How To Pack Your Cooler Like A Texan


If Texans know one thing, it’s how to be cool! Or at least stay cool in the middle of our sweltering summers. But, can your cooler say the same? No matter how fancy your cooler is, you still have to know how to pack it like a pro! Here are some next level tips to up your cooler-packing skills before your next trip to the cleanest waterpark in Texas, Splashway Family Waterpark!

#1 Do Your Prep Work

The day before you’re headed out on your family vacation in Texas, take your cooler out from your garage or attic and give it a good clean! Food safety starts with a squeaky clean cooler, so grab those disinfectant wipes and put your elbow into it.

If you’re cooler is a few years old and has been losing its edge, give it a pre-game-day cooldown! Fill it with cold water and throw a bag of ice in there 12 hours before your trip and wait to dump it out until you’re ready to pack.

If you have some extra plastic water bottles lying around, fill them with water and throw them in the freezer! These make for great, disposable cold packs for your cooler.

Now, onto the food. If you’re bringing fresh fruits and veggies, go ahead and clean, chop, and bag them for your trip. Bringing condiments? Find smaller containers to give you more room in your cooler for ice. Have pre-packed foods? Remove as much excess packaging as you can. Boxes are hard to pack around! Finally, make the job easier by keeping your cold food items in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to pack. It’s obviously easier to keep cool things cold!

#2 Section It Up

Most people say you’re supposed to pack in layers, but how well does that work out when you have to dig out half of your cooler just to grab a bottle of water? We say create sections for beverages, fruits and veggies, grab and go snacks, and meals! That way, you can get to everything easily, right when you need it. 

Start with a layer of ice, or ice packs, on the bottom of your cooler. Then, layer in your food by sections like these below.

Once you’ve got everything packed, pour ice on top of everything and give the cooler a good shake to help work the ice down in between the items!

#3 No Peeking

Once you’ve got your cooler packed, keep it closed as much as you can to seal in the cool. If you can, try to keep your cooler in the shade throughout the day as well. Finally, DON’T DRAIN IT! That’s right, keep your melted ice in there until you get home (or you’ve eaten all your food).

Other Helpful Tips

Break It Up – If your family stays super hydrated, you may consider separate coolers for food and beverages so your food items can stay cool while you’re constantly opening your other one to grab a drink.

Add Extra Insulation – If it is insanely hot, or you can’t find shade for your cooler, try adding some extra insulation! People have used wet towels, reflective paneling, and sleeping pads.

Watch the Temp – Keep a food thermometer in your cooler to make sure it doesn’t get too warm and ensure your food is being handled properly.

Now you’re ready to pack your cooler like a Texan! Want more summer tips? Check out our Pinterest Board and follow us on social media for more. See you (and your cooler) soon at Splashway Waterpark!

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