have a sense of smell that?s seven times stronger than a dog, and can detect odors such as toiletries and improperly stored food from over a mile away. That?s why the pros recommend you cook your food at least 100 feet downwind of your campsite if you?re in an area populated by bears.
Besides how long your ice will last and whether your new cooler will withstand bears (and the cooler should clearly be tagged as “IGBC Certified Bear Resistant Container”) and other critters, there are a few things to look for in a high-end camping cooler:
- Whether the camping cooler is dry ice compatible
- Composition is of food grade plastic
- Durable seamless rotationally-molded construction
- UV-resistant polyethylene
There?s also the option of accessories for your camping cooler, such as non-skid cooler pads, seat cushions, and dividers. Make sure this is a part of your shopping decision when you?re comparing camping coolers, too.
Over 27 percent of camping adults between the ages of 35 to 44 bought a cooler last year, and another 24 percent of campers between the ages of 18 to 34 purchased one, too. It?s a fair assumption that if over half of campers bought a new cooler, many purchased it because they already owned a cooler and found it unsatisfactory for their needs. As the saying goes, ?You get what you pay for!? Do your research first, because investing in a high-end, high quality camping cooler may end up saving you money in the long run.