The days are getting cooler, and the nights are getting longer, so you know what that means it’s tailgating season again! As we head out to our Sunday night football games, we pack up the truck and hang out in the parking lot for hours and hours before kickoff. With the sun coming down, the savory smell of charcoal, and beer on our lips; who isn’t excited for football season? And although our sheer dedication to our team should motivate us to put aside an entire day for the game, we must admit that a large part of our enthusiasm boils down to what we consume before the first ball goes flying through the air. This football season suit up not only in your favorite player’s jersey, but with a quality cooler that will get you, your family, friends, and occasionally the drunken stranger pumped and ready to pass through the entrance gates. To those dedicated to the craft of grilling, draft beers, or just appreciate their water being cold; a quality cooler is necessary to having a great experience. When it comes to coolers, there is a lot of misinformation out there and, at least for me, it seems like I am continually trying and testing new coolers and dumping quite a pretty chunk of change into them. They do their job, or not so much, for maybe one or two games and then… caput, they crack, leak, have a weird odor, or some other defect that forces you to go on the hunt again. If you are tired of this, I have some information that you may want to hear.
First and foremost, the key to any cooler keeping things cold is by prechilling the cooler itself. Unlike our refrigerators that are constantly pumping the warm air out to keep our food fresh. Coolers have to fight off the warm air constantly going in as we reach in to grab another “cold one” that with most coolers, after an hour is more of a lukewarm or semi-cold beverage. To pre-chill a cooler, you fill the interior with either a few of those little ice packs that you have had in your freezer for 30 years with the “ice blue” liquid inside, or a bag of ice. Yeti has a cheaper and easier option compared to the hassle of locating enough of your kid’s lunch box ice packs. These are four pounds of lovely ice hunks called IceBlocks. They are a cheaper solution to continually buying multiple bags of ice to pre-chill your cooler with, to then just toss out as water. Although this is not to say that you cannot use ice as well. Prechilling is not the only component to keeping your food delectable. A huge component to the actual retention of chill is the thickness of the wall of your cooler.
Photo Credit: Austin Business Journal
At Appalachian Outfitters we have a plethora of options for choosing your ideal cooler. Outside the world of Yeti we also have IceMules and Stanley coolers. If you are normally the one in charge of lugging the cooler all the way to your ultimate destination and are tired of getting so buff in your arms and back, then look into getting one of the IceMules’. The Boss is incredibly lightweight compared to some of the heavier duty mega coolers on the market. They still have a great cooling capacity (24-72 hours) with rain-resistant, heavy-duty materials, and the ability to float. The best benefit is that they have shoulder straps or backpack straps to keep your hands free to carry the picnic blanket, chairs, or whatever it may be. Another option is a cooler from Stanley. The Stanley coolers are much more personal and great for your everyday lunch! They are still incredibly roomy with the capacity to hold ice for at least 24 hours. And yes of course, Stanley backs all of their products with a lifetime warranty. No matter which style you go with, the budget you are managing, the use for your cooler, or honestly even the color, we have everything you would need to take full advantage of this fall weather, football season, and the appreciation of good food and quenching beer.
The Stanley Adventure Cooler 7 qt.
So, what are you waiting for?! The Browns to finally beat their multi-year streak of losing nearly EVERY SINGLE GAME! I wouldn’t. Even if you don’t support the Browns, football has given you an excuse to go party in a parking lot and eat all the food you want! I don’t see how better to spend a Sunday. So, pack up the cooler, throw on your favorite jersey, turn on the AM radio, and go have a COLD one. Now you know that you can. Have fun, be safe, be responsible, and cheer loudly for all of us at Appalachian Outfitters.