dry ice tips?

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Strata
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dry ice tips?

Post by Strata » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:17 pm

tl;dr: How much dry ice should I get for a 26 quart / "36 can" cooler with non-frozen contents, and how long do you think it will last? It just dissolves into gas as it melts, right?

I'm thinking of trying dry ice for the first time in my cooler this year. I have heard that wrapping it in clean dishtowels and putting it at the bottom of your cooler is the best way to use it. (and I know to use gloves handling it!) My cooler is a 26 quart Igloo MaxCold "Cool Fusion". I'll primarily have ziploc'd fresh fruit, yogurt cups, and pre-cooked bacon in it, with 1 or 2 frozen items that are ok to thaw (I'll be using them before they can go bad, a couple of my favorite chinese takeouts). Everything else I'm bringing is in shelf-stable packaging and doesn't need refrigeration, and thus isn't in the cooler.

I'm hoping that I could get a couple of bricks of dry ice and it would last 4 or 5 days. The cooler would be in my tent, in the shade. The cooler has little feet in front, and wheels in back, so very little of the cooler is touching the floor of the tent, so I was going to forego the 2x4 lifters for it.

Thanks for any dry ice tips!

(Cooler specs: http://www.igloocoolers.com/36-Can-Cool-Fusion)
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:31 pm

Dry Ice sublimates at about 10 pounds a day.

Everything in your cooler will be frozen until the dry ice is gone! 8)
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Strata » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:54 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Dry Ice sublimates at about 10 pounds a day.

Everything in your cooler will be frozen until the dry ice is gone! 8)
Ruh-roh. So unless I want frozen yogurt cups and frozen fruit, the dry ice idea is a non-starter. I guess I'm back to Plan B, which is a combination of ziploc ice and frozen liter bottles of ice tea, and hoping that tides me over until Arctica opens. I arrive Saturday the 29th in the morning.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Elderberry » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:15 pm

Put your dry ice on the bottom. Cover it with insulation. It should keep your food cold and probably won't freeze it. If your food is freezing, add another layer of insulation. (That's what the people that sell the stuff suggest.) Maybe something like Refletix and start with a couple of layers.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by burner von braun » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:30 pm

Hi Strata, lots of good info here:
viewtopic.php?f=280&t=3232

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by hug+kiss » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:05 pm

I took dry ice for myself last year and loved it. I had two, about 1/2 pound each, maybe a pound. Just wrapped in the plastic bags they came in. Tucked them in the bottom corners on each side of a medium sized cooler. Then a layer of regular ice, then food and drinks. I only bought ice once that week and it's because I put cubes in all my drinks. I never had to drain ice melt from my cooler. Only froze the bottom of a bottle or two of water that I tucked in too deep next to the dry ice. I will be doing it again this year.

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by FlyingMonkey » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:20 am

It's probably covered in the link provided by burner von braun, but I have used the 2 cooler method (frozen 2 liter soda jugs in dry ice cooler, transfer jugs to food cooler as needed) & still had frozen jugs on Friday. Yes, it does require you to bring 2 coolers but it works if you can swing it. The Wal-Mart in Fernley sells dry ice if you need to reload on your way in. This method is not cheap so you need to decide what's important to you & how much you want to spend. You also don't end up with water logged food as you would with normal bags of ice. The other bonus is that you have cold water to drink once your jugs melt. I'm keeping the food simple this year & not taking any coolers.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:16 am

Find the wholesale ice cream dealer that supply the neighborhood trucks.

Ours sells dry ice for 40 cents a pound.

120 quart ice chest gets 80 pounds of dry ice and 8 one gallon milk jugs of frozen water, and all the frozen goodies.

The 50 quart chest gets the daily use non-frozen goodies and a frozen jug each day.

I do buy ice for the 10 gallon water cooler. 8)
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Roundabout » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:13 am

hug+kiss wrote:I took dry ice for myself last year and loved it. I had two, about 1/2 pound each, maybe a pound. Just wrapped in the plastic bags they came in. Tucked them in the bottom corners on each side of a medium sized cooler. Then a layer of regular ice, then food and drinks. I only bought ice once that week and it's because I put cubes in all my drinks. I never had to drain ice melt from my cooler. Only froze the bottom of a bottle or two of water that I tucked in too deep next to the dry ice. I will be doing it again this year.
I have used this method too. It is good for keeping cold, but not freezing. It helps even more if you sprinkle some water lightly over the top of the crushed ice. This forms a frozen barrier that insulates the food compartment from the dry ice and from freezing.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by FlyingMonkey » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:44 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Find the wholesale ice cream dealer that supply the neighborhood trucks.

Ours sells dry ice for 40 cents a pound.

120 quart ice chest gets 80 pounds of dry ice and 8 one gallon milk jugs of frozen water, and all the frozen goodies.

The 50 quart chest gets the daily use non-frozen goodies and a frozen jug each day.

I do buy ice for the 10 gallon water cooler. 8)
Awesome deal & a great tip.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Token » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:25 pm

The key to great ice experiences on the playa are:

Flasks of good quality whiskey, in original sealed containers.

Figure it out.

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by tamarakay » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:35 pm

Token wrote:The key to great ice experiences on the playa are:

Flasks of good quality whiskey, in original sealed containers.

Figure it out.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Token » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:41 pm

I gather we speak the same language ;)

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by EmilyD » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:09 pm

Soooo, experienced folks, I have a small cooler I want to keep frozen food in. I'm planning on putting two packages of dry ice on top (with a cardboard barrier between it and the already frozen food). I'll pack this up, and into the trailer on Thursday...arrive on Playa on Saturday. I have a moving pad I was going to cover the ice chest in. Will this work? Should I disconnect the Carbon Dioxide alarm in the pop-up trailer before I fold it up?
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by EmilyD » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:44 am

EmilyD wrote:Soooo, experienced folks, I have a small cooler I want to keep frozen food in. I'm planning on putting two packages of dry ice on top (with a cardboard barrier between it and the already frozen food). I'll pack this up, and into the trailer on Thursday...arrive on Playa on Saturday. I have a moving pad I was going to cover the ice chest in. Will this work? Should I disconnect the Carbon Dioxide alarm in the pop-up trailer before I fold it up?
And....what's good for a barrier between the dry ice and the food? Is a piece of cardboard enough? Thanks.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Popeye » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:31 pm

You have a carbon MONoxide detector in your trailer, probably will not detect carbon DIoxide.
Sorry no experience with dry ice.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by lucky420 » Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:15 pm

EmilyD wrote:
EmilyD wrote:Soooo, experienced folks, I have a small cooler I want to keep frozen food in. I'm planning on putting two packages of dry ice on top (with a cardboard barrier between it and the already frozen food). I'll pack this up, and into the trailer on Thursday...arrive on Playa on Saturday. I have a moving pad I was going to cover the ice chest in. Will this work? Should I disconnect the Carbon Dioxide alarm in the pop-up trailer before I fold it up?
And....what's good for a barrier between the dry ice and the food? Is a piece of cardboard enough? Thanks.
A piece of cardboard should be good, not really needed. Your dry ice should also be wrapped in several layers of newspaper
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by EmilyD » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:48 pm

Ulisse wrote:You have a carbon MONoxide detector in your trailer, probably will not detect carbon DIoxide.
Sorry no experience with dry ice.
DUH! embarrassed. Thanks for that reminder.

Lucky, what's the newspaper do for the dry ice? Insulate? Slow down the sublimation/sublimating?
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by lucky420 » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:11 am

Yes EmilyD, that's my understanding
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Corvus » Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:30 am

I was thinking of bringing Otter Pops to bribe, erm, gift Gate when I come in. Will a pack of pops in a small cooler by themselves freeze reliably with a couple pounds of dry ice?

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Kelsier » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:38 pm

I've got a question that hopefully someone can answer. Though it may be obvious, few things are obvious to me..

I do the 2 cooler system where I have a cooler of frozen items and water with Dry Ice, then once a day I move some frozen water and food to the 2nd cooler to defrost. The frozen water also helps keep the 2nd cooler cold, so I don't even bother buying ice all week.

My question is what to do after I remove the frozen jug of water from the Dry Ice Cooler, I know to increase efficiency you want as little open air space in the cooler as possible. Some people recommend wadded up newspaper or towels in the empty space. So would it be more efficient to add a "room temperature" jug of water to replace the frozen one I just took out?

Seems counterproductive because adding something that is warm (or at least not cold) would make the dry ice melt/sublimate faster. But would that be worse than leaving the space empty?
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by lucky420 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:01 pm

i would just leave the jug of melted water in the ice chest, it takes up the space you need and is already cold. Can you buy a 2-5 gallon water jug (coleman type) and just add ice to that later in the week?
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by BBadger » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:18 am

For the most part, what is important with dry ice is preventing convection. I would install some foam or rigid barriers to keep air from cycling around. Water jugs are nice because the water can't convect heat around except in the bottle itself.

I'd probably keep the frozen water jugs around in the dry ice chest if they're actually frozen, because they'll provide more thermal mass for the system, reducing the effects of opening the chest to grab stuff out.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:58 am

My 80 pounds of dry ice is stacked and wrapped in a towel at one end of the cooler.

As I shift my 1 gallon jugs of ice to the daily cooler, and the dry ice sublimates, it gets to the point where I can shove everything to one end and cover it with that towel.

Still have ice on day eight. 8)
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by lucky420 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:31 am

I keep my coolers in the box truck. They are placed on pieces of old Rmax (left over yurt pieces) and I put Rmax in the back side of the coolers. Then I over them all with thick moving blankets on top. I also have a sweet yeti cooler.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Kelsier » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:52 am

Last year my cooler management was horrible. I kept them in my tent, which of course was the hottest place it could be. Because I over packed the freezer cooler and could only fit about 10 pounds of dry ice in. I threw that on top.

The dry ice was pretty much gone by day 2, but on day 5 I still had frozen food, and day 7 it was at least still cold. I ended up tossing most of the leftover cold food, but I probably could have safely eaten it. Just didn't trust it enough to share it.

This year I'm going to do it correctly; cooler off the ground and insulated in the shade (not in my tent). Also going to get a lot more dry ice.

I like the idea of the towel and moving things together as room is created. I definitely want to pull the frozen jugs from the dry ice cooler because they are my source of cold water, AND how I chill the refrigerator cooler. My question was prompted because I remember reading somewhere on this forum that someone would replace their frozen jugs with unfrozen, and by the next day they'd be frozen solid. Of course, I doubt that would have worked with such a meager amount of dry ice.
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:06 am

Can't say for sure whether or not a jug of water will freeze just being in the same container, but I can absolutely assure you that a liter of Bombay Sapphire Gin will freeze solid if set directly on the dry ice and left there overnight.

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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by BBadger » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:31 pm

While shading your coolers is a good idea, keeping coolers off the ground doesn't really do much if you have an insulated cooler, and if you don't have an insulated cooler you should get one before bothering to raise it off the ground to use the ambient air as your "insulation".
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by Ratty » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:47 pm

I posted this last year when I made it. This tablecloth did an excellent job. It kept 2 ice chests in the shade all morning. The back wall of our shade structure is a tarp with a decorative cloth cover so that handled the late afternoon sun. NO moving the ice chests around. Yeah!
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Re: dry ice tips?

Post by BBadger » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:49 pm

If you use black fabric you can make it look like a mini-Kabba too.
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