Cool Bushcraft

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Woody110

Mod
Mod
Mar 8, 2009
294
94
Leeds, Yorkshire
Extended trips away either with the family, a scout group or alone have with them differing pluses, however also come there own issues. One of these is keeping fresh food fresh, and the beers cold.

Everyone has their own ideas on how to achieve this, personally for family trips I have a rather large cool box, which does keep the milk fresh for a few days, however when I either on my own, or with a group of scouts, it stays at home.

I was just wondering what other people did to keep the milk (beer) cold?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,801
2,965
Mid Wales
I stopped using milk in hot beverages when I was a teenager because I couldn't handle the logistics of backpacking with it and I couldn't stand the taste of powdered milk. It doesn't take long to get used to drinking everything 'black' - now I can't put milky drinks to my lips :)

For overlanding, family camping and bushcraft 'meets' I have and Engel fridge/freezer in the Landy - sheer luxury but Peroni's not the same warm :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sundowner

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
22,229
744
50
Wales
www.bushcraftuk.com
I have to admit to a cooler if we're camping from the car, Shelly said we spent £25 on ice while we were at the Moot, but that was for my personal drinks cooler as well as the big one for the family!!

Other than that it's generally a body of water, there's evaporation cooling but I don't do it. I think when I'm out generally it's just a case of having warmer drinks :D

So I'm looking forward to any suggestions made...

Pete and others had gas fridges at the Moot, they worked well....
 

Woody110

Mod
Mod
Mar 8, 2009
294
94
Leeds, Yorkshire
I did have the milk at the last scout camp hanging from a tree wrapped in a wet tee towel, rather effective.

When I was a child my parents had a fridge thing where you poured water in the top and somehow cooled things down.

I made a thermo electric cooler for the Landy, not the most effective but the principle was there for a made to fit box.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,888
1,386
63
Pembrokeshire
I dont use milk in any form and tend to drink wine or spirits that are best at room temp... so I have no issues :)
Invert a small bowl in a large one and fill the large one with water, close to but not covering the base of the inverted one.
Hang wet muslin over the bowls so that the hem of the fabric is in the water and the fabric forms a tent over the small, inverted bowl.
Stand items that need to be cool on the base of the small bowl, clear of the water level.
The wet muslin tries to dry out with evaporation but is reloaded with water by capillary action from the hem being in the water - the result is a long lasting cool store.
Remember to top up the water in the big bowl now and again....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddy

Greenbeard

Full Member
Jan 15, 2018
66
42
24
North yorkshire
Once filled a pillow case with beers then tied it to a tree and submerged the bag in a stream. It's great as long as you have a stream :) also get a few beers out at a time as retrieval can get a bit difficult as the night progresses ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Janne

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
1,629
McBride, BC
Dig a hole in a shady place. Soil temperatures are normally quite a bit lower than even shade air temperatures.
No soil here to dig in but rocks, gravel and some sand. Lots of cold creeks or beaver ponds.
This is quite a memory trigger!
 
back when i was a scout and on camp at Gilwell my Scout leaders made a cooler out of a plastic bin two bend of piping and some cheese cloth
bends went into lid one facing into the wind/breeze both bends covered with cheese cloth to prevent bugs gettin in
bin filled with water
food all bagged in plastic bags and suspended in water.
the breeze evaporated the water slowly keeping it cool

nowadays its a thermos box for milk
or just drinkin coffee black
 

Buckshot

Mod
Mod
Jan 19, 2004
6,196
158
Oxford
Good topic!
We use UHT milk that doesn't need chilling so we keep it out next to the kettle so it's ready!
other items that do need chilling (butter/ cheese etc) we either use a fairly poor cool box that goes through ice bags each day or we have a plastic box that we half bury and either put some water or ice in the bottom.
A disposable baking tray or similar stiff ali tray is bent to sit just high of the water and the food goes on top. Lockable lid keeps insects and slugs out (some salt sprinkled on the ground around it would also help)
the ground acts as a heat sink
 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,059
120
Hants
I'm lucky I guess in not having milk in tea or coffee, preferring green tea or pine needle tea when out and about, and instead of butter use a light olive oil for cooking.

Perishable food like steaks, bacon, sausages etc I keep in an insulated fishing cool bag that I've added some more foil/bubble insulation to on the inside to improve the performance a bit. Works fine for a couple of nights if kept in the shade. For longer trips or more folk I've a monster cool box which keeps the frozen water bottles used (instead of ice packs) semi frozen for around five or six days !

Beer gets drunk warm / ambient temperature like it should be ! :)
 

lou1661

Full Member
Jul 18, 2004
1,988
69
Hampshire
Engel 60ltr on a split charge battery, looking to supplement with solar for continuous charging while not driving.



Possibly a little large for the UK but handy for when you need it.
 

Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,722
644
Berlin
Food, that has to be cooled, simply doesn't belong in the woods. That's all.

You can eat on a hike at the bench in front of the supermarket everything you want.
But in the rucksack belong pasta, dehydrated sauces, bread, cheese, salami, bacon, nuts and things like that.

Milk is round about 95% water. Eat a cheese and drink water, that is more or less the same.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Janne

dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
6,217
234
43
Nr Chester
Gotta be a decent cool box with lots of freezer blocks and occasional bags of ice.

We have a brilliant one that will go 240v or 12v but to be honest we have tried neither and just use ice blocks. If at a family campsite we will rotate ice blocks in and out with the sites freezer utility as we have never tried "electric hook up"

Trick is to have plenty of ice blocks so you can rotate easily. Also to keep things manageable and food-safe you want to take plenty of smaller plastic Tupperware type boxes to go in the cool box. This will keep things from getting damp as the ice melts and food packaging gets damp. It also helps with thermal efficiency.

Talking of thermal efficiency, if you throw a 6 pack of warm beer in a cooler its going to give you some nice cold beer but will suck the cold out of the rest of the box. Try to keep things cool before they go in the box so use thermal carrier bags etc. Think "thermodynamics" as much as possible.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,675
1,629
McBride, BC
I've seen friends travel with 12VDC "Coolatrons" that can be run off the house mains as well.
Excellent value if you are on the road for weeks and don't plan to forage in a grocery store every day.
Grocery stores here are more than 100 miles apart.

Our family camped a lot in northern primitive sites, some accessible only by boat.
You want water? There's the lake.
Standard plan was a cool-hole in the forest, elbow deep. We ate the perishables first.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,801
2,965
Mid Wales
Just to be clear - there is a huge difference in the performance of Peltier device coolers and true 12v fridges. The coolers will drain your battery in no time at all - a standard automotive battery will keep my Engel running for days. And, while we're on the subject, always put the fridge/cooler on an auxiliary battery that's on a split-charge circuit; there's nothing more depressing in the wilderness than the 'clunk' of a solenoid engaging without the power to turn the engine (from experience :) ).
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
4,834
1,449
55
W.Sussex
I have a Coleman box for extended car camping.



I put 8 frozen blue thingies in it several hours before stocking. I freeze 3 out of 6 x 1.5ltr bottles of water, then remove the blue thingies and put the food in and the solid frozen bottles on top. This is good for 3-5 days and gives us cold water and cold beers etc for several days. Everything that goes in the box needs to be pre-cooled, don’t expect an unpowered coolbox to actively cool stuff.

For one nighters, the system could be adapted. Carry a bottle of water for immediate needs, and have another frozen in a coolbag with your food and beer. You’ll be surprised how long a bottle of frozen water takes to thaw.