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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, its a funny thought, but I have a large family and we are going on a four day camp this summer and I have been trying to figure out how to enjoy some "home food" out in the woods. I have considered taking some dry ice to keep some things cold (we are also taking a couple of goats to milk)...Its not as heavy as normal ice, and it lasts longer. Has anyone every tried it? What would be the pros and cons?
 

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Dry ice works great. You need to play with it to get used to it. We wrap it in towels so that it is not in direct contact with anything. Also you have to get used to how long it will last under different conditions.
 

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Enjoying some "home cooking" in the back country can easily be done with the goats. Our local vet clinic seems to have a ready supply of heavy duty styrofoam coolers that fit right in the panniers. With some planning and smart packing you can enjoy some "fresh" stuff 7-10 days later. That may vary with the conditions you pack in, keep coolers in the shade, use dry ice and live well. You may not need to pack in dry ice, but have your items froze with dry ice, as it is much colder than a standard freezer, use care handling as it can burn you.

We typically have two coolers. The first cooler contains all the items to be used the first few days. No additional dry ice in this cooler, as items easily stay frozen or cold long enough. Our cooler for later use may get a small chunk of dry ice to buy it some more time. It is taped shut, never opened and extra care taken to keep it out of the sun.



In this picture you can see the two white coolers stacked next to the tent. Northwest PG&S regular panniers are the perfect size for the coolers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
AWESOME INFO!
I did not know that food frozen with the dry ice would stay cold longer! So that brings up the next question... common sense tells me to put it in a container with the food to be frozen but should I put the whole package in the freezer to make it more effecient?
I have packing coolers, but I was wondering will the dry ice make the cooler so cold that it could effect my goat?
I am bringing milker does with me on this trip. Approx. how many lbs. of dry ice should I get to help keep the milk/food cold? (we will be gone 4 days, 3 nights and no streams nearby, just a lake).
Also, these does have day-hiked with me for years, but I haven't ever put much weight on them. Is there a differece in the weight % carried if it is a milking doe?
 

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Dry ice is very cold, -109.3 F, so things do stay frozen longer. Must be careful with plastic coolers as they will become very brittle, most are not designed for dry ice use. Gloves are needed handling dry ice, it's not for children to mess with. The thick styrofoam coolers (1.5 - 2") are made for shipping dry ice frozen products and will not pose a risk to you or the goats. Use packing tape to tape them up, very durable and light.

I vacuum pack all my stuff, so no mess if something does thaw. During a trip, you will use your food as your "ice." Say for example you want to keep some milk cold. In the morning, take your frozen dinner item out of the "frozen" cooler, place it with your milk, it will keep your milk and stuff cold during the day while it thaws to be ready for cooking that evening. It could freeze your milk, so pay attention if that's a concern. You may or may not want a separate cooler for this. I'll usually just wrap it in some goat coats, sleeping bag or something somewhat insulated. I'm wanting to thaw dinner out, so it does not have to be overly insulated, but it would vary with climate. A couple beverages chilled by a ribeye is one of my favorites.

Planning your meals helps and pack your coolers accordingly. The fewer times you open that cooler, the longer it will last. I use a sharpie to write the contents of the coolers right on the cooler. If I can pack them at home, I will and have them pre-weighed for a matching load.

Good Luck.
 
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